Wellbeing Wednesday and Children’s Mental Health Week

I wanted to write to you about some of resources available to support your child with their Emotional Health and Wellbeing (EHWB).

Wellbeing Wednesday

Every Wednesday (week 2) a wellbeing survey will be posted on Google Classroom for all learners to complete. We use this information to identify those learners who need support with their EHWB. Please encourage your child to complete it.

School website

For advice and support on EHWB please visit our school website: Emotional Health and Wellbeing page.

Children’s Mental Health Week

As you know, this week is Children’s Mental Health Week. This year’s theme is Express Yourself. Place2Be has created activities and resources to help children (and adults) explore the different ways that they can share their thoughts, feelings, and ideas. There are lots of resources on the Children’s Mental Health Week website that you can use with your child at home; including activity ideas, tips for parents and carers, and an online assembly.


If you need support on internet safety, please click on the following link Thinkuknow which includes specific guidance around topics such as:

  • sharing personal information
  • online gaming
  • live streaming
  • reporting to Click CEOP and other support services

If your child is struggling to complete online learning because they do not have access to a device or Wi-Fi please contact me on the following email keeganj@uptonhigh.co.uk.

Upton Teach-meet 19th October 2017

Teach-meet presentation running order Thursday 19/10/17

  1. Alison McLean 7 mins – Plickers (Business Studies)
  2. Karen Smale 7 mins – RAG ( review)  (RS)
  3. Mike Casstles 7 mins – Classroom language (Geography)
  4. Sarah Green 3 mins – Edmodo (English)
  5. Giles Cadman  3 mins -Blogging (Maths)
  6. Andy Crozier 3 mins – PEEL & VOICE (Whole school literacy)
  7. John Keegan 7 mins – Research (Whole school)
  8. Kate Wilson/Jamie-Lee Toland- 3 mins (Maths)

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Giles Cadman explained how he uses Open Broadcasting Software (OBS) to record his lessons for students who have been absent or for revision. See links below:

Anyone who wants to use it will have to get an IT technician to install it.


Also, this is today’s Further Maths instalment recorded for a student who was absent


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This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Challenge, high aspirations, differentiation and independent learning

During our last teaching and learning meeting staff were asked to bring along examples of resources or activities on one or more of the following:
  • give students greater challenge
  • set high aspirations
  • show effective differentiation
  • encourage independent learning

This fits into our SDP: “All staff to be appropriately trained and prepared to successfully meet the varied and demanding needs of all students – with a specific focus on greater challenge, high aspirations, effective differentiation and independent learning.”

Here are the examples from departments:


Below is an example of independent work carried out by a student on the GCSE Art exhibition. There is a link below with lots of examples of challenge, high aspirations, differentiation and independent learning.

art 2

Examples in Art

Business Studies and Computer Science

Mr Jones – Differentiation by questioning quiz (see attached PowerPoint) is a quiz were students can select which level of difficulty they want to answer.  It promotes challenge as students want to get more points.

The powerpoint is a template that is easily adaptable for use.

Differentiation by questioning

Mrs Larkin – Pass the Parcel

Sit students in a circle

Play some music to the class

Stop the music after a few seconds.

The student who has the parcel when the music stopped unwraps it and has to answer the revision question.  If they can’t answer it, open the question up to the class.

Restart the music and stop it to allow different students to have the opportunity to unwrap the parcel and answer a question

Mrs Welsh – knowledge audits to promote independent study and challenge (other resources attached)

2.1.4 abcdefg units binary conversion Datablast2.1.4 abcdefg units binary conversion Knowledge Audit

Knowledge audit

Miss Welsh – Guess the integration


Business 3Business 4

Miss McLean – Beat the Teacher – Connections

  • Give the class the question, and include certain phrases that they have to use within their answer.
  • Mix up the terms so they are not in any order
  • The highlighted words (red) would indicate difficult terms to include – the challenge is to include them
  • At the same time make it a competition by the teacher writing a version in the same time as students and compare


Stop and Think Bingo

  • Instead of giving students words – you pose a question (which you know the answers for) and students have to come up with answers to complete their grid.
  • Play bingo in the usual way (questioning as you go)
  • Extension – give each answer a score, the easier answers 1 pt etc,
  • Students can then total how many their grid would score – this will reward the students who thought about the whole question rather than just the one, who was lucky enough to have them in the order that you called them out


What went wrong?

Students discuss – what went wrong with an answer, rather than what went well.  As often an answer looks good on the surface but is in fact not worth many marks.

By finding errors shows a better understanding of the topics and make it easier to write better answers.  There is no point trying to improve good answers.

Students then go on to write a correct answer either in groups of individually depending on the question.


More resources: 2.1.4 abcdefg units binary conversion Knowledge AuditBusiness Economics and Computer science T&L resourcesChecklist-ProfStandardsDifferentiation by questioning


  • They teach poetry using the acronym PCSRILE and students are then able to deconstruct/analyse poems independently. To consolidate the process of skill development, they present their own analysis to the class (see the link below).
  • A homework designed to run across a couple of weeks and to encourage independent research.  it was designed for more able students but could be simplified for the less-able.

    Year 7- Background research for the school bell article

  • Homework: Assessment preparation for the week beginning 20.3.17

    The assessment is going to be a letter about replacing bells with music in schools.  You need to do some research for your assessment:

    • Find articles/reports/information about this topic by looking on the internet for information about other schools where this has happened.
    • Try to find an expert’s view (e.g. A headteacher, a school governor or someone whose job is connected to education.)  You could ask your tutor or other teachers to find your own expert’s view.
    • Interview parents and grandparents about it- to find out an older person’s opinion
    • Interview at least one friend or a sibling to get a younger person’s opinion.
    • Write down on your IPad or record EXACTLY what your interviewee says. Make sure that you have a note of the person’s name, age, year in school and role (e.g. teacher, parent of Sam Smith in Year 7 etc)





In Geography they use Top Trump Templates for students to work independently on river flooding defences.Slide1Slide2

Top-Trump-Templates – River Flooding Defenses


Mrs Vianello

Collaborative Learning

Pack of information on two dictators. The class was split into small groups, each focusing on either Stalin or Hitler. The groups then found a partner from the other dictator and shared information. This encouraged independent mastery of their dictator as well as collaborative skills to determine key features of a dictatorship.


Scaffolded note taking to aid students with identifying salient points when making notes at GCSE. Use of key words, pictures, etc to prompt students into identifying key points.


Mr Petty

Stretch and Challenge

Range of lesson objectives at a range of levels. Discussion with class at the start of the lesson to determine what ought to be the lesson objective. This can then be used alongside blooms taxonomy to help explicitly identifying higher order thinking skills. This is a good example of using metacognition in the classroom. This was inspired by reading from a consortium of schools in Perth, Western Australia.

e.g.      What problems were there in the trenches?

Why was illness a common feature of trench life?

What was the main cause of illness in the trenches?

What was trench foot?

Why did some trenches suffer higher rates of illness than others?

Mr Doherty

Encourage independent learning

Teacher presents a flawed argument, supported with some evidence. The role of the student is to use the resources available to challenge that argument effectively.


Miss Main

Encourage independent learning

Entry into a literacy competition ran by the literacy trust using the descriptosaurus facilities. Students have completed a short piece of descriptive writing (350 words) which enabled them to gain a better sense of the past.


Mr Mulhall

Encourage independent learning

There is a challenge in the new A Levels to allow students to have plenty of time to revise and analyse for a two year course. This has led to a need to delivering content intensively.

One technique to allow this was to create a set of questions given to all students. Students were then put into small groups given a different half of the text. The first challenge for students was to discover which questions they could answer using their text. They then selected one of the questions to give a small presentation to the whole class on. This allowed all of the class to identify the overview of the material, whilst maintaining a mastery of a specific item.

Media Studies

Give students greater challenge

Peer and self-assessment of students’ poster campaigns. Compare with professional magazine advertisements to ensure that students’ work has an authentic quality.

Set high aspirations

Sixth Form study exam answers and mark them using a simple mark scheme. Use this to inform their planning of case study answers.

Show effective differentiation

Lower 6th examination preparation for unseen moving image section – give students key answer words (different ones for differing abilities). Students given a choice of questions – they work out what which question their answer words link to then use as many key words as possible to write a response. Students can peer assess and a simple tally of the number of key words used provides feedback.

