Meet the T&L Team – How you can get involved this year

Today, in a special Teaching and Learning briefing, the members of the Teaching and Learning Team introduced themselves and their roles for the year. Read on to find out more about the various foci of the team, and how Beaumont staff can get more involved with T&L.

Bring Your Own Device and New Technologies

Andy Gray

Role

To share and demonstrate ideas on how mobile devices and ‘new technologies’ can be used to enhance and extend Teaching and Learning at Beaumont.

Aims for 2015 – 2016

  1. Create a document/booklet containing examples of apps, websites and platforms, categorised according to the following key areas of Teaching and Learning: feedback, assessment, revision, differentiation and collaboration and communication. Ideas have been (and hopefully will continue to be) submitted by a wide range of Beaumont staff.
  2. Seek feedback from departments with regards to which apps, websites and platforms they wish to utilise/learn more about. Find time in department meetings and/or INSET to demonstrate and provided training.
  3. Explore the use of Google Apps for Education, including Google Classroom (with James Goddard). Google Classroom serves as a platform for teachers to create and organise assignments quickly, provide feedback efficiently and easily communicate with their classes. Works alongside Google’s popular suite of productivity and storage applications.
  4. Set up a working group to test and feedback on the effectiveness of Google Apps for Education and Google Classroom. This is currently in its early stages of testing – more details will follow on how and why to get involved.

New Ideas for Everyday Teaching

Nat Moody

Role

  1. To form a working party to experiment with new ideas, and then share their experience with colleagues and the wider teaching community. The group will draw on various resources e.g. T&L library, colleagues to get new ideas, and use them within lesson where appropriate once every term.
  2. Following the trial of the new ideas, members of staff will be asked to write a review (in which they should provide some context of the lesson and group) which can be shared via the T&L blog, Bring and Buys, resource board and possibly through Heads of Subject.

Higher-Level Thinking and Challenge 

Fiona Pinkerton

Role

Development and research of new strategies to encourage students’ higher-level thinking, and to challenge them in the classroom. To provide resources, ideas and support for Beaumont teachers to allow them to implement new strategies in the classroom and in lesson planning, with the main aim being to support students in gaining a better understanding of how they learn.

Aims for 2015-2016

  1. Meet with a group of teachers, across a range of subjects, to introduce ideas and feedback from students so far, with the aim for Beaumont teachers to then trial their preferred ideas in the classroom. Meeting: 5/10/15 in Lab 42.
  2. During the course of the year I will email those teachers who attended the above meeting with resources, new things to trial out and to check in and see how things are going.
  3. During the year there will be a following two meetings in the Spring term and Two in the summer term. This will provide an opportunity for the group to discuss and share successes and failures.
  4. There will also be opportunities during the year for the group to observe one another; this will allow teachers to see how strategies are implemented differently in different classrooms.
  5. I hope that collectively during the course of the year we will collate resources and ideas, and make improvements to these strategies in order to share them with the rest of the staff.

What students are saying so far

“When Miss Pinkerton showed us some of these learning methods it helped me to understand what is going on. It is not all in the teachers’ hands. It’s given me a sense of control over my own learning.” Niamh (Year 12 Chemist St Michaels Garston)

“Using the hexagons helped me to understand how to link the ideas together. It enabled me to answer the harder question and get full marks.” Will Mattin  (Year 10 Chemist Beaumont)

“The hardest questions in the exams are the ones that seem to have nothing to do with what we have learnt. When Miss used the cause and effect map to break down what I needed to put in my answer, I started to make the links and finally understood what the question wanted me to answer.” Amy Cowan (Year 9 Beaumont)


Smarter Marking and Assessment

Fiona Rosler

Role

To examine and apply various time-saving marking strategies to try and reduce workload of marking, whilst still providing enough feedback for students to progress.

Aims for 2015-2016

  1. Trial various marking and assessment strategies with my own classes to examine any advantages or disadvantages.
  2. Look at examples of marking from other departments to examine what works best for specific subjects. Departments will be contacted about this in the coming weeks.
  3. Provide ideas and advice at the November INSET to help staff to find a system that will work for them and which fits around their schedule.
  4. Collect feedback and opinions from a variety of staff and subjects to help advance these ideas throughout the year.

Developing Numeracy Skills

Fiona Rosler

Aims for 2015-2016

For all students to be able to understand and work with numbers in any subject. They should recognise when it is necessary or appropriate to use their numeracy skills and be able to apply these skills in various contexts outside of the Maths classroom.

This will be achieved by:

  1. Working initially with the Science, Geography and PE departments. Heads of Department have already been contacted.
  2. Looking at areas on SOWs which already involve numeracy and examining how/when these topics are taught – are they consistent with maths lessons?
  3. Attending department meetings for these subjects to discuss teaching methods and consistency with methods and keywords.
  4. Running Maths Week activities as last year.

To get involved, please speak to the member of the team responsible for each focus.

T&L Video Challenge (4) – Where were percentages used?

The Teaching and Learning Challenge this term coincided with Maths week, so naturally we aimed to include something mathematical across the curriculum. The challenge was to use percentages in your lesson – no matter what the subject. This is what some of our staff got up to:

Percentages in PE

“Students were asked to peer assess each others’ gymnastics performances and I had written a list of criteria on the board that had to be included. Students were then given a target board with 50%, 75% and 100% written on them in different sections of the target board. After watching each others’ performances, students had to indicate how much of the criteria was included in the performance. Students said they found this an easy way to feedback to each other and make a quick decision over something that they would normally take longer over. It also encouraged quick and easy self reflection.” Elena Dundjerovic (PE, Business and Economics).

