#3 Take a dive into the unknown with Splashtop Classroom and whiteboard


Splashtop Classroom

Splashtop Classroom allows teachers to share their desktop and applications. Once connected, students can view, control and annotate over lesson content directly from their mobile device. Splashtop Classroom is perfect for teachers and instructors that want to engage the entire room!

Why we think it is great?

Share anything. Instantly. In real time.

Share anything. Instantly. In real time. Share ANY application – even streaming video. No need to reformat content for mobile devices. No need to upload documents ahead of time. Keynote, PowerPoint, Websites, Word documents, FLASH Videos, Online Quizzes…

Turn your mobile device into an interactive whiteboard

Set the toolbar to draw, highlight or write over any content. Draw over flipchart backgrounds – or include your own worksheets. Use the spotlight and screen shade tools to keep students focused.

Teach from all four corners of the classroom

Connect to the class PC/Mac from your mobile device. Get out from behind your desk and improve classroom management and student attention.

› Bring the lesson to the student

It enables teachers to tailor the lesson to the individual- amazing for differentiating and supporting gifted and Talented with extension tasks and 1-1 support with lower ability. No more printing of 5 different worksheets!!

› Supports hundreds of teachers and students

The more confident you become at using this fantastic technology, the easier your life will become as a teacher. Marking, adapting and reflecting on progress over time will be so simple and effortless.

Information sourced from http://education.splashtop.com/going-splashtop/

Putting our staff to the test!


This week at Butterfly , Chloe and I, decided to show the staff the real impact of the Splashtop software, by getting them to become pupils (even just for 15mins).

First up was a little maths equation- simply by giving the staff the ipads and enabling them to show their working- the power of feedback and learning together was instantaneous!


The challenge we found was ensuring our writing, using the stylus pen was clear- however, this will improve over time, as staff become more comfortable!

Next task was a Biology quiz- name the body parts. Chloe handed out several differentiated sheets, some with labels, initials and some with nothing. Then she took pictures of the answers , used mirroring 360 and threw them onto the screen. (This went slightly better than the maths equation at 8am!)





Look at our staff- working hard and engaged! This is what Splashtop classroom and whiteboard can do for you! It enables ALL students to be part of the lesson, ALL students to make progress- at their level and most importantly enjoy lessons and the fun ICT can bring to your lessons.




Butterfly #2 Mirroring360 and Magic in the classroom…

Week 2 and another CPD triumph at Westfield Academy-with 44 members of staff turning out for Tuesday morning breakfast and our session on Mirroring 360 and using Task Magic.

Mirroring 360- why use it? and how does it work?

Having trialled this now for a few months, I have to say I LOVE mirroring 360 and feel it has completely changed the way I teach and pupils learn. It enables your classroom to become a learning environment filled with enthusiasm, engagement and inquisitive learning.


Mirroring360 provides you the ability to mirror the display screen of devices such as iPad, iPhone, Chromebook, PC, or Mac to computers wire-free!   Now you can also mirror your Android Lollipop device’s screen!

Mirroring an iPad / iPhone or Mac screen is achieved using the AirPlay™ technology made by Apple, all you need to do is simply install the Mirroring360 application to the computer you wish to mirror to and start mirroring!



  1. For iPad / iPhone

        1. On a support iPad or iPhone, finger swipe from bottom up to reveal Control Centre
        2. Tap on AirPlay
        3. Select your computer
        4. Turn on Mirroring

    NOTE: If you did not see the AirPlay button in the Control Centre, try Mirroring Assist from the App Store and follow the step-by-step instructions within the app to connect.

    So why should we use it in the classroom?

    Mirroring360 lets you wirelessly share & record your Chromebook, iPad, iPhone, Android*, Windows, and Mac screens without the need for hardware or cables. Start sharing your work, your ideas, and your latest apps with Mirroring360.



    From anywhere in the classroom or meeting room, share your device screen onto a computer + projector, wirelessly!



    Teachers and students can share & record any content from their devices to the computer + projector or interactive whiteboard right from their seats.



    Presenters, educators, and gamers can easily record the live content on their mobile devices to the computer for replay & sharing.


    Use with WebEx, GoToMeeting, and join.me – present any app or content from your mobile device or Chromebook computer to a remote audience.


    For 1:1 classrooms, use Mirroring360 in conjunction with Splashtop Classroom.Learn more + videos.


    Mirror your device to your computer for game recording. Share photos or music with your family on a big screen (via a computer or media box like Fire TV).

