At the end of every year, the NQTs who have just completed their first year of teaching pass on their advice to the NQTs who are just starting. This is always a good opportunity for them to reflect on their practice and we end up with some good advice, not just for new teachers but also those of us who have been in the job for a while! So here is some of the advice that they shared: Continue Reading
Yesterday Heads of Department and SLT spent a day looking at exercise books across our school. Here is what we learnt. Continue Reading
Perhaps because most of us are still up to our necks in mock marking, I’ve been reflecting on some of the time-effective marking practices that we have been advocating as a school over the past few years. I thought it would be a good time to gather together just some of the ideas on this topic and share them again with you. Continue Reading
Enquiry question: ‘Which tools and strategies, both teacher-led and independent, effectively support and engage KS4 learners in climbing out of the “learning pit”?’
My enquiry question was built from extensive academic research that discuss the dangers of pitching lessons too low – essentially ‘spoon-feeding’ information to pupils – in the belief that this is ‘learning’. An intriguing opposition to this form of teaching is James Nottingham’s concept of the “learning pit”; in short, that pupils must be cognitively challenged, leading to confusion, but with the right tools, strategies and support, they “climb out of the learning pit”, and consequently have a fuller understanding of the concept. In my reading, I have discovered that this teaching strategy is commonly applied to primary teaching and mathematics, but there is little evidence of its application in Modern Language teaching. Could it be applied effectively to MFL teaching? Continue Reading
This is an idea that I’ve been thinking about for some time, particularly following a talk by Daisy Christodoulou and subsequently reading her book ‘Making Good Progress’. The standout point from both of these was that one test can not (effectively) fulfil multiple functions. We need to decide whether we are aiming to develop learning or to measure it. Continue Reading
Practical suggestions for using Knowledge Organisers in the classroom.
This blog is made up of two parts. The first is a little overview of KOs and why they can be so helpful in your medium term planning. I’ll structure this part as an FAQ based on the last year of working with departments. The second is a list of 20 practical lesson planning ideas for using KOs with pupils in which I’ll seek to answer the question at the top of this blog. Continue Reading