Growth Mindset Launch

Back in March I blogged about becoming a growth mindset school following our staff launch event.  Since that time we have been very busy preparing to roll out the ethos to the whole school. Here’s what we’ve been up to, and what we’re planning for September…

Re-branding the school

Our old school motto was “Developing Potential to the Full” – a noble idea full of good intentions. However, as John Tomsett pointed out on Twitter, how do you know what anyone’s potential is, even your own? For this reason we have rewritten our school aims and changed our motto to “Learn, Grow, Achieve” to encapsulate our growth mindset ethos.

Graphic of our new school sign

Graphic of our new school sign

The external signs and website have all been “refreshed” with the new motto. Unfortunately our paper prospectus was printed in bulk so re-branding that will have to wait until next year!

Inside the school, we have put up over ninety “inspiration signs.” These all feature quotations which encapsulate aspects of the Growth Mindset crowdsourced from the school staff (and a good trawl of Twitter and Google!), made up into A3 sized plastic signs. You can see the whole collection here. One of the activities we will be running with young people is an “Inspiration Treasure Hunt” where the students have to find all the different signs and research the sources of the quotations. There will be prizes for the most detailed research as well as the first to find them all!

Finally, there are two displays in school explaining the idea of Growth Mindset – one outside my office, and another due to go up in main reception. The latter will also include an excellence wall to celebrate student work after the model of Pete Jones and Shaun Allison.

We felt that it was important that the students arrived in September to see something visibly different about the school, and we also felt it important to wear our hearts on our sleeves. The ethos should be visible from the front gate through every corridor and into every classroom in the school.

First days back with staff – INSET

Staff have already had the launch presentation, so the presentation below will serve as a reminder of the principles and set out our strategy for launching the new ethos.

The presentation boils down the growth mindset approach to three key mindset traits, and lays out the importance of praising effort not intelligence. I have also prepared a handout on the use of growth mindset language in the classroom and in written feedback (GM Language) adapted from various sources including the Grow Mindsets blog from Huntington School. From this session, teachers will move into their inaugural Teaching and Learning Team sessions to work on improving their own teaching practice. This is a cornerstone of the growth mindset approach, as teachers as well as students will be working hard to develop a growth mindset for themselves. You can read about our Teaching and Learning Leaders approach here.

Launching Growth Mindset With Students

1. Growth Mindset Questionnaires

With tutors on the first morning, students will complete a Student GM Questionnaire. This has also been borrowed from Huntington School via John Tomsett and their excellent Grow Mindsets blog.  The idea behind this is to get the students thinking about the ideas of intelligence and mindset, and reflecting as they start the school year on their own mindsets. We will also be collecting the data to evaluate whether our interventions have had an impact on student mindsets over the first year.

2. Launch Assembly

Secondly, I will be delivering a Growth Mindset launch assembly, using the Prezi below. If you can’t see the embed, please click this link.

This assembly is a refined and condensed version of the presentation delivered to staff and governors in March. I didn’t want to over-complicate it, so I began by thinking about the most important information that students needed to know. I came up with:

  1. The difference between growth and fixed mindset
  2. The basic neuroscience of how the brain learns
  3. How this neuroscience can be used to understand the benefits of a growth mindset
  4. How to use a growth mindset voice in learning situations
fixedgrowth-copy

Growth Mindset Infographic

I based sections 1 and 3 on a simplified version of the well-known mindset infographic by Nigel Holmes, and used this Robert Winston video from The Human Body for the neuroscience:

The key part of the assembly is emphasising why the growth mindset attributes – embracing challenges, seeing effort as the path to mastery, learning from critique and the success of others – help develop intelligence by growing and developing neural pathways. Struggle is essential for learning. I will also make sure that the students know that all teachers will also be working hard to develop a growth mindset in their Teaching and Learning Teams to ensure that the quality of teaching young people receive continues to be excellent and improving. It’s important that students understand that learning, growth and achievement are critical for every member of the school community.

