HWRK Magazine: Issue 8 - Summer 2019

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educational magazinefor teachers the essential magazine

HWRK

WRITTEN SPECIFICALLY BY TEACHERS FOR TEACHERS

SUMMER 2019 / ISSUE 8 / FREE HWRKMAGAZINE.CO.UK

WHERE IS ISLAM, MISS? How the biggest misconceptions in a class hold the best opportunities for learning

Inside the mind of Michael Rosen EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW

A GUIDE TO PSHE CLASS

WHY GOING WITH THE FLOW WILL UNLOCK ITS POTENTIAL

HEALTH & WELLNESS

HOW TO TRAIN YOUR BRAIN

1,032 TIPS FOR TEACHERS ACTION THIS LESSON!

WINSTON CHURCHILL

WHAT WE CAN LEARN FROM THE WORK ETHIC OF AN ICON

HAPPY MIND = HEALTHY BODY DITCHING THE LESSON PLAN

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COMING OUT OF THE CLOSET THE IMPORTANCE OF LGBT TEACHING AT PRIMARY LEVEL


We work tirelessly to change the lives of those affected by bullying and we know we make a difference. We see it in the way young people engage in our projects, how we empower them to Make a Difference and how they develop confidence and learn new skills. By developing a positive ethos across a whole school/organisation community, we can create an environment that meets the emotional, academic and social needs of pupils and staff. Creating an anti-bullying and respectful ethos is a powerful way to Inspire Change. Our Youth Ambassadors are a dynamic team of young volunteers working together to help deal with the issue of bullying. They are committed and dedicated and all have a passion to Make A Difference in their local communities. The programme is open all year round and you can join wherever you live and whatever your background and interests are.


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CURRICULUM

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SUFFER W IT

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YE 8 OF 5–19

How would you grade GCSEs? As the summer holidays draw in, another term of exams is finally drawing to a close, and it’s a good time to reflect on the GCSE reforms from a couple of years ago and ask ourselves, was it all really worth it? Maths guru Andy McHugh offers his verdict in this issue, but we’d like to hear your views too, from the front lines. Have the reforms helped or hindered the examination progress? Send us your thoughts via social media (@hwrk_magazine) using the hashtag #examreforms. We’d love to poll the nation to hear see exactly what you think. Read Andy McHugh’s views on page 11.

5.5%

HA

VI

OU

RA

L OTHERS

34.9% RECOGNISE AS LGBTQ

HYPERACTIVITY

1/4

MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS %

Emotional disorders

12%

11–16YRS SELFHARMED OR ATTEMPTEDSUICIDE

17–19YRS

Mental disorder

10%

WOMEN

8%

HIGH RISK

6%

2% 0

1999

2004

2004

17 Healthy Mind = Healthy Body See Pgs 52-53

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48 breakfast cups

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50 lunch workout

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51 power foods

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52 healthy mind

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THIS DAY!

4%

Source: Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017. Published Nov 2018.

POWER OF THE MIND

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EXPAND YOUR MIND ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME

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BIG Read

–19YRS

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HOW DO YOU GRADE GCSEs?

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INSPIRED BY MR CHURCHILL

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by the numbers

M E N TA L H E A LT H I N S C H O O L S UK statistics show how pupils need more support than ever

HEALTH

What we can all learn from Sir Winston Churchill’s work ethic WORDS: DOMINIC KIRBY

MENTAL HEALTH BY THE NUMBERS

Knowledge is our true power A ccording to Albert Einstein: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Anyone can read encyclopaedia’s and attain knowledge through repetition, but not everyone can expose problems and make new discoveries.

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COLUMN ENGLISH BOOK REVIEW NUMBERS RELIGION COLUMN

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WORDS: SARAH WORDLAW

TAKING LEARNING OUTSIDE OF THE CLASSROOM

Pull the plug on Cyber bullying! yber bullying is tougher to marshal than ever, what with the rise of social media networks, and the role of teachers, parents and guardians to protect those in their care from the negativity of others is almost impossible to manage. But perhaps another child, one who has experienced bullying themselves, is the answer. BulliesOut, a charity supported by HWRK, has a blossoming Ambassador programme that’s doing life-changing work up and down the UK. Read Casey-Jane’s amazing story – Page 76.

GUEST COLUMNIST

66

PULL PLUG ON CYBER BULLIES

OVERSEAS EDUCATOR  HOGWARTS EXPRESS  BULLIES OUT! 

ver the past few months I, along with many in the teaching community, have been saddened by the campaigns against the teaching of diversity in primary schools, specifically LGBT relationships, in places like Parkfield Primary School in Birmingham, and have discussed it at great length with friends and colleagues. It’s our responsibility to make the next generation more enlightened than we are, and to teach children that there are no outsiders in our society irrespective of race, religion, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. As a society we are on a journey to institutional change where recognition and eradication of discriminatory beliefs is encouraged. No child is born sexist, racist or homophobic, this is a fact. Children learn negative behaviours early on from outside influences, which is why it is our responsibility as educators to make sure any discriminatory views are challenged.

Diversity and inclusion in the primary classroom

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BIG Advice

Coming out of the closet

Creativity is essential in training our brains and thus becoming more intelligent. Like a bodybuilder lifts weights and conforms to a nutrition rich diet, to grow our minds we must also challenge ourselves to become more learned and enjoy a more fruitful life. Healthy mind, healthy body - See page 52.

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LGBT TEACHING HELPERS GUIDE

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CONTENTS CURRICULUM

FEATURES

62 PSHE TEACHING

HEALTH

EXPERIENCE

Master how to go with the flow in class.

48 RUCKSACK RIPPED

72 DUBAI FOR ALL

The truth about teaching in the UAE.

12 REDAFTING CLASS

23 MICHAEL ROSEN

Master this writing skill to stay focused and proficient.

Exclusive Q&A with the novelist, poet and author.

66 LGBT EDUCATION

Train your way to a break time six-pack.

14 BOOK REVIEW

28 ACTION THIS DAY!

Help with teaching sexuality at Primary.

50 LUNCH TIME LOSER

74 HOGWARTS EXPRESS

Why The Suitcase Kid will fit in your classroom.

How to be inspired by Winston Churchill..

The perfect fat-blast full-body workout.

Check into wizarding school this summer.

18 RELIGIOUS STUDIES

34 BRAIN TRAINING

42 THE GALLERY

51 PROTEIN POWER

76 BULLIESOUT!

Embrace misconceptions and unlock the potential.

Tips on ways to flex your muscle memory.

Kimbolton School works on display.

The strength foods your body requires.

How pupils can help fight school bullies.

20 GUEST COLUMN

57 DITCH PLANNING

44 DRAMA QUEEN

52 HEALTHY MIND

77 GUEST COLUMN

Enhance your skills with the science of learning.

How to enhance learning with less work!.

How to hone your craft over summer.

Learn to train your mind like a muscle.

Dropping pebbles to make waves.

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ARTS

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H W R K M A G A Z I N E . C O . U K // M E E T T H E T E A M

CONTRIBUTORS W R I T T E N BY T E AC H E R S FO R T E AC H E R S BLOG KING

EDU INSIDER

Aidan Severs

JS Sumerfield

@thatboycanteach Author of the awesome thatboycanteach.co.uk edu blog, Aidan can mostly be found in front of his class or laptop, rapping at friends’ parties or taking to the air on his rollerskates!

@jssumerfield Teacher, lawyer, writer, playwright and author. KING OF CLASSICS

Jon Love

@jonthelegend Former SLT who’s now back in front of the classroom.

CEO

YOGA LOVER

Linda James MBE

Sophie McPhee

@BulliesOut Founder of award-winning charity BulliesOut.

@TheOther16Hours PSHE Coordinator and MFL teacher at a grammar school in the West Midlands, Sophie has been teaching for 12 years. She also runs a primary school outreach programme called ‘Change Your Mind’, where Year 12 pupils plan and deliver mental health workshops.

LITERARY LEADER

Jenny Holder

@JennyHolderLiv Liverpool Learning Partnerships reading coordinator.

DEPUTY DIRECTOR

Matthew Lane

@MrMJLane Former Royal Navy Officer turned Year 6 teacher and writer based in Norfolk. Matthew loves research but his passions lies in writing and, specifically, how writing helps children and adults make sense of the world.

BRAIN TRAINER

Robin Launder

@behaviourbuddy An educational consultant and trainer. His specialisms are behaviour management and neuroscience. He is also a secondary school teacher, writer, local hospital volunteer and a member of the activist group, Extinction Rebellion.

DEBATE QUEEN

Gemma Papworth

@PapworthRe L&T Lead for RS across GLF, Head of RS in Surrey, M Ed. HISTORY CHAP

Dominic Kirby

@History_Chap History teacher, Army reservist, cross-curriculum learner. DYSLEXIC WRITER

PERSONAL TRAINER

CLASSROOM GURU

Kevin Kearns

Andy McHugh

@BurnwithKearns School touring anti-bully campaigner and fitness guru. COLUMNIST

Niomi Clyde-Roberts

@NiomiColleen Year 5 Team Leader, pedagogy, yoga & gymnastics nut.

@guruteaching North East-based Andy is a teacher, HOD, blogger and examiner who loves nothing more than a good debate. He writes over at teachingandlearningguru. com with a strong focus on pupil and faculty support.

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Louise Tondeur

@LouiseTondeur Louise Tondeur is a novelist and short story writer. She trained as a drama teacher, and currently tutors on the OU’s Creative Writing MA and blogs at louisetondeur.co.uk and smallstepsguide.co.uk.

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HISTORY MAKERS! WHO

Local schoolchildren learn Morse code at the World War II re-enactment experience.

WHAT

The Chalke Valley History Festival is the largest festival in the world dedicated to history and this summer welcomed over 2,500 pupils from well over 100 schools.

WHERE

Broadchalke, near Salisbury, Wiltshire.

WHEN

June 2019

BY

Photo courtesy of CVHF.

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EXPAND YOUR MIND ONE SUBJECT AT A TIME

How would you grade GCSEs? As the summer holidays draw in, another term of exams is finally drawing to a close, and it’s a good time to reflect on the GCSE reforms from a couple of years ago and ask ourselves, was it all really worth it? Maths guru Andy McHugh offers his verdict in this issue, but we’d like to hear your views too, from the front lines. Have the reforms helped or hindered the examination progress? Send us your thoughts via social media (@HWRK_Magazine) using the hashtag #examreforms. We’d love to poll the nation to hear see exactly what you think. Read Andy McHugh’s views on page 11.

COLUMN ENGLISH BOOK REVIEW NUMBERS RELIGION COLUMN

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Were the GCSE reforms worth it? GURU TEACHER ANDY MCHUGH offers his verdict, then suggests prioritising teacher recruitment

It’s difficult to know if something is going to succeed or not until it’s too late. When ideas for the recently reformed GCSEs were being introduced, only a few years ago, there were valid concerns that the potential upside would be outweighed by the cost of introducing such reforms, especially given the short timescales concerned. So, was it worth it? The GCSE reforms were a bold move to add rigour and status to a set of qualifications that had, over years, gained a reputation as being too easy. Each year yielded record results. In some corners of the media, GCSEs were decried as being ‘as easy as falling off a log’. So, the Government of the day decided to act. A new set of GCSE specifications were ordered, with the remit that they must be more rigorous. Students must now commit more facts to memory, with even more exams. Not only that, but the complexity of what must be learnt also increased. Many topics which would normally be reserved for A Level study were introduced at GCSE.

