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!

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

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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.

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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.

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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.


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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.
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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.


iPads improve learning and increase progress

Good Practice at Upton:

Progress at Upton

There is extensive evidence that using modern technology helps them make greater progress:

Our Year 8 in 2014 without iPads achieved an average level of 5b, whereas our Year 8 with iPads in 2015 achieved an average level of 6c. Both Year groups started year 7 at the same point, with an average level of 4a.

They enjoy learning through technology, and so are more motivated and find it easier to concentrate, collaborate and communicate. It has had a positive impact on attendance.


See the iPad bumper edition posted on 19/1/15


iPad launch to Year 6 Parentsupton

We launched the iPad scheme to Year 6 parents on Wednesday 18th March 2015. Please have a look at the video produced by the student E-learning Facilitators (ELFs) and click on the PDF version of the PowerPoint used below.


Parents presentation


Brain food


Tablets allow for freedom and flexible learning, study finds. Students become more creative and independent when given their own tablet computer, according to a study on tscotlandhe use of mobile technology in Edinburgh schools. The research appears to bolster the case for moving away from fixed computers and dedicated information communications technology rooms towards providing all students with a tablet or mini-laptop for use throughout school and at home, known as “1:1 mobile learning”.

Students showed more enthusiasm for school after mobile digital devices were introduced – mostly in 2012-13 – in two primaries and two secondaries in Edinburgh, according to University of Hull researchers Kevin Burden and Trevor Male. Students had already been more likely to use mobile technology than school ICT even before it was sanctioned: more students regularly used mobile devices such as smartphones in school (35 per cent) than school computers (25 per cent). But their use of technology in school “increased significantly” during the 1:1 projects at Sciennes and Broomhouse primary schools and Forrester and Gracemount high schools, the research states.The allocation of personal tablets or mini-laptops “alleviates many of the problems and complaints which teachers have traditionally made about using fixed technologies in the standard IT laboratory”, Dr Burden and Dr Male write.

“There is evidence that teachers are shifting their practices in ways which might prove to be very significant,” the report states. “Personal access to the internet enables teachers to set more authentic and realistic tasks for students,” it adds.

Student autonomy was “an immediate benefit”, particularly at Sciennes Primary, where children were given considerable freedom to personalise iPads. Parents were also enthusiastic, with many buying tablets for their children on the strength of the study. One Sciennes parent said: “It has definitely helped him to be more independent; his creative writing is now that of a child way beyond his years as he is not held back by the slowness of pencil and paper.” But problems were identified: teachers found it difficult to support simultaneous use of different types of devices, so the report recommends that schools choose only one. Questions were also raised about the ability of Glow, the digital network for Scottish schools, to support the technology. And there is growing concern among parents – although less so among teachers – about internet addiction and overuse of games. Edinburgh already has about 6,500 iPads in its schools to share among the city’s 44,000 students. The council has promised to match-fund any money that secondary schools put towards providing entire year groups with iPads over the next two years. “We are quite convinced that it’s the way forward,” said senior education manager Karen Prophet. “What’s been fascinating is that this technology has not been stolen or damaged, because young people value it.”Ken Cunningham, general secretary of School Leaders Scotland said that, given that tablets were expensive and required a reliable broadband connection, it would be a long time before each student in Scotland could be equipped with one. However, he said the fact that “not everybody can get (one)” was not an excuse to delay their introduction: it was simply a case of being “sensible” in targeting the initiative. He suggested that tablets might be used to help narrow the attainment gap in Scotland, with struggling students given them first. (See the full report by clicking on the link below).



iPad changes the way teachers teach and students learn. Students, educators, and institutions are using iPad for countless educational purposes and finding both anticipated and surprising benefits. Examples in this document highlight the following areas across K–12 and higher education: • Improvements in academic performance • Increases in engagement and motivation • Added instructional flexibility and resource efficiency • Integrated focus on content quality and design (See the full report by clicking on the link below)



Study Finds Benefits in Use of iPad as an Educational Tool. The study looks at the use of iPads at the Longfield Academy, where a large scale 1 to 1 iPad program was implemented last year. A brief overview of this groundbreaking study is provided below.


