Some of these I have thought about myself, whereas others are from my teaching colleagues at school or on Twitter.

I have decided to compile these into a blog post:

- 08/10/2016: From one of my Lead Practitioner colleagues: Write down your questions in advance of the lesson and put initials of students’ names next to them that you might ask these to.
- 15/10/2016: Mark your
**#PupilPremium**books first or last so you can measure the gap between the rest of the class. - 30/10/2016: Use or adapt this great
**crib sheet**by**@MrThorntonTeach**to improve efficiency, quality and impact of feedback - 06/11/2016: Put your marked books into piles for the grades to input on your tracker so you can keep away from the PC!
- 13/11/2016: Use
**stickers**for effective marking by~~@~~helen_savory - 20/11/2016: Use
**pose, pause, pounce, bounce #PPPB**by**@TeacherToolkit**as a questioning strategy - 27/11/2016: Staple lined paper over students’ work in books if they have not left you room to give feedback next to it!
- 04/12/2016: Use
**@googledrive**to set up folders for your Year 11 and 13 students with revision & exams resources - 10/12/2016: Use this learning progression mat
**template**by**@EHSScienceRocks**

I hope you enjoy the Christmas break!

]]>**Raising Achievement for Pupil Premium Students.**

Here is a case study below of two similar students, one is pupil premium and one is not:

As you can see, the third progress report of the pupil premium student is the same as the second progress report for the non-pupil premium student.

We need to explore the reasons for this gap. One potential scenario could be that the pupil premium student’s parents have taken on an extra job in the evenings so they are not available for support and guidance. The pupil premium student may have no desk, pen or paper at home and the family may have missed the last WiFi payment so they currently have no internet access. The pupil premium student is not completing their homework or revision and is worried about speaking about this to their teachers.

**Kyle Schwartz**, a third-grade teacher from America, gave her students a slip of paper and asked them to fill in ‘I wish my teacher knew’:

Are we aware of our pupil premium students’ struggles, needs and what we may be able to do to help them succeed in our subjects?

Effective feedback and other successful teaching and learning strategies can be used to narrow the gap for the pupil premium students. Make sure that the specific task for improvement is sufficiently detailed for the students to make enough progress to close the gap compared to the non-pupil premium students, for instance:

Here are some key strategies to help improve the progress of your pupil premium students:

1.**Know** your pupil premium students and mark their books **last **to ‘measure’ the gap.

2.**‘Measure’ **the gap and give **specific** **DIRT **tasks (click on the DIRT link, which is a blog post by **Amjad Ali**) that help them meet the standards that non-pupil premium students are achieving.

3.**Carefully plan **your homework tasks, do they have access to computers, online resources, printers, paper, pens at home?

4.**Systematic approach **to pupil premium students’ absence. Keep a file with resources in from each lesson to hand to them when they return.

5.**Measure **the __ impact__ of any initiatives used and

Here are my slides from the #TMLeatherhead2016 event held at Therfield School last Thursday:

**pupil-premium-presentation-robert-brooks**

My presentation was about **Raising Achievement for Pupil Premium Students**.

It was a great evening and Teach Meet event.

Hoping to go to another one soon!

]]>**Perfectionism: what the research says, & why it’s ruining teachers**

This session, led by Laura McInerney **@miss_mcinerney** (Editor of **Schools Week**), discussed why teachers are imploding with stress and could this be to do with “their own psychological demons?” Laura introduced the session with a definition of ‘perfectionism’ from **Wikipedia**:

**“Perfectionism, in psychology, is a personality trait characterised by a person’s striving for flawlessness and setting excessively high performance standards.”**

40% of teachers leave teaching within the first 5 years of teaching, however Laura explains that this statistic is not a recent one. There are many tired teachers who either do not want to or cannot do teaching permanently. Teaching can allow professionals to thrive who want to be a perfectionist, however this can also be detrimental when things do not always go to plan in this unpredictable and ever changing profession.

Another factor that is being investigated, relating to teacher retention, is more women tending to have children later in life, leading to many of them having the stress of teenager children in their 40s, combined with elderly parents and a full teaching timetable.