    The biggest impact I have witnessed: 

    Feedback feedback feedback- AFL has never been so easy and immediate!!

    photo-1-6 Using mirroring 360 to share pupils’ work and discuss as a class what went well and even better if, changes the learning environment and pupils’ attitude to peer assessment. With work being physically present and visible on the board, they all feel involved and are able to see what their peers have produced. It creates healthy competition and discussion- which I feel is a vital element to any stimulating learning environment!


    Now for a little Magic…

    Template-based authoring software


    TaskMagic is made up of 2 programs: TaskMagic Create is for creating resources. TaskMagic Play is for accessing them. In TaskMagic Create, a series of empty templates allow you to input text, images and sounds. Each template automatically generates a range of games and exercises based on your input. Click on the coloured buttons (above) to see screenshots of the templates and the available exercises. See this blog post for some sample screenshots and worksheets.

    All ages and abilities

    You decide on the content, so you can create activities which are appropriate for the age and ability range of your class. For this reason TaskMagic can be used successfully with Primary, Secondary and Sixth Form.

    All curriculum subjects

    Although originally devised for teaching foreign languages, TaskMagic can in fact be used to generate matching, re-ordering, close and literacy practice activities for any subject. (NB. TaskMagic only works with roman-script languages.)

    Multiple interactive activities

    TaskMagic generates a range of stimulating games and practice activities based on your input, so that the same information is recycled and reinforced in many different ways. The number of activities created depends on the template that you choose. The activities are ideal for use with any interactive whiteboard or on individual computers. Click on the coloured buttons above (or below) to see screenshots of the exercises available within each group. Or see this blog post for some sample screenshots and worksheets.


    For Windows™ PCs & laptops

    TaskMagic works in all versions of Windows up to and including Windows 10 (but not Windows Mobile or Windows RT for the AMD-based Surface tablet). We don’t have a Mac or Linux version. You can run TaskMagic on a Mac if you have some way of running Windows on your Mac, such as via a dual boot system, or software such as Parallels, Virtual PC or similar. Please also note that TaskMagic only accepts roman-script text.


    Each template / exercise group provides access to a number of worksheets, such as matching, multiple-choice, pairs, dominoes, wordsearch, gap-fill, text re-ordering, etc. See this blog post for some sample screenshots and worksheets.



    “I introduced your software at my previous school and it was the first thing on my list when I took up my new post! I think it’s a great product and talk about it a lot when I speak in schools.”
    Paul Howard, Head of MFL and author of the C’est Possible! & ¡Es Posible! courses based on the Michel Thomas method


    These are just two simple ways you can use ICT in the classroom to increase a love for learning and make AFL part of your daily routine; creating a diverse and engaging curriculum. These two simple software enable you  to differentiate appropriately, using approaches which enable students to be taught effectively, introduce subject content progressively and constantly demand more of your pupils- it is a win win scenario!


    As always, we would love you to experiment and feedback to us on your successes in the classroom!


    Thanks for reading,


Butterfly #1 Benefits of Joining the ICT Crew

The start is in sight- we can see the beautiful new build awaiting us and the promise of uninterrupted wifi and shiny new technology… sounds bliss doesn’t it?

Nearly there
The only thing is… we have 80 members of staff, all varying in ICT confidence. For some the prospect is exciting and a sense of impatience washes over them, they just can’t wait! The others are quiet, reserved and biting their nails in fear of having to ‘confidently’ use these new systems, applications and ipads, the minute they set foot in the door.

But do not fear! We have a plan and have every faith that we will go into our new build with an enthusiastic and panic free confidence with new ICT. To help you ease the pain here are the reasons why we are pushing full steam ahead…

Benefits of ICT for Teaching & Learning at Westfield

  • Instant Feedback
  • Shared access to files to and from students
  • immediate access to the internet (yay!)
  • Endless apps- 65,000 educational apps out there!
  • The largest publishers, producing 90% textbooks are partnering with Apple to sell digital versions!
  • Differentiation & support to EAL pupils
  • It makes you a Reflective and adaptive teacher- the best kind!
  • student engagement and motivation- proven to increase! #winning
  • Behaviour management improves- teaching from target classroom areas- you will never be stuck at the front again!
  • Assessment for learning – endless opportunities to check and promote pupil progress
  • Improving literacy- using the voice reorder will add new dimensions to your teaching!
  • Significantly helps pupils with SEN and fine motor skills (co-ordination and processing)

Applications we will learn to use at Westfield Academy

A positive Start!


On Tuesday we welcomed 42 members of staff into room 15 for breakfast and a presentation on the Benefits of ICT- the vibe was enthusiastic and everyone was eager to learn! If we keep up this fantastic momentum- we are definitely on to a winner and new ICT will be a gentle breeze!

