Video production company Mediamerge has released a new range of primary lessons filmed in three very different schools to add to an expanding collection of observation training videos. One of these schools, Irchester Community Primary in Northamptonshire, received recognition from Ofsted as an “example of good practice in science teaching”.
Scenario-based learning is a type of lesson planning methodology that I have used, developed and enhanced since my PGCE year. Its roots come from my childhood love for the Fighting Fantasy books that I was bought by my parents to try and encourage me to read in the mid to late 1980s. In these books you had to make decisions that moved you to different pages and ultimately trying to get to the end of the story. Don’t worry; I grew out of this phase and definitely never entered a Games Workshop.
In the not-so-distant past I found myself sitting sleepily in 9th grade Spanish class; my head on my hand, staring out the window wishing for a fire drill, a tornado or perhaps the zombie apocalypse - though a quick glance around the room might have confirmed that the latter had already come to pass.
If students love revising, then they love learning and their progress will improve as a result. Therefore, to engage all students in revision we have been bringing it alive as a school. Here are five strategies we have used, particularly to ensure our most able students increase the depth of understanding needed as they chase their A*s.
When it comes to education, it seems that everyone has their own idea about which methods work best in the classroom. Should they be put into mixed groups or streamed by ability? Should we block-schedule lessons? A new website called the Toolkit can help us find the answers to those questions based on evidence, rather than opinion.
I have never had an original idea of my own, but that hasn't stopped me from magpieing ideas from other people to use in my classroom. I am a millennium teacher, in that I qualified in the year 2000. I’m also lucky enough to love my job and the challenge of teaching Religious Studies… I mean, if you think about it, most people remember their schooling of RS. I certainly do, and it involved distracting the teacher as much as possible through getting them to tell inane stories about their own beliefs / children / views on (insert your own choice here!).
What comes to mind when you think of Goldilocks? Sweet, innocent little angel with pigtails and a healthy appetite? Maybe. However, when planning for a literacy unit on traditional tales, I decided to focus on the true moral of the classic fairy tale by portraying Goldilocks in a new light: as a porridge thief!
I must begin by giving my definition of ‘learning’. Learning is not remembering facts in order to pass an examination: learning is understanding. By understanding, the learning is not forgotten. The times I have heard it said “you must learn this” is countless when, in fact, what should be said is “you must understand this”.
The traditional Scheme of Work grid is perhaps well past its sell-by-date for 21st Century learning. Consider instead a Learning Plan to promote independent learning and to underpin the introduction of Flipped or Blended learning as wished. The Learning Plan also dovetails well with the Big Picture Lesson plan by setting key questions which can easily be carried forward into the classroom.