Laura spoke to someone about who should manage teachers and they suggested theatre directors as there are very few other professions where you would be expected to perform for up to 6 hours a day and 5 days a week.

Laura also discussed about relationships in teaching compared to other professions, such as when dealing with customers or clients. In teaching you could have around 120 relationships or interactions throughout the working day, if there are any difficulties with relationships, such as with a class of children, this could then filter onto the next day, whereas as a difficult customer may not. Laura shared this “positive model of other” showing where people (teachers in the examples discussed in the session) see themselves and others positively or negatively.

Laura shared the graph below, showing the least and most effective scenarios for teacher retention:

Laura ended the session with a couple of tips on what not to do to a teacher perfectionist:

- Attempt to show them ‘best practice’
- Show them the best teacher in the school something that they cannot do yet

This could be considered detrimental to the perfectionist as it only confirms how wide the gap is between where they are at and where they want to get to. Focussing on smaller steps at a time (i.e. what went well in that lesson, what will I focus on in the next) is much more productive.

**Assessment (what every teacher needs to know)**

This session, led by **Rob Coe** **@ProfCoe **(Professor of Education at Durham University) covered assessment basics, such as reliability, validity, formative and monitoring uses of assessment.

Assessment reliability depends on standardisation, the subject matter and the number of assessment items. A subject that has more closed items on an assessment, such as mathematics, is inevitably going to be more reliable than a holistic approach to marking seen in subjects such as English or history.

Rob also talked about how at parents’ evenings and reporting mechanisms in the past with National Curriculum levels, sometimes the reliability variance between one annual assessment and another could be two sublevels. As students previously were expected to make two sublevels of progress per academic year, this data could be considered unreliable. However, have the new systems put in place by schools replacing National Curriculum levels (or life beyond levels) put this right?

Rob discussed hinge questions as a method of understanding where students have mastered various concepts and showed the probability of mastery from this method.

Rob explained how it was important that teachers use their professional judgement in hinge questioning so that they were sure if a student had understood a particular concept.

This could involve:

Rob also talked about the assumptions that we may make as teachers, such as a badly behaved student being a lower attainer. This is an example of where teacher assessment could be detrimental to some students.

**Developing a school-wide evidence-informed approach to teaching & leaning**

This session, led by John Tomsett **@johntomsett** (Headteacher at **Huntington SchoolHuntington School**, York), reflected upon the challenges of developing an evidence-informed approach to teaching and learning for all the teachers at Huntingdon School.

John explained that he had two senior leadership teams within his school, one for the core operations of the school and one for research. His school has committed to reflective practitioners continuing to develop sound subject knowledge and evidence-based methods for teaching and learning.

Control groups were discussed, as it is difficult to measure the impact of initiatives directly relating to pupil outcomes when there is no control group. If there is a control group however, students could be disadvantaged if they are not in the test group that goes onto perform better in assessments. This is where ethics comes into question.

John reminded us how important question-level analysis (QLA) is to inform any necessary intervention or further teaching of a concept, topic or skill. Measuring the impact is vital to see if they are worthwhile, such as the cost and time allocated, for the improvement in pupil outcomes. John asks his staff to share interventions that have not worked so that they can be discussed on how to improve them or remove the intervention method altogether, such as highlighter pens for revision! His philosophy is that only teaching and learning methods that improve pupil outcomes are to be used in his school, hence the evidence-based approach to teaching and learning at Huntington School.

John gave an example of an intervention used that helped a student move up 3 A Level grades in Economics, by using exam questions annotated on the screen using a Visualiser (such as one from **IPEVO**):

The example above refers to how we, as teachers, need to:

In my **GCSE Science numeracy questions blog**, I have given an example of this.

John also gave an example of how he sets performance management targets for his staff:

“How does students modelling how to answer 6 mark QWC questions in science impact on the marks awarded for these questions for students in the top sets compared to the lower sets?”

