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Teaching and Learning Bulletin Issue Eleven - November 2015

CONTENTS Good News from HMI SSAT National Conference 2016 Teaching Styles: Colour Energies TEEP Revision in the Music Department Parent Consultation Day How to Revise Flipped Learning in Maths

SSAT National Conference 2015

Sharing ideas with other school leaders and attending seminars on topics such as preparing your school for a world of exam driven assessments and enabling students to flourish through enlightened leadership of learning were just a few of the

Design by Adam Tate


the school have taken decisive action to ensure the validity of the assessment information they gather and that a process of comparing progress to target grades and flight paths is becoming an embedded feature of teaching and learning. They also noted that pupils are being challenged more and that improvements in subjects, particularly English are being seen. After a series of positive HMI visits As with all reports of this nature it was somewhat disappointing there are still areas for improvement to hear that a new team would most notably making group work be making our latest visit and more effective and developing practice in improving effectively having to reassess best the progress we had made. It is student’s handwriting. The report therefore pleasing to note that also noted that whilst behaviour the ‘new’ team reported that the remains good further efforts could ‘leaders and managers are taking be made to deal with low level effective action towards the removal disruption in some lessons. This of special measures’. Good news is an area which has already been indeed as we approach the end of addressed with the introduction our first academic term of 2015/16. of a new behaviour policy. So as The report from the team we head into a new year the signs contained a number of positive remain positive and the continued comments including the fact that drive for improvements goes on. opportunities available at the SSAT National Conference. Attending the conference in Manchester on behalf of St Chad’s were members of the Senior Leadership Team Mark Farrow and Alan Bennett who were able to consider new thinking on leading learning, closing the gaps and raising the

To contribute to this bulletin please forward any thoughts you have about TEEP or associated topics to

bar. It is hoped that the best of the ideas they collected can be used effectively to help our continued drive for improvement as the academic year heads into 2016.

TEEPREVISIONIN MUSIC As TEEP has proven to be a successful way for students to learn and enjoy learning in school, there are several revision activities we have found to be very useful in music. These activities ensure full engagement and a clear understanding of topics from all students. The following activities help students to revise for their assessments, through cooperation and team working skills, as well as

identifying any areas that need further study in a fun way. Some activities that we have found to be very useful include a topic quiz, card game, un-jumbling words and back to back tasks.

on each card. Students describe the words to each other. Lower ability groups have been given an image, along with the word to help them describe it to their partner.

UN-JUMBLING WORDS QUIZ Students must un-jumble the Students work in pairs to letters for the key words of each answer questions on the topic. topic. They must then put the key Students identify the questions word in a relevant sentence. they have struggled with after each round when the questions BACK-TO-BACK TASK are marked. Students sit back-to-back and use listening and descriptive skills. CARD CAME One student describes an image, This game demands great while the other student must counderstanding and clear operate fully and draw the image, descriptive skills as well as without looking at it. good listening and interpretive skills, all of which are important Sarah Byrne for learning effectively. Students TEEP Champion, Music are given cards with all of the key words from the topic


Being able to successfully revise for examinations is not something that we are all naturally able to do, so it is important for us to recognise that many of our students need to be able to discover the wide range of methods of revision and find the most suitable before they embark on assessments and final examinations. With this in mind we have produced a revision guide for Year 11 which includes information about when, where and how to revise. It also has suggestions about methods that can be used during revision such as using mind maps, revision cards, post-it notes, revision books, online resources, learning posters and mnemonics. Passing exams is never easy and gaining good grades is even harder.

The key to ensuring that you can do your best lies in the planning and preparation. Without doubt our young students will be ready for the challenges that lie ahead and will have every support they need.



A student’s journey through their school day involves interaction and often conflicts with behaviour patterns presented by their different subject teachers. It is important that we recognise and understand this as it can be a complex ‘clash of energies’. Using the table below consider the colour of your energy during a typical day and the way your lessons would look. Then imagine a student moving from lesson to lesson faced with these changing energies.


CONSULTATION DAY A key part of any teaching and learning programme is engaging and communicating with all parties involved. It is therefore essential that the first of our Parent Consultation Days in November provides the opportunity for staff, parents and students to engage in dialogue that results in targets for improvement being made. This first day will be an opportunity for parents and carers of students currently in Year 7 and Year 8 to meet with subject staff at a time convenient to them over the period of a whole day. Extending the time that we allow for meetings with subject staff which are normally limited during the traditional parents evening will enable quality communication of information which will ultimately lead to improvements in student performance. Hosting the meetings in the classrooms where lessons actually take place will also provide an opportunity for parents and carers to see were their youngsters learn and for staff to access as much information in the form of books, display work or larger folders. These are seldom available for parents evenings so they too can form an important part of the consultation process. We will feedback in our next issue how well the day went and the lessons that we learnt. Ultimately our aim is to improve parental engagement and provide parents with an opportunity to work with staff to support students throughout the academic year. The next parent consultation day will take place on Wednesday 27th January 2016, and will involve students in Year 11 and the Sixth Form.

FLIPPEDLEARNING in Mathematics...

Flipped learning is leading to a culture change in how learners take control of their learning experiences. As we have seen in earlier issues of the Steep Learning Curve teachers are beginning to take more risks and are allowing students to access resources away from the classroom to enable them to come to lessons prepared for learning exercises and armed with questions about their lesson content. A resource which is proving to be extremely popular for flipped learning is Hegarty Maths which provides students with video content and has been designed by award winning teacher Colin Hegarty.

SUGGESTED READING This months suggested reading features a book that challenges some of the principles of education that many traditional teachers hold dear.

Projects and activities are the best way to learn - Teaching knowledge is indoctrination. In each accessible and engaging chapter, Christodoulou sets out the theory of each myth, considers In the book, Daisy Christodoulou its practical implications and offers a thought-provoking shows the worrying prevalence critique of educational orthodoxy. of such practice. Then, she Drawing on her recent experience explains exactly why it is a myth, of teaching in challenging schools, with reference to the principles she shows through a wide range of modern cognitive science. of examples and case studies just She builds a powerful case how much classroom practice explaining how governments and contradicts basic scientific educational organisations around principles. She examines seven the world have let down teachers widely-held beliefs which are and pupils by promoting and even holding back pupils and teachers: mandating evidence-less theory - Facts prevent understanding - and bad practice. This blisteringly Teacher-led instruction is passive incisive and urgent text is essential - The 21st century fundamentally reading for all teachers, teacher changes everything - You can training students, policy makers, always just look it up -We head teachers, researchers and should teach transferable skills - academics around the world.

The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue 11 November 2015  

by St Chad's Catholic & Church of England High School, Runcorn

The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue 11 November 2015  

by St Chad's Catholic & Church of England High School, Runcorn