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Teaching and Learning Bulletin Issue One - December 2014


Welcome to the first edition of ‘The Steep Learning Curve’, the teaching and learning bulletin from St Chad’s Catholic and Church of England High School.




To begin our TEEP journey staff took part in the first phase of TEEP training which involved an intensive two day programme of learning and development. During the sessions in November, staff were immersed in the TEEP process and were able to develop the techniques required to improve the overall quality of teaching and learning in the school.



consider the impact of TEEP.

Sara Heron in ‘TEEP Mode’ As a school we have developed a great deal of good practice and in terms of teaching and learning we enjoy sharing this good practice with each other. The aim of this bulletin is to ensure that all staff and our wider community are fully aware of the work that is going on in this crucial period in the history of the school. It is also hoped that the contents of this bulletin will provide issues for reflection and conversation when staff meet to

“Most of what we did during the sessions we had seen or done before, but without developing it into a learning cycle”, commented one member of staff. Both days proved to be demanding and required a great deal of energy, but despite this staff were extremely positive and up for the challenges that lie ahead. To contribute to this bulletin please forward any thoughts you have about TEEP or associated topics to

Merry Christmas and keep teeping!

what is

FLIPPED LEARNING? The new Ofsted framework places emphasis on students’ development as independent learners. One way to encourage this is to use the flipped classroom approach. This novel method of teaching turns the traditional classroom on its head. Perhaps this is something that’s worth researching and trialling in the forthcoming academic year. At the moment, in schools around the world, many children are subjected to a ‘stand and deliver’ model of teaching – something Sir Ken Robinson terms the ‘Victorian’ model of education. Utilising new technologies gives us the power to change this. In the flipped learning model, students complete the knowledge and understanding aspects of a learning journey outside of class time. This could be via websites, blogs, online encyclopaedias and videos specifically created for them by their own teachers, which they watch or explore at home prior to the lesson. They are then ready to apply, analyse and evaluate the concepts inside the classroom.

and instructor. As teachers, spending more time working alongside children while they apply, analyse, synthesise and evaluate really will make a difference to their lives. The traditional method of ‘chalk and talk’

w i t h me: ‘If there is a Yo u Tu b e video explaining what you’re about to say to your class then you should be out of a job.’ A rather powerful quote - personally, I loved it! Teachers shouldn’t spend time delivering content that is readily available somewhere on the Internet. Give students the link, send them away to absorb it, try it and question the information.

Click the image below for a ‘Flipped and the perception of the teacher Classroom’ Doddle case study: as a ‘font of all knowledge’ is removed completely. The teacher’s role now is to engage the children in higher-order thinking which will support them in becoming more reflective learners.

The flipped approach allows us the time to develop these higherorder thinking skills. No longer do we need to race against the clock to deliver huge amounts of In terms of Bloom’s Taxonomy, content. Technology can do that this means that students are doing for us! the lower levels of cognitive work outside of class, and focusing on Aaron Sams and John Bergman the higher forms in class, where said something during their they have the support of their peers speech at Bett 2014 that stuck


For example: Topic: Personal Development


The Art Spiral

Skills Being Creative, Thinking, Decision- the centre of an open space. The Making paper should be large enough to allow for easy movement and What is it? space for all pupils’ contributions. This activity allows pupils to personally reflect and communicate 2. Everyone in the group selects a their thoughts, ideas and feelings free space on the spiral and draws in a creative way on a particular something which represents their issue. thoughts on a particular topic. The pupils might be encouraged to Implications for classroom layout include a few words which spring A large space is needed for ease to mind on the topic beside their of movement and interaction. drawings. Alternatively, if pupils are seated at desks, they can use an individual 3. After an allocated time pupils piece of paper which can then be might move onto another free made into a group collage/spiral. area of the spiral and graphically represent their thoughts on a How does it work? related issue. 1. A large spiral of paper is placed in

»» How would you represent your past? »» How would you represent your hopes for the future? »» How would you represent your fears? 4. After completion of the activity, the facilitator should allow time for pupils to look at the whole spiral and view other people’s contributions. Pupils might be encouraged to develop or add to other people’s contributions. 5. A debrief afterwards might encourage pupils to communicate verbally their initial individual thoughts on the issue and then their emotions after viewing the drawings of the whole class. Were their thoughts and feelings modified as a result? How did they feel if someone developed their own contribution?

Assessment for Learning

The ability to ask questions effectively is key to any assessment for learning approach, so here is a useful ‘back-to-basics’ check list to help you consider the way that you ask questions during your lessons.

Effective questioning: »» Open – “How is it going?” »» Probing – “What do you mean by that?” »» Reflective – “Why is it difficult?” »» Closed – “Have you completed your homework?” »» Don’t ask cued questions – “You’ve no problem with that, have you?” »» Use triangulation – put the same question to more than one person separately

10 Key Principles »» Assessment for learning should be part of effective planning of teaching and learning »» Assessment for learning should focus on how students learn »» Assessment for learning should be recognised as central to classroom practice »» Assessment for learning should be regarded as a key professional skill for teachers »» Assessment for learning should be sensitive and constructive because any assessment has an emotional impact »» Assessment for learning should take account of the importance


»» »»


of learner motivation Assessment for learning should promote commitment to learning goals and a shared understanding of the criteria by which they are assessed. Learners should receive constructive guidance about how to improve Assessment for learning develops learners’ capacity for self-assessment so that they can become reflective and selfmanaging Assessment for learning should recognise the full range of achievements of all learners

During the TEEP Learning Cycle it is important to allow the contributions made by students to become part of the learning process for all members of the group. An effective way of providing stimulus for presenting new information, constructing meaning and applying to demonstrate is to have a ‘Learning’ or ‘Working’ wall. This can be used to display thoughts, ideas or even responses to tasks. During the early weeks of the TEEP process at St Chad’s we have seen these walls become a feature of our classrooms and here are a few examples taken from Art, Business and ICT.

We are currently living in an age when technology is radically changing the world of work and the lives of our young people. Schools need to embrace and adapt to this change, grasping the opportunities it brings, or risk creating an obsolete generation, unprepared for the rapidly glogalising workplace. Many schools and their partners have already recognised this and are leading the way in the development and adoption of opportunities that technology brings. It is important also that we draw on the enthusiasm for and knowledge of technology which young people demonstrate, and use this to keep our schools up to date. At St Chad’s we have always valued the contribution technology brings to enhance teaching and learning and as a key element of TEEP we will ensure that IT remains an effective part of our

work. We are also committed to maintaining the stateof-the-art network system which currently supports teachers and students in their quest to improve.

SUGGESTED RESEARCH Literacy? That’s someone else’s job, isn’t it? This is a book for all teachers on how to make explicit to students those things we can do implicitly. In the Teachers’ Standards it states that all teachers must demonstrate an understanding of, and take responsibility for, promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy, and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject. In The Secret of Literacy, David Didau inspires teachers to embrace the challenge of improving students’ life chances through improving

their literacy. Topics include: Why is literacy important?, Oracy improving classroom talk, How should we teach reading? How to get students to value writing, How written feedback and marking can support literacy.

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The Steep Learning Curve - Issue One  

TEEP Bulletin by St Chad's High School

The Steep Learning Curve - Issue One  

TEEP Bulletin by St Chad's High School