John also gave examples of where students can go backwards in terms of progress, despite interventions, such as taking an assessment straight after half-term if the students have not revised. It is important that interventions are not ‘disposed of’ in cases like this, as there are other mitigating circumstances.

**3 key things I will do as a result of attending #rED16**

- Ensure that I use appropriate strategies, such as smaller targets, for any staff I support that strive for perfection.
- Plan hinge questions within medium term plans and DIRT lessons (explained by Amjad Ali,
**@ASTsupportAAli**in his**blog post**) to ensure there are opportunities for clarifying any misconceptions and developing mastery of a topic. - Continue to run interventions, but measure their impact to assess how worthwhile they have been in improving pupil outcomes.

This blog post is a continuation of my previous posts titled **GCSE Edexcel P2 Physics Exam Calculations** and **GCSE Science Numeracy Questions**.

Your students will be revising the content relevant to the foundation or higher tier they are sitting but have they practised enough calculations?

Did you know that (on average, based on previous past papers) the following marks are awarded for calculation and data interpretation questions:

- P2 Foundation: 19/60 marks
- P2 Higher: 20/60 marks

So looking at the grade boundaries:

- Grade C Boundary on P2 Foundation Tier
**June 2015**= 36/60 (53% of the marks required to get a C from the calculation questions) - Grade C Boundary on P2 Higher Tier
**June 2015**= 25/60 (80% of the marks required to get a C from the calculation questions)

Here are my top tips and resources for gaining your students full marks on these questions. Please share them with your students over the next week to build their confidence:

**Recall and use 15 scientific units appropriately**

In the exam, students will often be given the scientific unit but sometimes they will have to provide it themselves. Get the students to note the sizes of the abbreviations of the units as some are upper or lower case:

- Charge = C (coulombs)
- Current = A (amps)
- Time = s (seconds)
- Potential difference = V (volts)
- Resistance = Ω (ohms)
- Power = W (watts)
- Energy and work done = J (joules)
- Speed and velocity = m/s (metres per second)
- Distance = m (metres)
- Acceleration = metres per second squared
- Force = N (newtons)
- Mass = kg (kilograms)
- Gravitational field strength = N/kg
- Momentum = kg m/s
- Force and weight = N (newtons)

Why not set your class a multiple choice quiz on **Show My Homework** testing them on these units before their exam?

**Step by step process to all calculation questions**

- Practise using the equation sheet on page 2 of the exam paper
- Choose the correct equation by highlighting the quantities given in the question and what they are asking for, such as power, energy used, time taken
- Copy the shorthand version of the equation, such as P = E / t
- Rearrange the equation if necessary using an equation triangle (see next section) and rewrite the new equation out as part of your working
- Show your full working out
- Write out the full answer first, no matter how many decimal points!
- Then round (only if you need to, remember 5 and above after the decimal point rounds up!)
- Give the correct answer
**in the answer space**(so that the examiner does not miss it!) - Give the correct unit (only if requested to and if another unit has not already been provided)

**Rearranging equations (HIGHER TIER ONLY)**

- If the equation is in the V = I x R
- If the equation is in the I = V / R format, then the quantity being divided goes onto the top of the equation triangle and the other two quantities onto the bottom.
- You then cover up the quantity you want to find and carry out the appropriate calculation.

**Converting units**

Students need to remember to convert to SI units, otherwise they risk losing marks:

- 60 seconds (s) in 1 minute
- 100 centimetres (cm) in 1 metre (m)
- 1000 metres (m) in 1 kilometre (km)
- 1000 watts ( W ) in 1 kilowatt (kW)
- 1000 joules (J) in 1 kilojoule (kJ)
- 1000 grams (g) in 1 kilogram (kg)

Students also need to remember that gravitational field strength on Earth is 10 N/kg.