The iPad as a Tool for Education – Naace report supported by 9ine Consulting (2)

It is not just at Upton: Article of the week

The Positive Impact of Launching a 1-1 iPad Project – The Data from Hove Park School Park

In April 2013 Hove Park School launched a 1-1 iPad deployment for 1600 students. What has been the impact on progress, behaviour and attitudes to learning?

Student Achievement

Evidence based on the tracking of achievement data shows that the introduction of Hove Park’s 1-1 iPad Learning Transformation Project has made a positive contribution to the school’s work to eliminate the gap between the progress of economically disadvantaged students and their peers. Since the introduction of iPads 1-1 the progress of students eligible for pupil premium funding has accelerated compared to the progress of the cohort as a whole.

Student AchievementStudent Behaviour

Analysis of behaviour data at Hove Park has shown that the use of iPads has resulted in a significant decrease in sanctions across the school for the first two terms working 1-1 compared with the same period in 2012. Most tellingly, the sanctions received by the pupil premium cohort of economically disadvantaged students has decreased at a faster rate over the same period.

Other Indicators


Hove Park used pupil premium funding to provide eligible students with iPads and a suite of educational apps. These early results show that working 1-1 with iPads has had a clear and positive impact on these students who are now engaging with learning better and achieving at a faster rate.

Student Perceptions Of Learning

In order to gauge the initial feedback from students, the school asked 500 students at Hove Park to evaluate the quality of different aspects of their work before the introduction of iPads and again after 10 weeks of working with an iPad in lessons. In measuring the proportion grading the quality of work good or outstanding in a 4-point response scale, the results were extremely encouraging.

Enjoyment of lessons
Before students had an iPad only 4.7% of students rated the enjoyment of lessons as excellent. Now students have an iPad 47.8% of students rate their lesson enjoyment as excellent. 86.9% of students rate the enjoyment of lessons as good or excellent compared to 31% of students before they had an iPad.

Learning in Groups
Before students were using iPads 61.2% rated learning in groups as good or excellent, compared to 79.6% now.

Support from Peers
There were 58.1% of students who rated the support from friends as good or excellent before they had an iPad, compared to 67.3% now they are working with an iPad.

Sharing Work With Other Students
Before students used iPads 23.9% were sharing work with other students on a regular basis. This has increased to 62.7% of students sharing their work on a regular basis with other students.

It is clear that the use of iPads in lessons very quickly has a positive influence on students’ collaboration and sharing of their work.

Working Independently
66.6% of students rated independent learning in lessons as good or better before using an iPad. This rose to 79.6% of students rating it as good or excellent with the introduction of iPads at school.

Time in Lessons to Explore and Develop Your Ideas
This saw a shift from only 15.8% of students saying they were given time in lessons on a regular basis to 94% of students saying they now are given time to explore and research their own ideas on a regular basis in lessons.

The range of tools in the iPad and the speed with which they can be accessed during a sequence of learning activities means that teachers can plan to hand more responsibility to students for aspects of their learning during lessons.

Completion of Homework
64.5% of students rated the completion of homework as good or better before they used an iPad, compared to 74.7% of students since having an iPad.

Feedback from Teachers
Feedback from teachers was rated as good or excellent by 52.9% of students before they had an iPad. Since students have an iPad, 66.9% of students now rate the feedback from teachers a good or better.

In the first ten weeks, teachers experimented with a range of vehicles for setting and assessing homework. These increases in student responses mark the first steps in the journey to dramatically improve and personalise feedback to students in order to accelerate their achievement. 

Sharing Work With Parents
Only 15% of students were sharing their work on a regular basis with parents. Since the introduction of iPads 55.6% of students are now sharing their work with parents on a regular basis.

One of the key aims of the Hove Park iPad learning Transformation Project is to bring parents into closer contact with their children’s learning. This early gain in the frequency of sharing work at home gives us a good platform to build on as we begin to share our lesson materials on iTunes U in the coming months.


1) iPads Improve Classroom Learning, Study Finds


2) Improving feedback in a 1:1 environment.


3) Explain Everything for superb student feedback


4) Establishing A Twitter Routine In Your Classroom


5) Why Innovate?


Differentiation: ideas and resources on it and for it!

Brain food

Do we have fixed intelligence and ability?


