TeachMeet Post-16 at City Academy Bristol

We begin with a keynote from Mark Anderson, who gives us some background on teachmeets and how powerful he thinks it can be. The numbers stack up – if the 670 teachers who attended TeachMeet in Clevedon teach 8 classes each, the impact could stack up to 160,000 students! Wild.

Mark suggests positive learning characteristics – independence, organisation and skill. Independence: help them to work independently for extended periods of time, to ensure their revision is planned and thorough, research effectively using tools like Pinterest, and use past papers independently of your classes. Organisation: working to deadlines, use online systems to organise notes and folders, use social media to keep them on task during extended assignments, get your message across through things like digital signage and Edmodo. Skilled: offer byod to improve listening and note taking, encourage use of online tools like Socrative and blogs for problem solving and collaboration, offer a variety of tasks to engage across different learning styles, improve personal responsibility with a system like ClassDojo.

A few more ideas: live tweet your class and use Storify to create a permanent record of it. Use Padlet to allow students to share comments and resources during a lesson. Write raps and record them on Songsmith – a free tool through Microsoft partners in learning. Give out poker chips which they have to spend on questions. 3D essay planning: get a template for a dodecahedron and get students to map out their essay on it. Use Evernote to share notes. Speed dating or musical chairs to critique each other’s work. Use student voice: we asked, you said, we did – encourages partnership in learning. Slides available on Mark’s blog – or buy his excellent book!

Isla Johnson from Oasis John Williams, talking about stretch and challenge for post-16. Many came from the Challenge Toolkit on TES. Use de Bono’s Thinking Hats for individual students to review their essays. Give students a figure from whose point of view they must write/argue/think. Give some random words and ask students to make links. Use Bloom’s to encourage students to ask better questions. Isla uses big questions in her lessons now to encourage challenge.

Matt Pullen from CAB speaks next on supporting learning beyond the classroom. Use cloud-based systems like Google Drive to share work and feedback. this encourages students to make corrections and update their work. Use iMovie to introduce new topics: signpost content. Shadow Puppet: an app that will record the discussions that go with various images shown on screen.

Jamie Goddard now from Chepstow, talking about flipped learning. He’s fresh from a flipped learning conference at the start of the week. I also heard his colleague Dave speak about this at TMHistorySW two weeks ago so, with apologies to Jamie, I won’t replicate it here.

Marie Hazel from CAB next on SOLO taxonomy. Marie is doing a Masters in Science Education and has been using SOLO to structure her approach in class. This helped her to ensure her lesson plans were properly tailored to the flipped learning her A-level biology students were doing. She also uses the accelerated learning cycle to build the lesson plan. Marie then shares details about SOLO (again, with apologies, I won’t share here what I shared last summer after SHP – I can only blame the low battery level on my phone!) Marie has sythensised SOLO, Blooms and the Accelerated Learning Cycle to improve progress among her students.

Emma King from St Mary Redcliffe next on AfL. Emma uses bronze/silver/gold target setting and students peer assess each other’s notes and classwork. I like the idea of setting targets for a flipped learning homework and then beginning the lesson with peer assessment of the task. Emma also uses a proforma where students self-assess their essays before they had them in. She awards peer assessment stars as well to show that it is valuable and to ensure they were very clear about their criteria.

Next, a student film from Oasis John Williams. The context is that students need to be given clearer guided learning hours now in a sixth form (640) in order for schools to retain full time funding, so these two students, who hold leadership roles within sixth form, are presenting a video on what they do for their hours. Volunteering – can include being a reading buddy, or doing a primary school placement, or working with small groups of students within lessons. Work experience. Pastoral program.

We continue with a presentation from Kath Cooper who is head of post-16 at Oasis John Williams. She makes the point that knowing the context of your students is vital and at OJW they think of themselves as gap-bridgers. They use data to track underachievement. They also use subject teachers to fill the pastoral care gap – flag up issues and seek guidance if unsure: this, along with other pastoral support carefully sign-posted, has improved attendance, attainment and behaviour.

The final presentation is a video from CAB catering students. It’s great to hear their positive experiences completing their catering course: running Bistro, for example, which is an open restaurant on the site which students run.

A very enjoyable and inspiring TeachMeet!

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