Encourage independent learning

Students have the opportunity in all years to choose their own topics for research. Year 11 students pick the Television Comedy texts for their examination and are given guidelines to help them research. Sixth form students research different film makers, institutions and theorists to present to the class. This peer to peer teaching can be very effective and allows the students to have ownership of their learning.



Lots of examples for challenge, high aspirations, differentiation and independent learning.



  • Use of board games, e.g Snakes and Ladders to encourage accuracy with translation.  Can be adapted according to ability.  More able students can make their own games in the target language to encourage independent learning
  • Use of groupings to encourage differentiation, e.g an able student leading a less able group/ more able grouped together
  • Use of VI Form Linguists and Language Assistant to come into classes and do speaking work with more able
  • Language Clubs and E15 set up as a study room with extension resources for more able
  • Use of Student Shared Area/Google Classrooms for students to work on exam material independently
  • Use of Quizlet – more able can tackle more challenging vocab and can adapt their learning to suit
  • Sam Learning/Revision booklets for Year 11 students.  Can manage their learning independently.


Sharing good practice: behaviour for learning, high aspirations and challenge, differentiation, independent and collaborative learning skills and feedback.

This was an opportunity for us to share good practice and seek help and advice from colleagues in other departments in small groups.
We wanted to explore the following areas which impact on Teaching and learning :
Behaviour for learning, high aspirations and challenge, differentiation, independent and collaborative learning skills and feedback.
Department members were represented in each group and staff brought along a successful idea/resource that they use within their practice to develop that particular focus and/or they bring along a problem that they may have for discussion. The staff shared their ideas and issues with each other. The facilitator used flip chart paper to record a list of good practice.The group shared problems they had in this area and the group offered solutions. The ideas, problems and solutions are on this blog and are just a summary of what was discussed.

Behaviour for learning







Problems and solutions:


Everyday Issues: The sideshows that get in the way of starting a lesson the way we want to: Weather, lateness, time of day, corridor- congestion, arguments about seating and any deviation from the normal routine, such as injections.

Solutions: Some of these can be planned for, such as a known deviation to routine e.g. photographs.  Some can be averted by a judicious word to an individual before they enter the room.  The importance of establishing clear routines at the start of the academic year, especially for the start of the lesson was discussed. Not challenging lateness publicly but quietly later on in the lesson averted blow-ups and the possibility sometimes of embarrassing a student was a solution suggested by staff.  Establishing good relationships with students (which takes a long time) is often the thing which stops a small issue escalating to a major disruption to learning in a lesson.

An excellent blog post post is here: https://leadinglearner.me/2013/08/15/planning-to-get-behaviour-right-research-plus-experience/

iPad Management

Some staff requested some guidance on managing the use of iPads in the classroom. Below an outline of how some department at Upton manage iPads as well as a list some useful links with helpful advice:

Religious Studies:

  • iPads are on the table under planner before they are required to be used.
  • The iPad is taken away from any student found misusing it for the rest of the lesson and a 3 is put on the register.
  • We also ask students to share what they have done so if they have done nothing they know that it will be exposed!!


  • iPads only taken out when needed
  • They are put on the desk but switched off between activities
  • Apps loaded before lesson
  • Students advised which apps to open
  • Paper copy of activity ( just in case)


  • Students have their iPads on the desk at the start of the lesson
  • They are face down with the pencil case and planner on top to avoid looking at the screen
  • If they do not have their iPad they receive a 3 on the register and if they misuse it they receive a 4 and we follow the ABC.



  1. http://www2.classbook.com/blog/5-best-practices-for-managing-a-11-ipad-classroom
  2. http://rebecca-davies.net/2014/03/20/6-strategies-for-managing-behaviour-in-an-ipad-classroom/
  3. http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/14-teacher-recommended-classroom-management-apps/
  4. http://www.gettingsmart.com/2013/10/10-strategies-apps-manage-ipad-classroom/

High aspirations and challenge



80 ways to differentiate: click here: differentiation-deviser






Also see our earlier blog post on differention click here

Independent and collaborative learning skills

For 20 Collaborative Learning Tips And Strategies For Teachers click on the link below:


Also an informative post by Geoff Petty on active learning:


Problems and solutions:



We have done a lot of work on this over the past 4 years. Take a look by clicking on the links below:

  1. DIRT:   https://wordpress.com/post/uptonteep.wordpress.com/50

2. Workflows: https://wordpress.com/post/uptonteep.wordpress.com/87

3. Marking tips: https://wordpress.com/post/uptonteep.wordpress.com/435

Problems and solutions:


Activ8 was great!

The logic behind Activ8

We wanted to provide fun and exciting learning experiences, which were different from the normal but fantastic lessons, for the last 8 days of the summer term.


During Activ8, the Art department ran workshops for year 7,8 and 9.

Year 7 took part in Photography workshop, learning how to use the camera on their iPads and creating a stop frame animation. They also created an appliqued portrait in the style of Gary Hume using textile techniques, vintage fabrics and felt.

Year 8 students who had opted for Art, Photography and Textiles took part in workshops for their chosen subject. Year 8 created Zen Tangle animals in Art, they made recycled jewelry in Textiles and in Photography learnt about Composition and portraits.

Year 9 students who had opted for Art and Photography created Alphabet Spaghetti in the Photography workshops whilst creating repeat patterns using natural objects, Dazzle Camouflage and Op Art in their Art workshops.

All students enjoyed the work.

Tracy French, Heather Wynn, Sarah Peterson and Andrew McFadden

Business Studies Activ8 Challenge

Year 9 students were tasked with designing and creating a robot, planning and recording a trailer to promote a movie about the robot and calculating costs for profit or loss.
The challenge gave students the opportunity to work in groups and utilize a range of skills to complete all tasks set out. There were some brilliant robots built and some really creative ideas when it came to using digital technology to create the trailer.
Jen Welsh and Deb Keefe

Climbing at the Boardroom

Mr Bell took groups of Year 7 and 8 students to the Boardroom in Deeside. He said:

We had a great time at The Boardroom.  Hope we can do the same again next year.  Here are some photos.  All attendees were fantastic, Rosie Bennion (year 8) perhaps deserves a special mention.  She stepped in at the last minute to take the place of another student.  At the wall she really impressed her instructor by the encouragement she gave to the others in her group and also by climbing a 6a route just wearing her training shoes, impressive stuff!

Learner Effectiveness Enhancement Programme – LEEP


The ‘Grit’ part of LEEP was about determination and perseverance. Students were given 4 exercises in a circuit and asked to see how many reps of each exercise they could do in 30 seconds. They were then asked to repeat the circuit and try and beat their score. I could not possibly pick out one or two students as they all worked exceptionally hard which was a pleasure to see.

Sam Downs, George Owen, Mark Jones and Monique Noel


As you can see from the photos year 8 were thoroughly engaged and enjoyed learning about how positive language can be used in the classroom to promote determination and effort. They produced some outstanding work and made every effort to involve themselves in the lesson.

We would like to say a very well done to Lottie Brooks and Nathaniel Ball. Both students readily answered questions, made every effort to complete the work to the best of their ability and engaged with using positive language in the classroom.

We enjoyed delivering the lesson and would love the opportunity to do it again next year.

Chloe Brown and Alice Newbury


The Mindfulness sessions were fantastic and well conducted. Students engaged really well and left with the understanding of how mindfulness interventions can improve the mental, emotional, social and physical health and well being of young people who take part. The students expressed feeling a sense of relaxation whilst participating positively, in a range of productive activities. Students created a calm atmosphere that was perfect for fantastic mindfulness moments to take place. I would definitely deliver these sessions again, the benefits and impact was instant.

One of the tasks they took part in was called My Mindful Moment. Students were taken for a walk in the outside environment. Once they were out there they were asked to choose a natural object to notice for a minute. When there mindful minute was over, students took a photo of the object. Back in the classroom students were then asked to create a mood board, using their image. Students included words that described how they felt in their mindful moment and words that came to mind when looking at the object or image. This was a successful way of incorporating digital technology into a relaxation lesson. Relaxing music was played to students whilst they completed the task, this set a calm atmosphere.

