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Teaching and Learning Bulletin Issue Fourteen - February 2016

CONTENTS Behaviour for Learning Stretch and Challenge Teaching Staff Share Good Practice Numeracy Ninjas: Maths Engagement Preparation for Learning: Literacy Safer Internet Day 2016 Suggested Reading

Collaboration and Cooperation Our ideas about the role of talking in the classroom have changed radically over the years. We no longer consider that a ‘good’ classroom is necessarily a quiet

Design by Adam Tate


On Thursday 4th February there was a buzz around the RE classrooms after school when staff turned up for their weekly CPD session. At this session 14 staff led 10 minute workshops on a range of activities which they had used successfully in their teaching. Most presenters had not delivered an activity previously and had been invited to share something they had used as part of their TEEP teaching. There were a range of activities which could be applied in different areas of the TEEP cycle. Each department had at least one member of staff delivering a session. Activities

shared included using ideas form the TV quiz show Only Connect, PRET homework, World Café, using visualisers in fun ways, silent conversations and many more. The resources used can be found in the TEEP tool kit which will be shared with all staff at a future Info Blast.

one; we understand that learning is frequently most effective when learners have the opportunity to think and talk together, to discuss ideas, question, analyse and solve problems, without the constant mediation of the teacher. Most of our thinking has been heavily influenced by the work of Lev Vygotsky, and his concept of learning as a social process. In recent years, his ideas have been reflected in a number of learning and teaching approaches, including:

• co-operative learning • critical skills • dialogic teaching. Although these approaches vary to some extent, essentially they all promote the idea that young people’s learning is best served when they have opportunities to learn with and from each other, and are shown how to do so effectively. With collaborative learning at the heart of the TEEP programme with have developed a focus on encouraging students to work together and will continue to promote this approach during the months ahead.

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

In our October issue of the Steep Learning Curve we reported on an important part of our transition programme – the Stretch and Challenge days. Back in October students from local primary schools spent a Saturday at St Chad’s working on an exciting programme of activities based on the theme of space. These activities included Science, Maths and Music. On 6 February once again students from schools in the local area spent a day working on projects with English, Art and Geography staff. These included planning and presenting their ideas for the best way to celebrate the opening of the New Mersey Gateway. Students were asked to present their ideas persuasively so that the best ideas could be identified. They had to explain: Who would open the bridge? What would be the first official vehicle to go across? How local residents would be able to celebrate? Who else would be there? They were able to use power point on netbooks to present their ideas for the presentation. They also created an invitation and a timetable for the day. They also learnt about earthquakes and spent some time thinking about how the recent earthquakes in Taiwan would have affected the people and what could be done to prevent the further destruction in the future. Students decided to build structures that could withstand an earthquakes and thought about the engineering that could be applied to do this. Their challenge was to build a structure that could survive the shaking using only straws, cardboard and sellotape. Each

team developed a different strategy and all were successful in meeting the challenge. Finally there was a workshop on graffiti art and stencilling. Here students had the chance to become graffiti artists and produce their own piece of graffiti inspired art. They had the opportunity to view and discuss various works of

An important aspect of our drive to ensure that IT is used effectively as part of our teaching and learning programme involves ensuring that all students are safe when accessing the Internet. It was therefore important for the school to be seen taken an active part in the recent Internet Safety Day. With a video showing students discussing how important they feel being safe online is having a prominent position on the school website and students taking part in activities during

art, from Ancient Roman graffiti to the modern day works of Banksy. Students used their knowledge of Banksy’s processes and inspiration to produce a piece of graffiti using a stencilling method. Overall this and the other workshops proved to be challenging, but students thoroughly enjoyed the experience and were very positive about the day.

the day to highlight issues related to this matter, the day proved to be extremely valuable. Using IT can enhance learning, but being safe online is paramount when young people are accessing the World Wide Web.

Behaviour for LEARNING

Engaging students in Maths can be hard, especially with students who find the subject difficult. This year we have looked at inventive ways of addressing this issue and one way which is proving to be extremely positive is Numeracy Ninjas. Numeracy Ninjas is a free Key Stage 3 numeracy intervention designed to fill gaps in students’ basic mental calculation strategies and also to empower them with the numeracy skills and fluency required to fully access GCSE Maths concepts when they move to Key Stage 4 study. Furthermore, through growth mindsets and the promotion of regular practice, we want to ensure students’ perception of maths is positive and one in which they take

pride and enjoyment. Numeracy Ninjas is a project driven by the belief that all students can leave school functionally numerate. In Issue Eleven we looked at how the website Hegartymaths could be used for flipped learning exercises. Since then this website and its creator Mr Hegarty have become national champions for maths and he has been nominated for a top teaching award. It is yet again an example of how a subject can be made more engaging and can have a positive effect on progress made by students. It is a website that we will be looking more closely at for students in Key Stage 4 over the coming months.

Behaviour for Learning is an underpinning element of the TEEP process and is key to effective teaching. It was fitting therefore that before the half term break over seventy teaching and support staff took part in a Behaviour for Learning Inset day led by Behaviour Consultant Anne Kayes. The aim of the day was to allow staff to reflect on classroom management and in particular how they deal with student behaviour and to consider the various levels of behaviour and possible steps that can be taken to develop a behaviour for learning environment. The day proved to be both an enjoyable and informative Inset session and staff welcomed the opportunity to reaffirm their own methods of dealing with behaviour issues. The day followed on from the revising of the school’s behaviour policy and the next phase of this development will be to involve middle leaders who missed the session as they were undergoing training away from school and to set up a behaviour working party.

PreparationforLearning Does a prepare for learning exercise need to be difficult and challenging to be an effective starter for your lesson? No. But

it must be engaging and it must provide sufficient stimulus for all pupils to allow them to prepare for the lesson ahead and it should

be sufficiently interesting to begin the thinking process that will develop throughout the lesson. A simple prepare for learning exercise we heard about this week is to ask students to try to write a list of as many items that you can eat that begin with the first two letters of their first and second names. For some it can be easy, but for others it may prove more difficult. Last issue we included the image below. Here are the answers for those who could not find the six hidden words. Answers (Left to Right):

SUGGESTED READING Ever wondered what would happen if you stopped teaching in your lessons? You might be surprised. If you want your students to learn more and you to work less, then this book provides you with all the arguments and evidence you need to become a lazy, but outstanding teacher. Gathered over 10 years in the classroom, this handbook of triedand-tested techniques shifts the emphasis away from the teaching and onto the learning, and makes your life so much easier in the process. Fed up missing out on those sunny Sundays? Maybe your marking could be done by the local community instead? Sick of planning lesson? Get the students to plan them for you. (After all, personalised learning can’t involve 30 lesson plans!).

This powerful little book is packed full of easy-to-apply and highly effective strategies (which Ofsted have rated as outstanding). What is more, they all have the seal of approval of real students in real classrooms. In fact, many of them have been thought up by the students themselves, but that is why Jim Smith is called the Lazy Teacher. So, next time someone says to you to get a life, this book will make it possible. TEEP Champion Helen Aspinall has been reviewing this book for the Teaching and Learning group and she says “This is a very creative book which has great ideas for saving teacher’s time”.

1. Book 2. Novel 3. Story 4. Words 5. Read 6. Pages

The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue Fourteen - February 2016  
The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue Fourteen - February 2016