Developing learning at DHS

There seems to be a variety of exciting teaching and learning developments taking place around the school at the moment, which deserve to be shared more widely.  So here follows a quick summary.

Shaun Allison


A number of departments at DHS have set up their own twitter accounts.  They are being used to:

  • Remind students about important deadlines.
  • Send students links to revision sites or other useful sites
  • Send students key bits of bitesize revision
  • Allow students to ask questions

The following departments are all active tweeters!

  • History – @BurgessHistory
  • Dance – @DHS_GCSEDance
  • Science – @DHS_Science
  • Business Studies –      @DHSBusiness
  • Maths – @Blightsmathstips
  • Geography – @DHSGeography

Durrington Learning Blog

This blog has been set up by Chloe Gardner.  It will be used to share the learning experiences of our students, across a wide variety of subjects.  Members of the Student Leadership Team have been taking it in terms to have control of the blog and write about their own learning experiences – with the full support of the teacher involved.

After 72 hours of being live, the blog had already received 172 hits!

Later this month Chloe is meeting with 10 other local schools who are interested in involving their students with the project.  If your school is interested, please contact Chloe



Edmodo is a secure online learning network that allows teachers to set students tasks for homework.  For teachers, it has a number of attractive qualities e.g. after you have set a number of questions for a task, it will tell you which ones students performed well/ not so well in – a good source of feedback.

Students like it as it looks and feels like facebook and is available on most smart phones as an app.

15 Minute Forums

There has been a great response from colleagues to lead a forum this year.  So far the schedule is looking like this:

Date Topic Led by
8 Nov Using assessment criteria to   set purposeful improvement strategies David Brading
15 Nov Using Edmodo as an engaging   homework tool Jack Tyler
22 Nov Using data to support   learning in lessons Kate Blight
6 Dec Using the ‘Learning Journey’   poster effectively. Shaun Allison
13 Dec Read or write or speak all   about it! Sue Wolstenholme
20 Dec Using web applications in   class and for homework James Gardner
10 Jan Developing oracy skills Sue Wolstenholme & Jo   Grimwood
17 Jan Using Twitter to engage   students and support learning Lizzie Wolstenholme
24 Jan Using SOLO taxonomy to   develop student learning Simona Trignano
7 Feb Using innovative technologies   to support learning Chloe Gardner
14 Feb Using exams formatively Steph Holt
7 March Effective use of assessment   criteria in a visual/practical subject Steve Bloomer
14 March Developing peer assessment   strategies Steph Holt
21 March Building positive   relationships with students Jack Corbett
28 March Effective marking and   self-assessment strategies Shane Borrett
18 April Developing the learning   environment Steph Holt
25 April Mo’s top 5 teaching tips Maurice Lynch

Learning Innovators

This year we have 4 Learning Innovators, working on a range of areas:

  • Chloe Gardner (ICT) & Lizzie Wolstenholme (PE/Dance) are both looking at how innovative technologies can be used  to support engagement and learning.   Lizzie will be looking at developing the use of iPod touch in PE lessons.  Chloe has secured some sponsorship from local businesses, that has  enabled her to buy some i-pads to develop learning in her lessons:

  • Simona Trignano (Science) is looking  at how SOLO taxonomy can be used to support student progress in thinking and learning.  A brief introduction  video explaining what SOLO is can be seen here:

  • Jack Corbett (PE) is looking at how we can assess the essential learning skills of low ability ‘stuck’ students and then develop a personalised intervention programme to support their progress.

Feel free to discuss any of these areas with the people above:

Chloe Gardner:

Lizzie Wolstenholme:

Simona Trignano:

Jack Corbett:

IRIS Connect

A small number of staff have already used IRIS – our new video observation technology.    This is potentially a very powerful self-reflection/ professional development tool – a brief outline can be seen here:

If you are interested in using IRIS, please get in touch with me at the school ( .

In order to support and develop our use of IRIS, Dr Brian Marsh (Brighton University) will be running a voluntary session on Wednesday 21st November (3.30pm) where he will be exploring with us the results of his research on this technology.  During the session he will be sharing with us how teachers and schools have got the best out of this technology.

Places can be booked via the EPD site:


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