Friday, 12 December 2014

Inquiry maths

Inquiry maths is a model of teaching that encourages students to regulate their own activity while exploring a mathematical statement (called a prompt). Inquiries can involve a class embarking on diverse paths of exploration or in listening to a teacher's exposition. In inquiry maths, students take responsibility for directing the lesson with the teacher acting as the arbiter of legitimate mathematical activity.

Place Value Inquiry 
Factors Inquiry 
An Inquiry Lesson

Masters at Bath Unversity

The Bath Experience

Daniel Serpa, Physics Teacher and Examinations Officer, Urca

When a Brazilian guy thinks about his future, he must assume that the only way to become successful would be via his studies, and in such a competitive time you cannot stop studying. At the same time you do need a job at least to support your family. But when your employers give you the opportunity to improve your knowledge, developing your abilities aiming to achieve another level in your profession, this is what every employee desires.
In 2009 I was accepted to do a Postgraduate course at the University of Warwick, and together with some friends from TBS we had a great experience visiting schools and working/studying at the University. Since 2013 I am a Masters student at the University of Bath; I´ve been to two MA Summer Schools (July 2013 &2014) to have lessons. Until this moment, three specific subjects related to my area of research. I am a part-time MA student and I need to complete my dissertation by the beginning of 2018, not before completing the minimum number of credits required by the University. The facilities, the teachers and the environment are absolutely inspiring to anyone that enjoys learning not only subject- related topics but also from different cultures presented/shared by different MA students from different backgrounds,  due to their international experience from all over the world.  I am certainly the kind of guy that really enjoys a good lesson rather than of any sort of online interaction, and I can ensure you that giving up two weeks of my holidays to study at Bath has been the best thing I have ever done to develop, not only my knowledge, but also my career as a Physics teacher. Thanks a lot for the opportunity, British School.

 Daniel Serpa
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How To Kill Learner Curiosity In 12 Easy Steps


Follow the link to twelve tips to help stifle learner curiosity


Project-based learning is a dynamic classroom approach in which students actively explore real world problems and challenges and acquire deeper knowledge.

An Introduction to Project-Based Learning

Project Based learning in the Early Years

    Innovative Practice: 5 Strategies for the Early Learning Classroom

    Enquiry Based Learning


Here are some useful resources for those first weeks back in 2015: 

Resources to help teachers with their new class

How to teach … a new class

Full Metal Jacket: one way to get discipline in your classroom after the holidays!

2015 Photography Awards

2015 Sony World Photography Awards entries, in pictures

  • World Photography Organisation has revealed some of the incredible submissions for the 2015 competition
  • Collection of photos is spectacular, with amazing photos of wildlife and some of world's greatest landscapes

  • Competition is open to photographers of all levels with professional, amateur and student categories  

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Resources available on Dylan Wiliam's website

This 130-page pack, written by Alice Onion, Sue Burns, Jim Thorpe and Dylan Wiliam, was originally published in 1990 by Framework Press to help teachers introduce investigative and problem-solving into the teaching of mathematics in secondary school. 

Eight issues of the Journal of Mathematical Modelling for Teachers were published between 1978 and 1981. The journal was edited by David Burghes (Cranfield Institute of Technology) and Graham Read (Open University) and had, as its aim, “the study of applicable mathematics through the publication of articles related to the modelling process”. 


Research (‘Inside the Black Box’ by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam, 1998) has shown that there has been a tendency to mark for quantity and presentation of students’ work, rather than for its quality. The accumulation of grades and marks are given priority, rather than examining children's work to ascertain future learning needs. Grading and marking have also been found to have a detrimental effect on some pupils, and can lead to lower self-esteem, since children tend to focus on the grade itself rather than on the teacher’s comments to develop their understanding as to what to do better in future.  Grades alone do not show how to move students forward or improve their work.
The provision of effective marking and feedback to children is one of the key factors for improving learning through assessment.  The learner needs to understand the purpose of the learning, how to make improvements, and be given specific time to respond to comments or feedback.

