Category Archives: Skills

RED HOT Lesson Blog post 5

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I really enjoyed observing Al Morris’ Year 8 DT class last week.

This lesson allowed the students to tidy away after a busy practical session in a safe and ordered environment. During the previous lesson, the students had been made aware of expectations to clear away. Al has used music to establish routines and teach pupils to associate particular cues with specific behavioral requirement’s in the classroom taken from Pavlov’s theory. Music is a great tool to signal a transition from one activity to another, for both the teacher and the student. The students knew exactly what to do when they heard the music, Benny Hill’s theme tune and responded right away. The room was tidy within 2.40 mins, a seriously impressive time. Pupils also had an incentive to do well as groups were timed and feedback and commendations given to winning tables.

The lesson ended with a ‘catch the question’ plenary.” Al started the ball rolling by asking a question, on answer a pupil could then ask a question to the class that they were sure or unsure of the answer and so on. Pupils were really enthusiastic to take on the teacher’s question role. It was a quick and easy plenary to apply in any lesson.

On arrival I had noticed a sign which read “Luke Warm Lesson!” Al, you need to change the sign to Red Hot Lesson.

Amanda Burdon

Red hot lesson blog post 5

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Peer Monitoring the SPAG helps fill the pot to success!

On each table is a laminated A3 coloured sheet demonstrating best practice use of SPAG. All students are consciously aware of their grammar expectations.

During the previous lesson, the students were required to write a paragraph using creative writing skills to compose the beginning of a ghost story.

The peer mentor went around the room whilst the teacher (Gemma)  was delivering the next part of the work, reading over the students work and awarding them a gold star if they managed to get no grammar errors. If the peer mentor spotted an error this would be circled to allow the student to make the relevant correction.

Brilliant – 1) teacher spends time teaching instead of marking, 2) it acts as a learning opportunity for the peer mentor, 3) there is no disruption or time lost from peer marking in class 4) the students have the incentive to do well so they get a gold star……which leads to a bigger prize.

What’s not to like? Everybody remembers getting gold star in school it’s nostalgic.

Well done Gemma!

Nicola Lilley  with thanks to Gemma Machray


Red Hot Lesson Blog post 3:Exam Technique/ Literacy and collaboration

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The FARM Plan

I had the pleasure of observing a Year 11 Religious Studies GCSE class last week. I had previously seen Kerry Anstee use the FARM PLAN resource, in another lesson and was delighted to see it used once again. In groups of 4, the class used a graphic organiser to discuss and develop their their viewpoint on the statement ‘religion and science can never agree’. This lesson not only allowedFarm plan the students to practice exam technique, sequencing thought within a framework and literacy skills but they were also able to collaborate and work together therefore developing independent learning and more importantly the shift was towards the students doing the hard work and not the teacher! An excellent example of great practice that can be adapted for use in any subject.

Becky Edwards

Day 8 Powerful words

gobby_academy_logo (1)During the last training day I attended on “challenging the most able”, the session leader mentioned using a mobile application called Gobby Academy developed by the University of Warwick and Stealth Education. This app focuses on finding the most powerful words to include in essays, university applications, and research reports so the writer can express himself in a successful way.

Since I downloaded it, I used it in different contexts and I welcome any idea so I can make best use of it.

One successful way of using it was with the year 11 going through past papers, working on essay questions and quick planning. I organised a carrousel activity where each group of students had 10 minutes to read the question and plan an answer. After 10 minutes, they were given a different question. I encouraged them to use the “Top Trump Words” in the app to reword the questions. The benefits of it are that first, they had to take time to analyse the question before jotting down on paper any idea. When reading an essay question, they had to make the link between the words used and the assessment criteria.

You are maybe thinking by now that a dictionary would certainly do just the same job, as I was doing at uni and school just a few years ago but you’ll have to admit that beyond the mobile practicality, the context feature helps a better understanding of the word.

You can find the link here to download the app:

Merci 🙂 Helene WeltonGobby

Revision Strategies

Greetings citizens of the internet! (™Ryan Sherbet on YouTube)

I’m Jonathan Dunn, director and founder of, and a year 11 student who’s partway through his exams. I started my revision at the end of January, which is completely reasonable and earlier than when most people started – I think it was just over 100 days until my exams started when I began revising. This means that I have had plenty of time to master my revision techniques, and so I hope to share them with you today.

First of all, revision strategies vary from subject to subject. Also this isn’t necessarily the best way for you to revise as this is a matter of personal preference and so you should do what works best for you.

