Tuesday, 31 May 2016

2016 Rio Olympics:Teaching Resources

Educational teaching resources to compliment the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro

The Best Resources On The 2016 Rio Olympics

Working Walls

Working wall focusing on fractions:

A working wall is a temporary display for any or all curriculum areas that shows the build up or progress towards an outcome. It is not a neatly presented, double-backed display but an ‘in the moment’ display captured whilst working, that becomes a scaffold for students and an explicit visual support of the journey. In literacy, by the time the students get to the writing stage, there will be many supports for the writing on the working wall and teachers will model how to use the ideas and practises that have been generated.

DLA’s Guide to a FantasticLearning Environment 

Teach Secondary: What every teacher needs to know about… classroom display


This is a great website for teachers of English, TOK, or if you simply have a love of language:

I love English Language

Math resources


Top 10 Best Free Math Resources on the Web

Written Feedback

A marked decline? 

The EEF’s review of the evidence on written marking

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 20.51.39

Question: How important is it for teachers to provide written feedback on students’ work?
Answer: No one knows.

International Mindeness

World's scariest school run? Chinese children tackle 800-metre cliff

The oral history of Atuler village said the ancestors picked this isolated and dangerous location to avoid wars.

Storybird Library

Discover an endless library of free books, picture books, & poetry or use simple tools to create books in minutes. 


Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Poetry:Michael Rosen

Michael Wayne Rosen is an English children's novelist and poet, the author of 140 books. He served as Children's Laureate from June 2007 to June 2009. He has been a TV presenter and a political columnist.

Watch a Poem!

This is a great site but the best bit is the fact that Michael has videoed himself reading all his poems from his book The Hypnotiser.  Brilliant for using with students.  There must be at least 20 poems.  Click here to see this fantastic resource.

Micheal Rosen's website


Can you solve the simple maths question confusing adults?
maths exam question 

EYFS Maths

Reception Maths

IXL website has a list of maths skills students learn in reception. These skills are organised into categories, and you can move your mouse over any skill name to view a sample question. To start practising, just click on any link. IXL will track your score, and the questions will automatically increase in difficulty as you improve!

Growth Mindset

MRI scan of a brain

New test for ‘growth mindset’, the theory that anyone who tries can succeed. 

Read on...


Geography resources

National Geographic Forces of Nature is an interactive guide to hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and volcanoes. It includes maps, pictures and more.

The National Maritime Museum Your Ocean site is designed for 11 to 14 year-olds. Students can learn about energy, waste, climate and materials.
The Rainforests Education website has information on the people, landscapes, plants and animals of rainforests across the world.

The Royal Geography Society's Discovering Antarctica website is an interactive collection of teaching and learning resources. It includes images, videos and information.

Google Earth is a satellite imagery website that is fully interactive and is exciting to use for adults, as well as students of any age.



You can't blend in when you were born to stand out.
My name is August. I won't describe what I look like. Whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse.

August Pullman wants to be an ordinary ten-year-old. He does ordinary things. He eats ice cream. He plays on his Xbox. He feels ordinary - inside.

But Auggie is far from ordinary. Ordinary kids don't make other ordinary kids run away screaming in playgrounds. Ordinary kids don't get stared at wherever they go.

Born with a terrible facial abnormality, Auggie has been home-schooled by his parents his whole life, in an attempt to protect him from the cruelty of the outside world. Now, for the first time, he's being sent to a real school - and he's dreading it. All he wants is to be accepted - but can he convince his new classmates that he's just like them, underneath it all?

Narrated by Auggie and the people around him whose lives he touches forever, Wonder is a funny, frank, astonishingly moving debut to read in one sitting, pass on to others, and remember long after the final page. (www.goodreads.com)

Art resources

Access Art Visual Arts Teaching & Learning is an interactive website for teachers, offering a range of tips and advice.

The Artist's Toolkit allows pupils to explore concepts and techniques used by artists and allows them to create their own work.

