Durrington TeachMeet 2013


On Thursday we held our second TeachMeet here at Durrington.  The table cloths had been hired, posh new water bottles bought, prizes collected and new oak lectern constructed.  The hall was soon full, the tea and cake were in full flow and the presenters  were ready to go!


They didn’t disappoint.  It was a great evening full of pedagogical gold and inspiration.  Presentations from the evening can be viewed below.

Thanks to Matt McKee – @matt_mckeeSA (Shoreham Academy) for the summary of each one.

1. Josie Maitland – The Angmering School (@ukcreativeed)

Great work at tackling a range of disaffected students, with impressive and measurable outcomes – lots of depth and good thinking and research behind the work

Inspire: Engaging Challenging Students

2. Lianne Allison – The Angmering School (@lianne_allison)

Details on growth and fixed mindsets – and how praise can make the ‘point’ of
what we do the praise and reward itself – rather than the skill of resilience,
accepting difficulty and failures on the way to success and the challenge of the
work. Summed up perfectly in the story of pizza hut in the states offering a
slice of pizza for reading a book, caused smart students to read small easy
books and so get lots of free pizza…  so the need to be careful what and how we
praise and the culture it reinforces to get the outcomes we want is key.

Developing independence by avoiding the pitfalls of praise.

3. Matthew Fairbairn – Durrington High School (@2ndarymaths)

From a maths perspective but links to any subject requiring analysis / consideration of data – as I understood it using excel to take the leg work out of calculations, and allow a deeper look at the data and patterns, logic and layout of their thinking – so they can easily manipulate data to think about what it shows and how to repeat that ownership and maths confidence.

Computer based problem solving

4. Lucy Darling – Durrington High School (@DarlingDurr)

Excellent ideas about how to use questioning and P4C – philosophy for children – and its ideas to promote questions from children and deeper wider thinking and learning “stimulus ->story-> concepts-> questions”  Also the original research behind Mike Gourlays ‘in the pit’ for those that remember his presentation

Developing questioning and P4C

5. James Gardner – Durrington High School (@Langnut)

Excellent – something I want to try – in essence he got pupils to video their
MFL conversations and then do subtitling (using http://dotsub.com/), or vice versa, but also showed us how it can be used to support literacy by adding emphasis and clarity to
conversations and keywords, alongside extra hidden and humour and meanings –
need to see the videos to know really. Watch the whole clip here – it’s only a minute or so, you probably need to click the little envelope icon at the bottom of the video to turn on the captions.

6. Mel Walton – The Regis School (@WaltonMel)

Literally a dog – Mel’s dog is used in school as everything from someone to read to, to a peer mediation negotiator, tear wiper and motivational tool – Mel’s research on this is now part of her MA.  Summed up with a lots of sighs when she said ‘some hard to reach pupils speak to pepper and say ‘at least I’ve got you’ or ‘you don’t call me names’.

Pepper Power – How a dog can transform learning

7. Ashley Harrold – Blatchington Mill School (@BMS_MrHarrold)

Brilliant – simple and in depth ideas on this.  A great example of how many excellent ideas can be gathered from twitter and blogs.

How to save time marking

8. Matt McKee – The Shoreham Academy (@matt_mckeeSA )

A great presentation with lots of practical ideas on how to develop independence in our students.

Developing Independent Learning

9. Chloe Gardner – Durrington High School (@ChloeMuriel)

Lots of brilliant ideas about what and how of blogging – including ‘quad blogging’ 4 schools working on similar themes and commenting on them across 4 countries – and peer marking of some geography work between a Durrington class and a class in Thailand.

Students as Bloggers

10. Rob Carpenter – Oak Grove College (@djtoadie)

An incredibly positive community book sharing scheme from some sci fi self confessed geeks that has gone national, and a font especially for dyslexics that’s free, that helps to anchor the text to the page and avoid some of the classic bd and pq confusions that calibri and comic sans have, http://opendyslexic.org/ also great for weaker readers and tired readers as it really does lead the eye along the line – try it – looks cool too.

Target Who

Open Dyslexic

11. David Rogers – The Priory School (@daviderogers)

Lots of great ideas about ways of letting go of the reins and getting creativity out of pupils. Good blog too. http://daviderogers.blogspot.co.uk/ My favourite was probably the summary lesson at the end of a topic on Iceland titled ‘Iceland doesn’t exist’.  Pupils have to prove this was incorrect.

The art of (un)planning

12. John McKee – Patcham High School (@JBHMcKee)

Much impressive work on how to make student voice more real and more powerful than as he put it ‘what do you think of the canteen and how are the toilets’ – including how students and teachers are working together to plan learning in ‘Learning Partnerships’.

Making student voice meaningful

lightningThe evening was rounded off beautifully be Stephen Drew, Headteacher at Brentwood County High School (@StephenDrew72).

Stephen used the visual above to illustrate the role we have as teachers – protecting young people from themselves and the turmoil of the teenage years!

