The Teaching and Learning Newsletter – a little late to posting this term. Lots of Teaching and Learning news to read about. The next INSET will be on 20 May and will be a marketplace of stalls from departments across the school – so look out for a round up of what has been happening in various departments this year. We are also presenting at the Achievement Show in London in June on our approach to developing enthusiasm for Teaching and Learning – more details to follow.
A group of Beaumont staff met together on Fri 13th March for a tasty lunch and a discussion about pupil presentation. We started by trying to guess/work out the national curriculum level for the national curriculum level descriptions for writing (English KS2 NC). We talked about the expectations on punctuation, grammar and spellings as well as the element on presentation.
Sarah Lofthouse then presented findings from a student questionnaire (see this questionnaire and the PowerPoint which includes graphical data). We looked at the reasons students give about whether presentation is important or not. Most students agree that presentation gives a good impression and is useful to them in terms of having clear notes to revise from.
We looked at two statements from our OFSTED report (March 2014) and thought about how important presentation may (or may not) be and what gender differences there are. We could see that student presentation at our school is generally good but there is a definite slip in presentation from boys from KS3 into KS4 (from data collected from over 100 students).
We brainstormed ideas about the ways we, as classroom teachers, could help students improve their presentation. The ideas which arose are on the last two slides of the powerpoint.
By Sarah Hosegood
Following our Learning Lunch on getting to grips with technology, several staff decided to get signed in with a twitter account. When starting out in Twitter it is always good to have a few people to initially follow. Once you have followed them for a couple of weeks you can see who they follow and re-tweet and then start to branch out. The list below gives you some people who tweet general teaching and learning ideas which can be then adapted to lots of different subjects. It is also worth looking out for people who specialise in your subject.
@Tombrush1982 – a PE teacher who posts some good teaching and learning ideas which can be adapted to other subjects
@OTeaching – authors of the books Engaging Learning and Teaching Backwards. They also work in a lot of schools and post pictures of ideas they have seen
@Wendy21brown – she attended our teachmeet and works in a variety of schools across the country. She posts lots of ideas she sees.
@hannahtyreman – is in charge of teaching and learning at Reading College
@ICTEvangelist – specialises in using technology and Google in the classroom
@FullonLearning – a member of SLT at Clevedon School and in charge of the Clevedon Learning Hub
To search for these accounts use the magnifying icon on the top right when you click on ‘home’.
By Helen Wilson
Today we held the first Learning Lunch of 2015 on “Easy IT”. I talked through some of the areas of technology which I have learnt how to use (from a “standing start” as those of you who know me or have read in one of my first blog posts – here) and which I find useful for both myself and my students. The powerpoint I used is here, or in the learning lunch resources menu on the home page. Staff were then given chance to choose one thing which they would like to have a go at using, and help was on hand from other teachers who had already become proficient in different areas. There were some new staff signed up to twitter; some informal training on blogging set up, and some introductions to the use of OneNote and Evernote – and being the start of a new year, many were keen to Be Persistent in trying to learn a new skill.
The first Teaching and Learning Newsletter is now available in hard copy with a round up of news from last term. You can find a copy of the newsletter by clicking HERE and you can find an archive of all our newsletters by looking in the resources section on the home page.
Look out for news of up and coming Teaching and Learning events this term:
Thursday 8th January: Learning Lunch (Using Technology which isn’t as hard as you think)
Wednesday 28th January: T&L INSET
Thursday 5th February: Bring and Buy
With the Blue Peter theme tune playing in the background, Beaumont Teaching and Learning held one of its most successful lunchtime events on Wednesday 19 November. Nearly 50 staff came to the first Teaching and Learning Bring and Buy, and everyone picked up an idea for a resource which they could use in their own lessons, whatever subject or key stage they taught.
The format was simple:
1. Some staff brought along a resource they had used and put it on a table to display.
2. Teachers popped in to the event for as long as they wanted, collected a shopping list, and wrote the names of the resources they were interested in and handed in their list before leaving.
3. Every member of staff had previously been given a “Beaumont Buck” which they could put into the envelope laid out in front of their favourite resource at the event (we do like a bit of healthy competition, and the resource with the most bucks in its envelope won the person who had brought it a prize).
It was fun, simple and was a lovely way to share ideas without everyone feeling as if they had to “go to a meeting”.
The resources from the event had either been created by staff or adapted from ideas found on twitter or elsewhere. We have added links to the resources in our resources section on the homepage – why not have a look and see which is your favourite?
We will hold another Bring and Buy next term and we’re hoping that even more staff will want to share a simple idea from their lessons. And for the nostalgic amongst us – surely there’s someone who has found a need for some sticky backed plastic.
The first Learning lunch of the year on 14 October was led by Jo Cavanagh on an idea which she had see at the Achievement Show in the summer. She explained how she had started a topic on renewable energy sources by showing the a picture and ask pupils what questions they would ask regarding the picture. Pupils then decided as a class which questions they would like to focus on and this informed the way the series of lessons on the topic developed. Jo explained that this motivated the pupils in their learning, as they had decided what they would like to find out. She also highlighted that the questions pupils asked led to discussions which were more challenging that she might have initially considered. Jo’s power point for the session can be found here.