The Tate Gallery Kids website lets students view and rate existing art or develop their own personal gallery. There are sections for film and games.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


Steve Bell 4.5.16

Steve Bell on primary school testing - cartoon

Pie Corbett: ‘I’m a believer in grammar, but this has gone too far’

Literacy expert says testing primary pupils’ ability to spot the subjunctive ‘will not enrich lives’

Pie Corbett loves grammar. He is, after all, the literacy expert who worked on the Blair government’s National Literacy Strategy on introducing grammar teaching into primary schools.
But Mr Corbett is dismayed, or rather “politely angry”, about the new grammar section of the latest primary national curriculum and the new national tests for 11-year-olds that will assess it.
“It is too much and is too complicated,” he says. “And it will not help children as readers and writers.
“I’m a great believer in grammar. But I think that this has gone too far. That’s why so many teachers in primary schools feel disaffected and miserable. I don’t think I’ve ever known the profession to feel so low.
“We have to find an elegant way of assessing children. A way that teachers feel provides information about what children can do.
“A 10-year-old being able to spot the subjunctive will not improve children’s reading and writing, let alone enrich their lives.”
Mr Corbett is a former headteacher and Ofsted inspector. He is also an enthusiastic poet, and the author of more than 250 books.
Today, he is perhaps best known for his Talk for Writing teaching programme, which makes explicit how important speaking and listening are to learning how to write.
It grew out of his work as an adviser to the National Literacy Strategy, where he was also involved in creating the Grammar for Writing materials. But his original belief in the power of writing was inspired by an 11–year-old boy he met after leaving sixth form, when he worked at a schools’ residential centre. The pupil had been to a football game and wanted to tell him about it.
“He had been singing in the crowd,” says Mr Corbett. “He was trying to explain what this amazing thing had felt like, but couldn’t find the words. He had his fists clenched, he was so frustrated. It was then I realised that the opposite of creativity is frustration and destruction. That experience gave me a focus for everything that followed.”
Mr Corbett began training as a teacher soon afterwards and, decades on, he is still steeped in classroom life, spending his days travelling the country to train teachers and visit schools.
“Primary school teachers are the salt of the earth,” he says. “They are the moral compass for this country. They teach children how to be kind, how to respect each other. They should be afforded more respect and their views taken into account.”
Mr Corbett was raised in Sedlescombe, East Sussex, one of five brothers living in a two-up two-down. He remembers being read to every day. His mother took him to the library and his dad would tell him half a story on the way to school and the other half on the way back.
But his schooling did not start off well. “I was sat on the slow table,” he says.
“I was quite happy, never having to do much. But I also thought I had nothing much to offer. That is why I am so passionate about the need to stop talking about children’s ability as if it was a fixed thing.”
Mr Corbett went on to the independent Tonbridge School through an assisted place. It was a mixed experience – he was unhappy being away from his family, but he acknowledges that it did widen his world view.
“I’m grateful, looking back,” he says. “But I wasn’t at the time”.
Once he started teaching, he progressed rapidly. He was a headteacher at the age of 28 and then moved into teacher training and advisory work.
“What interests me is whole-school transformation,” he says. “And to do that you need a vehicle. If you get writing sorted, it influences every subject and improves everything.”
As for the tests, he believes that the teaching of grammar will be “ironed out” in time but that is not really the point.
“They will sort it out,” he says. “Primary schools are good at rising to the occasion and, in a few years’ time, children will know what the subjunctive is, but will it improve the quality of reading and writing? I don’t think that it will.”
But then he checks himself, concerned that he is being too negative. “I’m a natural enthusiast,” he says. “I want to be positive and not moan. But there are questions to be raised. We have to get it right.
“Teachers hate feeling that they are sending children to secondary who have been told that they are not at the expected level, and for those children, I know how it feels.
“To build any education system on a sense of failure seems, to me, not a great idea. Perhaps it’s different at 16 years old, but a 10- or 11-year-old child is still a young child and these things last the rest of your life.”

How to teach grammar: the Pie Corbett way

Pie Corbett advises primary teachers to approach the teaching of grammar with the following points in mind:
  • Develop the ability to model being a writer with the children.
  • Teach the grammar in context through reading and writing. See it as a matter of word choice, sentence construction and tying texts together.
  • Play creative games with grammar so that children become fascinated by the English language and learn to love words.
  • Deep understanding of grammar arises from developing a skill with grammar. Experiment with using a feature in writing and consider the effects created.
​​This is an article from the 11 March edition of TES

Schools minister trips up on grammar question for 11-year-olds

‘Take this absurdly difficult English test – and see why this generation of students will be alienated by education’



We all know the recommended dietary intake of 5-a-day for fruit and veg. Is it a simple shortcut to remind us to eat better because we need it. Now, the 5-a-day principle can extend more widely than that and convey a simple but powerful truth, breaking down a task into smaller, achievable parts can have significant benefits for us.

