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Teaching and Learning Bulletin Issue Thirteen - January 2016

CONTENTS A Year of TEEP Preparation for Learning Mathematics Impact Workshops Accessing the Exam Papers The Benefits of Technology

Design by Adam Tate


Following on from two series of walking talking mocks and assessment weeks the next phase of preparation for the final examinations began with maths impact workshops. These involved two days of intensive sessions delivered by staff from the maths departments at St Chad’s and our support school, All Hallows and were designed to help students gain confidence and identify areas of the syllabus that they felt required ‘impact’ work. The workshops used the PiXL Maths App which is an application which allows students to access videos and tasks which work on the PiXL principles of diagnosis,

therapy and testing. After completing an online assessment students were given an online report outlining their strengths and areas for development. For each question within an online assessment, there were therapy videos for each skill. Students could watch these to help them close the gap in their knowledge. After diagnosing an issue and watching the therapy videos, students could return to the same question and come up with the correct answer. The Maths workshops were so successful that they were quickly followed by a series of English workshops designed to have a similar impact and response from students. Building confidence and improving performance can take time, but the programme put in place to ensure the current Year 11 cohort have every opportunity to improve is definitely having an impact.

need to learn. The Personalised Learning Checklist is a process. It is about diagnosis, using themes and elements of the programme of study as a checklist both to teach against and to track the progress of each individual student. It is about therapy, using the checklist as a resource to improve student know-how and it is about testing, using the checklist

to test know-how and confirm understanding. As we approach the summer examination season it is important that students receive personalised learning checklists in subjects to enable them to focus their learning to ensure that they are able to maximise their progress. By understanding what we need to know we can perform better when we are faced with the demands of tests and examinations.

Personalised Learning Checklists Suggested Reading

Personalised Learning Checklists

A Personalised Learning Checklist is a tool for students and teachers to monitor and track where their learning is at. They can be based on skills that students need to learn throughout a particular course or based on the knowledge or learning objectives that students

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




January saw the opening of the annual BETT Conference which was launched by the Education Secretary Nicky Morgan. In her opening speech she identified the role that technology can play in helping schools to improve the performance of their students saying ‘there is undoubtedly a place for technology in helping to raise standards, whether it is helping teachers plan lessons or allowing schools to better measure pupil progress’. This was an interesting comment

as this came at a time when departments at St Chad’s began to pilot the use of e-planners to help to co-ordinate the lessons and resources being used. In her speech Mrs Morgan also announced plans to begin prototyping new systems for data collection - making it easier for schools to share data with the department of education. Again this is a move that staff would welcome if it freed up time to focus on teaching and learning.

In November 2014 the teaching staff of St Chad’s embarked on a journey. Many of them were experienced teachers who had a proven track record of teaching to a high standard, but it was clear that if the school was to move forward and create an outstanding reputation for teaching and learning all staff would need to focus on a new approach. Enter the TEEP programme. Following a series of training days staff were soon teaching lessons clearly Literacy is an important part of learning. At St. Chad’s Literacy is focused on the TEEP framework. embedded into the TEEP cycle to make sure it is at the heart of Teaching Over the year that followed the and Learning. The image shows one example of how literacy is used to school saw the introduction of engage our learners at the start of lessons in the Prepare for Learning working walls, flipped learning phase of the TEEP cycle. Find the hidden words in the picture below. styles, achievement ladders, TEEP PEEPs, collaborative learning and walking talking mocks. There have been TEEP champions leading the way in departments, more pupil voice and a better approach to parental engagement. We have realised that success is a journey and not a destination and established clear methods of preparing students for learning and allowing them to think.


As new staff joined our team in September 2015 they too adopted the TEEP approach and now some fourteen months along the path to improvement all that remains is to convince Ofsted that we are on the way to outstanding.

ACCESSING THE EXAM PAPERS Examinations papers can be demanding enough, but if you lack the necessary literacy skills to effectively read the questions set then you are already at a disadvantage. It is good therefore to see an initiative being introduced initially through the Geography department, but ultimately one which will be delivered to all students during an extended tutor session which will look at developing an understanding of ‘command words’.

The table on the right contains a list of the most commonly used command words, but it is envisaged that by analysing across subjects it will be possible to identify the five most commonly used as a starting point for these sessions. It will be extremely interesting to see the impact that this will have over time.

Command Word Account (for) Annotate Comment Compare


Discuss (using a case study)

Evaluate Explain

Identify Outline (one way/why) Suggest (why/give reasons for) Summarise With the help of a diagram With the help of Figure X/case study

Meaning Give an explanation / reasons for. Similar to ‘explain’ Add labels, brief comments or notes to a diagram, photograph or map to aid description or explanation. Present an informed opinion/say what you think about an issue. Describe the similarities and differences of at least two things by using comparative words such as ‘similar’, ‘larger’, ‘faster’ or ‘more.’ Give the main characteristics of something. For example, if describing a landform (e.g. a waterfall) say what it looks like, give some indication of size or scale, what it is made of, and where it is in relation to something else. Bring forward the important points of or set out both sides of an argument, for and against, and come to a conclusion. (Where use of a case study is expected, then specifics from the case study should be given to support the important points.) Pick out good and bad points and make judgements / judge from available evidence Give reasons why something happens. Answers should set out the causes of something and/or the factors which influence its form/nature. Use ‘explain’ words e.g. ‘because’, ‘therefore’, ‘as a result’, ‘consequently.’ Similar to ‘Give/Name/state’, which require candidates to answer briefly and are usually only worth 1 mark. Provide a brief account of relevant information/summarise the main points of something. Similar to ‘Explain’. More than one reason should be given. Give the main points briefly without detail The answer should consist of both a written answer and a diagram to address the question Answers should explicitly refer to specifics in the given figure or case study.





‘The evidence is convincing: when schools, families and community groups work together to support learning, children tend to do better in school, stay in school longer and like school more’ (Henderson and Mapp 2002). It is difficult to construct an argument against the fundamentals of this statement and clearly ensuring that learning is triangular, that is it involves the student, the teacher and their parents or guardians lies at the core of our teaching and learning programme. Understandably parents today face huge demands on their time with ever changing work patterns and increasingly stressful family lives, but we constantly remind parents of the need to be fully engaged in the education of their children through parent consultation days and our efforts to engage with them through improved parent voice opportunities. This poster on the right is our latest attempt to encourage parents to join the St Chad’s Parent Voice Council.




Contact Mrs Janet Lawrence, Chair of Governors, for more information on the following email address:

SUGGESTED READING In this book we can read the findings of Alistair Smith who visited 20 of the top performing state schools to investigate ‘what makes them successful?’. He asked the same questions in each school and in this book he shares the findings. He focuses on core purpose, student outcomes, learner engagement, classroom teaching, roles and responsibilities, professional development, managing data and the school as a community. High Performers is an easily read and impressively practical ‘how to’ guide full of ‘tips’ that draw on original research. It helps those


who run schools to better understand the concept of distributed leadership and creates a model which will help everyone within a school understand their own unique purpose and ensure that they feel empowered and accountable for delivering it. This is not a book solely for school leaders, High Performers will provide teachers at all levels of their professional careers with advice they can act upon to help make their school a top performing institution.

The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue 13 January 2016  
The STEEP Learning Curve - Issue 13 January 2016