Click on the link below to find out more about Michael Jordan:

Differentiation tool kit diagram

Article of the week:


A few decades ago the world of education was very exercised by the forerunner of differentiation which was called ‘mixed ability teaching’.  Then people began to realise it was not just ability that could be “mixed’’ and that teachers had to cope with a plethora of differences: learning style, age, motivation, prior learning and experience, gender, specific learning difficulties such as dyslexia, and so on.  Consequently the term ‘mixed ability’ began to be replaced by the less vivid term: ‘differentiation’.   But what does differentiation mean exactly?

Differentiation is an approach to teaching that attempts to ensure that all students learn well, despite their many differences. Catch phrases which go some way to capturing this concept include:

‘Coping with differences’.

‘Learning for all’ or

‘Success for all’.

There are a number of common misconceptions about differentiation.  Some believe that it is something ‘added on’ to normal teaching and that it just requires a few discrete extra activities in the lesson. In fact, differentiation permeates everything a good teacher does and it is often impossible to ‘point’ to a discrete event that achieves it.  It is not what is done often, but the way it is done that acheives differentiation. For this reason differentiation may not show up on a lesson plan or in the Scheme of Work.  However some teachers try to show their intentions to differentiate by setting objectives in the following format:

All must….

Some may…

A few might…

This may help novice teachers to think about the diversity of their learners, but having such objectives does not guarantee differentiation.  It is the strategies, not the objectives that achieve differentiation, and this should be the focus of our interests.

Differentiation is not new, good teachers have always done it.  However, it does chime with a new conception of the teacher’s role.  Once we teachers taught courses, subjects and classes.  But no more.  Now we are teaching individuals.

Once education was a sieve.  The weaker students were ‘seived out’ and they left the classroom for the world of work, while the able students were retained for the next level.  ‘Drop outs’ were planned for, and seen not just as inevitable but as desirable.  Put bluntly, the aim was to discover those who could not cope, and get rid of them.

But now education is a ladder, and we expect every learner to climb as fast and as high as they are able. ‘Drop outs’ are seen as a wasted opportunity, for the learners, and for society as a whole.

Underpinning these conceptions of education as being a sieve or a ladder, are assumptions about the capability of learners and the nature of learning.  Once learners were thought to have a genetic disposition for learning, or not, which was measured by their ‘IQ’.  This placed an upper limit on their possible achievement.  Some students were thought to reach their ‘ceiling’ after which further teaching would be in vain.

This is no longer thought to be the case.  Experts on the brain and on learning now stress that everyone can learn more, if they are taught appropriately, whatever they have previously achieved.  A vivid illustration of this is provided by the work of Professor Reuven Feuerstien.  He teaches learners with what we call ‘moderate learning difficulties’, using a very special and unusual programme involving intensive work for one hour a day every day.  Four years later these learners have ‘caught up’ and are found to have an average ‘IQ’.  They can live independent lives, learn normally, and are indistinguishable from average members of their societies.*

Needless to say, remnants of the ‘ceiling’ model of learning can still be found in many teachers’ conceptions of teaching and learning.  These ideas need to be tackled.  Luckily in most colleges examples can be found of students who entered the college on a level 1 programme, and progressed well, eventually leaving for university.  These are persuasive role models for other learners and for teachers.  Teachers can make much greater differences than they themselves realise, and we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible.

Click on the links below for more information

how to do differentiation



3Helpingwriting2 (1)


Recommended Reads

1) The Differentiated Classroom: Responding to the Needs of All Learners Paperback by Carol Ann Tomlinson (Author)9781416618607

Drawing on nearly three decades of experience, author Carol Ann Tomlinson describes a way of thinking about teaching and learning that will change all aspects of how you approach students and your classroom. She looks to the latest research on learning, education, and change for the theoretical basis of differentiated instruction and why it’s so important to today’s children. Yet she offers much more than theory, filling the pages with real-life examples of teachers and students using-and benefitting from-differentiated instruction.

2) Differentiation for Real Classrooms: Making It Simple, Making It Work, Edited by Kathleen Kryza, Edited by Alicia M. Duncan, Edited by S. Joy Stephens

With their characteristically joyful and conversational tone that celebrates learning and diverse students, Kathleen Kryza, Alicia Duncan, and S. Joy Stephens offer teachers dozens of pract9781412972475ical strategies for designing and delivering differentiated lessons to reach all learners. “Differentiation for Real Classrooms: Making It Simple, Making It Work” is a ready-to-go resource for creating lessons that allow all students to take in and process new information and teachers to assess their learning. It includes abundant illustrations, vignettes, sample lessons and units, and adaptations for ELLs and students with special needs.