Percentages in Languages

“I used percentages to jazz up a year 9 topic – talking about how much money they save and what they are saving up for. I wanted the pupils to engage with the vocabulary in a different way, and also hoped to increase their engagement. The previous lesson they had done some speaking practice and carried out a survey. The following lesson we looked at analysing statistics using percentages, based on a comprehension starter that I made. I think they found it challenging, especially as they weren’t expecting to be working out percentages in a German lesson. But by the end of the lesson they were fully on board and proud of the work they had done. It’s definitely something that I will try again, but next time I will think a little more about differentation from a Maths perspective, as I was surprised at how some of them struggled with the percentages.  It was, however, nice to see different pupils flourishing in the lesson because they could show off their Maths ability a little more, whereas they normally struggle with German.” Beth Ashton (MFL).

Percentages in English

“I got students to use percentages to work out how much of the Language GCSE each exam question was worth. The exam (total) is 60% which is a bit scary, so we broke it down to more manageable amounts.  It helped to show them where they needed particular focus as some questions had greater weighting towards the final outcome.” Frances Jackson (English).

“I simply asked students to convert their latest controlled assessment score out of 30 into a percentage. Two diligent girls found this straightforward as they scored 100%” Michael Tatham (English).

Percentages in Psychology

“We are doing the topic of statistical analysis in Psychology A2 at the moment and were discussing the common level of significance we use in psychological research, which is p˂0.05. The point the students needed to understand was that this means we can only ever be 95% confident that our results are not due to chance and there is always a 5% margin of error. This means that there is a 1 in 20 chance that our results are not actually statistically significant even if our statistical test says they are. This is all in the context of knowing which statistical test is appropriate for the kind of data and research being undertaken, which appears on our final A2 paper.” Carly Thomas (Psychology).

Teaching and Learning Challenge Video 4 – Percentages

As part of Numeracy week (9 – 13) March) the next Beaumont Teaching and Learning Video Challenge has a distinctly mathematical theme. So brush up your percentage skills and have a look at the ideas in the video from Fiona Rosler.

The Video Challenge slip is in the resources section on the home page (and for Beaumont Staff it will arrive in your pigeon hole).

So, in Challenge week, the aim is to:

T&L Challenge video1. Watch the video and do the challenge

2. Get a student in your class to sign the Challenge Slip (click on the picture for a link to the challenge slip)

3. Post the slip into the Challenge Box in the Staff Room

4. Have a chance of winning a ‘star’ prize the following week if their slip is selected from the Challenge box.

 

Remember to share your ideas from the challenge week by sending a  couple of sentences about what you did and maybe a picture and we can pull them all together in a future post.

Challenge week starts on Monday 9 March.

As mentioned in the video, listed below are some subject specific ideas for this challenge. We’ve chosen subjects in which it might not be immediately obvious where you can incorporate percentages in your lessons. If none of the ideas appeal to you, don’t forget that even small things like having students calculate assessment scores, examine grade boundaries or even take a short class survey are all positive ways of encouraging students to use their mathematical skills in other subjects.

English – Encourage students to vary their writing by counting the number of times a certain word or sentence starter is repeated within a paragraph or piece of writing. This amount can then be expressed as a percentage of the total words or sentences. This could also be applied to texts that are being studied by looking at repetition within various authors’ works.

Languages – A variety of class surveys could be done in the target language, incorporating the keywords of the current topic – e.g. Family, shoppin, travel. The results could be expressed as percentages and even put into a pie chart if you’re feeling creative! There could also be a “beat the teacher” challenge where the student comes up with a maths question based around percentages, but with the numbers written out in the target language, e.g siebzehn instead of 17.

Geography – A variety of class surveys could be done to gauge reactions to current events with results expressed as percentages – the students could work out the percentages themselves! Other relevant areas include population statistics of various countries, the natural resources present in various countries, the percentage of different components that make up soil and the percentages of different gasses in the atmosphere.

History – Percentages of casualties in wars from different countries and looking at how population stats have changes over time. Students could be asked to imagine they lived in a certain time period and asked to “vote” on various issues. Results of the vote expressed as percentages and a discussion where students must back up their arguments for or against an issue, substantiating claims with what they have learned.

Music – Looking at how record companies make profits and how they divide up profits between artists. Linking half beats and eighth beats to fractions and subsequently linking fractions to percentages.

Art – A somewhat basic way of incorporating some numeracy into your lessons would be to have an informal discussion with students about the percentages of different colours they would need to mix to create new colours. This could be done before, during or after a painting lesson – for example if you want a light purple colour would there be a higher percentage of red or blue? Would it matter? What percentage would white make up? Simple questions like this is a great way of encouraging students to think about mathematical concepts in a different context to what they are used to.

Textiles – Think about percentage profits (or losses) for fashion designers – why are some clothes sold for so much more than others? What makes a Primark dress different to a Vera Wang? Could discuss what kind of costs designers need to take into account, what kind of market they are appealing to, what kind of materials they use…and how does all of this affect their sales and ultimately their mark-up percentages?

RE/Ethics – Opinion polls on various issues, looking at results as percentages and having students back up their arguments. Looking at zakat as one of the pillars of Islam and calculating percentages that would be given to charity (thanks to CGr for this!).

Food tech – Examining and discussing nutritional content of foods and relating to the recommended daily allowances as percentages.

IT – Surveys/polls looking at proportion of people using different brands of PC, laptop, tablets. Looking at percentages of various age groups that use different social media sites.