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“And not before time!” exclaimed many teachers, who must have been unhappy with their A* students being lumped in with other A* students of a ‘lower’ calibre. However, this stretching of the so-called ‘top-end’ really should be hailed as a success. After all, those with the very highest level of knowledge and skill should absolutely be differentiated from those with a slightly lower level, especially when competition for university places is high. But this has come at a cost. T R U E I M PA C T

The same differentiation has not been applied at the ‘bottom-end’ (pardon the expression), meaning many students who would previously have achieved a grade, now achieve nothing. For this to occur, after two years of study by the students and high levels of effort of the teacher, is a tragedy. After all, isn’t one of the values we wish to instil the sense that if you work hard you will achieve? The GCSE reforms are teaching students the opposite. This, of course, is entirely

fixable. Grade boundaries can be modified to ensure students, on a bell-curve, can achieve the whole spread of grades. But it’s more complex than that. There are huge problems with entire topics being inaccessible for too many students. Of course, they can understand the odd keyword, or be taught to memorise the basic points required of a theory. But this is precisely the problem: they still don’t understand it. While reforms have added rigour and students are now producing better answers than ever, do they actually ‘know’ it any better? Finally, it’s impossible to have a conversation about the success or failure of the GCSE reforms without exploring the impact on teachers. The number of teachers entering the profession is not nearly enough to compensate for those leaving. The GCSE reforms were one hurdle too many for some and many have retired (earlier than planned in some cases). Not only that, the reforms played a significant part in causing mental health issues in staff, who are held accountable for student results that fail to meet unreasonably high targets.

S AV E O U R S T U D E N T

The new GCSEs are somewhat of a mixed blessing. Sixth form colleges are more satisfied that grade 9 students are ‘better’ than grade 8 students, potentially making decisions about post-16 course suitability easier. Nobody wants students to be enrolled on the wrong course. The students are arguably also better researchers, essay writers and mathematicians, meaning that the jump to A Level should be easier. But employers are still not happy. Now, more than ever, we are producing cohorts of students who have academic knowledge alongside theoretical skills. But many professions and trades would argue students lack the ‘real-world’ skills that could have been taught as part of a more rounded curriculum. Perhaps, more attention could have been paid to this. After all, it’s difficult to lead the world if you don’t have the practical tools to do so. But the bigger issue is lurking around the corner. We don’t have enough teachers for tomorrow’s students.

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CURRICULUM

Redrafting: the key to creative writing NOVELIST LOUISE TONDEUR gets stuck into an often overlooked but essential skill

Imagine I am teaching you to juggle. You get proficient at throwing and catching three oranges, when I chuck in a banana and a pineapple as well. Not only will you get discouraged, but you’ll also become much less proficient at juggling. When we ask students to create a piece of writing, we are already asking them to juggle several skills. For example, storytelling, using their imagination, making up fictional characters. Then we throw in vocabulary, spelling, handwriting, punctuation, staying focused, and coming up with illustrations. My point is that it is better not to juggle all of those things at once, in the same draft. Redrafting is a vital creative writing skill. Why? Because without it, we wouldn’t be able to write anything. The opposite – trying to get everything right in the first draft – leads to fear of failure, being overwhelmed, and in extreme cases, procrastination and ‘blank page syndrome’. The opposite is true too. When I taught undergraduates, I had many ‘eureka’ moments when students realised they could write a terrible first draft, rewrite it, polish it, and slowly make it better.

THREE KINDS OF REDRAFT

• The most important kind of redrafting

is simply not doing everything at once. For example, I invent a character, draw her, think up interesting words, check my spelling, write about her typical day, then give her a problem to solve, in stages. • Redrafting may also involve editing a previous draft – going over it to look for bits I could change, or new words to include, or bits of description to cut or embellish. I might also decide to make changes to the characters in a story or

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the shape and sound of a poem. A more dynamic version of this kind of redraft (a structural edit) involves shifting whole chunks of the writing around. Perhaps I decide to put the end at the beginning or to start in the middle. This is arguably the skill most transferable to other kinds of writing. • The redraft students are most familiar with ‘doing a rough version’ – completing the work first without worrying about mistakes or making it look good. This encourages an anti-perfectionist mindset, and is a good start. But going straight from a ‘rough version’ to a ‘neat version’ is problematic, because it doesn’t allow for multiple redrafts. It’s also akin to going from the first draft to the proof-reading stage, with

nothing in between. Of course, you might not have time to allow students to do multiple redrafts of their work, which brings me to the importance of learning outcomes. SET UP YOUR LEARNING OUTCOME

Redrafting is such an important skill that in order to give it the space it needs, I suggest picking at least one piece of work students will work on all term, in multiple redrafts. In other words, use the skill of redrafting itself as a learning outcome and create measurable objectives along the way. Similarly, for every piece of creative writing students undertake, have your learning

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english

‘Ask students to create a poem, story or dialogue out of the lists of words generated by the class’

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outcomes in mind – whether those are to do with rhythm, vocabulary, storytelling, proof-reading, or redrafting. HOW TO TEACH REDRAFTING

• Start by generating lists of words. Use

any topic as stimuli or create lists of words based on student observations. • Turn these lists of words into lines of a poem or prose or dialogue. Introduce a theme or add a tone: make it funny, or make us think, for instance. • Have students swap the lines / sentences and practise redrafting each other’s work. It helps to give them aim: make the work as short as possible, include alliteration, turn

it into slang, make it sound formal, for example. Have them swap and redraft several times and then choose some to read out. • Ask students to create a poem, story or dialogue out of the lists of words generated by the class. Tell them they have all term to do it, but they have to give in drafts along the way. To enhance this activity, have them keep scrapbooks where they collect research, thoughts, interesting words, images, ephemera or sketches to inspire them. In the end, redrafting is to do with mindset; we allow ourselves to produce imperfect work, knowing we can gradually make it better, and that getting an imperfect first draft down is how we generate words in the first place.

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CURRICULUM

book review

Sensitive issues that are sure to engage ENGLISH TEACHER JON LOVE turns the pages back on The Suitcase Kid, by Jacqueline Wilson

I am continuing my mission to select and celebrate books of yore. The ones which may have once been dearly cherished, but are now at risk of being pushed aside. So, with that aim in mind I would like to continue in this endeavour with a small but perfectly formed gem hidden amongst the immense output of one our most enduring and popular authors: Jacqueline Wilson’s The Suitcase Kid. Let me start with the elephant in the room; I have never been a big fan of Jacqueline Wilson’s books. There I’ve said it. And I feel I have read enough of them to make an informed decision about this – my middle child went through the ‘Jacqueline Wilson Phase’ and every night was one of her stories – so I know them well. But this one is a little bit special and it’s worked wonders in the classroom over the years. A IS FOR AGONY AUNT

Andrea (Andy) is in trouble as her parents have divorced and nothing in her world will ever be the same again. Andy is our protagonist who addresses us the reader throughout the book confiding in us her problems and worries as events unfurl. This diminutive novel tracks Andy from the early aftermath of the split and having to see a family counsellor right through the custody process and onto her having to find a way to navigate the dark, treacherous waters of learning to deal with two new patchwork families. Along the way we are introduced to an overly health conscious step-mum, a vindictive and spiteful step-sister, a potential alibi in her new nerdy brother and the shock, horror and disgust at her dad having a baby with his new wife. Clearly, we are in tricky waters here dealing with real life issues but it has been my experience that this potent little text never fails to generate deep, reflective and respectful discussion within the classroom. And the writing that comes from it? Staggering. B IS FOR BREVITY

This book ticks a huge box for me with its short and snappy chapters. This isn’t a must for me, but here the author exercises a tight control over her word count. The writing is efficient and to the point. Characters and situations rush at you so the shortened chapters (one for each letter of the

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alphabet, A-Z) offer the class regular and natural breaks in the narrative during which you have the chance to unpick and debrief the class on whatever has just occurred. Believe me, there will be lots to talk about. Also, rather like with Ros ‘Big Writing’ Wilson’s ‘Bells Activities’ the short chapters fit in beautifully to those parts of the day where you need to ‘fill’ 5-10 minutes. But don’t underestimate the impact these rapid-fire chapters can have… less is definitely more. C IS FOR CAUTION

When planning and delivering this book I treat it as a Health and Wellbeing unit of work with a huge emphasis on Listening and Talking, role-play and discussion. It is likely the subject of divorce will be something that someone in your class has already or is midway through experiencing and as such needs to be treated with delicacy and tact. We draw up a contract establishing the sensitivity of the subject and the importance of respecting each other’s experiences and feelings. Lots of talk about never really knowing what someone in the class around us may be going through so the need for sensitivity is highly important. Has there been tears and walkouts?

Yes. Have we had deep discussions over break-time with those struggling with the content? Yes again. But the opportunities to engage in powerful and meaningful dialogues through the prism of Andy can result in quite profound moments with your class. D IS FOR DEVELOPING WRITING

A couple of ways (not exhaustive) in which I’ve used the book as a stimulus for writing: Letter writing: As we read through the chapters we generate a list of all the things that have happened to Andy and the ways in which they are preying upon her mind. We then use these as a basis for a letter to an agony aunt seeking for help through the mess. This is particularly great for developing and experimenting with language around emotions and then using comparative and causal connectives to help us as writers to further develop and extend our ideas and sentences. Persuasive writing: Here the children get to play as being estate agents trying to sell the house that Andy’s family leave behind. The children love exploring real estate agent websites collecting phrases and investigating the way in which language can be manipulated to help sell properties.

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CURRICULUM

by the numbers

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HYPERACTIVITY

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MENTAL HEALTH IN SCHOOLS %

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12%

17–19YRS WOMEN HIGH RISK

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10% 8% 6% 4% 2%

Source: Mental Health of Children and Young People in England, 2017. Published Nov 2018.

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Healthy Mind = Healthy Body See pages 52-53.