1) 5 minute essay plan

5 minute lesson plan

2) Differentiated algebra

Algebra 1.6 factorising linear differentiated

3) Differentiated Food tech

worksheetcook off answers

cook off work sheet

cook off

4) Differentiated learning mats – from TES resourcesDifferentiated learning mats 2 Differentiated learning mats

5) Evaluation and reflection

Effective plenaries

6) Differentiated literacy mats

Literacy mat whole school

7) Mock exam reflection from the TES website

mockexam reflection

8) Strategies for EAL students from TES resource area

strategies for EAL students


9) A link to methods of differentiation in the classroom


10) 80 strategies and techniques for differentiation



Progress grows through DIRT

Good Practice at Upton: DIRT continues to develop

Geography:Dirt being used with Year 7 in a decision making exercise

 Geog1 Geog2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in Geography using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson plan – Dept Review L6 2015

English:DIRT being used with Year 7 for extended writing, and Jet pack Joyride!




Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in English using the TEEP planning cycle:

English Lesson Plan by SJO

History: DIRT used withYear 7 and Year 10 GCSE on sources



history3 history4

Food Technology: DIRT used to improve recipes and skills



Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan in Food Technology using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson year 10 Lasagne

 Art: DIRT used in learning conversations




Maths: DIRT used for homework

Maths dirt 1 maths dirt 2

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan and PowerPoint in Maths using the TEEP planning cycle:

sequences lesson plan KSP

Click on the link below for an example of an Outstanding lesson plan and PowerPoint in Business Studies using the TEEP planning cycle:

Lesson plan: bussiness ethics Lesson Plan   PowerPoint: the only way is ethics

Science: DIRT being used at KS4

Science Dirt 1


Science Dirt 2

MFL:Good practice with DIRT

mfl1 mfl2 MFL3 MFL4 MFL5

Brain food:

How to help students on in their learning:

moving on map

Too small to read? click on the link to download:


Using Lego to show population size and growth:


Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 20.21.26


Article of the week: We are not the only school doing it!!

Marking – Effective, Developmental & Time-Saving

A teacher marking a exam paper

Raise the profile – Power to the Students!

Put the students in the driving seat, after all, we love to recognise their hard work so why shouldn’t this become a reciprocal arrangement? Hence the ‘Purple Pen of Power’ A simple, yet effective way to engage and empower students to secure progress. I’m not saying this is unique in our school, because it’s not, however, offering frequent opportunities for all pupils to ‘have their say’ in making progress is proving highly successful.

Purple pen of progress

Pen-holders-e1415964255340The strategy of dedicated improvement and reflection time (DiRT) is a much talked about and covered topic which is proven to be highly effective in encouraging students to play a more active role in your marking of their work and the work of their peers. In essence, it creates an element of accountability for all parties involved in the process. In fact, the purple pen is so loved it’s created quite a stir, as enterprising students have taken it upon themselves to create ‘purple pen holders’ and sell them to teachers, with great success I might add – who would’ve thought DiRT could generate such a buzz!?

I’ve been inspired by the insightful work of David Didau ‘The Learning Spy’ and this is where I came across this very useful feedback flowchart, I recommend reading his blog on this topic. if you haven’t done so already:


Developmental and effective = Progress

What does marking look like when it’s effective and secures progress for all learners and of course, how do we achieve the marking nirvana that is; Demonstrating progress over time? or to rephrase the question: how often do you set aside time in your lesson for DiRT and what is the ratio between the time you have taken to mark a students work in comparison to the time they have taken to formulate a response?

DIRT - CPD (1)

Time, workload and having a life!

Talking to staff informally, nationally (usually on twitter), locally (usually at various teachmeets) and of course in my own school context, I’m sure it will come as no surprise that time and work life balance always features highly in the topic of conversation. Marking can be a beast, soaking up hour upon hour and if you’re not careful, one that will catch up with you if you take your finger off the pulse. My opinion is that working smart, and not necessarily hard with your marking will go some way to managing your workload.