Deb Keefe and John Keegan


We led the Resilience session. We looked at what resilience is, certain characteristics of it and why it is needed for success. Students engaged well and felt that it was valuable for both their personal life and academic studies. It provided a new outlook, if you can’t find a way, make one!

Karen Smale and Emma Summers


Our brain is a muscle and just as we would exercise our bodies to make them stronger, we need to do the same with our brains.  This gives us learning strength and builds our brain power.

Jamie Lee Toland and Kate Wilson

MFL Creative writing

The MFL team ran an afternoon of creative writing for Year 9 students.

Our students completed creative writing activities in all four languages; French, German Spanish and Mandarin.  They worked in small groups to collate their ideas and look up useful vocabulary for the task ahead.  They then completed poems either individually or in pairs.  We were very impressed by the quality of work from our Year 9 students.  Please see examples below from Amy McDermott and Jack Hitchcock.


Harry Potter

Visiting Year 5 students from the following primary schools attended a magical ‘Harry Potter Experience at our school: Acresfield, Newton, Saughall All Saints, Mickle Trafford, Newton, Westlea, Guilden Sutton, Hoole and Chester Blue Coat.
The visiting students all experienced lessons that Harry Potter would have loved! They were all given the opportunity to learn about the care of magical creatures with a visit from Cheshire Falconry Centre, Blakemere. A huge highlight was learning about the ways owls fly, with students asked to participate in an activity that allowed a barn owl to fly above them. Students also had the opportunity to name an 8 week old tawny owl, who will now become known as Steve.
Students all participated in a variety of classes where staff from Upton High dressed as wizards: Potions, Quidditch, Charms, Transfiguration and they all completed an N.E.W.T (Nasty Exhausting Wizarding Test- but there were some lovely prizes!) It was an exciting day.

Maths workshops

Visit to the Imperial War Museum

At the IWM all students were fantastically engaged with the handling session about the life of a WW1 soldier and in the main exhibition space worked their way through a work booklet with huge dedication. The prize winners were Nathan Farrington and Alex Bell who completed their booklets extensively!

PSHE Performance Workshops

Empowering youth a company from London visited and worked with students looking at self esteem, confidence and managing stress. They gave the students scenarios to discuss and activities to complete. Students were able to share personal stories and showed great respect doing so. Many students came to speak to us afterwards and said it had made them reflect on how they see themselves.
During the session Matthew Dalton was particularly outstanding with his contributions.

Techniquest Visit

All the Year 7 students who attended Techniquest had a really enjoyable morning.  As well as spending some time interacting with all the Science and Technology exhibits, we completed a Computer Science based activity called ‘Don’t hit the Lego Man’.  This activity involved programming Lego Mindstorm NXT robots in Techniquest’s specialist Lego laboratory.
Justin Collis
 Andrea Ruggier and Harvey Salisbury (pictured below) were two of the students who really enjoyed the experience. Along with all the other students they will both have a ‘head start’ when completing Lego Mindstorm NXT programming in Year 8.

Year 9 Science Visit to London

A fun packed, non-stop two days in London.  Students had  the opportunity to be inspired by Science as we attended the Natural History museum with the Blue Whale and the Dinosaurs being a major attraction, then swiftly onto the Science museum where the students got to interact and participate in a variety of Science activities.  In addition the students got to see some major stars walk the red carpet for the opening premier of the new Star Trek film as well as seeing some major landmarks whilst “flying” on the London Eye and sailing on a Thames tour.
The honoree mention has to go to “sally”.  Those who went on this trip, staff and students alike, will never, ever forget that name.
Steve Lydiate

Teachmeet at Upton


We had a fantastic Teach meet at Upton on 9th June 2016. A massive thank you to all of the contributors.


Jenny Critchley gave an excellent interactive demonstration on Quizlet

Peer assessment – it’s as easy as ABC

By Elinor Suter

02) Peer assessment – it’s as easy as abc TEACHMEET JUNE2016

Paragraph review

By Andy Caine

03) paragraph review (1)

Hexagons and rotation squares

By Alison McLean

04) AML TEEP Peep

Modelling answers

By Karen Mitchell


05) Teach Meet Geography

Music on the Mind

By Karen Smale


06) Music on the mind

Sharing good practice in Art

By Tracy French


07) Sharing Good Practice

Exam Technique Grids

By Paul Medland


A level exam technique grids (Psychology) – PME 2016

GCSE exam technique grids 1.1.1-1.2.5 – PME 2016

Effective Teacher Behaviours: Up-levelling

By Helen McCarthy


09) Teep Up-levelling Literacy Across the Curriculum

TEEP Stuff: Social Science

By Simon O’Donnell



Maths TEEP Revision Lessons

By John Biard


11) Maths TEEP 09 06 16 Revision lessons


By Andy Crozier and John Keegan

Andy created a google form for students to complete a literacy assessment

Google forms

Click on the link below to see the full form.


You can use Flubaroo to mark the forms automatically. Click on the video link below to see how it is used:

Positively mad

Thank you to Shenaz for her presentation on memory techniques. See the video below.


Speed Dating: Bring Brag

christmasspeed datingstop watch

Despite a long and tiring Autumn term the staff at Upton displayed true grit to share their ideas/strategies/lessons to increase progress. 


Starter Scrabble – Karen Mitchell

Year 10: The Coastal Zone
Used as a starter exercise, this worked as it quickly engaged students and boys in particular liked the competitive edge. The starter lead to discussion of different types of coastal erosion as these processes and associated landforms were amongst the keywords suggested.
A fun, engaging starter this could be used in any curriculum area!

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 10.03.57

Who would you choose? Hot air balloon scenario – Rebecca Benson

Screen Shot 2015-12-17 at 11.31.11

Unit work lists – Tracy French

Minimum work lists PLCs. These run alongside the PowerPoint to allow the students to work at their own pace within reason.  They are also given deadlines by which to reach key points. Individual conversations take place about work, quality and extended learning. Targets are set and a checklist is also key but the teacher.


Mindset and Visualisation strategy – Paul Medland


The name game  – Esther Bradbury

The Name Game

1. Type your class names (one per slide – just type over my class names)

2. Play PPT

3. Names randomly change

4. Ask the class a question

5. Press mouse to randomly stop on a pupils name

benefits – prevents the ‘eager child’ answering all the questions all students have to think of the answer (in case it lands on them)  – they cannot be passive!

Once the question has been answered – start the PPT again – let that student shout “stop” (they love trying to land it on their friends). See the example below.


Top trumps – Martin Bell

Each student, uses their iPad, to find information on 4 elements. Cut out cards and get together with 4 students who have made different cards to play top trumps.

top trumps

Exam question rotation – Elinor Suter

Students complete one section of an exam question that requires multiple reasons/ causes in the answer. After 2 mins they pass their sheet one to the next student. All students have the same question. On the second rotation students can add a new point (it can’t be one they’ve made previously) or develop/correct/ improve the previous one. Do a further two rotations. Then peer assess using a mark scheme. Hall of fame at end.
Good for starter or plenary. Works well with groups that “don’t like writing” or need more explanation and specifics in their work.

exam rotation

Plugging your knowledge – Andrea Vianello

A plenary activity to sum up students learning.

plugging your knowledge

Test/topic/exam review sheet – Alison McLean

This is a simple editable sheet to review performance in tests etc that students can use to review own performance. Understand what they lost marks for and set own targets for how they can improve.  it can then be kept in their books or file.

business business2

Reaching spaghetti Bolognese – Simon O’Donnell

It is intended to help students internalize the A2 level mark scheme in Sociology and differentiate between evidence in their answers which is basic, reasonable and effective and how to move their work onto the next level.

spag bol

Click to download word document:Sociology Bring and Brag – 16-12-15

In a galaxy… Sarah Johns

In a galaxy (C2) far, far away from E Block, Mrs Johns wants her students to improve their essay vocabulary using….Star Words. Click below to download.