Some interesting links:

Work scrutiny – What’s the point of marking books?

Make you marking policy a feedback one

Talk for Writing

These Teachers’ Notes have been specially written by Pie Corbett to assist teachers and librarians in the promotion and teaching of Tell Me a Dragon by Jackie Morris to help promote a love of good books, literature and reading among children.

Tell Me a Dragon

Linking intervention to inclusion

Intervention programmes have a crucial role to play in continuing to raise standards in literacy and mathematics. Monitoring students' progress and targeting support to help those who need to 'catch up' will help to ensure that all students make progress. The effective targeting and monitoring of the use of intervention programmes is vital if all children are to reach their potential.

Word Clouds


Word Clouds: 125 Ways… And Counting… To Use Wordle In The Classroom

word cloud generator

9 Word Cloud Generators That Aren’t Wordle

The best books of 2014

The best books of 2014

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Talk for Writing

"There are only two things that I have come across in the last 35 years that have a dramatic effect on progress. The first is when teachers discover how to teach phonics effectively, as this liberates writing. The second is the process of “storymaking”, which involves moving from telling into writing, using shared writing. My experience is that most teachers do not use shared writing and therefore do not teach writing." Pie Corbett

Talk for Writing, developed by Pie Corbett and supported by Julia Strong, is a powerful classroom tool because it is based on the guiding principles of how children learn. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language orally they need for a particular topic before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the words and structures of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Pie Corbett has an amazing Facebook page that is full of his latest ideas and work in schools.

Talk for Writing website

Julia Strong and Kaye Haywood, both experts in teaching Talk for Writing, will be key presenters at TBS's Education Conference next year. Julia Strong is a Senior School specialist, exploring Talk for Writing strategies across the curriculum. Kaye Haywood is a Primary School specialist. 

Springboard Maths

Springboard Materials

Springboard is a catch-up programme for students in Class 1, 2, 3 , 4  and 5. The materials focus on key areas of number. They provide additional tuition for small groups of students outside the daily mathematics lesson during the weeks when these areas are being taught in the daily mathematics lesson .

Springboard aims:
  • to support the identified students and to remedy particular weaknesses in number so that they are in a better position to access and benefit from the teaching programme in their Year and beyond;
  • to set the expectation that these students catch up with their peers;
  • to help teachers prepare a teaching programme, enabling students to benefit fully from the main teaching programme for their Year as soon as possible.
(Taken from the DfES Standards Site) 

Use the following link to access further information and links to materials for each of the programmes from Class 1 - 5

Resources for teaching music

Here is a list of useful resources for teachers.

Resources for teaching music

Internet Anagram Server

Teacher wellbeing

Daily tips to help teachers stay happy and healthy during the week

Read on...

Photo editing

Tuxpi Photo Editor or BeFunky

These sites allow you to take a simple photograph and then convert it into an artistic masterpiece. They provide tools to edit the photo and reduce blurring or red-eye but can also turn your photograph into a collage or provide additional effects such as speech bubbles or Clipart images. The final images can then be downloaded to the computer and printed out or used elsewhere. 

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

20 things every teacher should do

David Wees will be one of the presenters at our Education Conference, Inspiring Learning: Taking the Inititative.

He is a Formative Assessment Specialist for Mathematics at New Visions for Public Schools in NYC. He has been teaching since 2002, and has worked in Brooklyn, London, Bangkok, and Vancouver before moving back to the United States.

20 things every teacher should do

What makes great teaching?

This report reviews over 200 pieces of research to identify the elements of teaching with the strongest evidence of improving attainment. It finds some common practices can be harmful to learning and have no grounding in research. Specific practices which are supported by good evidence of their effectiveness are also examined and six key factors that contribute to great teaching are identified. The report also analyses different methods of evaluating teaching including: using ‘value-added’ results from student test scores; observing classroom teaching; and getting students to rate the quality of their teaching.

Language Learning

Why do pinks oink in English, boo boo in Japanese, and noff-noff in Swedish?