3. Tutorial session

The week after the assembly, all students have a session with their tutors to reinforce growth mindset ideas and apply them. Click here for the lesson plan: GM Enrichment Lesson 230914 . This session uses “The Learning Brain” video to revisit the link between neuroscience and mindset from the assembly:

Tutors then have a choice of three activities to help embed the ideas of a growth mindset, including Elizabeth’s Story.

Learning Reflection Journals

The final part of the tutorial session involves the launch of our Learning Journal for reflection (click here for a copy). Each student has a journal and they will use it to define their goals at the start of the year. It serves as a “getting to know you” exercise for new tutors, as well as being something to refer back to during the year to remind students of the big picture. There are also sections in the journal for more detailed reflection at monitoring points when reports are shared with parents (three times a year). The bulk of it, however, is taken up with weekly sheets to review learning in the previous week and set goals for the week ahead:

Weekly reflection from an original by @abbie_tucker adapted by @Ashley_Loynton and @chrishildrew

Weekly reflection from an original #5minplan by @abbie_tucker adapted by @Ashley_Loynton and @chrishildrew

The aim of this is to promote consistent reflection on learning and enable regular dialogue between tutors and students about mindsets and approaches to the learning process.

Next steps

We have already put family information sessions into the school calendar. I have pushed hard for these and they represent a substantial investment in terms of staff time out of normal school hours. However, it is essential that families understand what we are trying to achieve in school so that they can reinforce the message and provide consistent feedback at home. I will publish a separate post about these in due course!

Finally, it’s about getting on with it and ensuring that all of this planning actually makes a difference. That means enacting and developing a growth mindset in every interaction, every lesson, and every communication in every classroom, corridor and playground, not just for now but for the long haul – until it becomes the norm. Through the aggregation of these marginal gains, I hope we can achieve a true ethic of excellence.

Napoleon Hill with pic

Closing the Gap Marking – Twilight CPD

As part of our twilight INSET programme this year I am delivering a CPD session on marking. It’s a great opportunity to bring together lots of ideas from lots of superb bloggers, teachers and thinkers – it’s been quite difficult to condense everything down! Here is the Prezi I’m using in the session (click this link if you can’t see the embed):

I have also adapted this session for Pedagoo South West and a 45 minute version of the 90 minute session can be found by clicking this link, along with the video of the session on YouTube.

The aims of the session are to improve the effectiveness of marking without spending more time on it. This will be done by looking at:

  • Public Critique (via Tait Coles here)
  • Triple Impact Marking  (via David Didau here)
  • DIRT (via Alex Quigley here)

Why are we looking at marking? Because…well, I’ll let Phil Beadle take this one:

beadle

I chose that photo on purpose.

The key thing to first is identify the gap that we’re trying to close. Fortunately, Tom Sherrington already has this covered in his Making Feedback Count blog:

gap

Graphic adapted from @headguruteacher

It’s the gap between students receiving the feedback and acting on it that we need to address. There is no better example of this process in action that Austin’s Butterfly, also blogged about by Tom here, and demonstrated by Ron Berger himself here:

Nowhere is the power of feedback on performance better demonstrated than in this example! Our feedback needs to be:

  • Specific
  • Hard on the content
  • Supportive of the person

And by “our”, of course I mean peer and teacher feedback, since Berger’s example is primarily focused on teacher-mediated peer feedback.

To demonstrate this, I ask colleagues to undertake a public critique exercise (inspired in part by the Alan Partridge clip used by Tait Coles at TeachMeet Clevedon). I ask staff to produce something to a set of criteria – a haiku, in the Prezi example – and submit it for public critique using Tait Coles’ critique sheets. I have adapted them so that there is space at the top measured for post-it notes to fit into – because I’m obsessive like that. You can download the Public Critique Sheet here.