In a Galaxy (C2) far, far away

SEN monthly spelling sheets and winter DIRT sheet – Anne-Marie Farnin

Examples of spelling sheets that staff could use alongside the new literacy target stickers in January. Also attached is a copy of the winter DIRT sheet that my students will complete in January.My January Spellings My November & December Spellings My September & October Spellings 9X My Winter Term DIRT

spellingswinter term dirt

Taboo – Karen Smale

Key Word TABOO. A series of cards for each GCSE unit whereby a Keyword is on the top of the card and there is a list of 6 words underneath which cannot be said. The aim is to get your partner to give you the key word and definition on the card without speaking any of the words on the card. The game is played under timed conditions and the class is spilt into groups at the beginning of each unit bringing a competitive element. This was very popular with middle boys last year. One target grade D boy gained an A grade in his exam due to competitive games like this and wanting to finish top of the league!


 You say we pay – Helen Quinn

Used to consolidate and assess learning in a lesson.
I split the class into teams and when we play the game each side decides on a volunteer to come to the front, facing the class so they can’t see the board (one team at a time). A key term, study, psychologist or picture is put on the board (this can be done by the teacher or a member of another team) and the team members have to help their team member in the ‘hot seat’ correctly identify what is on the board.
There are many variations of this. Sometimes, I go in the ‘hot seat’. This works particularly well as the students pick the hardest and most obscure parts of the topic to try and catch me out, however this forces them to think about how they can explain whatever it is without actually saying it. english_starter_-_you_say_we_pay_2

Animal rhythms – Gillian Stevenson

My idea is to have a grid with pictures of lots a of different animals on and a square that says ‘start.’ There will be four different rhythms written on the board which each represent a particular direction (up, down, left and right). All pupils begin at the start, the teacher plays the various different rhythms on a percussion instrument and pupils have to correctly identify which direction to move in until they finish on a specific animal chosen by the teacher.


Dice game – Emma Summers

My idea was a picture dice game. Students write an explanation in the boxes on the sheet (there are 10 on mine because it is a 10 sided dice template) then they draw something to illustrate the points on the cut out template. The students then play a game where they guess each others illustrations. This aids progress as students are revisiting the information three times at least. Click on this link to download. features of an NDE Fenwick picture dice


Loop Cards – Bryn Jones

The pupil with the start card begins and reads out their calculation or question. The other pupils all check their cards and if they have the answer they say what it is and then read their calculation or question. This continues in a loop until you reach the person with the end card.  A great activity to ask the pupils to create their own set for the class to use. My class responded really well to timing the loop and then repeating over several lessons to see if they could beat their time.

loop cards

What you should know – Jackie Wragg

My questioning method allows me to highlight misconceptions and gives students who are less confident in seeking help an opportunity to do so with peers.
At the end of a section of learning (end of lesson or mid lesson depending on the amount of content covered) I show students a “what you should know” or “what you should be able to do” slide normally with 5 questions.
Students are then given the opportunity to say if there is anything there they are not comfortable with.  They then spend 5 minutes in pairs quizzing each other and answering all the questions. This encourages more able to help less able and for all to be clear. Then I grill them and I can put anyone on the spot to answer because they have had several opportunities to seek help.

Cards and countdown – Emma Melville

These were created to focus and speed up the development of ideas on students’ design sheets. Put upside down on the table or chosen from the pack like with playing cards, students use one card at a time and have a set time to complete their new idea. In the example students were given two and a half minutes for each iteration. The pic below took a student two lessons


And using the cards the pic below was done in under 15mins


Even the weaker students said they enjoyed this process as they didn’t have time to waste! And had to focus on something specific. More work/less time = quicker progress.

Quizlet – MFL

Quizlet.com website allows you to upload vocabulary lists which the students can use to revise.  Either using the website or downloading the app, there are a variety of fun learning games and self paced tests that they can use to learn key vocabulary or key terms.  The app can be downloaded on tablets or mobile phones.  All our students across all 3 key stages use this app as we have created vocabulary lists for every topic in every year for all our students and it is fully integrated into schemes of work.  The students can hear the words spoken to assist their pronunciation or select the key words they need to focus on learning to create their own tests of specific vocabulary.  Students find this app engaging and we have found that it has had a positive effect on their progress.  The app works offline so once downloaded, students can learn their vocabulary wherever they are!


Smart cards – Clare Thompson

These are used for key words. The students and/ or the teacher input the words into the app and their definitions. You then test yourself on them at random and rate how well you know the definition.image1image2image3

Marketplace – Nick Waite

he marketplace activity works as follows:
– Class is split into groups and each group recieves a source, or piece of information.
– Each group then needs to create a poster about the information they have been given but they can only use 10 words. They can however, use as many numbers, images, graphs, maps, initials, etc. as they want.
– When the posters have been made pupils nominate one member of their group to be the ‘seller’.
– The other members of the group go round to the other group whilst the ‘seller’ informs other pupils about their designated source.
– The other group members return to their ‘seller’ and relay to them the information they have obtained.
– Teacher then quizzes all of the groups (at first pupils work alone, then in their groups) on the information they have just learnt about. The idea is that all pupils should get close to 100% on the quiz due to the collaborative element of the activity.
The sources can obviously be differentiated depending on the class’ ability. Activity can be done in one lesson, but works best over two as pupils have more time to disseminate the information to create a more useful poster in the first place.
I’ve also attached a brief screenshot of a PowerPoint for an Of Mice and Men marketplace and one of the sources that would be used.

Progress ladder – Emma Stanley

I have attached the progress ladder in Computer Science for Year 7. Student’s use this to track their progress through the topics in Computer Science. This progress ladder is in language that the students understand and is linked to the learning objectives on the lesson PowerPoint’s.

Year 7 Computer Science

Adornment – Alison Thompson

This work was completed with year 10 Art Textiles. We started the project with Architecture as a topic and the class drew blocks around the school and went into Chester for homework and drew.The focus being seeing the shapes within the architecture. We then looked at Sarah Morris and designers such as Alexander McQueen and the historical influence of ladies undergarments such as bustles,crinolines and corsetry. Then in one lesson I gave them staplers,scissors,tape, a mannequin and strips of card and asked them to think of their shapes they had drawn,Sarah Morris work and the historical undergarments and for them to create a 3D piece of body adornment. There was not a squeek from them and they created and then they peer assessed their in the lesson.The results I think are superb and they all made progress as they were producing a wearable mock up of adornment which brought all of their drawings and research together under a 40 mins time frame. This would work well in maybe a science lesson looking at loads or structures. It would be effective in DT bridges or maths even. We then drew them and added bleach and then made them into fabric prints on the dye sublimation printer.They have now developed them into final pieces from bendable wood,recycled sari, more card etc.

image image[1] image[2]

Peer-assessment speaking frame – Chloe Brown

It speaks for itself!


Human Paper Chain – Hannah Clarkson

Each student is given a word, this can be any character/scholar/sociologist/psychologist/movement/key term (you get the gist), one student explains theirs. It is then the job of another student to try to link or contrast their word with the first person. If their answer is correct they can link with the person. Like dominoes the next person can link with either side of the chain. The point is for everyone in the class to be linked by the end of the task – forming a human paper chain.

human paper chain

Selfie Slip – Sam Downs

GCSE Dance:
In one of my units, 5 marks are awarded for the students ability to evaluate their work as they go along and make changes from feedback. So to encourage self evaluation (as they are not very good at doing this on practical choreography work) before a student can say they have finished each part of their motif creation they have to take a ‘selfie‘ before they can show me.
So from videoing their choreography they have to do the following and write it on the ‘selfie slip’Show- another pupil to get feedback from them.
Emphasis- make sure you have used projection and focus throughout. Can you pick out 3 times minimum you apply this?
Levels- have you used different levels/pathways etc?
Find- can you find 1 more way to develop the motif?
Include- a variety of contrasting dynamics

Explain- can you explain why you have chosen the ASDR to justify your stimulusThey must complete the slip and adjust their choreographies appropriately before they show me. They then write their ‘selfie’ notes and changes they made in their choreography diaries and say how they could improve even further. This show they have been critical about their work and made adjustment where appropriate.

Vocabulary relay race – Alice Newbury

A vocabulary race which pupils complete in pairs. I give them a word that A must look up (in a dictionary for English) and B writes down the word plus the definition. B brings the definition to me and I give the next word. A and B swap roles each time. The words are either words that will be read during the lesson or words that they will go on to use in their writing.

It’s good for progression and middle ability boys – the students get quite competitive and their vocabulary increases. Also, it’s simple to adapt to other subjects and improve Literacy in specialist areas.

