Connecting and organising knowledge in English literature — Reflecting English

Much has been written about the value of knowledge retrieval practice in English literature – it is impossible to think critically about a text until you know it very well. However, I think it is now time to also consider how this knowledge might be connected and organised. In other words, what kinds of mental representations […]

via Connecting and organising knowledge in English literature — Reflecting English

Feedback – links to blogs and articles

blog image km

On the Inset day in September, Tony and I delivered the first of a series of CPD sessions on ‘Feedback’.  Our starting point of course, was Making Every Lesson Count by Allison and Tharby, and I suppose one of the great things about the text, apart from its ‘no nonsense approach (to which Tony and I both subscribe), was the way it sparked our interest in looking at the ways others view and write about educational feedback – believe me, this is really not as ‘dry’ as it sounds and it soon became very addictive. To prepare the CPD session, essays/blogs and points of view were discarded or pursued, until we had far too much additional material and we had to slice through an enormous amount of junk to get to what we thought offered a cohesive picture of effective feedback and one that we could deliver in about 60 minutes.   Given below is a range of material that we found interesting, but for reasons of time could not include:

1. Didau: Marking and Feedback are Not the Same

2. Tidd: Is marking the enemy of Feedback?

3. French: Marking is not the same as feedback

4. Feedback: Beyond Marking

blog (with some useful ideas / strategies)

5. OFSTED Mythbusting on Marking september-2015/ofsted-inspections-mythbusting

6. EEF Marking Review, April 2016

Karen Mitchell
Head of English

Primary Education is Extraordinary. What I learned in a day. — teacherhead

I recently spent a day visiting Tudor Court Primary School in Chafford Hundred, Essex, as part of a visit for a group of Chinese teachers. It’s a school I worked with last year – led by the wonderful Phil Kyriacou. It’s a four form entry school which allows visitors to get a sense of the […]

via Primary Education is Extraordinary. What I learned in a day. — teacherhead

The arch of scaffolding

What does scaffolding involve?

  • Having a clear plan of what you want pupils to achieve
  • Giving them the right tools to get the job done
    -making sure pupils know how to use the tools
  • Providing pupils with different scenarios to see if they can adapt the way they use their tools for a different job.

    => independent learners!

Scaffolding arch

Strategies we can use to help scaffold our lessons, so students are developing into independent learners:

  • Keywords (and definitions)
  • Modelled examples
  • Pairing higher ability pupils with lower ability pupils
  • Sequencing – asking them to tell you what would be the next step.
  • If this is the answer … what was the question?
  • Writing frames
  • Sentence starters
  • Key questions / developed questions
  • Make it relevant to what they know/understand
  • Provide praise for their effort, not their success


Ryan Brooks
Head of History at Carlton le Willows Academy

Modelling strategy – essays

One way of modelling…

I have used this strategy for modelling extended writing. In this instance I will talk about the time I used it with a year 13 psychology group to model how to construct a 16 mark essay. This wasn’t done as a revision tool, but instead used as a means of introducing the content too.

I gave students an exemplar essay written by myself (Outline and evaluate social learning theory as an explanation for aggressive behaviour). I asked the students to read it, highlight sections of description and evaluation. Within the evaluation they needed to identify connectives and sentence openers indicating a well written evaluation. I also asked them to consider the proportions of description and evaluation within the essay. Following this, the group fed back on the above points and were able to offer a good critique of the essay, highlighting areas of strength as well as areas where it could have been improved. They also commented on the overall structure of the essay and how the description and evaluation had been linked together rather than being standalone paragraphs. Having spent half the lesson critiquing the essay they had already started to become familiar with the new content too. I gave an explanation of the theory to consolidate understanding, but then asked pupils to use my explanation as well as their essay to sum up the theory in 5 bullet points. They had almost ‘worked backwards’; they started the lesson with the finished product and ended the lesson summarising it. By the end of the lesson they were really confident with the content.

The following week I set a different essay question for homework, they were encouraged to reflect on what they had learnt from the above lesson before writing their essay. The quality of the finished essays were to a much higher standard and continued to be so for the rest of the year.

The lesson was really powerful and a definite turning point in the standard of the essays produced.

Abigail Emsley
Lead Practitioner for Science & Psychology
Carlton le Willows Academy


Launch of Every Lesson Counts

On Tuesday 5th September, we welcomed all staff from Carlton le Willows Academy and Netherfield Primary School to a joint INSET day where we launched the “Every Lesson Counts” initiative. This was a great opportunity to mix with colleagues from a different school and to be able to share ideas across the key stages – right from early years to year 13.

We began by introducing staff to the book and the 7 principles outlined (challenge, explanation, modelling, practice, questioning, feedback and scaffolding) and discussed how the CPD would be centred around each of these principles. Staff from CLW and NPS facilitated a workshop focussing on each of the principles individually; this allowed for real collaboration from very different educational experience and perspectives.

The aim of these workshops was to discuss the practical ideas from the book based on one of the principles and to share these with colleagues. This enabled staff to evaluate aspects of their practice and consider how they could best use these ideas to embed the main ethos of challenge throughout the school.

Initial feedback from these sessions has been very positive and we look forward to getting the opportunity to attend two more workshops on the INSET day in November.