HubTales: a case study from our Pitch and Challenge Hub 7 weeks in.

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

Why are we Testing? (includes a useful infographic)

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

I’ve got my Knowledge Organisers – now what?

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

‘Teaching KS3 pupils GCSE skills is useless and dangerous.’ To what extent to do you agree with this statement?

By Jon Palmer, Teacher of English & Head of H&SC

***remember to write witty, engaging and relatable intro to grab reader’s attention***  so the question was: how could I possibly teach a high level GCSE skill such as evaluation to my KS3 classes? Continue Reading

Model Answers: A Recipe for Success

By Nicola Stevens, Head of Spanish.

Remember the last mouth-watering meal you enjoyed in a Michelin star restaurant? You devoured the entire mouth-watering plate, but could you recreate it at home? Would you know the ingredients? The measurements? Would you be able to guess the recipe? Do you have the culinary skills to produce the dish yourself?  Probably not. Hold that thought…. Continue Reading