This article by Oliver Burkeman, in the Guardian, shows how the principle of 5-a-day can extend to our to do lists to help us get stuff done – see his article here – with a healthy dose of mental well-being. 

Teaching Poetry

Reluctant writers? 10 top tips to help primary pupils write poetry

The Guardian: 10 top tips to help primary pupils write poetry

Montessori Education

The 30-second briefing: 

What is the Montessori method?

Montessori education is an educational approach developed by Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori based on her extensive research with "phrenasthenic" or "special needs" children and characterized by an emphasis on independence, freedom within limits, and respect for a child’s natural psychological, physical, and social development. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Montessori Method

Montessori Website

Historical Objects

This is a lovely flash website which has images of different historical objects. It is really interactive and good for looking up interesting information.

Object Lessons


“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is to not stop questioning.” – Albert Einstein

Did you know?
* Teachers ask up to two questions every minute, up to 400 in a day, around 70,000 a year, or two to three million in the course of a career
* Questioning accounts for up to a third of all teaching time, second only to the time devoted to explanation
* Most questions are answered in less than a second. That's the average time teachers allow between posing a question and accepting an answer, throwing it to someone else, or answering it themselves
* Research has found, however, that increasing the wait time improves the number and quality of the responses - three seconds for a lower-order question and more than 10 seconds for a higher-order question
If you've been teaching for around 14-and-a-half years, you could be about to ask your one millionth question. Teachers ask up to two questions every minute, up to 400 in a day, around 70,000 a year, or two to three million over the course of a career. Clearly, questioning is an integral part of the teaching process. But if you're going to be asking three million questions, it's probably worth making sure you ask the right ones in the right way. What can you do to improve your questioning technique? How can you present yourself as a mentor coaxing out answers, not an interrogator seeing who cracks first? And how can you get children to ask questions of you, so learning becomes an interactive dialogue, rather than an uninterrupted diatribe?
Published in TES Newspaper on 4 July, 2003 | By: Steven Hastings

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Talk for Writing

Five free Milepost 2 and 3 Literacy resources

Teachwire have compiled and made available five articles that Pie has written containing ideas and resources for teaching literacy in Milepost 2 and 3.

Planning Support

 Bloom's Taxonomy Planning Kit for Teachers 

It provides a new way to think about Bloom's Taxonomy. In Bloom's Taxonomy Planning Kit, you will be offered with a variety of key words, action verbs, outcomes and questions  related to each of the thinking levels in the taxonomy. Here is the link to the original chart. Just zoom in to make it legible.

Maths Process Criteria

Maths Process Criteria: Steps to Success 

A set of criteria written to guide pupils through the learning process in mathematics, in order to support and develop their understanding of the concept and achieve the learning intention. The best criteria will relate to learning as opposed to task instructions and include examples of what the pupils have to do. Process Criteria can be used in conjunction with 'must', 'should', 'could' and 'and then'. The resources below can help creating success criteria for maths.

TES: Steps to Success

SE2 Mathematics: Success Criteria

Process Success Criteria for Girls

Discovery Education

Racing Extinction: #StartWith1ThinG

Join Dr. Stuart Pimm, Doris Duke Chair of Conservation at Duke University and Shawn Heinrichs, Marine Conservationist and Emmy Award-Winning Cinematographer, both contributors to Racing Extinction, to learn why most biologists believe one-half of Earth’s higher life forms will be extinct by 2100, why it’s important to address this loss of biodiversity, and what can be done to prevent it.

Racing Extinction

Science:Body Maps

BodyMaps is a free interactive visual search tool that allows users to explore the

human body in 3-D. With easy-to-use navigation, users can search multiple 

layers of the human anatomy, view systems and organs down to their smallest

parts, and understand in detail how the human body works.

Healthline: human body maps