STALL – Scott Wearden

Student Topic Assessment Learning List.

1. Ask the students to self assess their current knowledge levels in the different topics (in this case chapters of the text book) by scoring themselves out of 5.

2. Give them some guidance as to what each number might mean and ask them to make a list of scores on paper.

3. As they do this check their responses and question their choices if appropriate to keep it realistic.  Ask them to be more specific about why for their lowest scores.

4. Enter their scores onto a spreadsheet as seen on the screenshot and colour-code the lowest scores. It takes less time than you think.

5. Identify the areas of concern as a class, and for individuals to inform future planning for revision tasks in lessons, homework and individual revision tasks.


 Blog posts ,DIRT and cookies with binary in Minecraft- Amy Welsh

Students use blog posts to store their work – no more printing. Then they sue DIRT to improve the quality of their work and increase progress.

blog post dirt

Y12 were given a cookie with binary on it, they had to decode this and then program it to display in Minecraft.


Dingbats – Kelly Spencer

This is a say what you see task ( a bit like catchphrase)! I have used this as a starter to introduce key words.  It can also be used as a plenary to check the understanding of of definitions of key tasks.  Pupils can also design some of their own.


I challenge – Keryl Woodward

I Challenge’ game for starter or plenary. Students list as many keywords/labels etc. Each student bids how many they can name. The highest bid is challenged. I challenge


Medal challenge competition for writing – Charlotte Burgess

The students are required to work towards a specific medal, after reading the criteria listed. They may also then choose to accept the ‘platinum challenge’ which is placed on their tables in an envelope. Students are told that once they open the envelope, they must accept at least one of the challenges listed (e.g. can you use a metaphor in your writing?). This encourages students who are only going to work towards the bronze medal to aim for the higher end; therefore improving their mark from a 5c to a 5a. Usually, by placing the medal criteria up, as opposed to simply levels, the students all at least attempt to reach the gold medal. Students then peer-assess and award each other a medal.Bring and Brag – Medal Criteria for writing

Bob up – Annette Evans

‘Bob Up’ – A student will Bob Up and down quickly in their seat
This can be used anywhere in the lesson.
If they don’t know the game you can start with Bob up if you’re a boy/girl/have brown hair etc.,
  • To ascertain current knowledge, EG Starting a new topic
Today we are learning about Input and Output devices, Bob up if a scanner is an Output device.
This gives a good visual indication of where each student in the class are at, at the beginning of a topic
  • To Gauge content learnt during a lesson, plenary
  • To wake students up or refocus, during a lesson
Once Bobbed Up a student then further share their knowledge.

Explain everything homework aid – Amy Breen

A short video example with a voice over to aid a long division homework. This was made on Explain Everything and uploaded to Showbie for the students to access at home.

explain everythinglong division

Three word definition – Alastair Petty

The three word definition. It is like Ronseal, it does exactly what it says on the tin.

Tarsia – Sonya Christianson

Tarsia jigsaw is a way to check students knowledge by solving a puzzle, involving triominoes and is a good group or pair activity.


 Picture Association – Sarah Green

A PowerPoint screen which reveals part of a picture at a time so that students can answer questions about the topic to reveal an amusing photograph underneath. Used for middle ability boys as a plenary.Reveal the picture starter – plenary all keystages


Creating booklets for G&T and SEN – Emma Baker

Year 7 designed booklets for either G&T or SEN year 6 students. They included activities, key information, key words etc


Back to back – Matt Rutter

Students sit back to back and one student describes a diagram, cycle (eg carbon cycle) to the other student. They have to draw it based on the description. They then compare.  It tests descriptive skills, communication etc.

b to b

Swap Cards – Kate Wilson

Swap cards – used for a range of topics. Pupils are each given a card with a question on, they work it out in their books and then find someone with a card which they have not completed and swap with them until they have completed all questions or the activity comes to an end. Cards are differentiated with some pupils told to concentrate on a certain colour first to build confidence, and some told to ensure they progress onto the more challenging questions.

swap cards

Card Sort –  Emma Morrow

A card sort, with pictures, that helps GCSE students compose questions to longer answer questions, and helps them use the correct key terms (which they often mix up!)

Key words and missing vowels – Steve Mulhall

A starter involving key words with missing vowels. Good for literacy, for reinforcing key words and as an engaging starter activity. key words without vowels edward Interpretations sources Y9

Independent learning tasks – George Owen

Cutting and gluing independent learning task for the skill related components of fitness in GCSE PE.

Showbie, examples of rotational symmetry at home – John Biard

Students were asked to take photographs of 5 objects at home which show rational symmetry. They  then had to post them on showbie with an explanation of what they show. Mr Biard then gave feedback on the quality of their explanation.


IMG_0872 IMG_0873 IMG_0874 IMG_0875

IMG_0868 IMG_0869 IMG_0870 IMG_0871

Pic Collage slogans for a Christmas advert – Claire Owen

Description of task:
Use pic collage to create a visual mind map of ideas for an advert. Then use imovie to make the advert. Show to class with apple TV and vote for best advert.
pic collageimovie-thumb-274331

Footsteps – Andy Crozier

Footsteps is a planning or review activity. On a large piece of paper, get students to draw a finish line (the aim for their work) and a starting line (where they are now). They then draw a number of footsteps in-between. Around the outside of the feet, students explain the stage they need to get to – this can be a part of a story, a stage of analysis or an understanding of key facts. Within each step, they write down how they are going to get there. If students use the back of a piece of a large piece of paper (such as wallpaper), this could form the basis for them to plan their own progress through an entire project.


Creative diagrams – Jodie Lynch

Year 11 GCSE students had to recreate the respiratory system using paper, glue, scissors, skewers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, peppers and grapes!


Revision Aid – Nigel Skilling

As most science classes are preparing for exams at the moment. My TEEP is a revision aid. A3 piece of paper folded into quarters with a lesson title in each box. Students share ideas to the best revision content for each box, complete it then exchange the contents with the group next door. Students end up with a comprehensive revision aid.

Just a minute – Jamie Eunson

My idea is a simple take on the ‘Just a Minute’ panel game. Students have to talk about a subject for a minute without hesitation, deviation or repetition. Great for revising a topic. Students can score each other’s efforts and use a timer on their iPads.

JustAMinute2 (1)

Top Trumps – Mel Atkinson

The top trumps cards are used to consolidate learning. They are differentiated by colour.
Cards are dealt between pairs. The pupils play top trumps by calculating the answers and whoever has the highest wins that card. The winner is the person who collects all the cards.
pastedImage (1) pastedImage

Chinese whispers – Ciaran Doherty

A year 8 lesson on the Gunpowder plot. At the start of the lesson, students are given a starter activity. Each student is then given a number – 1, 2 or 3. All the number 1’s leave the room. The rest continue on with their task. At this point, I read the story of the Gunpowder plot to the 1s. After this, they go back into the room and retell the story to the 2s, while the 3s wait outside. Then the 2s relay the story to the 3s. The 1s can chip in afterwards so that they all contribute to the retelling of the story. Feedback was that they felt it pressurising, but a good pressure because they were responsible for their peers’ learning.

Memory game – Andy Caine

This lesson will fit any subject for revision. Stage 1 – present information for revision. Choose your topic and then make 9 information cards each with 3 facts, try to make sentences.Stage 2 – Construct. Rank information. Stage 3 – apply knowledge. Practice 6 mark question. Memory revision


Fake £5 – Alison Storey

This is used in practical lessons.
All students are given £5.00 to spend. They have to look at everyone’s practical result and decide which one they would like to buy the most. They slide the money under the dish so that no one can see. We then look at who has got the most money and this generates a discussion about why and we move on from there to lots of other discussions about the other products. I find this helps people be honest rather than voting for friends.

DIRT Heroes – Sarah Larkin

Peer and self assessment to aid progress. dirt heroes


Learning conversations – Lindsey Bennett

The aim is for pupils to have a record of any conversations that take place and feedback in order that they may work impressed independently in lessons. Pupils also have an opportunity to comment on their own progress in the subject.


Scatter clues – John Jones

Scatter clues are basically clues to allow students to come up with their own advantages and disadvantages for any topic.  These can be varied from the straightforward to the cryptic.  Scatter because I present them scattered across a Powerpoint so they are in no particular order.

