Bright Spots: Friday 23rd May 2014


As it was the last day of a short but busy half term, I thought I’d go looking for some bright spots today.  The day started well, when I received a message on Twitter from Jason Ramasami.  Jason had taken my ‘Expert Teaching’ flow diagram and pimped it up somewhat. It looked like this:

big5jrWalking around the school today, there was lots of examples of this in practice.  Read on.

In PSHCE, Frankie Morton was teaching Y10.  They had just watched a video about Lee Ridley, aka ‘The Lost Voice Guy’:

This was used as a great learning hook, to get students thinking about living with a disability.  Students were keen to share their thoughts and ideas – with great questioning from Frankie to challenge and develop their ideas.   This led on to a main theme of the lesson – resilience.  A great growth mindset attribute!

Down in Science, Jody Chan was looking at fossil fuels with Y8.  In this lesson, it was great to see something John Hattie had been talking about on Monday, in action – the important development from surface to deep learning.  So students had initially been focusing on the surface learning – what happens when we burn fossil fuels?  Once this knowledge was secure, students were then moved on to what this causes (global warming) and then more deep learning – the effects of this global warming.  The skill in the teaching was knowing when and how to move from surface to deep learning.

In maths, our wonderful Head of Maths, Lee Ridout was doing a fairly routine lesson with Y9, going through practice NCT questions. But what was great was seeing another Hattie suggested technique in action – self-verbalisation.  Once a student had completed a problem, Lee asked them ‘How did you get that answer?‘ and ‘Why did you do it like that?‘  So the student has to think about and articulate their thinking process.

I was then beckoned in to a Media Studies lesson with Gav McCusker.  Gav had a very smart technique going on.  He was in a computer room and Y10 students were producing a word document as a task.  They then saved this in a folder on the network, created by Gav.  Students had highlighted in green the sections of text where they had responded to feedback in a previous lesson (DIRT in action).  During the lesson, Gav was then able to pull up their document on his computer, read it, add an improvement comment and then (and this is the smart bit!) add in a hyperlink to the work of another student, that is a good example of what they had to improve.  So the student could not only see what they had to improve, but they could also see an example of what that should look like. Genius.  So, we had closing the gap feedback, DIRT, sharing excellence and modelling all in one technique!

In PE, Jack Corbett was in full flow – with a masterclass in modelling. Y9 boys were learning the high jump.  They all practised their jump and were then given verbal feedback about how to improve, based on their first efforts.  They then had to refine their jump based on this feedback.  They all then stopped and were questioned as a group about the fine detail of the jumping technique.  Following this, jack then modelled the jump to the students, pointing out the key aspects of the technique.  A great example of modelling, with very close attention to specific aspects of the technique – so ensuring that perfect practice make perfect!

In MFL Matthieu Cauchy-Duval was teaching Y8.  Each desk had a large plastic wallet on it, for each pair of students to use.  This contained dictionaries, connectives sheets, DIRT code sheets, NC levels sheets, glue sticks etc.  The beauty of this is that it just allowed students to ‘get on’ with the work – so the teacher could support them with their learning, instead of having to fuss about with resources.  A great organisational strategy.

In Business Studies, Pete Kelly was looking at market research with Y10 on chocolate bars.  Another Hattie technique was in full flow – using the most effective questioning strategy – asking students ‘Why?

“Why do you think that?  Why do you think that’s the case?  Why do you think they said that?  Why do you think that happened?  Why do you think they did that?”

A simple but highly effective way to develop deep learning.

And finally, back down in Science, Kerray Rawlinson is developing a growth mindset with her students with some great posters in her classroom:




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5 Responses to Bright Spots: Friday 23rd May 2014

  1. Sue marooney says:

    Amazing work from an amazing team, with inspired leadership from Shaun.
    A great way to start half term, well done

  2. Pingback: Mindset: Just do it…. | Class Teaching

  3. John Hattie says:

    Love the pimped up graphic about expert teachers

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