**Practising general mathematical skills**

- Calculating a percentage
- Calculating the mean
- Plot and draw graphs (line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, scatter graphs, histograms) and selecting appropriate scales, labels and units for the axes
- Interpret information from tables, charts and graphs. If the question asks the student to describe what the data shows, it is important that they give numerical values from the data as well as describing it (just like they would have done for the conclusions based on evidence in their controlled assessment tasks)
- Use and interpret numbers written in standard form (higher tier)

**Practice!**

Students must practise calculations and data interpretation questions. Print off a pack of these questions using **Exam Wizard **or create your own (see my resources below). Set some challenging multiple choice calculation-style questions using the quiz function on **Show My Homework**.

**My Resources**

Here are some of my resources that I have used with my students to help prepare them for the calculation questions in the P2 exam:

**Other Resources**

Here is a **link** where you can access most of the past papers and mark schemes for P2, as well as **revision resources** and **exam tips**. This website has been written by **@teacherkettle**.

**@Brain_Jar** has put all of his Edexcel Physics PowerPoints on this **website**.

**@UKScienceguy** has a range of **YouTube videos** covering Physics topics.

This **website** gives you quick access to a range of past papers.

I wish your students every success in their examinations.

]]>Your students will be revising the content relevant to the foundation or higher tier they are sitting but have they practised enough calculations?

Did you know that (based on previous past papers) around 16 marks are awarded for calculation and data interpretation questions on the P1 foundation and higher tier exams?

- Grade C Boundary on P1 Foundation Tier
**June 2015**= 32/60 (50% of the marks required to get a C from the calculation questions) - Grade C Boundary on P1 Higher Tier
**June 2015**= 22/60 (73% of the marks required to get a C from the calculation questions)

Here are my top tips and resources for gaining your students full marks on these questions. Please share them with your students over the next week to build their confidence:

**Recall and use 9 scientific units appropriately**

In the exam, students will often be given the scientific unit but sometimes they will have to provide it themselves. Get the students to note the sizes of the abbreviations of the units as some are upper or lower case:

- Distance or wavelength (m) metres
- Speed or wave speed (m/s) metres per second
- Time (s) seconds
- Frequency (Hz) hertz
- Energy (J) joules
- Power ( W ) watts
- Current (A) amps
- Potential difference (V) volts
- Power consumption (kWh) kilowatt-hour

Why not set your class a multiple choice quiz on **Show My Homework** testing them on these units before their exam?

**Step by step process to all calculation questions**

- Practise using the equation sheet on page 2 of the exam paper
- Choose the correct equation by highlighting the quantities given in the question and what they are asking for, such as power, energy used, time taken
- Copy the shorthand version of the equation, such as P = E / t
- Rearrange the equation if necessary using an equation triangle (see next section) and rewrite the new equation out as part of your working
- Show your full working out
- Write out the full answer first, no matter how many decimal points!
- Then round (only if you need to, remember 5 and above after the decimal point rounds up!)
- Give the correct answer
**in the answer space**(so that the examiner does not miss it!) - Give the correct unit (only if requested to and if another unit has not already been provided)

**Rearranging equations (HIGHER TIER ONLY)**

- If the equation is in the v = f x
*λ*format, then the subject of the equation goes onto the top of the equation triangle and the other two quantities onto the bottom - If the equation is in the v = x / t format, then the quantity being divided goes onto the top of the equation triangle and the other two quantities onto the bottom
- You then cover up the quantity you want to find and carry out the appropriate calculation

**Converting units**

Students need to remember to convert to SI units, otherwise they risk losing marks:

- 60 seconds (s) in 1 minute
- 1000 metres (m) in 1 kilometre (km)
- 1000 watts ( W ) in 1 kilowatt (kW)

Kilowatt-hour (kWh) can be kept in this format if the question requires the student to calculate the cost of electricity.

**Practising general mathematical skills**

- Calculating a percentage
- Calculating the mean
- Plot and draw graphs (line graphs, bar charts, pie charts, scatter graphs, histograms) and selecting appropriate scales, labels and units for the axes
- Interpret information from tables, charts and graphs. If the question asks the student to describe what the data shows, it is important that they give numerical values from the data as well as describing it (just like they would have done for the conclusions based on evidence in their controlled assessment tasks)
- Use and interpret numbers written in standard form (higher tier)

**Practice!**

Students must practise calculations and data interpretation questions. Print off a pack of these questions using **Exam Wizard **or create your own (see my resources below). Set some challenging multiple choice calculation-style questions using the quiz function on **Show My Homework**.

