Category Archives: CPD

THW TeachMeet – Whole School CPD


teachmeet logo

Last week’s CPD was a big success. It was really nice to share good practice in an informal way. We had 10 workshops on offer – see below for further information.


Workshop 2 – Higher Level Thinking Skills Developing higher level thinking skills in pupils CPD

Workshop 3 – AfL & A Level Teaching Teach meet AfL

Workshop 4 – “The Doughnut” doughnut template

Workshop 7 – “Relay Race”   SKMBT_65415031816580_0001

Workshop 8 – Independent Learning INDEPENDENT LEARNING whole school cpd

Workshop 9 – Gimmicky Revision Ideas SKMBT_65415031816580_0002 SKMBT_65415031816581_0001

Workshop 10 – “Take Away” Homework nandos-takeaway-homework1

Many thanks to the staff who delivered a workshop.


G&T & Magenta Principles – CPD


for those seeking a challenge Thanks to Deb for a great CPD session. If you try anything out and it works/doesn’t work, we’d love to hear about it!

THW TeachMeet – CPD


teachmeet logo


Last week during our last TeachMeet we celebrated all our T&L achievements of the year.

Cathy explained how she’d used the plastic eggs that she won at a previous TeachMeet – “pass the egg” for speaking & listening work in Frencheaster eggs

Sukhi – differentiation work in Textiles Differentation resources

Louise – use of class display to promote independence (what do you need to do to achieve L4, L5, L6? with examples). G&T students are asked to model and lead on the evaluations

Rute – use of writing frames to build up quality writing Little Red Riding Hood


Have a look at the incredible end product!

Sakiko – use of generic starters starters

– RAG marking (teacher annotates work, Red = NO!, Amber = OK but have you thought about…?, Green = Good, Purple = spelling)

RAG marking

Inma talked about how she has used the bell she won at a previous TeachMeet – “ring the bell” whenever spontaneous target language has been used

Claire – takeaway homework (see previous post for explanation)  nandos-takeaway-homework1


Thanks to all the staff who have contributed to and attended our THW TeachMeet CPDs this year!

t&L celebration

Setting Learning Objectives which Stretch and Challenge – CPD


This session outlined the principles of both Bloom’s Taxonomy for questioning and the Magenta Principles and looked at practical ways that these can be incorporated successfully and easily into lessons. Time was also spent putting ideas into practice.

For more info look at the following resources Bloom’s Questioning Grid Bloom’s_Taxonomy_Teacher_Planning_Kit Lesson 2 Blooms Questioning Questioning and Objectives



It’s all about learning – CPD


Key points:
• Numbers
• Distance
• Depth

  1. The effective teacher is flexible/adaptable/responds to what students are achieving and moves learning forward intuitively.
  2. Students receive information, are given the opportunity to process this information and then apply it through challenging activities.
  3. Consider the balance of student talk vs teacher talk.
  4. If students are ready, don’t be afraid to move on.
  5. Use their answers to questions to ascertain their understanding of prior learning, then move on at a pace that suits what the learners can do.
  6. In practical subjects ensure students are aware of the big picture in terms of end ‘product’ and skills. Provide written support/prompt sheets if necessary. Ensure during ‘release time’ that students know what they have to do to do so but more importantly ensure that they are thinking/getting better/moving forwards in their learning & skills. Use intervention appropriately, don’t intervene unnecessarily, use intervention to change the direction of learning and to facilitate momentum and rhythm to the lesson. How will students show what has changed during the lesson/independent work – how is this made audible/visible?
  7. Allow for mistakes to be made then deconstruct to move learning forwards. Make learning challenging – get students to think to remove the opportunity to be passive (link here to inset with Mike Hughes). Give students time to reflect and refine – avoid unnatural time limitations that impinge on learning.
  8. Consider how objectives are set to ensure student ownership/student buy in – impact of this stage of the lesson – if learning is ongoing, how might the setting of objectives reflect this?

It’s all about learning It’s all about learning CPD

THW TeachMeet – CPD


teachmeet logo

On Wednesday we hosted our second TeachMeet CPD, which was based around questioning. Once again the session was “inspiring”, full of “brilliant ideas” and had a lovely atmosphere. If you want to know why you should attend the next one (and steal some of these ideas!), then read below!

“Teachers use questioning and discussion to assess the effectiveness of their teaching and promote pupils’ learning” (Ofsted, School inspection handbook from September 2012) –> using questions to promote learning and stimulate thinking Questioning Ofsted

questioning ofsted 2

Chris – think/pair/share after question has been asked & routines to encourage students to use all other resources available before answering a question (books, peers, display etc) as a way of building up quality answers.

Faye – “Get Nosey”: Display visual stimulus on board and ask students to write down any questions they can think of in relation to the photo/image on post-it notes. At the end of the lesson, look at questions again & discuss which questions students now have answers to and which ones remain unanswered. Get Nosey

– Timed quiz: pairs/individual students (or teacher) design a question to assess understanding of topic/learning objective. They also provide 3 answers – Red, Amber, Green – (1 correct answer & 2 wrong answers). All questions are then collated and put into a quiz. As the question is displayed, pupils must show up the card that matches the colour of the correct answer – in the time allocated! Great for whole class AfL too! Timed quiz

Amy – Millionaire questioning: provide students with 3 lifelines (50/50, ask the audience, phone a friend) as a way of supporting students during questioning Millionaire

Pat – Q/A match up Questioning biology
•Half the group were given questions relevant to what they need to know
•The other half were given the answers – on large pieces of paper
•The girls with the answers had to stand in a row holding their answers up
In silence the girls had to match up with their ‘partners’
•The pairs then sat together and, in turn, chose someone else in the class to ask their question to

Tracey – silent questioning (questions displayed on board, students “discuss” it in writing). Other options possible, 1/ students swap “silent discussions” and read peers’ answers 2/ colour code questions on board so students can decide what difficulty level they want to attempt.