What can you do next?

Set you your own showbie HW account- and start to make Homework engaging and more importantly- paperless!

The Heart of Your Paperless Classroom

Try socrative for amazing AFL and instant feedback- trust me the difference it makes to pupils’ enthusiasm and sense of competition is amazing! You can even set one quiz to one group per night for HW- HW is then marked and a spreadsheet is sent to you via email- what’s not to love?!


Research Apps that your subject could benefit from- the more research and trails before the big move- the better position we are in to get straight to it and make Teaching & learning at Westfield Academy even more exciting!

Observe or have a go!


Attached is the Teaching & learning team’s ipad lessons in rooms 15 and 12. Those in Blue are lessons where you can go and observe ( just send an email asking the teacher in advance please) and the lessons in purple, are free slots. So if you would like to experiment or have a play around- please just let me know emg@westfield.herts.sch.uk


Making the Weather

Such an exciting year ahead, and one day less before our Academy move in November. The build is proceeding, so we have now 6 weeks to go of teaching in the beloved blue of the old building.

Our new Year 7s have their 1st full week coming up, and made a great start on Friday, and are resplendent in the new uniform with logo.


Aside from the new build, we met on Thursday to focus on priorities for staff development:

New ICT in the classroom, and how we equip all staff in the endless possibilities that are appearing. Chris Sweetman and Emma and the TLA team will lead on this, with the remit of embedding this technology across the Academy.

Secondly, our personalised approach to staff development continues with the development of Accessible Learning criteria. These focus on key areas from Teacher Standards, Ofsted and our own Westfield Way, and will allow targeted support and development for teachers to allow for the very best learning for all our students. Developing a Gold standard across the academy will be a primary focus this year.

A further area of development is our Future school initiative, with staff groups starting their research and discussions on Monday, looking at life after levels, Transition, Growth Mindset and more, all designed to build a new Key stage 3 that is very much fit for purpose and our new academy.

So much to think about, but this makes for great excitement about the future direction of Westfield Academy, and this is very much in all our hands. The responsibility is empowering, and the quote below encapsulates this, for all staff at Westfield:

‘I’ve come to a frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather. As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or dehumanized’


#Butterfly Recruiting

In a recent Guardian Article, Sir Michael Wilshaw, regarded teacher shortages as a serious problem, especially in “isolated, coastal and disadvantaged areas”.  We wouldn’t describe the Westfield and Watford community as this, but we do know that staffing our school is the key to success for our students and we too have faced similar recruitment challenges, and have felt the impact these shortages have had. However, over the past two years, we believe we have stood tall in the face of such difficulties and worked tirelessly to tackle them.


This is what we aim for, so how have we done it?

The best classrooms are those where nobody feels anonymous, unsupported or undervalued- and that includes the teachers & teaching assistants


At Westfield Academy, we believe that the most successful and diligent teachers can arrive at our door, through various training routes and experiences. This year alone, we have trained 19 members of staff through training routes such as Assessment Only, School’s Direct, PGCE, and training teaching assistants over time. We have also strengthened our links with an Irish teaching Agency, who allocate Irish and Northern Irish NQTs who wish to move to England.


We believe that our innovative approach and vision of ‘Believe, Strive, Achieve’ not only applies to our pupils, but also our teaching staff. We believe that our vision fits into the fast-paced and ever-changing 21st Century climate and enables passionate and promising teachers to receive excellent training and support to enter the teaching profession, at different stages of their career.


Some success stories:

Lena at her 1st Butterfly session

Our fantastic Geography teacher, Miss Hayes, from Ireland, has made a huge impact to the pupils at Westfield Academy. “My journey to England to take up a Geography teaching post with Westfield Academy was made possible by Uteach Recruitment. They supported me every step of the way with training, finding accommodation, getting my lessons planned and all the small issues that came in between. Following on from a long couple of years of supply work in Ireland with little hope of full time work I am so excited to return to Westfield Academy in September as a full-time member of staff. The support from both staff and pupils has been amazing and has made my transition so much easier.”

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Harry (middle) in our Personalised CPD sessions

Mr Lock, our wonderful teaching assistant who works incredibly hard with his year 10 form, knows Westfield Academy better than anyone! “I have been at Westfield for 11 years, 6 as a student and now going into my 5th as an employee. I am currently completing my degree alongside my teaching assistant role and will finish this time next year; I will then go on to complete my teacher training through Assessment Only in the subject specialism of Sport. I am really looking forward to the teaching journey ahead of me.”