Origami – Louise Rogers

Pupils must fold up the question sheet into a chatterbox game. There are questions on the out side and answers on the inside. Used for revision tasks for all years. Paper can be edited for any topic.


Christmas Present Delivery – Sharleen Robinson

It is a different take on a Christmas lesson, as apposed to the usually (sometimes!) boring Christmas word search/video. Pupils get given a map, a list of presents to be delivered and a route planner.  They must find the quickest time to deliver all of the presents. functional skills pp
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Kahoot – Katie Main

Create a fun learning game in minutes (we call these ‘kahoots’), made from a series of multiple choice questions. Add videos, images and diagrams to your questions to amplify engagement! Kahoots are best played in a group setting, like a classroom. Players answer on their own devices, while games are displayed on a shared screen to unite the lesson – creating a ‘campfire moment’ – encouraging players to look up. Social learning promotes discussion and pedagogical impact… whether players are in the same room or on the other side of the globe! After a game, encourage players to create and share their own kahoots to deepen understanding, mastery and purpose.



Name sticks – Hayley Farnell

They have proved very useful in several ways:

1) It stops the same pupils asking/answering the questions all the time.

2) When the name is picked out the question can then be tailored to that pupil.

3) All pupils stay on task and are engaged. They don’t switch off as they don’t know if they will be asked. This enhances progress.

4) They can be used to select random groups.

5) Pupils know that you want to hear all of their responses not just ‘the smart’ kids.

6)  Allows the teacher to re-cap or change the lesson to suit current understanding. Enhancing progress.

7) Is a very quick way of accessing pupil progress at any point in the lesson.

name sticks

Matching exercise – Mike Casstles

This is a matching exercise I use with year 13 on ecosystems. They are required to know many key terms. I use them as a starter but we now have timed competitions to see who is fastest.


Google dictionary – Justin Collis

I use the dictionary facility within google search to define keywords.  For example, if a definition of thermoplastic is needed, students will type in define: thermoplastic. This removes all the hassle of looking through different websites for a correct definition.


Guess the word – Kerry Scutter

My idea is called guess the word. In pairs pupils write keywords for the topic on a post it without their partner seeing. The post it goes on the head of their partner and their partner has a maximum of 15 questions to ask to establish the keyword. It is good for a revision lesson. They take it in turns, whoever guesses the most words correctly wins.

Blank Script – Louise Tobias

Here is a ‘blank script’ that I use as a way into improvisation and interpretation.
Notice, it has no character names or stage directions. Students have to provide these. Also, the lines can be divided between characters as they please.
Therefore the interpretation of the script will be different for each group. Blank Script 2

Picture order and question linking – Hester Sievers

We used food resources putting photos/ written instructions of methods into order and link questioning.

food food1

Spin-off cranium – Sue Risi

Key Word Cranium.
Do this as a plenary (or starter as a review from previous lessons).
You put key words and / or phrases into a hat.
Students are in teams.
They need to make a spinner (using card and a pencil) for each team. The card is divided into four sections (puppet miming , articulate, draw, act out).
Students then spin it and, if for example, the spinner lands on ‘act out’ then one student has act out that key word or phrase.
Team members have to correctly identify the key word or phrase within the allocated time.
The winning team gets achievement points / merits etc.

Treasure Hunt – Chris Tock

Numbered cards are placed around the classroom.  Each card contains a question and on the top of each card is an answer to a question on a different card.  The students have to start at one card and follow the trail around the room by answering the question on the card and locating the answer and then answering the question on that card.  They record the order of the cards they visit. The image shows the cards which are cut up and place around the room and the student answer card and a completed card.

Patterns in chemical behaviour – Mary Kam

Reactivity play your cards right.Using reactivity series of metals in game format when looking at patterns of chemical behaviour.

Big Venn Diagrams – Bob Pritchard

This is a very simple tool, but very good at getting pupils thinking a little deeper about a topic (higher level thinking skills such as compare and contrast, not just recall).
Our wonderful technician Alison has made me a dozen large (A2) cardboard 3 circle Venn diagrams (see photo).
A few examples of how they can be used;
1. Give pupils a selection of statements (see document attached). The example here is for States of Matter (solid, liquid, gas). Use post-its to give each circle a category, pupils then put statements where they think they belong in the Venn diagram. There should be a few red herrings (that go outside the diagram).
2. With more able (e.g 6th form pupils) you can just give them post-its and get them to come up with their own statements.
It’s reasonable, large scale and tactile, which the pupils like.The fact that pupils aren’t writing it down means they’re less scared of making mistakes, and promotes discussion. They can take a photo of their final diagram (or write it in their books).SLG Venn statements

Thinking cubes – LeRoi Walwyn

Thinking Cubes are a quick, fun and effective way for students to combine thinking skills, assessment for learning and active learning. The green cube is for reflecting their learning, the red one for expressing their learning, and the blue one for connecting to next learning steps.

 thinking cubesthinking cubes 1

Taboo – Emma McKevitt

My idea is a descriptive techniques taboo game to improve descriptive writing skills.

Pixl starters – Giles Cadman

At the start of one or two lessons a week a quick out of 10 starter to review previous weeks work. Gives a good indication of understanding.


Investigations – Peter Gorman

Card sort: dependent, independent,control variables.Investigation scenarios: a variety of funny situations concerning popular musician, and celebrities in which class identifies key variables. Plenary: pupils score themselves with a smiley face according to how they feel they have progressed in their learning.

Assessment Review checklist – Stephanie Nelson

A great way for students to self assess their progress. Aspect of the success criteriaassessment review checklist

Word games – Alex Hewitt

Improving vocabulary and dictionary with word games. Word games

Big picture of a handball – Nic Collinson

Mine is a big picture. A photo is below.
big picture
You put the topic in the centre at the start of a lesson or unit. In the small section around that students write anything they know. At the end of lesson or unit, students add everything they have learned. You could add more circles and use it lesson by lesson within your unit as a plenary.

Connect 4 parallel – Emma Thompson

Pupils work in pairs. Pupils have to choses a picture from the left and find the answer on the right. Pupils play against each other and the fist one to connect 4 in a line wins. Angles-in-Parallel-Lines—4-in-a-Line

connect 4

Fortune teller origami – Matt Warwick

A fortune teller origami starter testing previous lesson – see below:fortune teller

And the Winners are…

1st Place goes to Karen Mitchell with her Starter Scrabble idea. Karen secured 15% of the vote.


Joint 2nd Place goes to Charlotte Burgess for the Medal Challenge


and Nick Waite for his Market place idea.


They both received 10% of the vote.

Well done! Prizes will be delivered to the winners soon.

TEEP Ambassador School Status and Upton Display Competition

TEEP Embassador School Status

THE SSAT (Specialist Schools and Academies Trust) is pleased and honoured for Upton by Chester to take on the role of a TEEP Ambassador School in recognition of our success and commitment to continuous improvement through the Teacher Enhancement Effectiveness Programme (TEEP).  This is an acknowledgement of the work we have been doing and our aspirations for the future.

TEEP Ambassador School status enables schools to evidence their impact and provides a quality mark of innovation and improvement through the TEEP framework.

Benefits of being a TEEP Ambassador School

  • Leading in the ever growing network of TEEP Schools (over 250 schools and 7500 teachers have been trained from Sept 2010 – July 2014)
  • Provide further development and CPD opportunities for own staff to continue to share ideas and learn from other TEEP practitioners
  • To have the opportunity to work with other similar schools, at a leadership level, to evaluate the impact and embed TEEP in your school and beyond.
  • Recognition for the hard work and dedication of staff and students to improve teaching and learning, including potentially to local and national media
  • Opportunities to raise the profile of the school at a regional and national level through SSAT events, publications and website.

T&LUpton Display competition

I have been lucky enough to have the privilege of visiting lots of classrooms around our school. In doing so I have seen many excellent displays which have either celebrated the hard work and progress made by students, or which have enabled students to make greater progress by providing activities which stretch and challenge their abilities. Please have a look at each display and click on the link below to choose 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.