Matt describes Stephen’s speech below:

An inspiring reminder of why we do what we do.  Making the point brilliantly that we are experts and can do it fine thanks – despite what the Daily Mail and others might suggest! He stressed the difference we make to so many moments of pupils lives on a daily basis.  There was also some permission to break the rules constructively and find your own way!

In short, our job is to ‘help students do the right thing’:

do it

A fantastic close to a very special evening. Stephen left us all inspired and reminded about why we do the job we do!


As well as 12 inspiring presentations and a brilliant keynote speech, attendees were also asked to write down and share one ‘pedagogical nugget’!  This is what they came up with:

(Un)planning – Independence / Challenge

Do not have pre destined outcome for students but allow them to work collaboratively and choose how to present evidence of their learning.

 Poster plenary – Feedback

Students ‘posting’ completed work on class wall for all to see / evaluate.

-Sp & L practice – Literacy

At morning reg you can play your piece of music (3mins) if you can talk about it in front of class for one minute first. Talk about it, how it makes you feel, or a story connected to it.

 Collaborative learning – Questioning / Independence / challenge

Use collaborative team work to use ‘enquiry’ in English and art. Encourages students to think about a topic / issue and share ideas which can then lead off into individual outcomes. Students given the chance to be each other’s resource.

 Peer coaching – Independence / Challenge

Simply, rather than setting extension tasks for the ‘more able’ students, have them explain tasks to ‘less able’ students or help them (seating plan). This extends their learning and empowers them motivating their subsequent participation.

 Quick quiz me! / Mingle

Give each child a post it notes. Ask them to write a questions on one side, the answer on the other (check them!). Give them a time limit in which to ‘mingle’ and quiz as many people as possible. They keep a tally of correct and incorrect answers. Either collect in for you won future planning or discuss the outcomes as a class or in small groups.

Cyber teacher – Independence

Powerpoint set up with all the information and guidance pupils might need. Pupils each have a ‘question token’ which they can exchange with teacher for an answer. Pupils must then work collaboratively to complete a task e.g. research. Teacher cannot answer questions (unless given token) and pupils must use board to guide them.

 Quick draw – Challenge

Set questions increasing in difficulty. Get students into groups of 4 (with or without info resources). Introduce it as a race to get through all the questions. Answer one at a time, bring answer to teacher. Teacher decides, if correct, they get the next question, if wrong, they must go back to the group and work out what they need to do to get it right. First group to get through all the questions wins. Preparation: cut up questions for each group.

5 minute lesson plan – Feedback / Independence / Challenge

Helps to set out lesson ‘story’ – good to give to TA’s and LSA’s to guide through lesson. Ensures flow through episodes and seriously easy planning!

 Treasure hunt – Independence / Challenge

Challenge students to collect relevant information and use it to work out answers to an ‘open’ challenge. Students work in teams to complete and upload answers to Socrative which assesses for you.

 Solo Taxonomy – Feedback

A way of analysing the degree of sophistication shown in a piece of work.

Hinge questions – Questioning / Challenge

Half way through the lesson, gather the clan together and ask a hinge question. Consolidates previous learning and simultaneously challenges learners to move forward and progress i.e. how can I … what could I do? Questions to improve performance.

 Feed forward – Feedback

After assessments (summarative) pupils names are on screen in 2 columns – the whole register. They have post it notes – on one side they place a note over their name with what they did well. On the other side they place a note over their name with what key still have to work on. It is clear which students have not contributed and it allows us o see patterns in what topic the whole class can do and if there is a knowledge gap in the room.

Tarsia – Independence / Challenge / Literacy

Use statements either from a book / notes, or for revision. Split statements in half and input into Tarsia programme (free download from Heimleich laboratory) e.g. the month is … / … June. Tarsia shape is produced e.g. triangle. Statement are mixed up and students use books / notes to order statements and produce final shape. Extension – make up own Tarsia grids using their own statements. Effective as a revision tool.

 Teacher / peer feedback – Feedback

Students need to receive regular feedback in order to be aware of their main strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, this can help develop students’ confidence and they can then set their own personalised targets. Peer feedback also enables students to work together and give / receive advice. They can than work together to aid their progression and improvement.

 Round robin – Feedback / Independence / Challenge

Have 5 colour groups of different mixed abilities (dynamics of tables). Need 5 A2 boards. Divide into 5 colour groups. Analyse a certain ‘product’ (could be picture or an actual object) and put sticky notes on your groups colour with a certain point of analysis on it. Split up the different points of analysis by how many people in the group. Give them 30 seconds. Move to the next table, do the same and so on. Go back to original table and present everyone’s ideas – best bits.

 Pit-stop and learning journey – Independence

Utilising a step-by-step ‘learning journey’ for students to follow across a lesson in order to meet the learning objective. Returning to this journey – that would normally have 5 – 6 points / destinations on it – throughout the lesson allows students to recognise the progress they are making. Deploying a ‘learning journey’ of success criteria for a whole unit of work / assessment objective and also allow it to form the basis for students to be able to formulate meaningful targets, rather than the usual ‘write more’ or ‘write in greater detail’. If students struggle with understanding the link between progress and targets, the analogy of learning being a race track, and the learning objective is a chequered flag can be helpful. Targets an then be formulated by suggesting a ‘pit-stop’ where students decide, using the ‘learning-journey’ for that lesson / SOW. Where they have got to, and what they need to do to get to the ‘chequered flag’ through the questions what petrol do we need to add to make sure we get to the learning objectives.

