Tag Archives: sharing good practice

T&L Hubs 2014-2015 – Effective Feedback Part 2


Monday’s training Day saw part 2 of our journey on improving feedback at THW. As a school we have worked hard on ensuring that the feedback that we give to students is of high quality and moves them on with their learning.

effective feedback at THW 1 effective feedback at THW 2

Our next step is now to focus on student response. Indeed, “we can spend every hour god sends slavishly marking, but if we do not give students an equally significant amount of time to reflect and respond to such feedback then our time becomes rather pointless! In the long term, students will understand the purpose of our written feedback if they understand how they can and why they should respond to it. If students see and feel the improvements to be gained from drafting and responding to feedback then our marking time will have a transformative value.”

Have a look at the 2 attachments for some practical ideas which will help you make sure that feedback is more work for the recipient than the donor!

practical ideas better-marking-strategies     T&L Hub Meeting Effective Feedback



THW TeachMeet – CPD


teachmeet logo

Our first TeachMeet CPD was dedicated to literacy. Many thanks to all staff who shared an idea.

Jess – spellings with tutor groups : students who struggle with learning spellings could learn 5 instead of 10 / challenge pupils to pick 2 words out of the list and use them in a sentence. Jess also shared how she has used a spreadsheet to record her tutees’ scores and how this has helped her to create some competition within her form group. Template Spelling Results with class average and pupil weekly average

Becky – literacy starters : which one is the odd one out? (have multiple answers to promote discussion) / boggle / sort words into categories Quick literacy starters

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

4 Corners

printed prompts for 2 stars and a wish to ensure pupils give better feedback to their peers & literacy mats to reinforce subject specific vocabulary Music Key Words Final

Deb – 7 Monkeys example


  • Pupils come up with their own definitions of key words
  • Compare with another pupils
  • Come up with a definitive definition
  • Be able to justify why their definition is the best one within a group

“think outside the box”:

  • Read back through work/passage/information
  • Link to an analogy/real life context/draw a picture or sequence of pictures to represent
  • Explain their drawings to partner/class/group depending on activity.

Ana – scaffolding writing: 1 / mind map key vocabulary (for example in French opinions / connectives / quantifiers) 2/ give pupils more vocab to add to their mind map 3/ always use the mind map as a tool box to improve quality of writing & speaking. 4/ write in a triangle as a way as building up a quality answer. 5/ when pupils have used words from their mind map enough times, they can highlight them on their mind map in order to show that they are confident with them. 6/ they can then focus on new vocabulary.


Merun – literacy games COUNTDOWN  UNO card game present tense irregular verbs

Use http://www.teachit.co.uk (under the “whizzy things” tab) and http://www.classtools.net for more literacy games and templates.

– definitions to match up with words as a way of expanding pupils’ range of vocabulary Hay que estudiar sobre los tiempos pasados y sobre las guerras y las personas famosas de antes subject names

Rute – using a template to encourage KS5 students to take better notes during lessons

Claire – “fun fan” to practise accuracy in spellings Fun Fan hola vocab cabin crew dialogue

– using a checklist to ensure students produce complex and sophisticated pieces of writing checklist write an answer likes and dislikes

– using animations on Word to focus pupils’ attention to particular aspects of literacy Blinking background and Las Vegas lights

– literacy plasters to save time correcting some of the most common mistakes! French literacy plastersFrench literacy plasters (2) French literacy plasters (3)  literacy plasters 1 literacy plasters 2

Thanks for a great session. Please let us know if you have tried any of the ideas shared after the TeachMeet.


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

The Learning Environment – Displays


There have been lots of updated displays across the site following on from the spotlight, which is great. If you need some inspiration, have a look at the work that some departments have done:

Subject in the news:


Promoting subjects:


Reflection boards:

IMG_1490 IMG_1508 IMG_1517 IMG_1522

Magenta Principles across subjects:

IMG_1495 IMG_1502IMG_1494 IMG_1519 IMG_1521

Subject specific vocab & support boards:

IMG_1492 IMG_1500 IMG_1505 IMG_1509 IMG_1510 IMG_1511 IMG_1518

The Learning Environment – Focus Group


As part of the Learning Environment Focus Group we have spent time over the last 2 terms reviewing our use of display areas and worked on improving the use of display to impact on T&L.