Exhibitions by the Art department

Art 1 Art 2 art3 art4 art6


Crime writing by Sarah Green

Sarah Green

Encouraging reading by the English team

English Team effort

Connective word web display by Sarah Johns

Connectives classroom display


A variety of topics by Miss Summers

image (1) image (2) image (3) image (4) image (5) image (6) image

TEEP in PSRE by Hannah Clarkson


International Learning in PSRE

International learning in RS


Visual programming by Mrs Welsh

ICT Capture

Food Tech

Food packaging and labelling – Alison Storey

Food techFood tech 1

Tastes of Autumn – Hester Sievers


foodtech 2


Displays by the Geography team

Geograhy 2 Geography energy Geography ipads


Extension activities by Elinor Suter

Extension activities history

Washing line displays by Elinor Suter


Washing line display history


Tarsia by Sonia Christianson

maths 2

Pythagoras theorem by John Biard

maths 3

Amy Breen:  The bunting is made from positive and negative number lines I did with year 7 to help us investigate adding and subtracting. Now the teaching aid is there for them to refer back to with some pictures of them using them hanging from the ceiling. The factors and multiples was similar to this in that we used their pretty coloured in pictures to investigate factors.

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A Biology display by Esther Bradbury

science 1

On earth and beyond by Andy Caine


science 2

Superhero Science by Andy Caine

science 4

Magnetism by Louise Rogersscience 7

Social Sciences

Research Methodology by Helen Quinn

Social sciences


Techniques by Alison Thompson

Textiles display


By Mr Tierney


And the winners are…


1st Place: The English Team

2nd Place: Miss Green

3rd Place: Mrs Johns

Well done!

Developing strategies and resources in order to improve student progress with a specific emphasis on middle ability boys

Our Policy

“A school is only as good as its teachers. It is teachers who make the difference to children’s life chances…the quest to get more good and outstanding teachers in front of children is a key challenge for all school leaders.” (Perfect Teacher-Led CPD, 2014). To develop our staff we need to continue to get:

  • teachers excited about teaching.
  • teachers talking about teaching.
  • teachers planning and evaluating their teaching together.
  • teachers observing and learning from each other.
  • teachers sharing what works with each other.

“It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert” (Malcolm Gladwell). For teachers this would equate to 10 years teaching. Teachers tend to plateau after 2-3 years. (S. Allison). If most teachers stop getting better after 2-3 years, whereas they should be developing their skills over 10 years to reach expert level, then how do we address the professional development deficit? We need to give staff a range of CPD opportunities that will engage, enthuse and motivate them.

In a survey carried out with our staff for the year 2013-14:

  1. How useful did you find the TEEP training this year? 89% (61 people) found it at least useful. 11% (8 people) did not. This suggests that the majority of the staff value the training.
  2. How useful did you find coaching? 72% (18 people) found it useful. 28% (7 people) did not. Only staff who took part in coaching answered this question. This means that on the whole it was successful and those who did not find it useful either do not feel they need to be coached or need a different coach. It is important that all staff have access to a coach if they want coaching, in order for them to develop further.
  3. How useful did you find the Swap Shop activity? 83% (57 people) found it at least useful. 17% (12) did not. This suggests that the majority of the staff value the sharing good practice in this way.
  4. In the next academic year would you like to:
  5. Get involved in coaching: Just under 6% (4 people) of respondents said they wanted to do this.
  6. Prepare TEEP resources for your department. 61% (42 people) of respondents said they wanted to do this. This is a clear indicator that staff want more time to develop resources.
  7. Continue with opportunities for whole school sharing of resources and ideas. 54% (37 people) said they wanted to do this. Again, this supports the sharing of good practice through swap shops, speed dating and TEEP PEEPS.

From this survey the aims of our school’s CPD are as follows:


  • To improve Teaching and learning by embedding TEEP further.
  • To embed e-learning through iPad training for teachers of Years 7 and 8.
  • To ensure that all staff have access to a coach.
  • To give staff time to carry out individual action research which will help develop pedagogy and practice.
  • To give staff opportunities to share good practice.

In terms of an Ofsted judgment, the importance of using CPD to improve the quality of teaching in a school is clear. The 2014 School Inspection Handbook suggests that inspectors will assess ‘how professional development has improved the quality of teaching’, ‘the extent to which leaders’ monitoring of teaching has identified needs and provided targeted pedagogical guidance and support for teachers’ and the nature and impact of performance management’ (Ofsted, 2014:13) In terms of appraisal, schools are expected to:

  1. Set clear objectives for all teachers relevant to their career stage and linked to The Teachers’ Standards.
  2. Put in place appropriate CPD to support teachers with achieving these objectives.
  3. Monitor and evaluate the impact of this CPD and the progress made towards meeting the objectives.

What we said we were going to do: Inset day 21/11/14

Click to enlarge the slides

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This is what we produced

Also look at previous posts with excellent examples of resources shared by Upton staff.


One word responses by Mrs McGregor

This powerpoint would be suitable for consolidation of prior learning, and task setting. It requires one-word responses to each slide which could be shouted out (!), or taken round-the-class-without-hesitation, or by no-hands random name selection etc. It includes picture and moving-image stimuli for the boyish “stadium” task. See an examples below.

Slide01 Slide02 Slide03 Slide04

Click the link to download the full powerpoint: Descriptive writing do’s don’ts

News paper reports by Mr Crozier:

Media Non-Fiction:

Prepare for learning:Role play activity. Students provided with muted video of Usain Bolt race from London 2012. Students then use their iPad’s to record commentary. Focus here upon using adjectives and adverbs.

Agree Learning Outcomes: Students highlight key stylistics features from newspaper report upon race. Use this to create personalised success criteria for producing a report.

Present New Information: Students create pic-collage of key words and terminology to be included in report.

Construct Meaning: Slow writing activity. Students given strict guidelines about parameters of opening paragraph in order to guide effective construction.

Apply to Demonstrate: Students then complete their article.

Review: Students use own success criteria in order to review success and purple pen their work.

Social Media and middle boys Produced by Mrs Johns, Miss McKevitt and Mr Waite:

This is a lesson aimed at middle ability Year 9 boys, using social media and current trends to inspire them.

Prepare for learning:What do these words have in common: hashtag, selfie, YOLO, bae, like? Which of these might be the odd one out?

Agree Learning Outcomes:To explore, discuss and analyse the impact of social media on the way we communicate.

Present New Information: Ask the question, which is the most commonly used word by children for 2015. Read the hashtag article in ‘The Guardian’ article if set 1 and ‘BBC News’ version if in set 2.Discuss what you think is going on in the video? Play Katy Perry WhatsApp version without sound. See if you can work out what the video is/ where it’s from. Discuss the impact of social media- is it easy to comprehend?

Construct Meaning:Look at an example of social media and its impact on spoken English e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, kik.

Apply to Demonstrate:How do we communicate using different social media apps? What are pros and cons of WhatsApp, Twitter etc. Feedback findings to rest of the class

Review:Write their own sentence(s) about the impact social media has had on spoken English, using the features of social media communication. E.G. Write a sentence about what they have learned today, using hashtags.

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Click on the links to download the resources: Lesson 6 (Hashtags) Social Media Grid Social Media Screens

Mr Doherty:

English and reading. Getting boys to read for a length of time is a challenge:

  1. 30 second sound bite
  2. Create a hero/villain character profile – this could be considered alongside. Interpretations and the importance of factors
  3. 3 fascinating facts from this book(or topic/chapter etc


Ideas from the Geography team

Geography tarsia

Geography Tarsia


Flooding wordmix: Click to download: Flooding wordmix (2)


Flooding word mix


Click to download coastal features match up cards: Coast Features Match Up Cards

Kinaesthetic activities by Miss Connor

Attached are photos of my Middle boys ideas. The focus is on kinaesthetic: use of playdoh, Lego, making pop-ups and card sort competitions.

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Mr Petty

He started his reflections on middle boys by pondering what is the problem.

  • Understanding?
  • Disinterest?
  • Lazy?



The solution was he did a rough draft paragraph and selected the best (e.g. examples that were approaching the correct standard – didn’t need to be perfect) and used this to Single/Pair/Share. A simple solution to get progress from one lesson to the next. He chose not to share writing which was below standard. Good AfL benefits middle boys. The examples were used to give the criteria of a good answer. It aims to motivate and inspire some of the bottom half of the class who may be lazy/disaffected to aim higher with work. This is an example of the good students work that was shared in the class.

