Bright spots // 7th October 2016

Mrs Taylor-Evans (Art) – Year 7 students were reflecting on a piece of work from the previous lesson where they had been studying the work of Henri Matisse and identifying what made his artwork great. Students were then challenged to create their own collage using the Matisse’s ideas and themes. The quality of the work and the level of challenge here were high. During this lesson students were evaluating their work using prompts from the board –  a great opportunity for students to reflect on what went well and what can be improved.

Mr Rutter (Science) – Year 8 Science lesson – Students were investigating different food groups. Mr Rutter had made good use of checklists to organise the key knowledge students needed to know. Students were able to refer to checklist and continually self evaluate what they knew and what they didn’t. Mr Rutter gave really clear, concise instructions which were accompanied by very clear timings which created some urgency. He also made really good use of the Academy behaviour system to set expectations around the level of noise that was acceptable for the duration of the task. This helped create a cal, purposeful atmosphere in the room.

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Knowledge checklist in a year 8 Science lesson.

Mr Bunker (English) – Year 7 students were acting on feedback to improve their creative writing. Mr Bunker had spent some time highlighting mistakes and students were adding notes to their work about how to improve before starting a re-draft. Mr Bunker made good use of a ‘Benchmark of Brilliance’ resource which clearly identify for students what a excellent piece of creative writing should include. As students were working Mr Bunker used lots of positive prompts to acknowledge where students were focused and working hard. It was clear to see from the depth and quality of work being produced that these students were being held to the highest standards.

Mr Thompson (Maths) – Year 7 students were working through some probability questions. Mr Thompson took some time to explain the process of solving these problems through some great questioning. He focused his questioning around the meta-cognitive skills required to solve the problems. Students were challenged to explain the process of solving the problem rather than just giving an answer. Students were challenged further by being asked to think of alternative or quicker, more efficient ways to solve the same problem. Mr Thompson then modeled the students verbal answers on the board allowing everyone to see the different steps involved in arriving at the correct answer.

Mrs Heath (Art) – Year 7 students were in the middle of submitting homework through a practiced routine. On homework day Mrs Heath spends the first part of the lesson, whilst she is taking the register asking students to show their homework so that she can quickly assess the quality and the whether the homework has been completed or not. This particular homework task really challenged students to practice their line drawing techniques which fed into the lesson. The quality of work submitted was high and routine for collecting homework really helped students as they knew they were unable to opt out. High expectations!

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Year 7 Line Drawing techniques homework task.

Mr Smerdon (Science) – The focus of this year 8 Science lesson was ‘Energy.’ Mr Smerdon used the example of mountaineers scaling Everest to hook students in before asking them to reflect on how much energy would be needed to get to the top. Using concrete examples that students can relate to is a great way of getting students interested. This provided the challenge for the lesson. Mr Smerdon’s explanation was clear and he used questioning well to get students to elaborate on their initial ideas before extending their knowledge base further with more explanation.

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