 Students as bloggers – Independence / Other

Commentary on lessons / progress. Sharing resources / activities with other schools. Sharing pupil work. Articles  / countdown to exams. Student voice etc.

 P4C – Independence

Picture – question – concept – discussion point.

P4C – Questioning

Stimulus given to students. Either ask questions to identify concepts or give concept ‘light bulbs’ or ‘clouds’. Pupils work in groups to formulate questions. Silent vote on the ‘best’ question and then enquiry using the chosen question. Evaluation of enquiry – pupils are encouraged to identify the skills they have developed and those they need to work on to ensure the enquiry moves forward and does not become a ‘chat’ about an interesting question.

 Surprise box – Other

Can be pooled out at any point in the lesson to help to engage students. Use a box, the size colour can vary depending on task or day of the week. The box will contain an item to do with the theme of the lesson (students shoud guess by the end of he lesson what is in the box); a treat with the name of the student to reward an effort or achievement; sets (differentiated) of cards to sort or match; various skeleton diagrams to describe a concept (can be pulled out by student randomly or targeted); whatever you want to put in it.

Hinge question – Questioning / Literacy

Can be used for definitions / concepts e.g. 4 definitions (graded or levelled) don’t show yet. Students choose and justify one answer. Then reveal which grade – be honest. Unpick why it is A / B / C / D. Emphasis the precision of language, key words / concepts.

 Creating a marking dialogue – Feedback

All my marking is done in purple pen and the students have to respond to questions / targets on their work in green pen. This then clearly shows they’ve engaged with my feedback and evidences progress more effectively than I have managed before.

Post-it notes – Challenge

Students are given a word an on a post-it they have to write down description of word then pair and decide on one definition using both individual and repeat the process by learning with a different pair. ‘To gain a team ultimate definition’ each share with class to come up with a group answer. Share correct answer with students.

 100 word challenge – Literacy

This allows all abilities to shine as it is not to daunting for the support group, once they realise how little a hundred words is and the more able are challenged b up levelling the words / phrases they have to / choose to use. Eventually all of the children want to either write or look for effective key vocabulary. We use our class blog to promote our writing but especially ‘100WC’.

 QR odes – Independence

With small children – put up QR code of website so children can scan with netbooks / Ipad or similar / webcam on any computer, to enable quick searching (you could put on sheet of IWB). Red laser – could be programme you are looking for. Can use on displays with parents around school, on newsletter to promote sites parent can use, apps too … the possibilities are endless!!!

 The progress checker – Questioning / Other

Used to assess individual progress throughout a lesson. At 4 points during lesson students rate their understanding out of 10 to show their progress / learning journey. Can be related / assessed against objective, or (preferably) outcomes or a task. They may find it difficult to begin with, but are given the chance to improve. Works well with an exam Q closely linked to outcomes of the lesson. Feedback numbers in RAG way if appropriate.

No names but still great….

Students draw a box at the beginning of every lesson. Linked to learning objective. Students give themselves a mark out of 10 for understanding LO. Put in box 1. You can discuss why they have chosen this number. Boxes 2 and 3 review throughout lesson returning to learning objective. Box 4 at the end of the lesson. Show progress and allows students to think about how well they understand Los.

Tables take turns to be helpers and monitors of books equipment each week. Week 1 – table 1 and so on. Smaller tables then do rows of pupils, they start to learn their routine / place.

FISH feedback – Train students to provide feedback that is FISH through getting them to help you draw a better fish! Ensure all their feedback is FISH.

Ask a question – have waiting time – ask a student you select – ask another student to enlarge on the answer. Poise, Pause, Pounce, Bounce.

Top set class: 1 week homework’s, choice of task given 2 from me, 1 discussed and created by them in response to mine. Their examples ranged from ‘design and build a pylon’ to ‘draw a speed-time graph for Temple run’. They loved the freedom, got engaged in each topic and couldn’t wait to share their work. I got inspirational homework tasks planned for me for me to give out to next year’s class.

Students are aware of their target grades and how to achieve them. My students work in booklets (textiles) and on the bottom of each relevant page for that lesson are their levels and what they need to do to achieve that level in the lesson e.g. what they need to do to achieve a level 5 etc.

sal sdrThank you to everybody involved for making this such a great event!


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3 Responses to Durrington TeachMeet 2013

  1. Sue marooney says:

    Brilliant and inspiring work colleagues. This is the way forward for our profession, working with like minded people, discussing what we love and do best, learning and teaching!
    I so look forward to seeing some of these ideas in action.
    Sue Marooney

  2. MrHarrold says:

    Reblogged this on Ashley Harrold and commented:
    A great overview of the TeachMeet I talked at held at Durrington High School in Worthing.

  3. Pingback: Educating Yorkshire | Class Teaching

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