This week our whole staff CPD session looked at how we use strategies in the classroom to promote stretch and challenge; ensuring each pupil is able to make the most progress within their ability range.
We kicked off the session with a little challenge for the staff. We asked them to fold a plain piece of A4 paper into 8 squares/ They then had to write down everything they knew about the poet Robert Burns.
As you can see from the picture, staff were extremely challenged (and panicked at times too!) This is where pupils need to be, at certain times in their learning. They need to be brave and independent and feel enthusiastic about the challenge they face. They need to be taught how to grow a growth-mindset and accept and appreciate being stretched.
We then made staff repeat the process after they had read an extract about Robert Burns. Staff found this less of a challenge, however it still stretched their memory skills and enabled them to visual the progress they had made and allowed them to see where thy needed to continue revising their knowledge.
How can it be used in lessons? Pimp their progress: Magic 8 Technique
1.Can be used as a / starter/ mini plenary/hook/ Consolidation
2.Also can be used as a main activity
3.Great way to assess progress at beginning/ middle and end.
4.Also a great revision technique for end of topics.
We provided staff with this A2 postcard to remind them of how to establish the right mindset within their classroom.
Chris Black, our Gifted and Talented lead led an excellent part of the session on how we can use our new resource site NACE. The National Association for Able Children in Education http://www.nace.co.uk/
What does NACE do?
NACE specialises in working with schools and teachers to improve learning for able learners.
Founded in 1983, NACE is recognised nationally and internationally as the UK’s leading independent education organisation in the field of education for able learners.
Through its valuable network of members NACE provides high quality guidance, support and training, enabling teachers to attain the best from able learners in the everyday classroom, whilst enabling all learners to flourish and achieve.
High Ability can be manifested in numerous ways.
NACE is concerned with supporting schools in getting the very best for their able children. The evidence is now strongly pointing towards the fact that if schools meet the needs of the more able it benefits all.
- Defining ability is complex and evolving.
- High ability includes all domains of human achievement
- Many children are capable of high achievement given the right opportunities
- There should be no ceiling on how many children in a school are defined as highly able
- Every school should and can provide opportunities for their highly able to flourish and achieve
The NACE Community provides teachers with:
- a content-rich website supporting the daily work of teachers
- unique school login and password, giving all staff access to support from the NACE website.
- free access to ‘New to AG&T’ packed with vital information for both experienced and new colleagues
- specialist advice with practical tried and tested resources
- subject specific resources for teachers to challenge their more able learners in curriculum aligned subject groups
- NACE insight, a termly newsletter packed with case studies
- an award winning monthly e-bulletin providing regular updates and sources of inspiration
- discounts on professional development, conferences and seminars
- free ‘Ask the Expert’ advice from professionals and key NACE advisers.
- 10% discount on Rising Stars publications
Once the staff got their head around the fantastic resource and how to use it for their planing, we got stuck into some more really simple strategies to get the pupils’ brains ticking:
1st up: Crocodile crossing
This is a game that Chris re-worked for his literacy lessons. Chris believes in incorporating games and active learning; you can easily visualise which students are leaps ahead, and who requires extra support.Challenging our staff to compete against each other in literacy- really was a laughing point and the staff body were able to visualise what stretch and challenge physically means and how it feels.
2nd up: PPPB with a twist.
For A level Chris has used PPPB with a twist. He got his pupils to compile a list of questions, based on the poem they were currently studying for their course. He then got the pupils to question each other, and then to finalise and stretch and unpick their answers, he got them to consider what choices they had made and more importantly, why.
And lastly: Flipped Learning
What is flipped learning?
A pedagogical approach in which direct instruction moves from the group learning space to the individual learning space, and the resulting group space is transformed into a dynamic, interactive learning environment where the educator guides students as they apply concepts and engage creatively in the subject matter.
Having tried and tested this with my top set year 11, I can vouch that this method works. I would highly recommend trying this method of learning out- especially at the end of topics and a revision method.
For example: last week my year 11s had begun to revise their poetry anthology in preparation for their exams. I was bored standing at the from re-hashing techniques and could see a class full of glazed eyes and a genuine lack of enthusiasm. So, the next day, I set them a flipped learning homework. I asked them to revise and annotate the next poem for homework. The following lesson would be a discussion lesson. Immediately, within the first 5 minutes of the next lesson, we had delved into themes, structure and style points, and more importantly- their knowledge was leading the lesson-not mine.
We must ensure we establish the correct environment and instil a positive attitude to the practise of stretch and challenge, within our lessons.