I would highly recommend a revision timetable; if you want an easy template that I used, then I would be happy to share it. It works best if you lay out pretty much all of your day and then you can visually see where you have free time. I found that 45 minute sessions with 15 minute breaks between each session works best for me. I did initially an hour and a half each day with a day off on Sundays.

I’ll start with Maths as you all should be taking that. Here past papers are key. Work through as many as you can and make sure you understand all the questions you went wrong on; take them to your teacher during lunch if you don’t get them at all.

English. Now, everyone says that you can’t revise for English; well they’re kind of right. It’s not so much revising knowledge, but improving your skills. With the language exam you want to practice the questions and take them to your teacher to get feedback. Then go back and try it again. Also read examiners reports and check out Mr Bruff, on YouTube.

Sciences. You should be taking Chemistry, Biology and Physics. Now for these I disagree with doing past papers partly. I think it’s more important to actually learn what you’re being tested on first. So read through the entire textbook. This seems like a big task, so do it in little manageable bits, like when you’re on the bus. Then read the syllabus through properly. (You can find these with a quick Google search). After reading a topic and its syllabus section, then do the past papers.

MFL. Here you should be learning as much vocab as possible. If you get a vocab book then put them onto Quizlets. I can’t recommend Quizlets enough. (Email me if you’re interested in a complete German Quizlet set of all the vocab you need).  Then practice them regularly.

The other subjects are all your options, which will be different to mine, so you can work out how to revise for them yourself. I hope this has been of use. Any questions then email me.

Happy revising and good luck!

(It isn’t about luck; it’s about the hard work you put in now. Success is not by magic it’s by work!)

Jonathan Dunn


My Revision Techniques

The key to revising, in my eyes, is planning. Throughout the year I think that it is crucial to make notes in every lesson and make sure you understand what you have learnt, then go over your notes that evening so that you are confident on the subject. Don’t be afraid to ask your teacher for help if you do not understand at the time, it will make your life significantly easier in the future. When it comes to serious revising in summer, the process suddenly becomes a lot easier and manageable as you have already understood the whole course. From Christmas time to Easter I will write all my notes on to revision cards, with a question based on the syllabus on one side, and the answers on another side. However, I know that revision cards are not best suited to everyone, some prefer just writing on paper or making posters, but what you have learnt needs to be written down because the process of physically writing involves conscious thought and it is much more difficult to switch off, unlike just reading through a textbook. I can then use these cards at anytime, making sure I regularly test my knowledge and, most importantly, make mistakes which I can then learn from. After this learning stage, past papers are very useful. I usually do one or two for each exam using the book to help me and take a long time over each question, then mark them in detail. If there are any topics that you are finding particularly difficult, make sure you spend time doing extra questions, until it becomes your strongest topic. I usually do the remaining papers on my own without the book as a mock and I spend a lot of time seeing how the mark scheme wants me to answer the question. I do as many past papers as I possibly can, and I usually do about two within the week before the exam. During this intense revision period, take breaks and use your breaks productively, such as doing some exercise or playing an instrument. You cannot work all day every day with no breaks. It is also normal to be stressed, and I would be worried if you weren’t stressed. I believe it is important to be able to use that stress wisely and convert it to motivation to revise.

Matthew Adams

How I Revise

Hi, it’s almost time for the end of year tests and everyone has to get ready. Have you ever wondered what revision means? Have you thought about going through your work? Well it’s basically just that, moving information from your short-term memory to your long-term memory. All you learn goes into your short-term memory and if you keep revising it it will go to your long-term memory. Short-term memory is good for remembering things for almost a day and long-term memory can store information as long as you revise things. However, everyone revises differently. You might be wondering how to revise, how are you going to get good levels. Well, I have a simple solution. This is how I revise!

A pen,
A ruler,
A cosy place to sit,
And of course the respective book or website based on what you’re revising.

Basically, all you have to do is switch off the tv or gadget and switch on your brain. Have a drink, kick back and concentrate. If that doesn’t work try having some jazz or Mozart or relaxing music playing in the room, no head phones to fiddle with. Always remember what you have revised before bed this helps move what you have learnt to your long-term memory. Pretty soon you’ll be finding yourself in the bed after a “fun” day revising. Always revise the same thing two days in a row. When you revise just quickly go through what you had revised last time.

Do’s and don’t:

You should always make a timetable for when you are revising. You should always revise mathematics and English for 1 hour each every day. You shouldn’t stick to your favourite subjects and forget about the others. Weekly, do sample tests to see the bits that you’re not so good at.

Helpful websites:

BBC bitesize

So, have a go at revising using the method and have some fun. Tests aren’t always boring and this one doesn’t have to be either.

Samarth year 7