So with this in mind, what can we do to ensure that marking remains a high-profile element of the teaching and learning backbone? Firstly, we don’t make excuses for not doing it, instead we work together in an open, supportive forum to develop time-saving and effective strategies which will hopefully reinvigorate that love of marking. Here are a couple of quick snaps I’ve taken to try to capture effective teacher feedback where I feel it strikes the balanced ratio of teacher:student workload. What becomes obvious is that the myth that every piece of work needs to be marked, has been dispelled; yes work has been acknowledged but not necessarily in receipt of feedback which is a token gesture. The reason? because it wasn’t relevant for this particular piece of work, and I think this is the fundamental error that some teachers make – remember it’s okay to simply tick certain pieces of work where feedback isn’t appropriate, don’t make up feedback for the sake of it!

Marking blog

Here is evidence of our staff recommendations in action; teacher marking is in green and student response in purple. Consider when detailed feedback is needed, and ask yourself; does it always have to be you that does it?

In summary:

In an educational landscape where teachers workloads are ever-expanding, we mustn’t lose sight of what’s really important in our role, ensuring all students make progress and marking is a crucial aspect in this process. I think that opening up a creative whole school dialogue, in a non-judgemental and supportive culture is essential in ensuring that marking doesn’t become the elephant in the room. And don’t forget, peer and self-assessment are every bit as important as ‘traditional’ marking.

I’d also like to thank Ross McGill (aka @teachertoolkit) for his relentless and quite profound blogging on this topic, offering such practical resources such as this, the ‘5 Minute Marking Plan’ – helping claw back valuable time with our ever-increasing workloads.



Recommended Reads

1. Visible Learning for Teachers: Maximizing Impact on Learning by John Hattie

In November 2008, John Hattie’s ground-breaking book Visible Learning synthesised the results of more than fifteen years research involving millions of students and represented the biggest ever collection of eviddownload (1)ence-based research into what actually works in schools to improve learning.

Visible Learning for Teachers takes the next step and brings those ground breaking concepts to a completely new audience. Written for students, pre-service and in-service teachers, it explains how to apply the principles of Visible Learning to any classroom anywhere in the world. The author offers concise and user-friendly summaries of the most successful interventions and offers practical step-by-step guidance to the successful implementation of visible learning and visible teaching in the classroom.This book:

  • links the biggest ever research project on teaching strategies to practical classroom implementation
  • champions both teacher and student perspectives and contains step by step guidance including lesson preparation, interpreting learning and feedback during the lesson and post lesson follow up
  • offers checklists, exercises, case studies and best practice scenarios to assist in raising achievement
  • includes whole school checklists and advice for school leaders on facilitating visible learning in their institution
  • now includes additional meta-analyses bringing the total cited within the research to over 900
  • comprehensively covers numerous areas of learning activity including pupil motivation, curriculum, meta-cognitive strategies, behaviour, teaching strategies, and classroom management.

Visible Learning for Teachers is a must read for any student or teacher who wants an evidence based answer to the question; ‘how do we maximise achievement in our schools?’

Useful links/videos/resources/apps

1) Examples of how to populate the TEEP cycle in History


2) Becoming a TEEP ambassador school



3) Success is: feeling that tingle of excitement about what you do, sticking with what matters through hard times, living a life you can feel proud of in retrospect. These talks say it all.


4) Need a burst of inspiration? Wildly creative thinkers share ideas, strategies and warmhearted encouragement to let your genius out.


5) Top 10 apps from Gary King

See. Touch. Learn.  You can build custom picture card lessons and automatically track students responses. Includes a starter set of stunning, high-quality images and 60 exercises.

EarthViewer. What did Earth look like 250 million years ago? Or 1 billion years ago? Or 4.5 billion years ago? EarthViewer is an interactive tool for tablet computers that allows you to explore the science of Earth’s deep history.

The Phrase Verbs machine.  Here you can find animated illustrations of 100 phrasal verbs set in the circus world of ‘Phraso’ and his friends. Frequently, phrasal verbs can have more than one meaning.  You can find an example sentences in English and the translation into five different languages. Also  included are other meanings when they are useful or necessary to fully understand the phrasal verb.