Emily (middle) at CPD with Science colleagues

Miss Sloan has worked at Westfield for 4 years and started her experience as a Science graduate; working as a cover supervisor for us. Once Emily found her feet, she realised that she wanted to be trained as a Science teacher. 4 years later, Emily is a successful Assessment Only trainee and has just completed her NQT year. Emily is an asset to her Science department and we hope to have her here for many more years to come.

These are just a few of our fantastic staff at Westfield, all of whom make such a contribution to our students’ learning. Recruitment within the teaching profession is tough and a continuous struggle, but also a wonderful opportunity to welcome talented people into our profession. We believe that schools can positively embrace the challenges and look towards different training strategies to support recruitment and retention within their schools.

Strategies to use in KS5 lessons

Our guest writer this week is our A- level Science teacher Sara-Kate; who led our Butterfly session on Ks 5 strategies to help with our planning for the next academic year.



This year I began teaching A level biology to both year 12’s and year 13’s with certain presumptions on the types of learners I would have and how my lessons would go. I envisaged academic, independent and resourceful students with the skills necessary to work in their subject. However, there was a gap between where I thought the learners should be, where they actually were and where they could get to by themselves. This became more evident as the lessons went on. When I discussed my concerns with my students, they too felt they weren’t being as successful as they could be but didn’t know why.

Ks4 Ks5
Easy More difficult
Spoon Fed- structured sample answers, word banks and all work in lessons. More independent work- lesson time is only a fraction of what needs to be done
Simplified language More complicated terminology and vocabulary
Books are laid out in an easier format Information in book is not enough to succeed.

Jump from KS4 to KS5:

As teachers we understand the importance and need for our pupils to succeed in KS4 to obtain their GCSEs and we do as much as humanly possible to help them. This could be through a number of strategies such as structuring answers for them, giving vocab boxes for assignments, sentence starters and simplifying language for them. However, students found when they came to KS5, a lot of that support was gone and they were left to work by themselves. They aren’t shown/modelled the skills to effectively work independently in KS4 and therefore struggle to succeed in KS5.

I looked at two specific areas of my lessons to help the students with the difficulties they face:

  1. Getting the students to work independently
  2. Exam techniques

 flipped learning.png

This is a pedagogical approach where the pupils outside of the lesson must do most of the work for the lesson. It provides many benefits to both the teacher and the students:

  • Independence – students must use and practicse their research skills. Students will need to be given some guidance on how to research, what are good resources and what to do with the relevant information.
  • In control of your own learning – students success will be a reflection of the work they put into their assignment.
  • Allows time in lesson to develop exam skills – teachers time can be spent more effectively in lesson practicing skills the students may need for exams or practical aspects of the subject.
  • Collaboration – sharing of ideas builds rapport within the class between students and teacher. The classroom should be an open floor where no one feels judged for sharing ideas. It can also allow for greater understanding of the topic through discussion with a peer.
  • Consolidation of their learning – removal of any misconceptions students may have and highlight through in depth discussion the important points of a topic.

exam analysis

After the pupils sit an assessment, whether it be an in class test or a mock, I note down the marks each student gets in the different questions. This allows us to identify an area of the subject where the students don’t fully understand it, or an area of the subject I may have not spent enough time on in lesson. Time can then be effectively spent trying to clear any misinterpretations the students may have and allow them to gain a deeper understanding.


It may also highlight a specific type of question students struggle with, for example the A level Biologists find questions that ask them to differentiate between two scientific concepts difficult. Therefore in class we have spent time practising this type of response, which will hopefully help them out in their exam next year. This leads me on to my final strategy for KS5 learning, which is a handout I made for the extended essay assignments our students have to do each week.

Academic Writing

exam analysis1

Our students have a weekly assignment of extended writing they must complete and get graded on. In Biology there aren’t essays on the exam paper so it was hard for the pupils to understand the relevance or expectations of these assignments. At the beginning of the year what I found was that pupils were copying and pasting a lot from the Internet. Because of this the students weren’t gaining applying their understanding of the topic. I created these marking criteria’s for different command so the students knew what was expected of them to achieve a certain grade for the different analytical skills.

Any questions on flipped learning or exam analysis, don’t hesitate to get in contact.



Our CPD personalised

This term we are starting a new CPD programme with a personalised approach for all teachers.

Our next 3 sessions will be in groups, with all staff identifying an area for development in their own classroom practice. All are under-pinned by the centrality of improving student outcomes.

The 25th April Blog started with this paragraph, and on Wednesday we completed the 3 personalised sessions.