**Resources**

I have uploaded some resources that I have used with my students to help prepare them for the calculation questions in the P1 exam:

**P1 Foundation Practice Calculations****P1 Foundation Calculations PowerPoint****P1 Higher Practice Calculations****P1 Higher Calculations PowerPoint**

I wish your students every success in their examinations.

]]>**Why is this area important?**

The average raw mark in Edexcel for June 2015 achieving a Grade C on the foundation core and additional papers was 32/60.

20% of 60 = 12 marks

**Have you built time into your curriculum plan for your current Year 11s to ensure they have been taught how to tackle data handling, numeracy, equation and calculation type questions?**

Guide students on how to complete the question. Perhaps create **annotations** on an actual exam question to show them how to answer it:

Check that students know what the** command words** mean:

**Dedicate time in the curriculum plan:**Use numeracy exam questions linked to the lesson topic you are teaching.**Test students regularly:**Use the Show My Homework quiz function to set multiple choice calculation quizzes and for testing knowledge on using the correct scientific units.**Check your specification:**What are the requirements for your specification? Are there parts you can skip for your foundation tier students because they only appear on the higher paper?**Provide students with or get them to bring in calculators:**If students are regularly using their smart phones as calculators in lessons, they may not get used to using a scientific calculator for their real exam.**Students must show their working and give the correct units!**

In earlier blog posts I’ve been exploring the ways that KS3 can be reclaimed to have a positive impact on student achievement over time. Ofsted’s document KS3: The Wasted Years explores the issues affecting KS3 at the moment and,…]]>

Excellent blog post and some really useful points made. Thank you!

In earlier blog posts I’ve been exploring the ways that KS3 can be reclaimed to have a positive impact on student achievement over time. Ofsted’s document KS3: The Wasted Years explores the issues affecting KS3 at the moment and, to me, gives very clear guidance to schools about what is required for them to be successful.

Firstly, Ofsted state that ‘[successful schools] ensure that pupils are well aware of their school’s high expectations for behaviour and conduct, and they have a clear understanding of pupils’ achievements in primary school and build on them from day one.’ (Ofsted, 2015). For more on this see the earlier posts in this series.

The ways that this can be done are:

- Challenge (read more here)
- Engagement (read more here)
- Early intervention

If we want to see students make expected or more than expected progress at KS4, we need to get in early on and identify…

View original post 1,574 more words

**Warm Up Session**

Stephen Lockyer @mrlockyer engaged the audience with a different version of “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” story by Eric Carle.

Stephen’s humour was excellent and enthused us ready for the workshops we were about to go to:

Stephen gave a great description of how teachers are notorious for having marking in their car and asked the audience to raise their hands if they did. Many put up their hands and he gave an account of how he brings his marking home every Christmas in an IKEA bag, it stays in the car for a few days, then into the hallway and it pleads with him to “mark me!”

Stephen explained the importance of the #TLT15 event in communicating the excellent ideas discussed so that they can have the impact they deserve. He gave some interesting statistics:

- There are 480,000 teachers in the UK
- Only 130,000 of UK teachers (27%) are on Twitter
- Only 0.67% of UK teachers went to a TeachMeet event in the last 12 months

Stephen encouraged us not only to tweet and blog, but to disseminate the information we learnt into our schools, such as by e-mailing out our blogs to our colleagues.

**Workshop 1: Making the most of Middle Leadership**

I met Jill Berry @jillberry102 at #LFE15 earlier this year and she gave me some great advice on how to succeed as a middle leader. When I saw that she would be presenting at #TLT15, I knew I had to sign up.

Jill asked us to think about the differences between the roles of pastoral and academic leadership. Here are some ideas that the audience gave and I have also added to:

Pastoral Leadership

This could involve positions such as a Deputy Head of Year, Head of Year, Head of House, Head of Learning or Head of Key Stage.