              – use of questioning at the very start of a lesson to establish students’ prior knowledge and to encourage student talk. Use of questions in History

Jo – What, What, How format so that students start thinking and making progress even before any teacher input. What what how
1/ WHAT difference do you notice? 2/ WHAT does it mean? 3/ HOW would you explain it to someone else?

Claire – Question Stems Bloom’s Taxonomy Questioning mat
            – Quiz, Quiz, Trade Quiz quiz trade
1. Create Questions Provide each student with a flash cards about the current unit of study. One side of the card has a question or vocabulary term and the other side provides the answer or definition.
2. Pair Up Use the stand up/hands up/pair up method for students to find a partner.  Partner A holds up the flash card to show Partner B the question.  Partner B answers. Partner A praises if correct or coaches if incorrect.  They switch roles and Partner B asks Partner A the next question.
3. Hands Up After thanking each other and switching cards, Partners A and B raise their hands to find a new partner and repeat the process for an allotted amount of time.
Student-Created Quiz, Quiz, Trade Have students create their own flashcards with questions and answers.  You might want to review the cards before allowing students to play so you can be sure that the students’ answers are accurate.

Sakiko – Display visual stimulus on the board with key question words around it (Who, Why, When, What, Where, How etc). Pupils write questions using the question prompts. Pupils swap questions and answer each other’s. This works well in a language lesson to practise sentence building but could also be applied to any subject to practise creative writing or assess subject knowledge.
             – add/develop/challenge/change: get pupils to do something with the information they are given. add challenge develop change

Matt – Four Corners: 4 words on the board, one in each corner. Students make a sentence with it. For example in maths

4 Corners
A huge thank you to our colleagues who shared some of their fantastic activities & resources!

This time, as Easter is approaching, the raffle winners left with some colour inkpads (to sue with our brand new 2 stars and a wish stamper) and some fillable eggs, which could be used for extension questions/tasks or with a question inside to review the learning (could be colour-coded and/or differentiated). Please let us know how you are using your prizes.

easter eggs
Thank you to all staff who presented and attended!

Engagement vs Passivity – CPD


The excellent training session delivered by Mike Hughes earlier this school year raised some important questions and provided some interesting food for thought. How refreshing to hear that learning should be the core of what we do, not ticking boxes (although unfortunately they still need to be ticked somehow!). In order to achieve this, there is no need to reinvent the wheel, we just need to add “bits of polish”, make “tiny changes” and “tweak” what we do so that the following questions can be answered:
– “How much learning has taken place?”
– “What can they do when they leave the room that they could not do at the start?”
– “If I had not done this would the learning have been impaired?”

Are our students OCCUPIED or ENGAGED?
(ie: “Read page 7” or “Read page 7. What’s the most interesting sentence?”)

Which is key to effective & meaningful learning?


Learning can only take place with dialogue. Yet, if the task isn’t well-designed, the quality of the dialogue is poor.

This again highlights the importance of questioning in the classroom.

Examples of “good” questions taken from Mike’s website:

“• Why?
• Why not?
• Because…?
• Can you add to that?
• What do you think of that answer?
• Can you give me a reason / example?
• Which was the hardest?

• Did you have to do… differently as a result?
• How did you get to that answer?
• What was the thinking behind…?
• How would Einstein/Shakespeare/Pythagoras answer that?
• If that’s the answer, what’s the question?
• What haven’t I asked yet?”

2 examples of task which lead to better dialogue:

–          Diamond 9 with a key question designed to get the pupils talking (“Who’s the key character in Romeo and Juliet”?)

–          The heart of the matter (arrange information from really important / relevant to not so important – if 2 things are connected link them up to show deeper understanding)

heart of the matter


What is the difference between UNDERSTANDING & KNOWING?

(ie: can pupils remember the teacher’s words or can they explain what they have learnt in their own words?)

In order to show that they know, pupils need to do something with the information given.

“Magenta” Principles: Pupils demonstrate their understanding

  1. Reduce (“Underline the 6 key words”, “What’s the most interesting sentence?”)
  2. Change (“What animal would Juliet be in a Walt Disney film?” – change into a poem, mime)
  3. Replace (“Can you answer the question without using the word…?”)
  4. Add (“Can you think of a word that isn’t there but could?”)
  5. Arrange
  6. Connect                      Diamond 9 & Heart of the Matter
  7. Assemble
  8. Sequence

We talked about lots more than that but I hope I have managed to capture the main themes of Mike’s session!

For further reading, check Mike’s website and twitter

Mike Hughes books

Following on from the CPD – some of us have tried to adapt some of Mike’s principles. See below for some inspiration!

Castles – compare contrast (THW) Hippocrates card sort activity Mike Hughes Year 7 Mike Hughes Year 10 Mike Hughes Year 12 THW Castle pictures