16 April 2021

WoW – target                                                                                            CPD Focus – Embedding Reading Warriors

                                                             Developing Voice Confidence




  • 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








Which reading strategies will you use this week?  (Reading Warriors, Frayer Model, Popcorn Reading?)

  • CPD Focus – continues to focus on reading.  All staff must work to embed Reading Warriors (resources are saved here) and the Reading Quick Wins approaches (here) where possible.
  • CPD – JMJ is offering BENQ screen CPD this Wednesday (following requests through T&L survey)
  • Co-curricular activities start this week – thanks to all for running them
  • IMPORTANT: Setting work – please ensure that work is uploaded, as per department approach (i.e. Class Materials or Assignments), for every lesson so that isolating students can complete.
  • Looking ahead –
    • 28th April - whole-school CPD.  KRO will be setting a remote learning CPD module for you to complete on Gatsby Benchmarks. More information to follow.
    • Walton Connects T&L Meeting on Wednesday 12th May for 30 minutes to explore the following: what are the most effective ways of encouraging reading within our classrooms?                                                                                                   



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Link to this term’s CPD focus – Embedding Reading Warriors, developing voice confidence

Key Priorities

  • Embedding Reading Warriors when appropriate
  • Giving students to opportunity to use their voices within your lessons (whether reading their work or from a text)
  • Promoting wider reading within your subjects and reading for pleasure


PowerPoints: the teacher’s pet or the learner’s hate? In this week’s reflection (and very much linked to our CPD focus: Reading),  consider the role of PowerPoint within your classroom and in your students’ learning.  Alex Quigley, alongside his teaching role, has been the Director of Huntington Research School; is the successful author of books including 'Closing the Vocabulary Gap' and 'The Confident Teacher'; and he regularly writes columns for TES and Teach Secondary magazines. In his blog, he explores the dos and don’ts of using this software program for allowing students to learn effectively and examines the pitfalls of using PowerPoints badly.

He suggests some thought-provoking top tips such as:

  • Keeping them to a maximum of 10 slides
  • Don’t write things that you are going to say
  • Make the slides image based and/or with media clips. Avoid dense text and if you can go wordless.
  • Try other packages like Prezi
  • Do not use pixelated images as they do not enlarge well.
  • Use pastel coloured backgrounds and avoid garish colours.
  • Tailor ready-made PowerPoints to your students; do not use anyone else’s PowerPoint ‘off-the-shelf’.

If we return to our focus for this half-term, READING, this all makes sense and encourages students to engage more with any visual texts. 

Writing for the TES (article attached), Quigley goes a step further and suggests that ‘the distillation of complex texts into snappy slides is actually damaging our students’ ability to read complex materials and to access the far reaches of the curriculum?...Researchers have found that textbooks have been simplified over the past century but the further simplification produced by PowerPoint slides may prove a step too far’.

As we all continue to refine our craft in our ‘bricks-and-mortar’ classrooms and we look to alternatives from the PowerPoints, Prezis or OneNote texts, consider Quigley’s principles.  Be bold and choose challenging texts for students to read (perhaps from text books or other sources). Rather than dumbing down, scaffold reading by pre-teaching difficult vocabulary or using the Reading Warriors approach.

In doing so, we will hopefully instil confidence within our students and afford them a better – and deeper- understanding of their learning.


Continue to reward every reader – no matter how much or how little they read.  Choose the ‘Excellent Reading’ Classcharts button.




Useful references:


Remote Learning Policy

Teaching and Learning Policy (containing blended learning approach)

WLD planning template (updated January 2021)



Remember that you have all shared resources in WLD Teachers – CPD – 2020/21 – Reading Warriors (here)

As well as Reading Warriors, try one of Alex Quigley’s approaches summarised on the Quick Wins slides saved here.


Internet Safety - DTU

Here's a useful guide from Amnesty International showing how to hide location data from Facebook image uploads, blocking tracking data, blocking abusive streams etc..


It's suitable for staff and form groups.


ACEs training - PHO (emailed information 7th April)



Mental Health Training – Free - PHO

  • It's FREE
  • Open to anyone
  • Do it when you want, you just need to register for a dated cohort.



Combat Reading

Gwynne Ash and Melanie Kuhn: Fluency Instruction: Research-Based Best Practices.

National Literacy Trust

WLD now has a membership with the NLT.  If you would like access, please contact RLO.  There are useful materials to help you to embed literacy approaches within your classrooms.


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Posted by Rachel Long

Category: Teaching and Learning Digests

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