26 January 2020

Communication Focuses




  • Reading widely
  • Reading for pleasure
  • Spelling of subject-specific vocabulary
  • Use of WAGOLLs to model/scaffold (visualisers, mini-whiteboards)
  • Purposeful and structured communication with others


Teaching and Learning Priorities

Climate for learning students will be enthused by their learning and will be focused, absorbed and attentive (DMC).

Vocabulary the words that we use and expect the students to be able to use in context, to succeed in their lives beyond Walton le Dale High School (ACH).

Purposeful Interactions by all if students are communicating, it must be purposeful allow their needs to be met.  Interactions should enhance the learning of ALL students at ALL times (CRO).

This Week:

  • Trainees – meetings Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 1.
    • No CPD this week due to school improvement conference on Monday evening.
  • NQTs – Meetings in usual slots this week. Targets to be agreed with Subject Mentor and written into OneDrive document if not already. 
  • Open Door Week – if you had chance to pop in to see anyone or were seen (even by SLT), don’t forget to collect a raffle ticket from the staffroom for a prize.  Also pass on a postcard telling your colleague a tip that you took from their teaching.
  • Book Scrutiny on Wednesday – a small number of students are being asked to collect their exercise books/folders/tests etc from their teachers on Monday and Tuesday, ready for work scrutiny on Wednesday.  PWA, JWI and RLO then plan to ask students to come to the conference room for the first 15 minutes of a period to discuss the work in their books and their understanding of why they have completed it.  The purpose of the scrutiny is to look at work in books alongside progress ladders.  We know that Middle Leaders are completing valuable and thorough quality assurance work scrutiny within their departments.

Reflect on Your Practice:

The key three words of our new T&L Policy are: Feedback – Plan – Teach

As we continue to walk-through policy, we clarify the implications of ‘planning’ a lesson or a sequence of learning.  As always, feedback invited (RLO).

Feedback – Plan – Teach


Formulating a coherent, cohesive and well-structured learning sequence is a process, as opposed to the written plan, which is the product.  The planning stage has one primary function: to enable high quality learning which meets the needs of all students.

  1. Be clear and precise about the knowledge and skills that you want students to learn, not what you want them to do.  Break the skills and knowledge down.


‘Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.’

Abraham Lincoln


Planning is about hard thinking, not filling in forms.  It is a thinking process.  As obvious as it sounds, a teacher’s planning must consider what you want students to learn first, and spend some time on it, before you give any consideration to what you want them to do. High quality planning requires a broader strategy than this. All too often, planning begins with the final question.  Each of these stages will be crafted, fundamentally, around subject progress ladders.



1. Where are the students starting from? (secure overview)

2. Where do you want them to get to?

3. How will you know when they are there?

  1. How can you best help them to get there?



Scenarios to avoid:

  • Formulation of activities
  • Coverage-based lessons
  • Over-planned lessons

Instead, aim for:

  • Excessive clarity and precision when articulating what you want your students to learn and what you would like them to do so that they learn it.
  • Phrase explanations in a way that students quickly understand what they are aiming for.
  • Breaking down what you would like students to learn to reveal the skills and knowledge that they need to acquire and which need, therefore, to be taught.

Clear and precise command words





























  1. Ask ‘why’ when planning learning.  Do not include activities to keep students busy.  Learning must be central to every element of the plan.

To improve students’ understanding of their own learning, it is useful to consider why and how we plan learning for our students.  Over-planning can be very common.  If a learning activity is not making a significant difference, then drop it.

Activities must be focused on learning, as opposed to control.  This can be easier said than done, but in any circumstances, learning should be you long term goal.  After planning a sequence, always check that the activities are supporting you to deliver the learning that you want to achieve and whether there was a more efficient and effective way of doing it.  Ask yourself ‘so why’ after each planned activity and the length of time allocated to its completion.

Brilliant Teaching and Learning Toolkit


As part of the teacher’s planning, the ‘Brilliant Teaching and Learning Toolkit’ should be used. This two-page A3 document is updated, with input from colleagues, twice per year: February and July.  It contains ideas and best practice to ensure that school priorities are addressed.  This is a fluid and organic toolkit, with its roots in the pedagogy of each subject area.

The ‘Brilliant Teaching and Learning Toolkit’ should be stored somewhere for use during planning stages (i.e. in the Teacher Planner) and an electronic version is also stored in the ‘WLD Teachers’ Team.

Top Tip Schedule


Subject Heads, please ensure that someone from your department is ready to share a ‘Top Tip’ on the designated date. 






Humanities - interleaving






Pastries and Progress

Open Door Week



















CPD Cascade

Study Groups 2019-20

A reminder of the key focuses within departments:

  • Expressive Arts – improving engagement in Year 9
  • Computing – Developing the use of Teams to allow learning beyond the classroom
  • Mathematics – recall and retention
  • Art – Engagement of boys
  • English – use of knowledge organisers
  • MFL – Speaking examination – extended pupil responses; Listening and reading: developing confidence
  • Humanities - progress of middle attaining boys
  • PE  – Link between theory at KS3 and KS4
  • Technology – Developing the use of homework at KS3 to prepare students for KS4 course
  • Science – personalised learning plans for each student in each science.

Useful T&L Online Resources


Top UK Education Blogs

  1. @TeacherToolkit (ranked 1st in 2013, 2014, 2015)
  2. Resourceaholic (ranked 10th in 2015 – highest mover)
  3. ICTEvangelist (ranked 2nd in 2015)
  4. Mr. P’s ICT Blog (ranked 7th in 2015)
  5. Scenes From The Battleground (ranked 8th in 2015)
  6. Learning with ‘e’s (ranked 3rd in 2015)
  7. The Learning Spy (ranked 4th in 2015)
  8. HeadGuruTeacher (new entry)
  9. The Whiteboard Blog (ranked 6th in 2015)
  10. Magical Maths (ranked 5th in 2015)


Comprehensive List here




Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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