Let’s bring an end to boring INSET

By Sue Lutz

After a buzzing MFL Teachmeet on Wednesday 3rd June, I headed home to relieve my babysitter, a friend who is also a teacher. On hearing that I had run a twilight training session, he started to sympathise because, at his school, there was a lot of negativity regarding INSET sessions. He described “death by powerpoint” and irrelevant training sessions, which I had to tell him just don’t happen at Beaumont. It is a real privilege to work in a school where there is such a positive culture surrounding development of teaching and learning. The twilight Teaching and Learning INSET sessions are relaxed and enjoyable, being in a small group format and mixing staff from a variety of departments so that you can get a real range of ideas. Far from the grumbling described by my friend, my Teaching and Learning group was characterised by laughter. It is a shame that too many teachers still experience training where they are simply lectured at, an approach they would never countenance with their own classes, when there is so much more to be gained by having a chance to talk about teaching with as wide a range of colleagues as possible. Let’s hope that the Beaumont T&L model of show and tell sessions, Teachmeets and generating enthusiasm in all sorts of ways will be spread across as many schools as possible, bringing an end to boring INSET.

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Beaumont MFL TeachMeet

By Kirsty Wrightson

mfl TM2 (1)On Wednesday 3rd June, Beaumont MFL department was delighted to welcome 45 delegates from 15 centres in the area to its second annual MFL Teachmeet.

After coffee, cake and a little conversation, the presentations began.  On the agenda were topics as diverse as “Starting an Exchange from Scratch”, “Collaborative Learning Structures”, “Keep Fit French”, “Life Beyond Levels” and many more.  Top of the bill was guest speaker from Routes into Languages, Sarah Schechter, who provided yet more fresh ideas, resources and networking opportunities. Mfl TM2

After the event, conversations continued in the more informal surroundings of The Speckled Hen.  A T&L hub followed by pub grub – we’re looking forward to the next instalment already.

Party time at the MFL TeachMeet

By Katie Unwin

mflteachmeet 3On Wednesday 4th June Beaumont School held its first languages specific Teachmeet, led by Sue Lutz.  It was lovely to see some former Beaumont MFL teachers amongst the 35 teachers attending the event from 15 schools across Hertfordshire, sharing Teaching and Learning ideas for MFL lessons.  The evening began with the opportunity to chat, mingle and share ideas and experiences, fuelled by plenty of tea and cake.  The presentations which followed addressed a range of issues including assessment feedback, increasing target language use by pupils, using online resources in lessons and lots of ideas for making language lessons engaging and fun.  mflteachmeet 1Indeed there was a party feel to the evening as we heard ideas of how to make revision bunting and how to adapt popular games such as musical chairs, pass the parcel and hide and seek in order to practise questions and answers.  Another creative idea was the use of flipcams to record pupils speaking about themselves whilst in disguise so that the rest of the class could be challenged to guess who they were.  MFL teachers will now be hunting out their sets of Jenga to practise vocabulary and structures in a fun way, their multi-coloured post-it notes for starters, plenaries and self-assessments, and trying out an array of new websites to make their lessons more interactive. There was a buzz of enthusiasm from the teachers who attended the event, listening to new ideas, chatting, sharing thoughts and trying to remember the former currency of Finland to win the half-time quiz.  I certainly came away feeling inspired and energised for the forthcoming half-term, armed with lots of new contacts and ideas to try out in my lessons.  I look forward to the next Teachmeet!mflteachmeet 2

TeachMeet Beaumont – 10 July 2014

teachmeet - joThe 2013 TeachMeet at Beaumont School, run by the T&L team, led by Jo Cavanagh, was incredibly successful in giving an opportunity for classroom teachers, teaching assistants, deputy heads and senior teachers to come together and talk about Teaching and Learning. It may have been a dark rainy evening in November, but the enthusiasm of all present meant that everyone left with a spring in their step, keen to try something new on the following Monday morning. Jo Cavanagh has spoken at another TeachMeet explaining how we approached the event and why we felt it was important. See the video from the event, and previous posts to understand why we are keen to do it all again.

Planning for our next TeachMeet is underway. Put Thursday 10 July 2014 in your diary for an evening of chat, sharing, networking, and the best CPD you will get this year.