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CURRICULUM

‘Miss, where is Islam on the map?’ RS LEADER GEMMA PAPWORTH urges you to embrace misconceptions to ensure maximum learning

How many times have I heard this question? We have to accept that students will have preconceived ideas and it’s our job to support them in discovering the real answer. Over my 17 years of teaching I’ve corrected so many misconceptions and found that students are genuinely interested and grateful when you do. However, in RS many of the topics are sensitive and there are times when students, who are a part of a religion, may know more than you or will correct you. This can be seen as difficult to handle, although it is definitely something to embrace rather than fear. This is a perfect opportunity to get students learning information first hand. You have to be careful at times as you may not know what the student will say, however, within a safe environment, I’ve found that students will share ideas comfortably while others listen and will often ask questions. One of the misconceptions that has been around for years is that RS is the ‘soft option’. People assume because RS studies things like festivals and rites of passage, it must be easy. What is misunderstood is students need more than the knowledge of these ideas, they need to develop a deeper understanding of what they mean to a religious adherent. For example, when studying Buddhism, it’s not enough to know that Buddhists meditate, but why they meditate? When discussing meditation, students will often start to hum. Rather than tell them to stop, ask why they are doing this. The usual response is that they have seen it in a film or on TV. This leads nicely into why meditation is important and why someone might choose

to do it. By the end of the lesson they know why Buddhists meditate and how it’s linked to the Buddhist teachings on the nature of reality and overcoming suffering. A statistic from NATRE revealed a cross-party report published in 2014 recognised RS plays an important role in reducing religious conflict and misunderstanding. This is why it is imperative that we focus on the misconceptions as we are supporting the development of our students, allowing them to think critically

‘But misconceptions about RS are an opportunity to get a class working together’ 1 8 // H W R K M AG A Z I N E // S u m m e r 2 0 1 9

with the right information. Many primary school teachers tell me they’re not sure how to address misconceptions and that they have no time to investigate these with students. And with many RS classes still being taught by non-specialists, who feel they lack confidence in addressing these issues, misconceptions often go unchallenged. But misconceptions about RS are an opportunity to get a class working together. Recently, my Year 10 were discussing the role of a priest in a lesson on the symbolic nature of Eucharist. A student put their hand up looking confused and said they thought all priests were extinct. Rather than tell her no, I asked her to explain. She linked her idea back to Henry VIII and his role in the development of the Church in the UK. Students in the class offered her the answer, many of them referring to their history lessons. By tackling the

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RELIGIOUS STUDIES

misconception and allowing the student to explain her thoughts, she was left feeling like she had gained something rather than feel silly about asking a question. I often plan lessons around misconceptions to allow students the chance to discuss ideas. All too often, they will not have the confidence to ask a question for fear of causing offence or being told they’re wrong. A Year 8 scheme of work that we

look at is on whether religion is relevant in society today. Rather than offer evidence to prove the question true or false we look at how religion impacts people, including negatively. Terrorism is always a topic students want to discuss, but understandably, teachers will avoid it due to the sensitivity surrounding it. In one of the lessons we talk about the impact religion can have on individu-

‘Don’t be afraid to challenge and, if you don’t know the answer, be honest and say you will find out’

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als. We read about the case back in 2017 where American Sikhs were targets for hate crimes as they were being mistaken for Muslims. As a class we discuss why this might happen, why people feel the need to attack other humans and why these mistakes are made. In this instance, by tackling a misconception with a misconception, students identify the issue and offer ideas to try and resolve this – usually focused on educating the masses. There are always going to be misconceptions in all subjects, but due to the sensitivities of RS looking at personal beliefs and us not wanting to cause offence, we often fail to challenge the misconceptions leaving students with an idea that is wrong. Don’t be afraid to challenge and, if you don’t know the answer, be honest and say you will find out – the students will be grateful.

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CURRICULUM

column

Making it stick! A LWA Y S L E A R N I N G NIOMI CLYDE-ROBERTS offers her favourite tips on retrieval, recall and memory retention

Having recently read the book, Make It Stick: The science of successful learning, I was able to enhance my teaching simply by implementing many of the techniques suggested. The strategies are realistic, logical and really did help my children progress. Here are some of the key fundamentals that can help you too: HOW TO MAKE IT STICK

• Knowing what you want to achieve, setting goals, clear visions. • Not being afraid to revisit something, however often you need to. • Having the courage to say to yourself ‘they haven’t got it, we are going to do it again’ (as many times as you choose) and knowing that when they leave that classroom they will have got it. • Know your children, build their confidence by showing them it’s ok to fail, but that they will understand in the end. KEEPING IT REAL

• There are always going to be different levels of understanding, but it’s about catering for all, allowing them to achieve their personal potential. • Work with those children with lower confidence. Make it a challenge to build them up. Make them believe they are good at fractions or percentages etc. • If they know you believe, they start to believe they have the ability to understand too. IMMEDIATE FEEDBACK

• I mark within sessions to gain a good overview of how children are progressing. Plus, I can ensure children are encouraged to move on, if they haven’t already given themselves permission to do so. • Marking during lunch helps me ascertain where the gaps are and the children can work with an adult or correct an error when they return from lunch, whilst the lesson is still fresh in their minds. ONE STEP AT A TIME

• Overloading children with information, does not work. They need a clear process to work towards. • Build towards habitual learning, where

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they can absorb new information at their own speed, therefore allowing it to make sense in their mind, before racing onto the next objective. M A K E ‘ M I S TA K E S ’ M A T T E R

• Strengthen the memory using spaced retrieval learning. • ‘As you reconstruct learning from longterm memory, as awkward as it feels, you are strengthening your mastery as well as the memory.’ • Build in points for children to struggle, it will strengthen their understanding of the learning. • Making mistakes, knowing exactly where you went wrong and correcting helps: - Strengthens learning from errors. - Empowers memory. - Prolongs learning. THE USE OF MISCONCEPTIONS

• ‘True or false questions’ assess what they have contained, in their memory. • ‘Articulate’ allows the children to explain the learning accurately, going back

to the ‘bare bones’ of the concept. • ‘Misconceptions’ allow children to challenge what they think they know and compare with what they actually know. • Then they have to prove and justify, again articulating learning and strengthening memory.

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

• Get straight to the main point of learning and make sure the model is clear, inspirational and captures the key aspects the children need to understand. • We are teaching children to be savvy in an ever-changing world, therefore it’s essential we think about how we can alter the objectives. We need them to relate to an area of learning that the children will use, in their future careers.

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BIG Interview

Michael Rosen

‘Reading for pleasure for all’ – advice on turning pages from the award-winning novelist, poet and author INTERVIEW: JENNY HOLDER

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f I were to be asked to name children’s writers who have had a huge impact on me over the years, one of the names at the top of the list would be Michael Rosen. As a trainee teacher I have strong memories of using poetry from his collection Centrally Heated Knickers to introduce new topics in Science. After my father passed on, I felt really alone in my sense of grief and loss until I found Michael Rosen’s Sad Book (with illustrations by Quentin Blake). More recently, sharing A Great Big Cuddle (his poetry book for pre-schoolers, illustrated by Chris Riddell) with my two-year-old daughter has led not only to some lovely mother-daughter cuddles, but also to her developing a greater vocabulary and enjoying how funny and amazing the English language can be. So, when HWRK offered me the opportunity to talk with Michael about his writing, the importance of books that make you laugh and the ways that teachers can encourage children to read for pleasure, I was naturally all in. I hope you enjoy this half as much as I did.

The nature of your work is so diverse; writing for and performing for children, radio shows on language, teaching at university. Do you see these as separate jobs or different sides of the same coin? It’s a question I’ve often asked myself and I’m not sure I know the answer. One morning, I might be talking about in a very theoretical or academic way at the university about a subject related to language or literature. Then, just a few hours later, I could be performing We’re Going On a Bear Hunt for a group of three-year-olds. The two acts seem so unrelated at first because the way you work in performance is so physical and so very different from academic work. However, it must be connected as it’s me doing it all. You write children’s books and poetry but you also have an academic interest as a Professor of Children’s Literature. Why are works written for children so important? They’re important because the foundations of everything that we see on TV, on films and that we read are laid down when we read as a child. For example; Enid Blyton’s books are, to an extent, manuals which teach us

how to read whodunnits, detective books, adventures and thrillers. They’re full of the same principles of writing; there’s mysteries you have to unfold, red herrings that send you the wrong way. A lot of the motifs, a lot of the ideas, scenes and scenarios from the thrillers we read as adults can be found in these works for younger readers. So, it’s a good reason to look at children’s books as they in actual fact reach right the way forward into the stuff we like as adults.

“The foundations of everything that we see on TV, on films and that we read are laid down when we read as a child”

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A lot of your poetry is about you growing up. Was poetry an important part of your childhood? My parents absolutely adored poetry. It was sort of sacred to them. They did believe it was the most amazing way that language could be used, that could take you into other thoughts. However, for me, poetry all sounded quite mournful and had a lack of humour about it. I got interested in it around 15 or 16, when my dad suddenly decided to do a bit of home schooling and started teaching me English Literature at home. We had an anthology produced by some American critics and I suddenly thought, “blimey… this stuff ’s good”. But the seeds must have been sown earlier even though I was ignoring it.

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BIG Interview

You’ve done a lot of work into funny writing. Do funny books get the same attention in mainstream media as more serious works? No, nowhere near. I love serious books, books that deal with the serious issues of our day, whether it’s climate change or race or generational / intergenerational stuff. However, it’s not that humour and humorous books don’t deal with these issues. If you think about it this way, there’s not that much distance between Matilda and A Monster Calls. In A Monster Calls, the boy is trapped by this terrible thing of his mother dying. Similarly, Matilda is in a tragic situation; she’s totally trapped at home and in school and then she finds a way out of it. These books use humour as a way of dealing with serious topics, using techniques such as hyperbole to throw light on these issues but it doesn’t mean that the issue itself and the raising of the questions isn’t just as serious.

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It interests me that you can write stuff that deals with emotions that are relevant to that age, but it’s actually readable by the child themselves. When I’m writing these, I try to write them in such a way that draws them through the text, engaging the reader with questions, answers, thought bubbles and little comic bits illustrated by Tony Ross. Yes, I’m quite pleased with that little group of books and even smile when I read them myself. What are your favourites out of the funny books you’ve written? There’s a little sequence of stories I’ve written for Andersen Press such as Fluff the Farting Fish and Barking for Bagels that are all based around a child and an animal. They’re in that little bridge area, around the ages of seven to nine, when children are stopping being read to very much and are really taking pride in the fact that they can read by themselves.

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‘Reading for pleasure’ is a term often heard in schools. What does it mean to you? I wish the term was ‘reading for pleasure for all’. I noticed when OFSTED produced their report Moving English Forward (2011) they used the phrase reading for enjoyment for all. That’s the key thing. The argument for reading for pleasure is that this is both emancipatory in terms of empathy and the wider world but also that it is connected to attainment. It’s a bit mechanical to talk in these terms but those children who don’t read books have less access to the curriculum.

“When it comes to children and digital media I think we have to show them that knowledge and ideas are not restricted to books.” Where would you suggest teachers new to reading for pleasure start? The easiest and best way is for two or three teachers to get together and have a little mini-reading group, just chatting about books. They can talk about it from their own point of view or possibly talk about what their own child or class thought of it. Start small, try to make it regular and more often than not it will take hold.

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Many people (and mainstream media) depict digital media as detrimental to children’s literacy. Do you agree with this or is there a role mobile phones and new technology can play in encouraging young people to read/write?

.

