Over the last week I have posted a daily thought for staff. This is based very much on the ‘beating wings’ model of our Butterflies CPD, alongside our drive for the embedding of the Westfield Way across the school for all our students and staff. I will continue to update this post each week.
It is great that Teresa has taken on the Butterflies again, this gives all colleagues the opportunity to come together and share in what really can make a difference with our students.
The Spirit of Westfield posts take a simple idea each day and offer a nudge to our daily practice that like the butterflies, can make a difference in the classroom and with our students:
- Embed WW with all our student contact – start with my form group!
- A happy, positive greeting with each and every student on your door makes a huge difference. Give it a go!
- What do you most want your students to learn today? How could everyone in the class achieve this?
- Find the most fantastically presented book in your lessons today, take a quick photo and showcase on your whiteboard to the class – this is what everyone is capable of! Remember to reward them
- Be the most collegial we can all be this week, follow the Westfield Way and provide that consistency and support that all our students need, from corridor presence onwards.
- Bring out the wallflowers in the classroom, question and assess their understanding, praise their progress and feedback areas to think further on.
- If a difficult situation is developing with a student, use your voice, and speak calmly and quietly if the opposite is being directed at you. Meet with calmness, and objectivity
- Positive relationships are built with every interaction we have.
- Show students how to make that extra bit of progress – modelled examples, 1 to 1, thinking time or breaking it down will all enable this.
Today, please start with the basics for student learning:Equipment out for all students – check on Planners, writing equipment and rulers / rubbers / sharpeners.
- Geek Week, so this week, try something new with your computer:
- Socrative, Kahoot or Desmos
- PPT animations
- Split screens to showcase work & further information
- Modelled student work / formative assessment
- Diagnostic Questions (+ student planners)
- For each lesson, envisage the learning direction – what will be your success criteria for all?
How would you like to receive students? Send them on their way to their next class as if you were receiving them – calm, orderly and in a positive frame.
- Stick to the absolute basics – how far are they embedded in all of our daily practice?
Students should be sat boy/girl, and learning and progress determines the decisions we make on this. Remember, as teachers we are in charge of our classroom, and where students sit.
- In preparing for the assessments, please show students how to answer specific styles of questions. Do the same with your feedback
Who was your form tutor when you were at school – what did they do that helped you during your school days?How can we do the same at Westfield?
- We can smile AND follow the Westfield Way with the students.
Reach all students in the classroom with some simple strategies –
- Give out homework at the beginning of the lesson
- Use “comic sans” or Century Gothic font
- Change background to light blue.
- Try a variety of approaches to reviewing student learning – traffic lights in Planner, white boards, think-pair-share – all are easy to implement and a change from targeted questioning.
- Try a little quiet in the classroom. Set the work up and let them get on, with the right blend of support and challenge. Some, if not all students, really appreciate a silent classroom. This is the perfect antidote to what may be noisy and unsettled elsewhere.
To paraphrase Muhammed Ali, great learning starts in the corridors in our hard work with students, every day, all day,
Always challenge – steadily withdraw the scaffolding for students to keep them thinking and learning
- Teresa delivered a great session last week on this…
- As assessments are returned to students, think about ‘what next’ – misconceptions need to be identified and feedback is clear and direct.
- To ensure the day goes smoothly, corridors, lining up and meet and greets right through the day. Thanks to all.
- Finish well with the students today and tomorrow – tight on Westfield Way and continue to build and embed good relationships.
And finally, today…
Mind yourselves and the students this morning, and have a great holiday.
Maria Popova wrote about how the word genius originally emphasised the role and impact of place on the individual as genius loci. The Spirit of Westfield focuses on what we as a collective do – what we can all align around to benefit all.