Following reflection on public critique and applications in practice, we move on to Triple Impact Marking. This idea comes from David Didau and is captured in this presentation from his blog:

A key component of Triple Impact Marking is DIRT – Dedicated Improvement and Reflection Time. Alex Quigley explains the concept in detail (with links) here, but essentially students need TIME to act on the feedback given. This is where the gap is closed. I have been as guilty as any teacher of handing back meticulously marked books, asked my class to read the comments, and then got on with the next bit of the course. What. A. Waste. Well no more – we’re getting DIRTy.

To conclude our look at feedback, who better than Dylan Wiliam (via Mark Miller here):


This emphasises the importance of creating a successful feedback culture to enable a growth mindset. No grades. No levels. Specific targeted feedback, hard on the content, soft on the person.

To conclude the session, an exercise looking at managing marking workload. Many of these ideas come from another excellent Mark Miller blog, found here. There are twelve strategies and staff note down the advantages and disadvantages of each strategy in terms of learning and performance gains and workload implications. The idea is to evaluate each strategy in terms of its overall cost benefit to the busy classroom professional.

Twelve Tips and Tricks for marking and feedback

Twelve Tips and Tricks for marking and feedback

As a takeaway I’ve also adapted the sheet that Tom Sherrington blogged from Saffron Walden High School – you can download the Student engagement with written feedback sheet which can be seen here:
Increase marking impact
What has become clear to me in planning this inset is how rich my personal learning network is. The blogosphere is teeming with great ideas about marking, feedback and critique – all I had to do was synthesise the great work of others and stitch it into a package that will fit into 90 minutes of a dark, January evening. I hope it will go well!

The end of coursework

or…What’s assessment for anyway? 

When I took my GCSEs in English and English Literature (in 1991) they were 100% coursework. I wasn’t alone; according to the 2006 Review of GCSE Coursework from QCA (found here) about two-thirds of 16 year olds in the early 1990s were taking GCSE English through syllabuses that had no examinations. Much has changed since then, and all 16 year olds who take GCSE English in summer 2017 will do so following syllabuses with 100% terminal examinations (as announced by Ofqual).

A mindset change

Coursework has been part of my Key Stage 4 experience as a student, trainee, teacher, Head of Department and Senior Leader. Its removal requires a complete shift of mindset. Curriculum design, long and medium term planning in English has always been about fitting the coursework (or latterly controlled assessment tasks) into the two years to form a coherent programme of study around the assessment tasks. No longer. At this point in time, this feels like a blessed relief from the millstone of controlled assessments, and an opportunity to open up curriculum time to learning, but it will feel very different.

A change of gear is needed

A change of gear is needed

It will also require a mindset change for students. I have felt uncomfortable for some time about the prevalent attitude of “will it count towards my GCSE?” amongst students I teach. The unfortunate truth at the moment is that if it does, most will really try and put in every effort. If it’s “just practice” or, heaven forbid, an assignment merely to develop or secure understanding, it doesn’t get the full focus of a “proper assessment”. I will be glad to see the back of this distinction as it will allow and require a full focus on the process of learning in every piece of work throughout the course.

Teacher assessment is best

I genuinely believe that teachers are best placed to make accurate and complete assessments of their students’ abilities. It seems almost ridiculous that I have to state that at all. Teachers spend every lesson with their students and know better than anyone the full range of their achievements within the subject, in much more detail than any examination can hope to discover, no matter how long or rigorous. This will be lost in the terminal exam system. Teacher assessment (in English especially) has snapped under the weight of the accountability framework’s focus upon it. This was recognised in the QCA GCSE_coursework report:

5.44: The environment for GCSE and A levels has changed. Twenty years ago there were no achievement and attainment tables (formerly performance tables), no national or local targets related to examination grades and no link between teachers’ pay and students’ results. The environment now is far more pressured and in these circumstances, it is likely that internal assessment of GCSE and A levels as presently practised has become a less valid form of assessment.

