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Teaching and Learning Bulletin Issue Four - March 2015


Adam Tate

TEEP LEARNING ENVIRONMENT WALK The first week of February saw staff take advantage of an opportunity to visit colleagues’ classrooms to review their learning environment. Though these were brief visits they did provide staff with a chance to compare the displays and TEEP resources they were using in their own teaching areas with those of other staff in other departments. One department that has found the TEEP learning walls particularly useful has been the Geography department who have also employed the use of learning trees to present the thoughts and ideas of students.

BEHAVIOUR FOR LEARNING LEARNING ENVIRONMENT WALKS SUGGESTED RESEARCH As we progress on our TEEP journey it is important that we consider the impact of changes in teaching methods and teaching environments on the students at St Chad’s. In this issue of the ‘STEEP Learning Curve’ we turn our attentions to behaviour for learning, utilising the learning environments in creative ways,

supporting student’s revision and improving literacy. The second week of March also sees the second of our Self Evaluation lesson observations as we further develop our database of improving teaching and learning.

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

In November 2014 the teaching staff at St Chad’s embarked on their TEEP journey and have since that time begun to embrace the principles of TEEP in their lessons. So far the progress has been transformational and as students come to terms with the changes it was felt that they too were ready for some ‘TEEP training’. In a series of assemblies at the beginning of March, Executive Head Teacher Mr Billings took students through the stages of TEEP lessons and allowed them time to reflect on their role in the process of good learning. The messages delivered in the assemblies were clear and in a language that students of all levels could understand and they fully understood the need for them to have behaviours for learning which will help them to make progress in the future. For more reading, have a look at ‘PedEx’ by All Hallows C a t h o l i c College.

The Dry


Learning Environment Members of the St Chad’s ICT technical team recently attended the Education Innovation Conference and Exhibition in Manchester. They returned with new and fresh ideas that we could use in school to support our ongoing TEEP programme, and to improve our Teaching and Learning. They were particularly impressed with a design company, SpaceOasis. The company are producing innovative dry wipe learning environments. Although dry wipe surfaces have been around for some time, they have been proven to be a fun and creative way to learn. SpaceOasis are a very successful company who create colourful curved ‘pods’, mobile dry wipe walls, desks, mobile screens and much more.

SpaceOasis have developed their ‘LearningSurface’ product range to bring high quality, durable dry wipe surfaces in all shapes and sizes. These products promote opportunity for new teaching and learning styles and create a haven for fast and furious thinking. With a large enough ‘LearningSurface’ area, many students can participate at the same time, fostering collaborative learning skills. Students are also proven to worry less about mistakes. Rather than commit to their ideas to paper, here they can dive in and have a go. If they make a mistake they simply rub it out and go again. A very positive factor is that with certain SpaceOasis products, students get the opportunity to move around. Studies show that cognitive skills

improve with physical movement and if you have a mobile screen or wall, students can move around while using it. Once the work has been done, you ‘save’ your work by taking a photograph of your mindmap or brainstorming session. This photograph can be shared, annotated and referred to later for revision purposes. This image could form part of a digital portfolio allowing all that creative thinking to live on. With the ‘pods’ there is nowhere to hide. You cannot just sit and stare out of the window, you have to focus, get involved and be a part of the learning. All of these reasons make dry wipe learning environments a positive feature in schools.


Study Cards to Aid Revision Learning to learn is key to finding a long term love of learning. All students have a preferred learning style, but often they are unaware of just what their best learning style is. One style that most students can be comfortable with is visual learning and this idea also provides students with an opportunity to be creative at the same time. The idea involves producing a series of study cards, related to a topic that will be part of a future assessment week. Once produced the study cards will be used as a revision aid. For this reason it is important to consider the presentation and the accuracy of the materials produced. Here is an example of study cards produced by a student in a Science lesson. They are considering the topic of matter.

Here are the steps to follow to ensure students produce appropriate study cards: 1. Create Have students create Study Cards using 4 x 6 index cards. Be sure they include important ideas, vocabulary, facts, and concepts from the material covered in the unit. 2. Collect Collect the Study Cards so that you can assess the students’

and allow the teacher to access a wide range of information in various formats… For example, using ICT:

Using ICT to improve literacy Effective use of ICT in English lessons offers the potential to transform teaching and learning. Computers, software, cameras and a range of ICT devices such as interactive whiteboards can all make teaching more effective and more fun for the pupils. When used appropriately, ICT can provide pupils with unique opportunities to assist and progress literacy

»» Pupils can engage with text in ways not possible with paper based materials. »»Pupils can experience the interrelated nature of different areas of language - speaking and listening, writing and reading. »» Pupils can focus on the contents at different levels word, sentence and text level. The development of reading and writing can be enhanced - through simulations, email, fax, the Internet, interactive books etc. »» Pupils can make links between writer and audience - they are able to adapt the presentation and organisation of their

understanding and, if needed, reteach material before the test or quiz. 3. Give Back It is essential to give the Study Cards back to the students so they may be used to study for the test or quiz.

writing to meet the needs of different audiences. They can prepare websites and multimedia presentations. There is flexibility in that the same piece of work can be used for different pupils in different ways. Teachers can respond to different stages in pupils’ writing, with some programs summative and diagnostic information can be provided. A saved or printed version of the work can be kept as a record.



Following instructions first time Actively listening to staff and students Involving ourselves fully to help each other learn Respecting other people and our environment

As a key element of the TEEP cycle, behaviour for learning has become a focus of our early work as we consider the affect low level disruption can have on the learning process. It is, however, clear that behaviour is likely to be easier to manage when there is a whole school consistent approach, however, each teacher has a professional responsibility to get it right in his/her classroom. In great schools behaviour is more than compliance and engagement. These schools have built an aspirational culture in which students’ motivation becomes intrinsic compared to the more extrinsically motivated behaviour systems put in place by the school. This culture is more easily built where the values of the parent body are aligned. However, in areas of high deprivation or low aspiration it becomes even more important. As we continue to move the school forward we need to consider how best we can approach the issue of developing this ‘aspirational culture’. Any thoughts you have would be more than welcome.

SUGGESTED RESEARCH Behaviour for Learning offers teachers a clear conceptual framework for making sense of the many behaviour management strategies on offer, allowing them to make a critical assessment about their appropriateness and effectiveness in the classroom. Teachers need to be asking themselves the question “How can I improve a child’s learning?” rather than “How can I get them to behave?” The authors present a unique focus on the relationships which underpin learning, placing an emphasis on the development of ‘learning behaviours’, and endorses OFSTED’s view that it is essential to evaluate the

efficacy of behaviour management against progress in learning. Essentially, this book will help teachers: * decide what strategy is best for individuals in their classroom * be aware of the evidence / theoretical base that underpins that strategy use * be able to evaluate the effectiveness of that strategy. Located within emerging agendas for improved individual holistic outcomes and increased partnership working, this book seeks to synthesise the practical with the theoretical. Authoritative and timely, Behaviour for Learning is compelling reading for all trainees and practicing teachers, CPD coordinators and other professionals working with challenging pupils.

The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue Four  

St Chad's High School

The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue Four  

St Chad's High School