This is what happened…

#Butterfly 1: More Able with Chris Black

how to move forward 009

In Session one on More Able we looked at strategies for teacher explanation (Lemov’s ‘No Rounding Up’/ Allison and Tharby’s Principles of a good explanation) and strategies for student explanation (Lemov’s Right is Right/@headguruteacher’s Say it again, but better this time) . In Session two we covered strategies for planning for More Able in our Schemes of Work by making sure there is constant revision of key principles/lists/key definitions etc. because studies show students need exposure to the same ideas in multiple contexts on multiple occasions for a thorough understanding. One strategy we covered was Loci/Mind Palaces which we had a go at creating to the amusement of the group! We looked at Flipped Learning and Blended Learning in this session as a means of planning for, stretching and supporting More Able learners. Lastly, in Session 3 we looked at strategies for providing effective feedback to stretch (and to an extent ‘create) More Able students. We looked at different ways of modelling student work, The George Spencer Academy’s ‘Yellow Box’ concept and Carol Dweck’s ‘Not Yet’ grading system as a means of feeding into a Growth Mindset value system.

#Butterfly 2: Assessment for Learning with Sam Cole

how to move forward 014

This term we have been looking at Assessment for Learning at KS4 and how this can inform planning for younger year groups. We started by looking at how the Art department does this – being a visual subject and one that is perceived as being difficult to mark, it was good to show the staff that students need simple, broken down instructions in order to achieve highly in the subject.

Session 1 was spent looking at the exam specification and rewriting Assessment Objectives so students can access them more readily. This was then used to explore how SOW’s can be planned for younger years in order for them to improve on required skills for GCSE.

Session 2 looked at the idea of a Success Criteria and how important it is for individual pieces of work to be set against them in order to support progress and challenge.

In the final session it was down to the staff to produce a rough draft of their own ‘tickbox’ markscheme for student use. These can then be adapted as they go to use full time in their own lesson or alongside SOW’s.

#Butterfly 3: Lesson Planning with Jodie Vincent and Clara Ampah-Korsah

Three’s a crowd? Not this time!

What will make my lesson ‘outstanding’? Everyday teachers ask themselves this question. We may know what Ofsted are looking for, but how do we easily implement this into our everyday teaching?

According to the School Inspection Handbook (September 2015), for ‘outstanding’ learning a teacher should ‘set challenging work’, ensure ‘pupils love the challenge of learning and are resilient to failure’ and ‘provide children with incisive feedback’.  We wanted to explore how we could make this happen at Westfield Academy. Therefore, this became the themes for our three sessions; Engagement, Challenge and Feedback.

We aimed to highlight the importance of engagement, challenge and feedback within the lesson and provide teachers with the knowledge and resources to embed these key themes into their own teaching. Teachers experienced what it felt like to be engaged, challenged and critiqued. In addition to this, teachers were given set tasks to use within lessons and were able to give feedback on how well different activities worked for them. We explored the difference between a growth/ fixed mind set and how we could help children maintain a growth mind set.

What we loved most about the session was the learning ethos of the group. All teachers were hard-working, honest, and reflective. The feedback we received helped us to improve our training sessions and reflect on the effectiveness of our own teaching.  Discussions helped us to explore our ideas in more depth.

Overall, the response from staff was very positive. They ‘enjoyed the engaging activities’ and could see where training would help ‘lead to pupils’ progress’. A huge thank you to all teachers who took part! You made the three sessions very enjoyable for us and we learned lots from you too!

#Butterfly 4: Differentiation with Chloe Sefton

In the ‘How to differentiate your teaching at Westfield’ we looked at strategies to challenge and enthuse top set learners, strategies to challenge and support lower set learners and, lastly, strategies to support and challenge all learners in large and complicated middle set classes. I was really impressed with the group of staff I had who were very enthusiastic and passionate about learning new things and sharing their best practice. A real highlight was getting staff to complete an online Socrative quiz on what they had learnt. I would recommend this brilliant and free website (Socrative.com) to all teachers out there – it’s a great, great way to assess students in lesson and for homework and they love it!

So there we have it. 3 Wednesday sessions, 4 Personalised groups and all teaching staff involved having chosen their areas of interest and development.

Thanks to everyone, including the associates above who planned and delivered the sessions.

To go back to our TeachMeet vision,

The best classrooms are those where nobody feels anonymous, unsupported or undervalued- and that includes the teachers & teaching assistants

All of the sessions, and our joint learning during them, have addressed this fundamental vision, and challenge, for our students and staff.

And I think we made a pretty good job of getting the great professional development below:

Happy Father’s Day. I’m watching ‘Deliverance’.