Teacher assessment + high stakes accountability = a powder keg

Teacher assessment + high stakes accountability = a powder keg

This is undoubtedly the case. Teacher assessment is still the best way of assessing student progress and learning (although, as David Didau asserts, measuring learning is a horrifically complex business). It should still be the basis of teaching and learning in the classroom but only if the sole purpose of that teacher assessment is to measure the child’s progress and identify next steps in learning. If the teacher assessment is also serving the purpose of proving progress to senior leaders and external inspectors in order to maintain the school’s standing in performance tables and the teacher’s own salary, then of course there are vested interests at play which will encourage even the most professional professional to err on the side of generosity. And this is how we’ve arrived at our current situation. The accountability and pay systems have rendered the most accurate and helpful form of assessment unreliable and corrupt. Excellent work, policy makers.

Moving forward

I have several tasks as a school leader now to make the most of this new assessment framework.

Jumping through hoops - a necessary evil?

Jumping through hoops – a necessary evil?

  1. To help subject teams re-think curriculum design away from the coursework/controlled assessment structures that have been in place for so long. We will have a lot to learn from Maths and other 100% examined subjects here; we will need to make the most of the time freed up from controlled assessments to teach curriculum content (which is a combination of knowledge and skills, of course).
  2. To decouple teacher assessment from external accountability and pay progression as far as possible, to allow it to be carried out accurately for the benefit of the student’s learning, parents, and teachers themselves to inform planning.
  3. To work with all teachers and students to jump the hoops of the new terminal exams. I hate this part of the job, but recognise that teaching exam technique is vital to success in exams. I will also make every effort to keep this in proportion to the real business of teaching the actual subjects.
  4. To continue to do my best to construct a Key Stage 4 curriculum in the best interests of the learners at my school.

I’ll let you know how I get on.

The importance of enjoyment

I know that it is a fool’s errand to try and argue with anything that Old Andrew says, for fear of being called a phonics denialist, Gorilla, or enemy of promise reinforcing low expectations in the face of “all the evidence”. Well, here goes…

thefooltarot

In making “The Case against Michael Gove” our anonymous blogger makes the following argument about what is currently wrong with the teaching profession:

Nobody is going to rise up the ranks in teaching for saying that the highest priority is the recall of knowledge and that teachers should explicitly teach knowledge without regard to whether it is enjoyable. 

There is nuance to this argument, so let me make something plain – I am not against teaching knowledge. I am all for explicitly teaching knowledge. But teaching anything without regard to whether it is enjoyable? Yikes. In my book, that is bad teaching. Anyone who plans a lesson without regard to whether it is enjoyable should, in my view, think again.

knowledge

Don’t misunderstand me, please. I accept that there are some parts of our curriculum, no matter what subject you teach, which are really hard to make “fun” but are nonetheless critically important. Sometimes, in front of class, we have to say: “you know what, you just have to learn this, so let’s get on with it as painlessly as possible.” I know this. I accept this. I teach like this. But that is very different to teaching without regard to whether it is enjoyable. That is the result of a planning process where I have decided, after careful thought, that the most effective way of getting this learning across is through simple direct instruction and cyclical reinforcement. You just need to know this.

It’s also important to state that I’m not a “progressive” in that I’m all for direct instruction. I believe direct instruction is a vital part of the teacher’s repertoire. But direct instruction is not incompatible with enjoyment, surely? Some of the best teachers I have worked with can hold a class rapt as they talk, from the front, for half an hour on a key learning point, enthusing and carrying the learners with them as they probe and develop their understanding. Students can walk away from lessons like that with their heads spinning with new ideas, and have really enjoyed the experience.

