The purpose of this post is to acknowledge some of the great practice that occurs every week in and around Bristol Brunel Academy.
Mr Rogers (Science) – 1st lesson with a new year 9 group. Mr Rogers had his group sat in silence whilst he explained the rules, expectations and routines of the classroom. He explained ‘homework day’ which is the same every week to help students remember and how he uses ShowMyHomework to monitor and track homework. Mr Rogers also spent some time modelling (using books form the class) what excellent presentation looks like to students, setting the bar high from the outset.
Mr Jones (Science) – Mr Jones was in the middle of explaining the concept of lightening to his year 11 class. To make the explanation more concrete he describe a walking competition he entered in South Wales which involved map reading and camping over a few days. During one night a lightening storm struck and his group watched lightening striking the ground not far from them. Mr Jones went on to talk more about the scientific relevance of his story. The students were hanging on his every word. A great use of relevant personal experience to help students understand a concept and make an explanation more concrete.
Ms Jacobs (Science) – Students were engrossed in a discussion about the role of platelets and how they help blood to clot. Ms Jacobs used an example of a minor personal injury she encountered to help students understand the concept and make the explanation more concrete. What was really good about this lesson was Ms Jacobs use of retrieval practice to force students to think about remember parts of the Science curriculum from last year. She also made her expectations of behaviour really clear by setting acceptable levels of student communication between activities. Great start to the year!
Mr Browne (Maths) – Upon entering the classroom Mr Browne was modelling the key misconceptions for a maths question with a year 7 class. A clear routine was already place for students responding to the teachers questions which made for a really calm and focused classroom. Mr Browne spent some time de-constructing a question with the class to identify the key errors that students make for this topic. It wasn’t until the year 7 class had completed the question (and got it correct) that Mr Browne revealed they were actually working on a GCSE question. Another great example of high expectations.
Mr Swaffin-Smith (Maths) – Year 7 students were being introduced to probability and Mr Swaffin-Smith started with some key words relating to the topic. There was a focus here on literacy and presentation of work. Students were challenged to extend their vocabulary and think of other words that could be used. While students were writing Mr Swaffin-Smith took the opportunity to give students feedback on the presentation of work in their books and question students further to probe their understanding.