- Great emphasis on the success of the whole child rather than focussing on their success in an individual subject area
- More focus on the welfare of the student and elements of ‘social work’ involved in the role
- You have to deal with things as they arise and therefore the role is a little more unpredictable
- Dealing with student discipline more

Academic

This could involve positions such as a Department Key Stage Co-ordinator, Second in Department, Head of Department or Head of Faculty.

- Great emphasis on the success of child in an individual subject area
- More accountability for student progress
- Line management of teachers and accountability for their examination results
- More strategic leadership and vision needed

What was interesting though, particularly as I am currently involved in both pastoral and academic leadership, was the crossover of skills required for both roles:

- Data analysis
- Time management
- Prioritising tasks

Jill gave an excellent comparison between the Head of Year and Head of Department. Motorists are pedestrians and pedestrians are often motorists too.

Jill wanted us to think about the positivity and reward associated with middle leadership. Most of the audience agreed it was because of our sphere of influence and being able to initiate positive change for our students. As a Head of Year, you have to think about the sphere of influence on a cohort of students, whereas a Head of Science has to think about this for every student studying science.

There are various challenges middle leaders have to cope with, such as dealing with the Senior Leadership Team (SLT), constant curriculum changes, communication and line managing teachers. Jill told us something that John Tomsett @johntomsett once said:

At a National Union of Teachers (NUT) conference I went to in October 2013, Karen Lewis (President of the Chicago Teachers Union) @KarenLewisCTU said: “You can’t put students first if you’re putting teachers last.” Jill explained to us that if the staff are looked after then in turn the staff will look after the students. It is our job as middle leaders to support that within our teams and the SLT and Headteacher to ensure this for the whole school.

It is also important to consider this:

Some middle leaders worry that they can’t do what they want to do within their department or year group due to whole school pressures. Jill said that you have to work with what you can and be the best you can possibly be within your domain. The SLT and Headteacher over time will notice how good your area is and other areas (year groups or departments) can then learn from yours. This takes time and persistence.

This was a great session led by Jill and gave me loads to think about in my middle leadership roles.

**Workshop 2: Marvellous Questioning for Monumental Learning**

This was an informative session led by Sarah Findlater @MsFindlater on the reasons for questioning and different approaches to effective questioning in the classroom.

Sarah advised us to avoid asking too many closed questions and ones that do not move the learning forward. Sometimes we can be guilty of this when we need to fill time in a lesson. More careful planning of questions is needed when planning the lesson.

A fantastic idea Sarah gave us was to use canvassing questioning. An example of how I would use this in a biology lesson would be:

- Teacher: “Who thinks that alcoholic patients should be entitled to a liver transplant? Put up your left hand for no and right hand for yes”
- Students then vote.
- Teacher then chooses students who voted either way to get an explanation from them.

This questioning method engages the whole class and allows you to ask deeper questions later on to individual students.

Sarah got us to then think about how we could use Bloom’s Taxonomy in our own subject areas in a particular topic to design a series of questions. This is also a good starting point when writing or developing schemes of work:

Other questioning ideas Sarah discussed with us:

- Allow thinking time between asking the question and expecting a response. As the subject specialist it is very easy to go through the lesson quickly but if you can get used to the silence after asking a question it will be okay!
- #PPPB Pose Pause Pounce Bounce questioning by Ross Morrison McGill @TeacherToolkit
- No hands questioning: Use lolly sticks or the fruit machine on www.classtools.net
- Teachers should also avoid accepting a partially correct answer and students need to know it is okay to be wrong and that is how we can learn.

An excellent session and many ideas to take from this back to school.

**Workshop 3: Question Level Analysis**

This session was led by Kristian @KristianStill and Paul Kearley. Question level analysis is an important tool to pinpoint areas of weakness for a specific student so they (and the teacher) know what topics or skills they need to improve on.

It is also vital to use for analysing the cohort or particular classes in certain questions. If there is a topic all students are getting wrong then the teaching of that needs to be revisited or tweaked.