candle_flame

My point is this – children should enjoy learning. Instinctively, they do; everybody does. But this enjoyment needs to be nurtured or it will flicker and fail. Not at the expense of high expectations, but in conjunction with them. One of my favourite blogs at the moment is Rachel Jones‘ newly-revamped CreateInnovateExplore, which is full of posts where she looks to try and engage students in their learning by finding a way to make the content memorable and – yes – fun. I was first hooked as she hand-made a parachute so that her students could bounce revision questions around to one another. Of course, it would have been easier and more time-efficient to sit them in rows and just ask them the questions, but classrooms should be about more than that. The same is true of Lisa Jane Ashes’ Thought-Bombing, or Isabella Wallace’s Poundland Pedagogy, or so many other examples of teachers planning with enjoyment in mind. 

page394

I do not think that fun should be the point of the lesson. “Can we just have a fun lesson today?” is student-speak for “can I opt out of actually learning anything?” My stock response is always “every lesson with me is packed full of fun, so turn to page 394.” No, learning should always be the point of the lesson, and if the learning gets lost then the lesson is unsuccessful. But if I can find a way to make the learning engaging, “stickable“, pleasant and, yes, enjoyable then I’m going to use it.

Of course, I am a Deputy Head. I do agree with Old Andrew on much of his argument beyond the enjoyment point: “while good leadership is so important to schools, bad leadership will only become more toxic as the power of SMT is increased” does ring true to me. But good leadership to me includes valuing, praising and encouraging teachers who can engage, motivate and inspire young people not just with the knowledge and skills they need, but with the enjoyment and pleasure that taking on the challenge of learning brings.

Transition – smooth or abrupt?

Children grow up. As they grow, the demands and structures of the school system change around them. In the United States, children move from preschool through elementary and middle school to high school and on to college, having to pass one grade to move up to the next. Here in the UK, children move from the early years foundation stage through key stages one, two, three and four, to further and on to higher education, moving each year irrespective of academic progress. There are doubtless advantages and disadvantages to both systems. What they have in common is the notion of transition between one stage and the next.

ducktowater

A smooth transition?

It is taken as a given that the demands and structures of the school system need to change as children get older, yet any teacher in any school here or abroad will tell you that some children cope with the transition better than others. I teach in secondary education, encompassing children aged 11-18 in key stages 3-5. On reaching the sixth form, some young people take to the increased emphasis on independent study and academic demands of the curriculum like ducks to water; others flounder and take months to find their feet. In this post I will propose two models of transition and attempt to evaluate them; I would welcome comments or tweets on any of this as my thoughts are still developing!

For the purposes of this blog I am writing about education as a journey, and the transitions as turning points on that journey. I promise to strain this metaphor to breaking point and beyond.

The Motorway Junction – a smooth transition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A motorway junction transition

In a motorway junction transition, a driver will cruise along at a fast pace, making good progress. When moving through the transition, pace may slow a little on the gradual curve, but soon pick up to the same speed as before when through the junction which has been carefully designed to minimise the disruption of the change. The new road looks much the same as the one before, though travelling in a new direction.

In the school context this model should mean that the move from one key stage to the next is smooth and uninterrupted. The structures are in place to ensure that children’s progress, whilst it may inevitably slow a little, picks up rapidly to the same pace as before. This could be accomplished by ensuring that the new environment looks and feels similar to the one before – same classroom layout, similar teaching techniques, perhaps some crossover of staff, good knowledge of what the child is capable of, and expectations to match. I have seen this model effectively employed at the transfer from infants to juniors (KS1-2), where the classroom layout and teachers from Year 2 will be identical at the start of Year 3.

The advantages of this system are obvious. The “summer holiday slump” of transition is quickly smoothed out and the learning continues at the same pace on both sides of the transition. To extend the metaphor further (there will be be more of this…) learners could even select (or be channelled into) different routes or pathways seamlessly, provided the structures are set up with enough planning to allow this to happen.

spaghetti

Creating structures for smooth transitions can be a complex affair

There are practical problems, of course. My school in rural north-east Somerset drew from 51 separate primary schools in September 2012. The classrooms those Year 6 children were familiar with in July would have looked as different to one another as their Year 7 tutor room would have done; any hope of us replicating a Year 6 experience at the start of Year 7 would be patchy at best. Similarly, whilst we do visit every child in every feeder school, doing meaningful pre-Year 7 transition work beyond our immediate cluster is logistically impossible.

