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'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. 

Walking Talking Mocks

Improving students' exam techniques

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Richard Bentley explains the rationale behind this extremely useful way of improving students' confidence in their exam technique and the way they have implemented this in the PE department.

Doing the right thing

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‘Doing the right thing’ and helping and supporting others is incredibly important. People will remember you in the future if you help them and are respectful and considerate towards them. This week is Sports Relief and we will be holding a variety of activities in College to support this charity. Helping to raise money for others who are less fortunate than we are is important and as a school this is something we must all do. The money you raise for Sport Relief will help to treat children who malaria, support mental health charities in the UK and also create safe spaces for people to be safe and active. All of these things are vitally important. 


Strategies to involve all students.

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Following our Friday Teaching & Learning Session on exploring how we use questioning in our classrooms, two things became clear:

1. Questioning is a teacher's bread and butter and we all use a wide range of questioning types and strategies to develop understanding and enhance learning.

2. A perennial problem is how to engage ALL students in the question and response process.

The Importance of Feedback After Summative Assessment

Tom Chaplin explains the rationale behind his exam feedback sheet and ways to use it effectively.

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More so now than ever, with the rigour of the new 9-1 GCSE specifications, I feel it is particularly important for students to reflect on their summative assessments holistically rather than just receiving a grade and moving on.


A summative assessment can provide much more useful information than just a score or a grade.

Inspired by a similar document a fellow professional had shared on Twitter, the exam analysis feedback document allows students time to reflect strategically on what they have achieved and provides them with the next steps to improvement.

Thinking of and supporting others

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There is a lot happening in College over the next two weeks, which will support the College’s values. There is also lot of positive news to share with you and, of course, a lot of hard work in lessons over the next three weeks before the Easter break. 

The keys to success…

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Last week, as you all know, was disrupted by poor weather. I know you were set work to complete on Insight, but this is not the same as being taught in school. It is very important that we all work to catch up. 

CPD library for staff

What will you read next?

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Whether you are studying for a further qualification or made that New Year's resolution to get up to speed on recent pedagogical thinking, the MRC CPD library for staff will have something relevant for you.





Thank you all for a busy and positive first week back.

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Our theme for assemblies this week is happiness, which Mrs Dickens will lead. I would ask all of you to reflect on what you do and also can do to make others happy. I see students every day with friends every day and it is great to see you supporting and helping one another. I spoke to a very polite student this week in one of my lessons this week and thanked him for being so polite and having good manners. He replied that ‘manners cost nothing’ – very true and something we all can work to improve. Holding doors open, smiling at people, tidying away litter and being polite – very important to make MRC a better place, but also important for life.


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