I’m always slightly thrown when people talk about a conflict between digital media and books. I use digital media to find recommendations of books, read them and then use websites to back up my findings. For me, it’s all connected up. When it comes to children and digital

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BIG Interview You have an incredibly popular YouTube channel you use to share your poetry with families and schools. How did this come about? I’ve always believed in performance. All through the ’70s and ’80s, I kept saying to people that we have a way of connecting up the word on the page with performance and modern media, through audio, video, TV, radio, performance. When my son qualified in film, he filmed me performing Going on a Bear Hunt for the Seven Stories Story Museum in Newcastle. I suddenly realised as it got popular that this was the way to connect up the word on the page with the performance and the modern ways of distributing it. It then all fitted into place. This is a way of communicating these ideas and getting children, young people and adults to see that that performance is part of the way you make the word live. Living word. Living language.

If you had one tip for teachers on using literature in the classroom, what would it be?

media I think we have to show them that knowledge and ideas are not restricted to books. It’s a new form of critical literacy that we have to teach. They need to know that if the information comes from The British Library or Wellcome Museum that it can be trusted, but if it’s from someone called Jack who writes at Jack. com then, maybe, it isn’t.

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Try to make a space, when you first bring a piece into the classroom, to enable the students to approach it in an open-ended way. No matter what notes you have to do later, give the students space to express their likes and dislikes, to relate it to other texts or experiences from their life. I’m not saying this is the be-all and end-all or it will solve everything, but if you start there, there’s more chance that, whatever text is in front of you, the students have got an angle on it and have some investment in it, some reason why this piece may matter.

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BIG Read

ACTION THIS DAY! What we can all learn from Sir Winston Churchill’s work ethic WORDS: DOMINIC KIRBY

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t first glance Sir Winston Churchill’s work ethic looks unremarkable. Indeed, it looks positively enviable. Churchill’s daily routine during his ‘wilderness years’ in the 1930s, when he was a backbench MP out of ministerial office, was typically this: 7:30 – 8.00am: Wake up, have breakfast in bed, read the newspapers, work until late morning. 11am: Get up, bath and dress. 1pm: Lunch (always several courses, with alcohol). 3.30pm: Work for an hour and a half. 5pm – 6.30pm: Afternoon nap (Churchill said having this siesta meant he could get 30 hours out of 24). 7.30pm: Dinner (the highlight of his day, as much for the conversation as for the food). 11:30pm – 1am: Work for an hour and a half. 1am: Bed.

his unconventional daily routine may not look like the schedule of a restless workaholic, but this is a case of appearances being deceptive. Take Churchill’s seemingly leisurely mornings. Although Churchill spent most of the morning in bed, he spent it ‘working’ in bed (nice work if you can get it), writing or dictating thousands of words to his secretary. If we measure Churchill’s work

ethic by his literary outcome, it is indeed remarkable. From the end of the First World War in 1918 to the beginning of the Second World War in 1939, Churchill wrote no fewer than 14 books. This included a six-volume history of the First World War, a four-volume biography of his ancestor the 1st Duke of Marlborough and a curious counter-factual history of the American

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Civil War. This was in addition to more than 400 articles he wrote for various publications, as well as countless parliamentary and public speeches. Needless to say, when Churchill returned to government as First Lord of the Admiralty in September 1939, and later, when he became Prime Minister in May 1940, his daily routine was far more demanding.

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ACTION THIS LESSON One of the reoccurring criticisms of Churchill – and there are justifiably many – throughout his long political career was his propensity for micromanagement: he over-concerned himself with the minutiae of daily government. This is particularly true of his time as Prime Minister during the Second World War. For example, Churchill frequently read and amended reports and orders written for other politicians and senior military officers. However, Churchill’s weakness in this respect was also a strength. Reading these documents increased the depth and breadth of his knowledge and understanding of what was happening – and what needed to happen – in various theatres of war and across government. Just like reading the newspapers in bed in the 1930s, studying these reports greatly informed Churchill’s decision-making. On some of the more important documents Churchill would stamp ACTION THIS DAY in big red letters before it was sent to the

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intended recipient. This meant Churchill considered the document so important that the person for whom it was intended – whether they were a government minister, a senior military officer or a civil servant – was to implement it the same day. When codebreaker Alan Turing and some of his colleagues wrote to Churchill from Bletchley Park in October 1941, bemoaning the fact they were overworked and underfunded and asking for his help, Churchill immediately forwarded the letter to General Hastings Ismay, his military secretary, with

ACTION THIS DAY stamped on it and a

hand-written note saying: “Make sure they (the codebreakers) have all they want on extreme priority and report to me that this has been done.” Had Churchill not intervened in this matter, Allied codebreakers may not have been given the resources they needed to decrypt the Enigma codes and the outcome of the war may have been very different. Churchill had a great sense of decisiveness and his intention in doing this was to instil a greater sense of urgency into the recipient. This is something I’ve been trying to do

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BIG Read with my Year 11 classes since at least Christmas, by writing ACTION THIS LESSON in suitably large red letters on any unfinished or inadequate classwork. Sometimes they action it, sometimes they don’t. On other, less urgent documents, Churchill would stamp REPORT IN THREE DAYS in blue. This meant, you’ve guessed it, the recipient was required to investigate and brief the Prime Minister. Likewise, I’ve taken to writing SHOW ME NEXT LESSON on some classwork. As teachers we spend a significant proportion of our working lives trying to instil a greater sense of urgency into our pupils – particularly those with public exams in a few weeks.

THE ART OF WAR As a former soldier and military historian, Churchill knew the most important principle of warfare is the selection and maintenance of the aim. In other words, knowing how, when and why to choose a goal and, as importantly, how to stick to it. As both a classroom teacher and a Sixth Form tutor I try to do the same.

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As teachers we know how, when and why to set ourselves and our classes goals. We also know how, when and why to prioritise them. Like most skills, the art of prioritising comes with practice and experience

smaller-scale. One of the strategies I use to do this is to make it my business, like Churchill did, to know what’s going on in and around school. This is easier said than done when priorities can and do change on a regular basis, just as they did during the war. What may seem to be very important or topical at departmental or school-level at the beginning of the academic year, for example a particular teaching or learning strategy, may be obsolete by the end of it.

e v ’ I , l l i h c r “Like Chu identify learned to what’s D-DAY and action and important gard isre delay or d ot” what’s n but as busy professionals with significant workloads, we have to be past masters at it from day one. Like Churchill, I’ve learned to identify and action what’s important and delay or disregard what’s not, albeit on a much

This June marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day. The planning and execution of Operation Overlord and the subsequent Battle of Normandy in the summer of 1944 virtually eclipsed everything that was happening elsewhere in the war. Yet even during one of the most important battles of the 20th century, Churchill still made time to keep up to date with what was happening in the Middle East and the Pacific. I think if Churchill’s work ethic teaches us anything it’s the importance of knowing how, when and why not to lose sight of the bigger picture.

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TRAIN YOUR BRAIN 10 practical retrieval practice tips for teachers and pupils to master WORDS: ROBIN LAUNDER

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ave you ever tried to remember the name of a film or a song or a restaurant? Or perhaps an acquaintance’s name? Or your spouse’s? You know it, you do, but it’s a real struggle to recall it. Well, that struggle, as long as it’s repeated, is great for remembering things. That, in a neurological nutshell, is retrieval practice. The ‘retrieval’ bit of retrieval practice means recalling something from long-term memory and putting it into working memory. The ‘practice’ bit of retrieval practice means doing it more than once. Here, are 10 top tips to help you use retrieval practice in the classroom:

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TESTS

QUIZZES

Retrieval practice is based on something called the ‘testing effect’ so it follows that testing is the first of the 10 top tips. Tests have a reputation for high challenge (which is good), but also high stakes (which is bad). So, it’s important that students fully understand that when tests are being used for retrieval practice, there is no assessment or judgement. Yes, the tests are challenging, but they are like that to help them learn, not to assess how much they’ve learnt. Framed that way, students are more likely to feel free to get things wrong, and that’s vitally important because making mistakes is a fundamental part of the learning process.

Of course, a quick way to sidestep the negative connotations of a ‘test’ is not to call a test a test, but instead to call it a quiz. Students love quizzes. So, have lots and lots of quizzes. In fact, make quizzes a part of your daily routine. Frame them positively and inject a bit of fun: “Ok, you lucky, lucky students, it’s time for our morning quiz. What a wonderful way to start the day!” Include questions on what you did last lesson (that’s very important), but also include questions that loop back to previous lessons and topics. A strategy called ‘sevens’ works well. As you can probably guess, the strategy consists of seven questions. Questions 1, 2 and 3 are about what was covered last lesson; question 4, last week; question 5, last month; question 6, two months ago; and question 7, six months ago.

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POSE, PAUSE, POUNCE & BOUNCE

LOOK, COVER, WRITE, CHECK

You POSE a question. You PAUSE for thinking time. That’s important because students need time to retrieve the information – so, don’t be afraid to wait. And then wait some more. And then you POUNCE. In other words, you choose a student to answer (and it doesn’t have to be a student who had their hand up). Lastly, you can BOUNCE the question to another student for an even deeper retrieval dive.

AKA how most of us learnt our spelings spelllings sppelings spellings. But it’s more versatile than that, and in fact works very well with knowledge organisers. The students study (i.e. look at) a section of their knowledge organiser. They then cover that section with a bit of paper. They then write down exactly – exactly – what’s written under the paper. Finally, they check to see what they’ve remembered and what they’ve forgotten. Over time, the ‘look’ and ‘cover’ stages can be skipped, so the students just write and check.

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FILL IN THE BLANKS

FLASHCARDS

‘Fill in the blanks’ is a scaffolded form of retrieval practice. Or, to put it another way, ‘fill in the blanks’ is a ______________ form of retrieval practice.

Flashcards are great for retrieval practice but come with a word of warning. Flashcards, like all retrieval activities, can hurt your brain a bit. Consequently, given that the answer is on the reverse of the card, students might be tempted to turn over too soon. But they mustn’t. Do that and they’ve retrieved nothing. Implement this rule: ‘Say it before you see it’. If they can’t do that, then they must put the card to one side and return to it once they’ve gone through all the other cards. If they still can’t do it, then – and only then – can they turn over and take a look.

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BIG List

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ORGANISERS

GAMES

There are two types of organisers that are excellent for retrieval: graphic organisers and knowledge organisers. A graphic organiser is way of organising information graphically, that is, using words and images to show relationships. So, for instance, instead of getting the students to list, say, the factors that led to the start of the First World War, you get them to retrieve that information and put it into a timeline. Other graphic organisers include mind maps, cause and effect sequences, continuums, cross-continuums and Venn-diagrams. Graphic organisers can also incorporate arrows, bracketing devices, colours, diagrams and line drawings. A knowledge organiser sets out the key facts and information about a topic on a single page, typically A4 or A3. It is not something that students create or do, but rather something that is given to them by the teacher, ideally right at the beginning of the topic. While it’s not a retrieval activity in itself, it’s a great resource for retrieval because it’s got all the key details.