However, the in-school transitions (for me, KS3-4 and KS4-5) could be set up this way more effectively. Simulating or introducing the demands and structures of the next key stage gradually before the end of the previous one already happens in many ways. Plenty of schools start their September timetable once exams are complete; some have Year 11 back to start their sixth form studies in July; many start GCSE courses in Year 9. The “motorway junction” transition is a well established model for within school transition points.

The T-Junction – an abrupt transition

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A T junction transition

At a T junction transition progress slows to a stop. The driver will pause, hesitate, and choose the right way to go before setting off and accelerating back to, and perhaps beyond, previous speed. The junction has been designed and carefully signposted to remind the driver to stop and think before taking the next route. The new road might look markedly different to the previous one.

In the school context this seems counter-intuitive. Why would we want to slow progress to a stop? The answer, it seems to me, is that this is sometimes necessary if it means that they can get up to a faster pace following the transition. I asked a group of Year 10 students last week to reflect on their transition from Key Stage 3 to 4. They spoke of feeling nervous before coming back, of having higher expectations of themselves and of feeling like their teachers expected more from them. They described how there was a feeling of the year group having “upped their game” in September, because “it was different to Year 9”.

satnav

Independent advice and guidance – sat nav style

The pause is important. Selecting the right route post-transition, especially in the increasingly specialised structures of secondary education, require careful consideration. The school must be the sat nav providing the advice and guidance (told you the metaphor would get strained). Crucially, the new phase must feel different to the previous one to demonstrate the increased challenge that is ahead. Sixth form should feel different to Key Stage 4. The move up should up the expectations, should up the pace, should up the challenge. If the next phase feels too similar to the previous one, will the students up their game to match?

The roundabout transition – a third way

junction sign

Straining the transition/journey metaphor beyond breaking point

At a roundabout a driver will pause to make sure that it is safe to proceed, but the structure is designed to ensure that traffic flows freely. Our in-school transitions should do the same. We should recognise that the next phase is different and it should feel like it, but that we should smooth the transition as much as we are able by designing structures to ensure that the impact on progress is minimised and that learners feel safe and secure in making the shift. Some will be nervous, some will sail through confidently; school transitions must ensure that all get up to speed as soon after the junction as possible.

An elaborate transition system in Swindon

An elaborate transition system in Swindon

A whole-curriculum approach to literacy

I first heard about the Matthew Effect in some training materials Geoff Barton put on his excellent website. Subsequently I read a call to arms on whole school literacy from the equally excellent David Didau (@learningspy) citing the same source. For the uninitiated, the Matthew Effect refers to Daniel Rigney’s book of the same name and is based on this passage from Matthew 13:12: “The rich shall get richer and the poor shall get poorer”. Rigney applies this to literacy, arguing that:

“good readers gain new skills very rapidly, and quickly move from learning to read to reading to learn, (whilst) poor readers become increasingly frustrated with the act of reading, and try to avoid reading where possible.”

This leads to the literate learning more, faster, whilst those with poor literacy skills learn less, more slowly. Ed Hirsch Jr builds on this theme in his book “The Schools We Need“:

“The children who possess intellectual capital when they first arrive at school have the mental scaffolding and Velcro to catch hold of what is going on, and they can turn the new knowledge into still more Velcro to gain still more knowledge”.

Literacy is the velcro students need to gain purchase on the rest of the curriculum

There is no doubt this is happening at my school. We are doing exceptionally well with those who come to us with average or good skills already. We provide plenty of opportunities for them to develop more intellectual Velcro and progress rapidly. What we need to get better at is working with those who come to us in Year 7 without intellectual capital, who struggle to get a grip on the curriculum we offer and fall further and further behind. These are the students who often display low-level disruptive behaviour; without a handle on the curriculum that is being delivered they are left with little choice but to play up.

