Walking Talking Mocks: Not as useful as they seem?

A few weeks back our English department did a series of walking talking mocks (WTM) to a large amount of praise from the students. They worked really well and students gained a lot from seeing the live modelling of essay answers, picking up tips. I was first introduced to WTMs from my first PiXL meeting….

How to get the most out of calculation SLOP questions.

Recently I’ve seen a lot written and discussed about the number, style, and type of questions posed in SLOP (Shed Loads Of Practice) activities to support students in the right way. Whenever you are making a resource that is supposed to cater for all it inevitably will fail some so it’s important you know your…

Book Looks: A policy for teacher development, not bashing

In November our school was fortunate to be paid a visit by Andy Buck. Our Principal had found a way to carve out time for all subject leads to collaborate and look at work scrutiny. It was really useful to be able to explore a whole school strategy together, with guidance from Andy, who had…

Pitch perfect: How to get the most out of your marking

We all have to mark to some degree. Some schools have quite labour-intensive systems with fixed frequency, others favour a more whole-class feedback model, but we all mark. I’m not talking about the marking of summative assessments to judge the students, like end of topic/term/year tests, but the day-to-day formative marking. But do we make…

Knowledge organisers built for locked-out learners

Over the summer I built some knowledge organisers (KO) for AQA science. I’ve been reading about KOs and have borrowed some good examples from various blogs and schools. I’ve always struggled with how daunting they look to the struggling students, often with dense wordy descriptions or bloated with content all crammed on to one sheet….

Motivation from MARGE

Ironically, I’ve had a draft blog titled ‘Motivation’ since 30th August and just not been certain I had anything useful to add to the discussion. But after reading MARGE by Arthur Shimamura (with thanks to Tom Sherrington and Dan Willingham for summarising and bringing it to my attention), I was relieved it seemed to back…