Many familiar board games make great retrieval activities, not least Pictionary and Taboo. For both games, students use their flashcards as the question cards. For Taboo, the definition on the reverse of the flash card can be the actual taboo words (grammatical words like ‘and’ and ‘the’ are of course permitted).

8 THINK-PAIR-SHARE Students think about a question; they then share their responses in their pairs; they then share with another pair or the class as a whole. To make this strategy even more effective, add a writing element to the thinking stage. Writing helps the students to focus and it helps you see who’s working and who’s not. Add a timer, too, to create a sense of urgency.

10 LISTS On a blank piece of paper students list everything that they can remember about a lesson or a topic in, say, three minutes. They then compare their list with their partner’s list to see what they remembered and what they forgot. The teacher then provides a model response.

HOW MANY DO YOU REMEMBER?

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THE GALLERY

Madeline - Year 7

Connie - Year 7

Megan H - Year 8

Ruby - Year 8

TAKE A LOOK AT THIS! his issues’ gallery is brought to you in conjunction with Kimbolton School in Cambridgeshire, with work ranging from pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9. Lisa Bamford, head of Art at

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Kimbolton School, said: “We believe that it’s as important for the art staff to feel creative as it is for the students. That’s why we work to a framework that enables each teacher to develop individual projects for each Key stage 3 class that they teach.

“All the formal elements of art are covered in painting, print and 3D. Building confidence is key, if you create something that you love, you are inspired to try harder and harder with each subsequent project and that goes for the staff and the kids!”

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ARTS

Megan S - Year 9

Charlie - Year 9

Lucia & Jess - Year 9 Maddie - Year 9

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ARTS

drama school

SO, YOU WANNA BE AN ACTOR? Seven ways budding thespians can hone their craft at home this summer words: lindzi germain

STUDY YOUR FAVOURITE ACTORS Watch and rewatch your favourite scenes. What are the actor’s movements like? What words do they emphasize in each line? What are they doing when they aren’t speaking? Don’t just watch great actors, study them to learn how they became so great.

RECORD YOURSELF REHEARSE IMPROVISATION Purchase a book of monologues or a favourite script online and discover hours of potential roles to inhabit. Pick one and practice it 2-3 times, then record yourself giving the speech. When you review it, take notes on where you want to improve, what lines sounded great, and ideas you have to make it better. Then re-do the speech, recording again until you’re happy with the results.

FOCUS ON DICTION All actors need to be clear and confident when performing. This is another place where recording will come in handy since you can hear your voice back and detect any unclear words. Focus on speaking clearly in a variety of volumes and speeds, so that every word comes out with power and conviction.

I know that makes no sense, but a ‘cold reading’ is when you are given lines and asked to perform them without any practice, especially common for auditions. It’s a great way to improve your skills and become comfortable with improvisational acting, which in turn makes you an even more confident actor.

READ, WRITE & REVIEW The best actors are able to reinvent themselves for each role. To do that you need to have a wide variety of experiences. While you should watch movies and plays, reading and writing will expose you to new viewpoints and voices that will inform your acting. By researching and understanding the role better you will almost certainly deliver a more natural performance.

UNLOCK YOUR EMOTIONS LEARN SCENES WITH FRIENDS Acting requires you show off the full range of human experiences, so practice those experiences with a short game of emotional stretching. Take a simple but versatile line, like “I love you” or “I forgot all about that,” and practice saying it as many ways as you can – happy, loving, angry, hurt, hopeful, shy, etc. Do it in front of a mirror. Or, record yourself so that you can see your facial expressions as well as hear your tone of voice.

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You can write the scenes yourself or you can pull them from a book. You can even look up scripts online and re-act your favourite movies or shows. The best way to practice acting is to act, so grab a friend and work together to improve your skills.

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48 breakfast cups

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50 lunch workout

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51 power foods

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52 healthy mind

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HEALTH

Knowledge is our true power A ccording to Albert Einstein: “The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” Anyone can read encyclopaedia’s and attain knowledge through repetition, but not everyone can expose problems and make new discoveries.

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Creativity is essential in training our brains and thus becoming more intelligent. Like a bodybuilder lifts weights and conforms to a nutrition rich diet, to grow our minds we must also challenge ourselves to become more learned and enjoy a more fruitful life. Healthy mind, healthy body - See page 52.

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O! -G GO 2 BREAKFAST EGG CUPS Cook on a Sunday to fuel your week, don’t miss these delicious spinach and sun-dried tomato delights You’ll need 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, diced 8 large eggs 1/4 cup milk 4 large basil leaves, diced

1 cup spinach, diced 1/2 onion, finely diced 1/3 cup feta cheese

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 180-degrees and spray a 12-cup, non-stick muffin tray with cooking spray. 2. Finely mix the sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, basil, and onion together in a bowl. Then spoon evenly into 12 cups. 3. Add a teaspoon of feta cheese crumbles to each cup. 4. Whisk together the eggs and milk. Then pour the mixture evenly on top of veggies in order to fill each cup around 3/4 of the way full. 5. Use a fork in order to ensure the veggies are evenly distributed within the egg. 6. Season the top of each egg cup with salt and pepper and then bake at for around 20 minutes. 6. Allow to cool then store in the fridge.

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BREAK TIME FITNESS

Breakfast

A 15-MINUTE WORKOUT FOR THE CLASSROOM

HEALTH BACKPACK BICEPS This 15-minute chair workout is ideal for any classroom ave you ever noticed how heavy your backpack is? You lugged it around all day without a care in the world, with everything except the kitchen sink jammed in there. It must weigh nearly 10kgs. Carrying it from place to place without realising you have a fitness tool at your fingertips. Similar to a sand bag or kettlebell, why not use your back pack the same way? Here’s a simple 15-minute workout that can be done in or out of the classroom. Aim to do 10-20 reps of each exercise without a break in between. Count the number of books in your bag and as the weeks progress, aim to add a few more as your fitness improves. Now, let’s have some fun!

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SLINGSHOT A great warm-up exercise, hold the bag in one hand by the top handle and keeping your feet planted and back straight, pass it around your body from hand to hand, making circles around you.

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Targets: Shoulders & core

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SQUAT TO PRESS Hold the backpack in front of you and then squat down until it touches the floor. As you stand out of the squat, press the pack over your head. Targets: Everything!

OVERHEAD LUNGES Hold the pack over your head feet together. Lunge forward and then return back to your original position. Alternate the legs. Targets: Legs & core

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SNATCHES With the pack on the ground out in front of you, squat down and hold in both hands. In one explosive motion, launch up to overhead as you come out of the squat. Targets: Everything!

SWINGS Similar to a kettlebell swing, hold the pack between your legs and swing it out in front of you to shoulder height. Targets: Everything!

BENT OVER ROWS Holding the backpack in both hands, lean forward from the waist and let the arms hang. Pull the pack up to your stomach and then lower back towards the ground for full arm extension. Targets: Lower back, chest & arms

SQUAT TOSS Grab the backpack and then squat down to 90 degrees. As you come out of the squat, toss the bag up into the air and then catch it as you return into the squat. Targets: Everything!

10-20

reps

personal coach Kevin Kearns is an acclaimed strength and conditioning coach, nutrition advisor & anti-bullying campaigner

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HEALTH STEP UPS Stand in front of the bench with your hands on hips. Plant your right foot on the bench. Press up and extend your right knee so you’re standing on your right foot, drawing your left leg up next to the right one. Step back down. Switch sides. Targets: Legs, core & bum

5 PLYOMETRIC PUSH-UPS Start from a push-up position against the bench. Bend your

PICNIC TABLE SUPER 7 A simple lunchtime workout with huge results

C

omplete the circuit with little rest between exercises, then rest for two minutes and repeat twice more. This full body routine will have you fighting fat all summer. Aim for as many reps as possible for 60 seconds per exercise.

1 SINGLE LEG PLYOMETRICS Plant your left foot on the bench and bend your right elbow towards your chest, as if you were running. From this position, explode upwards by bringing your right knee towards your chest. Land your left foot back on the bench, knee slightly bent, as you return to the starting position. Repeat. Targets: Everything!

2 SINGLE LEG LUNGE Stand in front of the bench, with one foot placed onto the seat behind. Keeping your back straight, bend your knees, lowering yourself to the ground. As your knee almost touches the ground slowly stand straight up again. Targets: Balance, bum & thighs

3 BRIDGE Lie on the ground facing away from the bench and place your feet on the seat, knees slightly bent. Engage your core to lift your bum off the ground a couple of inches to form a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Reverse the movement and lower your bum back toward the ground. Targets: Bum, belly & hamstrings

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elbows and lower your chest to the surface. Press powerfully through your palms to explode backward, pushing yourself away. Land in your original position and repeat. Targets: Biceps, boobs & belly

6 BOX JUMPS Stand in front of the bench. Bend your knees and lean forward as you swing your arms from back to front and explode up off the ground, jumping onto the bench. Step down and repeat. Targets: Everything!

7 HANGING LEG REVERSE CURL Sit on the edge of the table, legs hanging off the end. Reach your hands behind you and grip the edges of the surface. Bend your elbows and lean back before engaging your abs to lift your thighs slightly off the table. Pull your knees to your chest. Slowly lower your legs back down to the original position. Repeat. Targets: Belly fat

LUNCH BREAK TRAINING

Kevin Kearns trains professional athletes, kids and teams

SCHOOL YARD CALISTHENICS IN 30 MINUTES

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personal coach

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LUNCHBOX FOR...

STRENGTH Don’t let afternoon burnout ruin your week, help to build lean muscle with the right diet BROWN RICE Cooked brown rice provides only 5g of protein per serving, but has the carbs to fuel growth.

GREEK YOGURT Dairy not contains a mixture of high-quality fast-digesting whey protein and slowdigesting casein protein.

EGGS Proteins are made up of amino acids, and eggs contain large amounts of leucine, which is vital for muscle gain.

CHICKPEAS One half can of chickpeas contains around 12g of protein and 50g of carbs, plus 10g of fiber.

SOYA BEANS Half a cup of cooked soybeans contains 14g of protein, vitamin K and oxygen-transporting iron.

QUINOA Cooked quinoa contains 8g of protein, 5g of fiber and hearty amounts of magnesium and phosphorus.

BEAN

BEANS Black, pinto and kidney beans all contain around 15g of protein per serving when cooked.

S

LEAN BEEF Beef is packed with highquality protein, B vitamins, minerals and the musclebuilding creatine.

730k

tonnes of pulses produced by UK farms each year.

PROTEIN SHAKE Combine cold milk with a whey or casein protein shake to add vital dietary supplements to your meal.

COTTAGE CHEESE One cup of low-fat cottage cheese packs 28g of protein along with a healthy punch of leucine. ALMONDS One bag of blanched almonds provides 16g of protein and large amounts of vitamin E.

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HEALTH HEALTHY MIND, HEALTHY BODY Why social media awareness and managing consent are as important as diet and exercise when it comes to living a happy life ealthy living is not a topic title that garners much excitement. Yet when teachers start talking about ‘life’, the big scary world of being an adult, children get interested. With this in mind, I set about designing a unit that was relevant to the adult world my class of Year 6’s would be entering in their not too distant futures. Talking about healthy eating? It’s important, but so is talking about the impact of consuming social media. Discussing exercise? Maybe, but should we not also talk about exercising choice, giving consent and recognising when we are being influenced?