Miss Main:

Using jigsawing:

  • Students enter expert groups
  • They then move to new groups to share knowledge
  • They then return to expert groups to explain what they found

A better explanation can be found here


Kids learn enormous amounts from this activity: it develops skills of oracy and of turn taking; they also learn predominantly from each other. Your are not involved in any way other than as a facilitator, and as such, it is a serious, über-constructivist, Ofsted pleaser.

Phil Beadle[i]

Mrs Vianello:

  1. Empathy skills use your senses to describe a source
  2. Particularly good for challenging sensitive topics – Good for engagement
  3. This activity forces students to slow down when looking at a source with depthAVI

Target circle: agree to disagree. Which facts would you place in which parts of the circle. This can be used as an alternative method of essay planning.



Mr Mulhall:

Set the room up into the number of groups needed. Give the students an information pack with details from 5 aspects of learning. Then move around the room and place the piles into the correct table and return to your home table. Once students have all of the sources for their topic students turn that information into a mind map, they then can attach this to an exam question. This can also be used for revision.


Miss Suter:

Moving middles boys from a 5 – 6. Many middle boys don’t like writing, and some of her class are scared of attempting higher level thinking. Focus has been on variation and chunking of activities, appealing to a range of learning styles.

The first resource is my Factory Act lesson which I have shard with you before. The second is my introduction to slavery lesson. The pictures on the slide are cut up into cards but can also be distributed as one big A3 sheet. I’ve also included an extension task and the writing boxes though to save paper the activity could easily be done in books. Both lessons worked well.

Slavery lesson – describe the pictures, explain context, how could these pictures be used by a supporter. The scaffolding behind the question allowed them to reach high level skills stealthily.



Mr B. Jones: Ball pit race

I have two boxes, each containing plastic play balls numbered 1 to 50. Classes are split into two teams, sometimes by gender and sometime just a random split. Questions are posed to the team, and not only do they have to find the answer, they then have to find the correct ball in the ball pit.

On occasions I have just used one set to play a game. Again they are split into two teams and each team member has a number. I call out a pair of numbers and give them a question. They then have to find the correct ball. A point is awarded to the team whose player has found the ball first.

Click to download Ball pit race

Modern Foreign Languages

Strategies and resources for motivating middle to lower ability boys:

  1. Information gathering from posters around the classroom. Students have to work in groups and one member at a time moves around the room to find the relevant information and then relays it to the rest of the group. The first team to find all the information wins.
  2. Bingo cards, laminated cards with foreign language questions or information. Students take it in turns to play the role of ‘bingo caller’ to test their knowledge.
  3. Lotto sentences to learn new vocabulary and sentence structures – a more complicated version of bingo!
  4. Word dominoes, students must match the image to the language.
  5. Teacher made online quizzes on websites such as quizlet.com. Scatter games which are timed and encourage students to compete.
  6. Game of slam on the IWB, images are displayed and the screen is frozen. Two students come to the board and the winner is the first one to correctly ‘slam’ the image the teacher says in the target language.
  7. Using mini whiteboards to extend sentences or write draft sentences that students can hold up to the teacher for immediate, regular feedback and praise.
  8. Include factual information e.g students have to create a weekly school canteen menu the target language. Each item of food and drink has a nutritional value and students are given parameters to organise their menu. Students are also given prices and have to stick to a budget.
  9. Grand national plenary slide. The horse will move forward if the student correctly answer the question. Promotes challenge.
  10. Reading comprehensions, number each line of text and question students on the content. The numbers help the boys to focus and encourage them to read the text.
  11. Pictionary on mini whiteboards to learn new vocabulary. Teacher says the sentence and students draw the image or item of vocabulary.


Composition is like a car by Miss C. Thompson:

This resource is aimed at middle boys who are taking GCSE music and it focuses on structuring composition – “Composition is Like a Car”.

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Click to download Year 10 Composition

Name that note by Miss Stevenson:

The musical stave is laminated are so are the notes, which can be moved anywhere on the stave and  are stuck on with blue tack. The staves are stuck up around the room and pupils get into groups of 4/5. I write 5 letters on the board and taking it in turn each member has to put the note in the correct place on the stave. Once all five notes have been placed, one member of the group has to play the notes on the keyboard and try to work out what the piece of music is from the first 5 notes. The first group to place the notes in the correct place and correctly identify the song gets a point. The first group to get three points wins.

Design and Technology

To help raise the attainment of middle and lower boys we have done several things as a department

KS4: Started the coursework earlier – this is allows us more quality interim assessment time and student more time to do DIRT.

KS4:  Coursework choices are fewer and more focussed – resourcing and support materials can be better planned.

KS3&4: Where students are struggling, teachers are asked to ‘bridge the gap’ for them – this allows them not to fall behind whilst continuing to make progress – attendance at after school club may be insisted on.

KS4: Where students are seriously struggling teachers are asked to provide them with a rigid framework for their coursework – attendance at after school club may be insisted on.

KS3&4: Exemplar materials are used regularly so that students can view the standards they are trying to achieve.

KS3&4: Some students are provided with individual assistance by our DT Technician.

KS3&4: We have produced Key terms lists and definition so that students can make better progress with the annotation of their coursework.

A great template produced by Mrs Melville

Click to download: TEEP planning_template.potx (2)

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Religious Studies

Active learning by the RS team

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CPR traininf for middle boys


CPR training for middle boys 2

Click to download: RS strategies for middle boys


Light from stars by Mr Caine:

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Click to download: ACI PPT basics for middle boys

SSSHWEET SWAP by Mrs Bradbury:

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Click to download the full powerpoint:EBR SWEET SWAP

Family Fortunes by Mrs Woodward:


Click to download: Family fortunes KWO

Problem solving by Mrs Skutter:

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Click to download: KSC starter and plenary idea

Ideas researched by Mrs Rogers:

In verbal tennis the students develop skills of listening and responding to each other in pairs. In the first two films, the teacher introduces the task, then in each pair one student begins by naming an animal and the other student has to respond with another animal. The task then becomes more focused, the students have to listen more carefully and think of an animal that is related in some way. Click on the link to find out more:


Listening triads. A useful structure for enabling students to discuss alternative positions, such as those portrayed in concept cartoons, is through students working in groups of three, or ‘listening triads’. The structure is inclusive, as each member of the group has an active role, it also provides an opportunity for students to ‘take turns’ and listen carefully to each other. The teacher can monitor the discussions by listening in to see how ideas are expressed and questioned. There is also a record of the discussion for the students to take forward. Click on the link to find out more:


Models by Mr Bell:

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Click to download the powerpoint:MBE Middle Boys Models

Just a minute by Mr Rutter:



Click to download: MRU Just a minute

Revision by Mr Skilling

Key Stage 3 revision Game.

1 .Each table of 3 or 4 are a team.

  1. Each team go through their exercise books and find a key word from the topic you’re revising.
  2. “Spokesperson” from the group comes to you at the front of the class and adds their keyword to your list. (AFL)
  3. Class are then given all the key words as a spelling test with the words going onto a mind map diagram. (AFL)
  4. Each group then picks a number from 1 to 10 from the list of the key words you’ve jumbled up.
  5. Depending on the key word chosen the group prepares a 3 min explanation of what the word means and explaining it with relevance to the lesson. They can use their ipad to prepare this. The “spokesperson” will then explain this to the class.
  6. All groups prepare a revision “Mind map” of all the information presented by the 10 groups.

I’ve tried this with a year 7 and 8 group and it went great, very useful for students. Middle attaining boys seem to respond well to this as they like the challenge aspect and being in control as the key words they generate determines the lesson content (within reason !!).  The benefit of you being in control of the key word list is you can add or amend this to cover the work you best think the students need.

Play your cards right by Ms Kam

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Click to download play your cards right mka

Grouping with cards by Mrs De Costacards

Use the playing cards to sort the pupils into groups for group work. You could either use pairs, groups of 4 (same number or same suit) For more able pupils I ask them to make their group up to a certain number

(make sure you sort the cards first so this works)  If odd numbers add in a joker and they can pick their own group.

Interactive graphs by Mr Warwick

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Click to download post it graphs MWA

Choice and challenge activities by Mr Gorman

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Click to download PGO C1-choice-and-challenge-activities