It took a chance conversation with our Head of English to remind me of an experiment we had run in the English Department of a previous school. I am committed to mixed ability teaching (here’s why) but the brilliant English teachers in the team were struggling with differentiation and asked if we’d consider setting. We compromised, creating mixed ability groups where the students were all weaker in either reading, writing, or speaking and listening according to assessment data. This allowed the staff to focus on developing that core skill; although the group itself consisted of students of the full ability range, what they all had in common was that their reading was weaker than their writing (or vice versa). It was a great success – teachers were able to differentiate the curriculum more effectively, and student outcomes improved, not just in the focus area but across the board at a faster rate than those grouped in the usual way. Why shouldn’t this work across the curriculum?

So this is the model we are going to adopt. From September, Year 8 and 9 will be grouped for almost all their subjects according to their area of greatest literacy need – reading, writing, or speaking and listening. I am hopeful that this will bring the teaching of literacy to the forefront of teachers’ consciousness across the curriculum and provide the necessary focus on a particular skill area. Thus, when teaching History to a writing-focus group, the teacher might spend a little longer teaching the skills of writing a good history essay, whilst the Geographer with the reading-focus group might plan a starter on skim-reading skills before tackling a lesson which requires reading from three sources. The Drama teacher who has a group with a speaking-and-listening focus could make an immeasurable difference, and an emphasis on presentation skills and group work across the curriculum for learners who struggle with those aspects could do the same.

Of course, this isn’t just going to happen. Teachers are going to need time to adapt their existing curriculum plans and schemes of work to look for the lessons which may need adaptation or variation depending on the focus of the group in front of them. They are also going to need the tools to deliver literacy skills to students with confidence. And thankfully, David Didau has provided those tools in an approach he calls “Literacy Cubed”.

Literacy Cubed (image from The Learning Spy

I have adapted David’s approach into a single-side of A4 Literacy Cubed help-sheet for staff. There are nine strategies here to help develop writing, reading and spelling. More will follow on oracy, of course. But if everyone – each member of staff, in each lesson – was teaching these strategies, my hope is that it will provide those tiny hooks that some of our learners so desperately need so they can begin to cling on to the learning that is happening around them and, eventually, begin to turn that learning into hooks of their own.

Here’s the Prezi I’ve prepared to launch this with staff following really enthusiastic reception from SLT, Heads of Faculty and Heads of Year. I’ll use this blog to chart the progress of this approach, which is the first step on a wider “Learning without Limits” campaign for 2013-14. Of which, more anon…

Teaching and Learning Twilight Training

I’m running three twilight training sessions in 2013 on teaching and learning tips and strategies. My aim is to give staff a set of simple tools that they can try out in their lessons with minimum fuss and bother. I’ve magpied a load of stuff from previous schools I’ve worked at, other teachers, Twitter, and blogs to come up with my own “Teacher’s Toolkit” which is below. Especial credit to the excellent David Didau (@learningspy) for the Literacy Cubed section and to Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) for the previously-blogged five minute lesson plan.
CVS Teachers Toolkit 1.2

Teaching and Learning

In January I will be running a twilight inset for staff to develop teaching and learning. The idea behind the session is to share simple tips which will refresh staff and encourage to plan and deliver engaging lessons.

I’m going to start with Ross McGill’s excellent 5 Minute Lesson Plan:

Then I’ve adapted a Teacher’s Toolkit of my own from one I had at a previous school.

I’m going to try out a few of the strategies on the staff in the session, then get them to think of a few applications themselves. Within the week, I want them all to have tried the 5-minute plan and three of the strategies in the kit – and told a colleague how it went. That’s all. With that, I hope, I’ll be able to generate sixty conversations about teaching and learning that otherwise might not have happened – and I’ll count the twilight a success.