H

THE LESSONS Mental health was our first focus. Poor mental health is the biggest killer of men aged under 25 in the UK, and yet talking about emotional and mental health is a subject still often discussed in hushed tones around children. We discussed our ‘comfortable’ and ‘uncomfortable’ emotions in class, recognizing no emotion is good or bad, they all serve a purpose and are part of our response to the world around us. We examined social media and its effect on the brain; how each little ‘like’ on a post gives us a tiny dopamine rush. How each love heart on an Instagram post makes us feel noticed, yet is a false sense of intimacy with another person. In this age when image is everything and the selfie is king, we had a long look at body image and what advertisers sell as normal. If you want to see just what can be done with Photoshop, Google “photoshop pizza slice to model”. You’ll discover just how a slice of pepperoni pizza can be transformed into a curvaceous swimsuit model. When we started looking critically at adverts it soon became apparent just how much gets altered. An odd wrinkle smoother here; an eye colour altered there – or a knee bent back on itself and an extra hand added!

year 6 teacher Matthew Lane is interested in helping children and adults make sense of the world. 5 2 // H W R K M AG A Z I N E // S u m m e r 2 0 1 9

Relationships and sex education are a set of lessons that bring up lots of ‘uncomfortable’ emotions for teachers. Yet as adults, our relationships are our biggest source of happiness or misery. No more would it be ‘Sex after SATs’, instead it’s time a week was given just to talk about relationships. What is a healthy relationship? What is the difference between a friendship and a romantic relationship? What is consent and why is it just like making someone a cup of tea? Sexual relationships today can involve the sending of explicit images, but what happens if you send an image? Can

you control who then sees the image and where it goes? As my class looked more at how to live a healthy life, we generated more questions than answers and some time for introspection and reflection was needed.

IN ACTION If you put Rudyard Kipling and Healthy Living in a sentence together, images of Boy Scouts and getting some fresh air is what most readily springs to mind. However, it was his poem IF– that drew our focus. Written as a letter to his son, @hwrk_magazine


TURKEY PASTA SOUP

Seven simple ingredients, one pan and a whole lot of homely healthy eating

Ingredients 500ml chicken stock 250g pasta 1 cup frozen peas 1 cup frozen carrots 3 cups cooked turkey, chopped 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grates 1/2 lemon

Instructions 1. Bring chicken broth to a boil in a large pot over high heat. 2. Add your pasta and stir. Boil for one minute less than package instructs for al dente. 3. Add peas and carrots and lower the heat to simmer for five minutes until veg is thawed.

the poem outlines Kipling’s view of what it meant to be a man and live a good life in the Victorian age. The poem speaks of forgiveness for yourself and for the failings of others; of how to meet ‘Triumph and Disaster, and treat those two impostors just the same’; of resilience and of not dwelling on past failings. In our age of celebrity and selfies, the theme of humility, of not losing ‘the common touch’, resonated with the class. With this structure in mind, we set about writing our own IF–. What are the IFs of being a man or a woman today? What is the mindset needed to live an emotionally healthy life? Ideas were discussed and words flowed in our English lessons. Themes of compassion, humility, resilience and courage in your own convictions. We built the poems as a series of photos; a collection HWRKMAGAZINE.CO.UK

5. Stir in shredded mozzarella cheese and stir to combine and allow cheese to melt. Ser 6. Taste and season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of your lemon. Serve with crusty bread.

HEAD CHEF Chef Ian Leadbetter has spent 20 years in restaurants across Europe and works as a nutrition consultant

15-MINUTE DINNER

4. Now add the turkey chunks and stir to combine. Leave for another two minutes to heat the meat through.

CHEF’S TIP: You can substitute roasted chicken or leftover roasted chicken if you prefer.

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HEALTH of separate ideas that were then collected into themed verses. Of the hundreds of lines that were written, here is a selection, and I believe Kipling would have approved: • ‘IF you can be kind when kindness is not earned.’ • ‘IF the truth doesn’t always show, then make it so people do know.’ • ‘IF you are always there for your friends and family, always chose them over life’s luxuries.’ • ‘WHEN you can train like you’re second, yet believe it not too much.’ • ‘IF you can be attentive, without expecting attention back.’ One of those lines is from a low prior attainment pupil. Poetry is about ideas, not rules, and in writing this and other poems, even those who struggle with writing are able to convey complex ideas. “Writing poems just lets you get on with the job without the fluffy bits,” as one pupil succinctly put it.

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THE DETAILS As Virginia Woolf so eloquently stated, through writing we can grabble with the big ideas of life. Writing gives the space to play with ideas, to put them into the world and then cross them out again. I see this each week in the Writers’ Club I run at school as I and 50 children gather to share ideas and words. We discuss how words help us define our world and how our definitions help us understand it. The children create and publish writing that shows the magic of the world; how happiness can be found in the small details. And, when it comes to living a healthy life, finding a little happiness is a good place to start.

‘Even those who struggle with writing are able to convey complex ideas’

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BIG Advice

How ditching lesson plans and learning sequencing can help both you and your pupils WORDS: AIDAN SEVERS

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here is very little more annoying than the bell going for break when the children haven’t yet completed all the work you intended them to get through. You spend ages meticulously planning five one-hour lessons in PPA and it’s looking like you’re not going to get through them all. What’s worse is, whilst some children had their light bulb moment, others didn’t, and then you have to move on, leaving some children in the dark forever. Imagine you could eradicate these problems and lighten your workload. Sound good? Well, there is a way. You have to stop imagining that learning takes place in one-hour chunks of time, and begin to see learning as a process, or a sequence. Think about it: does it really take just 60 minutes to master the art of long division? Or can an artistic masterpiece be created in the time between lunchtime and assembly? Will a great story take shape in the time it takes the hour hand to move one digit on the clock?

LEARNING SEQUENCES

Not much fits exactly into one lesson-sized amount of time, but much more can be done with a less definite period of time. I say less definite because, as experienced as we might be at judging how long something takes to be learned well, we often get it wrong. And that’s OK, as long as we assess as we go along and adapt our teaching to meet the learners where they are. Being a responsive teacher and having five neat little lessons planned out don’t really go hand in hand. Instead, you can plan a learning sequence, and it’s not too difficult to do. This approach takes care of differentiation too. Rather than preparing separate activities based on needs you can plan a learning journey for all children to take. It’ll be a journey that is completed at different speeds by different children. At the journey’s end will be a destination that some children get to spend more time looking around – those who get there quicker will spend time deepening the understanding of the concept working on tasks that allow them to use and apply their learning in a wider variety of ways.

START WITH THE END What is it I want the children to be able to do or know? What will they produce to show that they can do it or that they know it?

CREATE A WORKED EXAMPLE In order to ensure that you have worked out all the necessary steps, have a go at creating a model (also known as a WAGOLL) of what you want the children to be able to do.

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WHO IS IT FOR? Decide upon the potential audience and the purpose of what you want the children to create – these things will dictate some of the next step.

WORK BACKWARDS What knowledge and skills do they need to reach that end point? SIMPLE OBJECTIVES Plan a sequence of tasks which build that knowledge and those skills logically; also plan any modelling and teacher input that children would need.

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BIG Advice

FLEXIBILITY RULES

Having a learning sequence in place from the beginning means children are not limited by what you have planned. Those kids in that ‘bottom group’ might just begin to surprise you if they know that not only are the simpler activities available to them, but that the more difficult ones are too. Just because they find multiplication difficult doesn’t mean they can’t tell the time, for example. Give them the opportunity to work through an entire sequence and you’ll set them free from always only completing the easy stuff and never catching up with the others. Having every step of the journey mapped out as well as possible will also mean that those ‘rapid graspers’ aren’t waiting around for the next activity – you’ll have had it planned and prepared already. And whilst they move on without needing to ask what the next task is, you’ll be able to dedicate more time to those

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who are moving more slowly through the sequence, helping them along. Of course, those moving onto another task might need it modelling to them, so you will have to be flexible enough to work with them too. In fact, what you will find is that if you are not always following the old three-part lesson plan which begins with standing up and talking for 20 minutes every lesson, you will be freed up to teach more responsively, albeit to smaller groups of children, and sometimes to individuals. Natural points might arise, midway through the hour’s session for example, where you do need to stop the lesson and deliver something to the whole class. That’s just another example of how flexible you can be when teaching a learning sequence instead of a string of lessons.

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TAKE A BREATH

With this way of working it will no longer be about what an adult is doing at home with a stack of books and a laptop; the importance will be placed upon what the adult is doing when they are in the classroom. You see, learning sequences favour ongoing assessment during learning time – lessons favour books being marked at the end, once the children are gone and feedback can’t be given face-to-face.

“WHEN SOMETHING COMPLICATED IS EXPECTED TO BE COVERED IN ONE OR TWO LESSONS, IT IS VERY UNLIKELY THAT EXPERTISE CAN BE DEVELOPED”

When you can tackle issues that arise immediately there will be less need for children staying in at break (more time for teachers to grab a moment of calm and a cuppa), or going to interventions with support staff during other lessons. If most of the teacher’s work is being done in this way inside the classroom (where it’s supposed to happen) and less in their own time, that’s a work/life balance winner. Each timeslot allotted to any given subject could start in a number of different ways: a recap of previous learning in the form of a quiz or a game; an assessment activity to identify which children need

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more concentrated support; a simple ‘get your work out and carry on from yesterday’. The point is there isn’t a particular way to start a lesson because the concept of a lesson as a detached unit of time doesn’t exist in the same way when teaching a learning sequence. By planning sequences instead of lessons you will allow the curriculum to breath more – no longer will you be trying to cram too much into too little time. As Mary Myatt says, ‘When something complicated is expected to be covered in one or two lessons, it is very unlikely that expertise can be developed’ (p52, The Curriculum Galli-

maufry to coherence, Mary Myatt). You will begin to give children more time to get better at the things you are teaching them rather than always rushing them on to the next thing “because it’s on the lesson plan”. Higher quality work will also be another product of adjusting the way you plan for learning and allowing for learning to take place over a longer period of time. Ron Berger’s ideas about producing excellent work are founded upon the notion that by taking time over something, the end piece of work will be of a high standard.

