What Makes Effective Groupwork?

Simon Hills considers some of the issues around collaborative learnng

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We’ve all done it, ‘Ok we are doing group work today….’ and we get the students into groups and then give a task.

Our expectation is that they know how to work in a group with other students, some who are more able than them, some less, others quiet, some loud etc!

How much actual work and progress are they all making in this scenario?

If we can get this right and train the students then the research suggests they can make gains quite rapidly in small collaborative work with each other.

Speed Dating CPD session

Sharing good practice

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Educational research shows that one of the most effective ways of delivering meaningful CPD to teachers is to give them the opportunity to discuss good practice and ideas together.

This was the rationale behind our very successful Speed Dating CPD session on Friday 4th May.

How do your actions impact on others?

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Last week’s whole College assembly focussed on tolerance and respect – making sure that we are tolerant of individual differences and that we respect each other at all times. This means that, irrespective of gender, religion, race, sexuality or intellectual ability we must always treat others the way in which we want to be treated ourselves. As a College community, I think we are very good at this and I am proud of this. 

Learning Culture and the Classroom

Kayleigh Axford considers what creates a successful classroom environment

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From the moment we stepped into teaching, we all notice that we do something different to the person in the classroom next door. Good or Bad, these differences are essential to a student’s development and relationships. How you create your classroom and the learning experience is individual to each teacher and each student. Here are some tops tips from lessons I have be lucky to see from my Teaching and Learning background and some of my own practices that I am glad make me different.


Thank you to all for last week

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There is a lot to share from last week. Thank you to Mrs Hathaway for organising the fantastic Community Day on Saturday. It was good to see so many of you there. The Year 10 exams have started really well – well done to all Year 10 students for the positive approach you have taken in these tests; it will help you to prepare for next summer’s GCSEs. I also think that our College looks much tidier – you are clearly making an effort to keep the school tidy. We must all keep this up – this is a non-negotiable and we must all do it. 

Thank you all for a very positive first week back

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It was good to see everyone on assemblies last week and I would like to thank you for a very positive first week back. The theme of our tutor times this week is our value of happiness and it was good to see students happy to be back in College last week. I visited several lessons last week and was impressed with the work, conduct and progress you are making. Thank you and well done – a good start to the term.

Teacher Twitter CPD

How to get started and use Twitter to reinvigorate your teaching practice.

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Twitter had never been by my preferred social media outlet of choice, but about 18 months ago I discovered Twitter as a teacher and it has been a revelation!

Welcome Back!

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Welcome back to the summer term. I hope you all had a very good Easter break. I’d like to start by saying well done to our Year 11 students who attended revision sessions over the holidays – this will definitely help with the real exams. A particular thank you to the staff who came in to deliver the sessions, too. I would also like to welcome back Miss Jessop. Miss Jessop returns to us having been interim Principal for the last two terms at another United Learning Academy. It is great to have her back with us. 

'Outstanding teaching: Engaging Learners'

Pedagogy Book Review

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Colin Harris reviews his most useful pedagogy book - Outstanding teaching: Engaging Learners

Outstanding teaching: Engaging Learners is a book I have used throughout my teaching from being a History NQT through to Subject Leader. This book was gifted to myself and my fellow NQTs within our first weeks as teachers with the slightly tongue in cheek challenge to live up to its title.

End of term – looking back and forward.

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The Spring term will very soon be over. It is the shortest term of the year, but we have put a lot in to it…. Concerts, sports fixtures, charity events, parents evenings, quiz night, mud run, Gilbert Hannam Awards and lots of educational trips and visits. This is to name but a few of the things we have done and you have participated in. Thank you for your continued hard work and effort in lessons too. The vast majority of you work hard all the time, most of you work hard most of the time. I am a big believer that we can all put more effort in to our work and strive to always do better. 


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