We have looked at the following areas:

improving the subject specific displays in classrooms to support T&L (we are using areas outside of classrooms to display pupils’ work, mainly corridors)


engaging students in learning via reflection/evaluation boards


improving questioning to link the learning environment and the Mike Hughes CPD


promoting our subject area


celebrating our work


Spotlight Display

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!

THWTeachMeet – CPD


Last Monday saw the launch of our brand new CPD format : our own THWTeachMeet!

teachmeet logo

In keeping with the whole school focus, differentiation was the theme for the session and, helped along by some cakes, hot drinks and a chat with colleagues, we shared ideas and good practice.

teachmeet cake

Here are the resources/strategies presented during the session:

Imogen – working with ASD pupils 5minASD

Claire – rulers/bookmarks using key words given to pupils to support them with writing skills rulers

Louise – differentiation strategies in art Art DIFFERENTATION PP

Sandra – differentiating the starter, the development & the plenary Differerentiation

Agi – differentiation by task Salt from rock salt for more able pupils with differentiated version for lower ability pupils 7Hb4

Bertram – Pupils differentiate themselves (are they at breakthrough level and able to do the task maybe with some mistakes? skilled and are 100% accurate? or expert and can extend their sentences?) Breakthrough Skilled Expert

Vicky & Sukhi – differentiation in Tech differentation in Tech

Deb – differentiating homework

Instead of spending hours writing differentiated questions in every pupils book, try the following technique:

1)      Read through some of the pupils books to get an idea of where pupils went wrong/misconceptions.
2)      Write three questions based on the misconceptions on a separate piece of paper. One easy, one medium, one hard.
3)      Number them 1, 2 and 3.
4)      Instead of writing the question in the pupils books, write just the number in the book.
5)      At start of next lesson have the three questions written on the board.
6)      Pupils answer the numbered question in book.
7)      Depending on ability they can either write the question out or they can answer in a whole sentence.
8)      Go through answers to questions in whatever way you choose.
Optional: Give some pupils 2 of the questions if they are fast workers.

v  Saves you lots of time as you don’t have to re-write the questions a million times
v  Questions are differentiated to suit the different abilities; challenge for all pupils.
v  Gives you time to give support to pupils that need it
v  Clarifies any misconceptions from previous lesson/homework
v  Identifies areas of weakness within group so more time can be spent ensuring pupils understand

A random name generator was used to select the order in which staff would present http://www.classtools.net/education-games-php/fruit_machine/

poundland pedagogy

We also had a raffle at the end of the CPD following the latest “poundland pedagogy” craze. (Originally dreamt up by Isabella Wallace, the idea is simply to take inspiration from your local budget shops and think innovatively about how you might exploit these veritable treasure troves of tat teaching resources.) If you won any of the following prizes, let us know how you used them as new and exciting ideas to liven up your lessons!

modelling clay Plasticine can be used in a variety of subjects to model key concepts.


washing line Use washing lines to display work or to display ideas or a sequence of actions. Following on from Bertram’s idea, could also be used as a confidence line to show students’ progress.

photo1 Decide on 3 differentiated tasks/questions (each represented by a tier on the cupcake tower). Give each pupil a cupcake case. On this ask them to write down an answer to the question/task they have picked or you have selected for them in the centre of the cupcake case. Then they have to put their completed cupcake case on the  cupcake tower. End the activity listening to the ideas that have been shared.

photo7 Practical and visual way of getting students to write PEE (or PEA, or PEEE or whatever you want to call it…) paragraphs. Ask them to write the three different parts of their PEE paragraphs on to each  bits of the doily in a different colour. Then they have to tie each part together using some string.

photo5 No hands up policy- use noise makers for quizzes?

mic Any use as a prop for a speaking activity?

The session was a real success! The atmosphere was extremely positive and there was a real buzz!

“I really enjoyed it. The thing I wish that I had written down were all the things from Poundland and how to use them – they were great!”

“It was a great atmosphere! Such a useful session”

“It was a fantastic cpd and I would definitely do it. Looking forward to more of these cpd’s.”

So we hope to see even more of you at the next one 🙂