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BIG Advice

TIME SAVER

The Education Endowment Foundation’s researched-based guidance about writing outlines a seven-step process involving planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating, revising, editing and publishing. How often do we rush through and skip parts of that process ‘because there’s no time left in the lesson’? And do we ever consider that a similar process could be

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applied to pretty much any other subject we teach? Is DT work planned, drafted, shared, evaluated, revised, edited and published? Highly unlikely when you’ve got one lesson per week and everything from last lesson is broken and needs fixing and Year 2 have taken all the glue guns again. If you begin to work in this way, not only will children’s needs be served better, you’ll also save yourself a lot of time. You’ll no longer be planning five different lessons per subject per week

(or per half term). You won’t have to plan three differentiated activities per lesson per subject per week. You can say goodbye to those daily rushes to get all the resources printed and trimmed – most of the preparation will be done at the beginning of a learning sequence (not necessarily the beginning of the week). You won’t have to constantly rejig lessons for the next day, redoing the hard work you’ve already put in. You’ll just start off the sequence knowing that, by the end of it, whenever that might be, you will have taught what needs teaching, and the children will have learned it. If even the Department for Education have realised that ‘planning should… identify what needs to be taught across a sequence of lessons, and avoid trying to fit teaching neatly into 60-minute chunks’ then perhaps we should all sit up and take note. By beginning to plan learning sequences, rather than individual lessons, both your children and you will benefit – more learning, less work. That sounds alright to me.

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BIG Read

GO WITH THE FLOW A reflection on discipline in the PSHE classroom WORDS: SOPHIE MCPHEE

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esterday was my birthday, and although it was a Monday and I was due to teach five lessons, the afternoon ones were PSHE – the ones I look forward to most. A Year 8 class was to carry out a mock House of Commons debate using props borrowed from the UK Parliament Education Service following the previous fortnight’s mock election using a toolkit from the same source.

The class didn’t take the attitude I’d hoped for from the start. Firstly, I let them come up with a set of suggestions for the Bill, and the one which received the most votes was ‘The study of cars to become compulsory from nursery through to university level.’ Then, the pupil who’d been elected to serve the mock constituency from the last lesson, now designated Prime Minister, giggled his way through his opening speech, and all the points he made afterwards, as did his Deputy. On the other side of the ‘House’ stood several pupils who are truly outstanding speakers, and would be competent enough to speak with authority and conviction in Parliament or in a courtroom. They treated the rather frivolous subject matter as seriously as if they’d been asked to discuss Brexit – making pertinent points about the environment, for example. Unfortunately, however, their professional approach and confident speaking seemed to be getting just as many sniggers as the contributions from those whose primary objective seemed to be to have a good giggle. My response to all of this was just shy of cutting short the whole lesson early. In fact, when the ‘Deputy PM’ made his concluding speech, I just made him sit down and told the whole class exactly what I thought of what we’d heard that afternoon; good and bad. I made a list on the board of the pupils I’d give house points to for their

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attitude and contributions. And thought immediately afterwards how I should have issued sanctions to those who weren’t taking it seriously, because they may now think me a soft touch. A day later, whilst on a lunch break, I jotted down a few notes on my reflections about the experience. I am most definitely a reflective practitioner, and a reflective person in general (or is that ‘over-thinker’?) and came to the following conclusions:

APPRECIATION & ACCEPTANCE

We need to be firm in our convictions about what discipline in the PSHE classroom should look like. I put this question to my followers on Twitter and many came to the same conclusion. That expectations of pupils should still be high, but I personally feel a PSHE practitioner needs to be especially skilled at creating a safe, comfortable atmosphere whilst maintaining standards of behaviour which allow all to feel listened to and respected. Guidance from ThinkUKnow.co.uk in one of their lesson plans on sharing material online summed it up perfectly: ‘Children should be manageable in the session, but not inhibited.’ We should not confuse giving pupils a supportive space with lowering our expectations for behaviour. If anything, we should be raising our expectations, because it is only if we create a

culture of mutual appreciation and acceptance that pupils will feel able to voice their thoughts, feelings and opinions on sensitive topics.

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BIG Read SELF-AWARENESS

SIT BACK & OBSERVE

ROLE-MODELS

We need to practise self-care and self-awareness not just for our own benefit. We should not only be modelling how to look after our own wellbeing, but should remember what we bring to the classroom in terms of our own responses to challenges within lessons will be informed by our current internal state. Even basic factors such as the quality of sleep, diet and exercise will affect who we are when pupils frustrate us, or even if they frustrate us at all. Not only will physical factors influence our responses, but circumstances too. Would I have responded in the way that I had if it hadn’t been my birthday and I wanted desperately to go home? Of course, we also need to remember that in the real House of Commons, the MPs certainly do not always speak with maturity, neither are they always respectful of rules, as Lloyd Russell-Moyle’s mace-grabbing stunt last December showed.

Overall, I had succumbed to what I suspect might be an issue for many of us teachers: the need to control. I had my expectations of how the pupils should approach the activity, which was partly informed by how well they conducted the same lesson last year. But just as my response was guided in part by how my body and mind was feeling on that day, so was theirs. They are not the people they were a year ago, nor are they necessarily feeling the same way they did yesterday, or even that morning. We are all constantly in flux. If I had punished the ones who made silly contributions or giggled, it would have been because they didn’t do things the way I wanted, and yet one of the reasons I claim to love PSHE so much is that the pupils can determine the pace and flow of lessons. In this instance, it was the elected Speaker’s job to call and maintain order – and how that turned out would be a lesson for him in people management: without doubt an essential skill for the future. My role should have been to sit back and observe – if there had been time, I could have even got them to reflect on how the proceedings had gone, instead of me forcing my thoughts upon them. Don’t we teachers get enough of the limelight as it is?

This leads to a problem facing those in secondary schools who teach PSHE lessons alongside other subjects, and that is, that it is difficult to switch ‘teacher personalities’ from one lesson to the next. In an academic subject, there is a need for high control, I would argue, most of the time, to ensure maximum productivity, but in PSHE and Character Education there is value in letting events unfold naturally. Rushing from one activity to the next does not sit well with the more sensitive topics we have to teach, and pupils may have many questions, or an interest in a particular area. Yet this does not mean that we cannot admonish pupils or give sanctions – apart from our general role as role-model, if we’re teaching the ‘curriculum for life’ we certainly need to make our young people realise that to belong to a community, whether on a local, national or international level, requires adherence to an accepted set of shared behavioural norms, and the classroom is no different. Suffice to say, though, taking part in the quest to determine what is good practice is good practice in itself.

FREEDOM FOR FUN

As we live in a democracy, anyone may set up a petition as long as it meets certain criteria, so discussing whether ‘cars’ should be a compulsory subject in Parliament is not outside the realm of possibility. One may make any point they like in relation to the bill, even if their arguments seem puerile to others. If one of our obligations as a school is to promote Fundamental British Values, and in this case, specifically democracy, then it is not up to me to shut a pupil down when he is trying to have his say, and to do so is not only undemocratic, but could be damaging to his self-esteem, no matter how he is presenting himself. In addition, was the purpose of the activity not to have fun as well as learning about the process of parliamentary debate? And did they still not get experience of the debating process in the House of Commons regardless of how it was carried out? They learned how a Speaker is elected, how to ‘catch the Speaker’s eye’, how they should address one another, what the mace is for. The topic of the debate, really, was irrelevant. I could have praised those who took part, whatever their contribution, without judgement.

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Coming out of the closet Diversity and inclusion in the primary classroom WORDS: SARAH WORDLAW

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BIG Advice ver the past few months I, along with many in the teaching community, have been saddened by the campaigns against the teaching of diversity in primary schools, specifically LGBT relationships, in places like Parkfield Primary School in Birmingham, and have discussed it at great length with friends and colleagues. It’s our responsibility to make the next generation more enlightened than we are, and to teach children that there are no outsiders in our society irrespective of race, religion, disabilities, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity. As a society we are on a journey to institutional change where recognition and eradication of discriminatory beliefs is encouraged. No child is born sexist, racist or homophobic, this is a fact. Children learn negative behaviours early on from outside influences, which is why it is our responsibility as educators to make sure any discriminatory views are challenged.

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BIG Advice Relationships Education Why it even warrants debate teaching about a diversity of families in an age-appropriate way is beyond me. Currently, The Education and Inspections Acts 2006 states, “every school must have measures to encourage good behaviour and prevent all forms of bullying amongst pupils”. In the Ofsted Section 5 Inspection Handbook under SMSC the guidance is that children should demonstrate acceptance and engagement with the fundamental British values of mutual respect and tolerance of others. In February, statutory guidance from DfE stated the new primary relationship teaching should include “different family relationships” and “the right to equality under the law for people who are LGBT”. Furthermore, a spokesperson from the DfE recently said: “We want children to know that there are many types of relationships – that’s why we are making relationships education compulsory in all primary schools from 2020. “This will ensure pupils are taught the building blocks needed for positive and safe relationships of all kinds – starting with family and friends – and how to treat each other with kindness, consideration and respect.” This is a fantastic move forward in the direction of inclusivity and equality.

LGBT History Month As a senior leader, I have introduced the celebration of LGBT History Month across the primary schools I have worked in, and the response from the children has been really heartening. Children at their core are open and understanding of different people and families, their prejudice is passed down from the world they live in. The celebration of LGBT history month has been an opportunity to introduce diverse literature into our class and school libraries and start discussions about different families, same love. In the same vein as Black History Month, LGBT+ role models

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and history should be threaded throughout the curriculum, not just looked at for one month and forgotten. However, it is a good place to start if these conversations about families have not already been happening. Equality and mutual respect should be taught through assemblies and interwoven throughout lessons and literature.

Difficult Conversations Personally, I’ve experienced some negativity from a small number of parents. When they have complained, it has generally been due to a misunderstanding of what is being taught. I’ve had concerns the school are teaching “how gay people have sex”, which of course is not at all the case! I’ve found that two-way discussions with concerned parents about what is being taught, that it is learning that families are made of lots of different types of make-ups, all of which are equal and all of which are celebrated, tends to allay fears. However, I’ve also had to challenge comments such as, “I’m not homophobic, but…” highlighting that if that comment ends in something derogatory, that view is in fact homophobic. I’ve often had to liken it to racism and asked the parent back, “What if I said to you, I’m not racist but…” Whilst a difficult conversation, this tends to sway the parent on side. If not, it has simply been a case of informing them that it’s our statutory duty to prevent all forms of bullying, that it’s not an option to opt out and that if a child is off school because of that, the absence will be unauthorised.

School Library Essentials We must make sure our schools are safe and inclusive places for all, and make sure the literature, assemblies and learning represent all walks of life. Here are some fabulous books to prompt lessons and discussions or to put into your class / school libraries: Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Steven Salerno This beautiful picture book captures the remarkable and inspiring story of the rainbow pride flag; the work of social activist Harvey Milk and designer Gilbert Baker, and how the flag went worldwide. A story of love, hope, equality, and pride. Suitable for ages 4–8. And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson and Peter Parnell, illustrated by Henry This is a heart-warming trueCole story of two gay penguins who create a non-traditional family at the Central Park Zoo. Suitable for ages 2–5. Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love While riding the subway home from the pool with his grandma, Julian notices three women spectacularly dressed up. He is inspired to dress up as his own fabulous mermaid. A dazzling story and a wonderful celebration of individuality. Suitable ages 4–8. Large Fears by Myles E. Johnson Jeremiah Nebula is a black boy who loves everything pink. The story follows him as he travels through the different fears he faces on his travels. Suitable for ages 4–8.