Kristian showed us his question level analysis tool, which is available to download from his website:

A good motivational idea Kristian and Paul gave was to give students alternative questions on a topic they got wrong (after some intervention) and show the students how the tracker can change. You can use Exam Pro, Exam Wizard and Test Base to find questions on particular topics for students rather than having to spend time creating your own or manually searching through past papers yourself.

We were given a good summary on how to lead effective assessments:

An excellent session and question level analysis tool given for us to use in our schools, thank you very much!

**Workshop 4: Challenge and Differentiation**

This was one of the most engaging and inspiring education workshops I have ever been to led by Lindsay Skinner @lindsayjskinner who is an English Teacher, Deputy Head and Raising Standards Leader.

Lindsay talked about the myths of effective differentiation, particularly when she observes lessons and sees mountains of differentiated worksheets, sometimes 30 different ones for each student in the class! She rightly pointed out that this method was unsustainable and probably does not have a significant positive impact on the progress of the students.

It is in fact possible to differentiate day in day out by teaching to the top. If you know the A* model answer for a specification statement and can teach that well (this is something that is embedded into all of our schemes of work in the Science Department), you can teach it to all students. Teach to the top down #teachingtothetop

It is a good idea to start embedding more complicated terms at GCSE and A Level down into Key Stage 3. Students are then used to the words and are not as baffled by them as they reach examination classes. This increases their vocabulary, scientific literacy and specialist terminology from an earlier starting point.

Lindsay explained how it was important that the complex skills need to be taught in the classroom where the students have you (and each other) on hand for support and leave the lower end skills and much of the content for homework using a model of flipped learning.

Lindsay also showed us that by using the PiXL Club PLCs (Personalised Learning Checklists) effectively, you are differentiating without having to create additional resources. Many schools, like ours, adapt the PiXL PLCs to suit their students and schemes of work but the principles are still the same. If students have model answers for the PLCs, they can learn the content at home, whereas the more complex skills can be taught in lessons.

By having the colour-coded PLC tracker on the board, students can see where they are up to and what skills they need to be able to develop. In science, students could complete an examination question on a particular specification statement, the teacher could check it and then they could colour-code the tracker green.

It is important to regularly save copies of the tracker, Lindsay suggested weekly. This is so you can show progress over time to your school leaders but more importantly to the students to show how much they have learnt and developed over a short space of time. This was something I used to do with BTEC Science trackers but I have now realised I can easily do this with GCSE and A Level too.

The focus needs to be on the learning of a particular section, such as explaining the dangers of electromagnetic radiation, rather than how to do it, such as doing a comic strip, PowerPoint presentation, report, cartoon or video clip. Sometimes the students will moan that they are having to write an extended writing answer. Lindsay gave an idea on how to challenge this:

Lindsay made an important point that we need intervention and differentiation like this from the start of Key Stage 3 to avoid the proverbial frantic Year 11 intervention.

There was so much information from this session that I can easily take and use in school, in particular with my Year 11 classes. Thank you Lindsay!

**Action Points**

When attending a TeachMeet, conference or CPD, I always try and pinpoint key points to take away with me to use in my own school. Here are 4 (one from each workshop)

**1) Leadership:** Evaluate my sphere of influence on students studying science in my school and use this to decide how I can develop this further.

**2) Questioning: **Try out this questioning technique:

**3) Feedback: **Investigate how we could use the question level analysis tool in different key stages within the Science Department.

**4) Differentiation: **Display the PLC tracker on the board, use this as differentiation and save copies each week to show progress over time.

#TLT15 was a fantastic day and I really enjoyed networking with other teachers. I’m already looking forward to #TLT16 next year!

Thank you to David Fawcett @davidfawcett27 and Jenn Ludgate @MissJLud for organising!

]]>My presentation was about Differentiation by pathway in Science

Here is the link to the lesson resources mentioned in this presentation https://rbrooks2014.wordpress.com/2015/04/18/year-8-introduction-to-digestion-full-lesson-resources

It was a great evening and Teach Meet event.

Hoping to go to another one soon!

]]>