The Boy & The Bindi by Vivek Shraya A South Asian boy becomes fascinated with his mother’s bindi and wants one of his own. Beautifully illustrated by Rajni Perera, it’s a jubilant celebration of gender and culture. Suitable for ages 4–8.

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Pull the plug on Cyberbullying! yberbullying is tougher to marshal than ever, what with the rise of social media networks, and the role of teachers, parents and guardians to protect those in their care from the negativity of others is almost impossible to manage. But perhaps another child, one who has experienced bullying themselves, is the answer. BulliesOut, a charity supported by HWRK, has a blossoming Ambassador programme that’s doing life-changing work up and down the UK. Read Casey-Jane’s amazing story – Page 76.

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Dubai How the melting pot of UAE turned Ben Cooper into a believer wo years, I had told myself. Two years and then we would move back home, buy a house and settle down. But here I am, five years later, sat looking out of my window cross the skyline of Downtown Dubai wondering where the time has gone. I moved out as a Year Six teacher, young and eager to explore, travel and experience the world that I felt I had missed out on as a student teacher. My small stint in Ghana, as a volunteer, had given me a taste and a realisation that teaching really is an international skill and could be my ticket to some enriching life experiences. So, after three great teaching years in rainy Manchester, I moved with my partner (now my wife) out to the Middle East. I had some apprehension at first. I didn’t believe in ‘private education’ and I didn’t necessarily think that Dubai was ‘my kind of place’. But I also realised that if I was to travel and teach in different cultures and countries, there would always be a compromise on what I believed education should be. There is always compromise in any education system and out in Dubai would be no different. And – I soon discovered that you can make Dubai whatever you want it to be. After taking a few months to settle and set up life, I found myself enjoying the outdoor lifestyle that the UAE has to offer. The glitz and glam was not for me but the sports, beach, and travel had me hooked. The attractive contract packages gave me financial flexibility that I had not had back in the UK. At home, a combination of paying student loans, rent and car insurance really left me with very little at the end of the month. Here in Dubai, my accommodation, health insurance and visa were all paid for and I found myself working with a disposable income. Half terms had turned from catching up on 7 2 // H W R K M AG A Z I N E // S u m m e r 2 0 1 9

the latest TV series, to flying off to new countries and locations. Sri Lanka, Thailand, Zanzibar and Oman were just some of the places I had the opportunity to explore. Weekends were no longer rainy days inside, but road trips to the beach or mountain biking in the sun. Not to mention, I found myself enjoying the school I worked for – a private school too! The English National Curriculum is a highly regarded education system across the globe. My class had over 18 different

Are you teaching overseas and would like to share your story with faculty in the UK? Then drop us an email at editor@hwrkmagazine.co.uk

nationalities and cultures. They would teach me, just as much as I would teach them and so I found myself growing not just professionally but as a person too. What struck me was how children are so accepting of each other’s cultures. There were children who were best friends from two different countries that politically should not have been getting along. Did they care their countries hated each other? No. They were more bothered about who was going to go in goal at lunch time. @hwrk_magazine


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Ben Cooper and his partner have made a great life in Dubai, despite initial reservations about leaving the UK for too long

In the melting pot of Dubai, where locals make up less than 10% of the population, accepting people’s differences just becomes second nature. The school as a whole provided great opportunities for me too. As a new build, I was surrounded by 21st century classrooms and facilities. I felt I could be as creative as I liked, making full use of the green screen rooms, recording studios and outside space. Dubai’s education sector is rapidly expanding and with it comes lots of opportunities to climb the ladder relatively quickly. Not to mention that, due to the large size of schools, there is a wider range of

leadership opportunities available. After a few years, I had taken on various head of year roles and was now leading teaching and learning across the whole Primary. After three years, I was promoted to Assistant Principal – a role which I love! I have yet to decide when I will head back to the UK. Both me and my wife are having too much fun. Dubai and teaching abroad is what you make it. You build your own life. We built ours out here in the Middle East. Teaching really is an international profession that can provide any opportunity you allow it to. All you need is an open mind, some compromise and a passport.

“In the melting pot of Dubai, where locals make up less than 10% of the population, accepting people’s differences just becomes second nature”

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Welcome to Hogwarts! ver fancied browsing the shops of Diagon Alley, cashing a cheque at Gringotts Bank, having lunch in the great hall at Hogwarts or simply supping on a Butterbeer next to the fire inside The Three Broomsticks? Well, what are you waiting for… Walk in the footsteps of Harry Potter and explore the wonders of the Wizarding world this summer with a Warner Bros Studios tour. The breathtaking sets, authentic props and original costumes are sure to fire the imagination of even the most fierce Harry Potter fan. So, catch a ride from Platform 9¾ and head inside the mind of author JK Rowling during the holidays and discover why The Making of Harry Potter tour has become one of the UK’s most popular days out. For more info visit: wbstudiotour.co.uk

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The Harry Potter Tour offers great value package for schools and clubs, booking in bulk to save on costs. To book simply contact the Visitor Services Team on 03450840902.

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‘I am now who I want to be’ From the brink of suicide to the Welsh Youth Parliament, read Youth Ambassador Casey-Jane’s amazing personal story y name is Casey-Jane and I have been a Youth Ambassador with BulliesOut for three years. Before I became a YA I was using the charity’s mentor service, as I was going through very bad bullying in and outside of school. I was bullied for eight years (age 4 –12) and the mentor service provided me with two years of vital support before telling me about the YA programme. I applied to become a YA in November 2015 and got accepted in early 2016. I was so nervous to attend my first meeting with BulliesOut, but everyone made it so easy. It was the best experience. At the time, meetings were bi-monthly (they’re now monthly) and were based in Cardiff. Joining BulliesOut has given me so much. I’ve gained so many skills including: mindfulness, resilience, acting, breathing strategies, peer2peer training and so much more. I’ve also had the opportunity to do a Youth Achievement

Award, and I’m proud to say I’ve just upgraded my bronze to silver! I’ve also made so many lifelong bonds with people, Linda James especially, as when I joined, I was going through a lot of trauma at home: domestic abuse/violence, drug abuse and substance misuse. All of that was going on and I didn’t trust anyone, except Linda. She was the most supportive. From being a YA I’ve met some people who have helped change my life. Because of my past, I suffer from anxiety and PTSD and, in December, I hit a low spot and was considering suicide. BulliesOut held an awards event to recognise our achievements and I was recognised at this event. I also met some great people there who had also overcome personal challenges. One speaker changed my life completely. He shared his story and how he got through it and he chose me to share mine. Afterwards he said God was telling him to pick me and, from then on, I’ve let nothing stop me.

BulliesOut sent out an email in early 2018 and that email was to apply for the Welsh Youth Parliament applications. I was encouraged to apply, so I did. I was put through to the general elections and I am now the Welsh Youth Parliament Member for the Cynon Valley. Thanks to BulliesOutI am now who I want to be. Becoming a YA was the best thing I’ve ever done. I wanted to join BulliesOut because I know what bullying can do to someone and I didn’t want anyone to have to go through that. Having a BulliesOut jacket to wear all the time helped in my community because people felt safe talking to me and that is a feeling I cannot explain. Being a YA made me stronger, more confident and gave me a purpose when I needed one the most. Being a YA has honestly changed my life. If you’re reading this and need, or know someone who needs a purpose or wants to make a difference, join BulliesOut. It’s honestly the best thing I’ve ever done.

For more info visit: bulliesout.com

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Pebbles make ripples, ripples make waves Poet Paul Delaney has a heartfelt helper to aid you in saying farewell s yet another school year draws to a close, the final Whit half-term of the school year in everybody’s sights, Y6 teachers in particular sigh, the word “relief” clinging to their breaths. SAT’s are over, of course, and a relaxing week is firmly set in Y6 teachers’ sights, their minds and bodies longing to flop into their Duracell recharging cradles. However, straight after that longed for (and essential) week off, Y6 teachers are at it again – a ‘To Do’ list longer than the hazy rules and regulations of ‘Brexit’ scribbled into their diaries. Suddenly, the last week is upon us, the class from heaven (or hell) sliding through our fingers like hot chicken fat, most, in my experience, never to be seen or heard of for many a year. And then, often too late, we wonder. ‘Ah, a present, now what can I buy this lot? A pencil perhaps? A bar of chocolate? No, I want something they can keep for years, something to remember this precious, formative time in their young lives. Ah, let’s look on Amazon. Something personalized perhaps. Oh no, too late…’ So, what can your Y6 class leave with, apart from a fistful of SAT’s results and a few pieces of displayed work and the odd photograph? When I was a Y6 primary school teacher I created this ‘thought-provoking’ activity for my class, post-SAT’s. I wanted something interesting and unusual for my children, something concrete, and something they could hang onto, keep forever. All my own

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ideas too. But it’s an exercise I’d like to share and, hopefully, you can make it your own. I’d simply go to the beach at Thurstaston, Wirral Country Park, and collect around 30 distinctive pebbles. We’d all gather around the collection, usually on the carpet, and the children would be invited to choose their favourite piece. I’d then give out laminated cards, which had the following words printed onto one side. Obviously, you can shorten this… On the other side, (always in black fountain pen) I’d write the child’s name with a drawing of them, albeit not very good and a few words about them, for example: Georgia, superb netball player, fab friend to so many and so thoughtful too. And what a super fast runner, Georgia! I reckon you’ll be a nurse or a doctor when you’re older! Best wishes, love, Mr. D. x Years and years later, even now, children bump into me in restaurants and pubs, (I always lived and taught in the same town) their deep voices almost knocking me over. Many, of course, unrecognizable. “I’ve still got my pebble, Sir,” they say, pint or G&T in hand, phones in the air at the ready for a selfie. “And my little card. I’ve never lost them.” Powerful stuff indeed. I hope you use ‘Pebbles’ and one day in the distant future, your children bump into you, snapping a ‘selfie’, remembering their precious time in your class and of course, their pebble. Tempus fugit… time flies!

Your pebble, which has chosen YOU as its guardian and protector, will guide you throughout your life. When you are feeling lonely and afraid, hold your pebble. Strength will suddenly appear. When you are at a crossroads, hold your pebble. The answers you are looking for will mysteriously appear out of the silence. God will whisper to you, from the secret, heavenly realms of the angels. Clouds will disappear When you are filled with love and happiness, hold your pebble. Give thanks for all the wonderful things appearing in your world. But most of all, remember your time at this school. Give thanks for the people who have crossed your path. Clasp your pebble in your hand. Hold it. Touch it. Feel it. And always remember this: There is only ONE pebble in the world like yours – its precious, special and unique. Just like you – so always remember that! And if you forget, hold your pebble – it will remind you of just how SPECIAL you are.

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TOP SECRET//EDUINT//HWRK//DOC3

The Education Emails Edited by JS Sumerfield

In 2018 HWRK obtained an anonymous upload of documents originating from the secure email servers of an unidentified high school. Neither the recipient nor the sender have ever been traced. This email is the second classified document we have reproduced in HWRK as part of our mini-series, in the interests of transparency and numerous Freedom of Information requests from our teachers.

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