Flipboard. Flipboard is your personal magazine, filled with the things you care about. You can curate the content to and catch up on the news, discover amazing things from around the world and connect to the people globally.

Orbit Architect. Orbit Architect allows you to interactively design and explore satellite orbital geometry through the multi-touch interface of the iPad. You can manipulate a satellite orbit using pinch and rotate multi-touch gestures, see the effects on the orbit and its ground track in real-time, and animate the results. As you change the orbit, dynamic diagrams will illuminate the meaning of each orbital parameter. Finally, the results can then be emailed to yourself or to a friend. Great for Science lessons!

Solve the Outbreak. Fantastic for global awareness learning. Students get clues, analyse data, solve the case, and save lives! In this fun app they are the Disease Detective. Do they quarantine the village? Talk to people who are sick? Ask for more lab results? The better their answers, the higher your score – and the more quickly they’ll save lives. Students start out as a trainee and can earn badges by solving cases, with the goal of earning the top rank: Disease Detective.

Hubble Space Telescope Discoveries. Students can soar through the universe with the Hubble Space Telescope, exploring discoveries from dark energy to colliding galaxies. This highly interactive eBook features video, image galleries and more to reveal the record of scientific breakthroughs behind Hubble’s stunning images of the cosmos.

Comics in the classroom. This is an interesting approach to teaching history to children through digital comics, with topics including Pearl Harbour, Florence Nightingale and Jack the Ripper. Children fill in the speech bubbles to prove their understanding of the subjects. Three comics are included, with additional ones available as 69p in-app purchases.

Hakitzu: Code of the Warrior. This entirely-free app wants to teach students to code using the JavaScript language. It’s presented as a game where they build robot warriors and use their coding skills to control them in battles against friends, or in the single-player mode while honing their abilities.

Bump. Lets students and teachers exchange  information, files and videos by touching two devices together. Great for collaborative learning both within and outside the classroom.

6) A presentation on Growth Mindset:



Becoming an Apple RTC, our first training event and an interactive plenary board

 Good Practice at Upton:

We have been designated with Apple Regional Training Centre status and we are now CHESTER RTC

What is an Apple Regional Training Centre (RTC)?

The RRTC5egional Training Centre programme is to provide teachers with training, expertise and access to best practice to support their use of Apple technology in the classroom. The programme brings together a wide community of experienced educators and experts who provide free and easy access to Apple’s creative learning technologies.

Every RTC has unique skills, a different curriculum or subject focus but all share the same objectives:

  • To provide a focus on pedagogy, for sharing best practice and gaining skills
  • To introduce planned, effective, digital solutions to schools using Mac and iPad
  • To train teachers to use Apple’s tools and help enable active and transformative teaching within the classroom.
  • To support, enhance and transform teaching and learning outcomes

The RTC Programme is a community programme and as such the ethos is about sharing learning experiences and knowledge between peers. The RTCs in the UK are learning-hubs within local regions, promoting collaboration and the sharing of resources and practices.
Having achieved RTC status in 2015 we are honored and privileged to share our success story and knowledge with our educational colleagues.
All the Apple technology courses we offer at Upton-by-Chester are free to attend for any of our educational colleagues.  The RTC program allows us to share with others the successful iPad implementations we have undertaken.  We are excited and proud with what we have so far achieved with Apple Technologies in the classroom and welcome all those, at whatever stage along their own journey to come and see how we do things.

Our first training event: Literacy and the iPad – 27th January 2015

Below, teachers from our local primaries exploring apps which improve literacy.




Opposite, Primary staff exploring the use of QR codes to enhance literacy skills.

This session explored how the iPad can aide and work alongside traditional teaching methods to deliver literacy to all Key Stages. It was well attended with over 30 delegates.

Course Schedule

All courses begin at 4pm, with coffee and registration from 3:30pm.  We have WiFi access for those bringing their own iPad or for those who don’t we are happy to provide one for session.

Numeracy and the iPad – 26th February 2015

Science and the iPad – 24th March 2015

Programming and the iPad – 29th April 2015

The iPad in SEN – 12th May 2015

The iPad in MFL and EAL – 23rd June 2015

Creativity and the iPad – 14th July 2015

RTC Official Launch – TBC

We are in the final stages of organizing our RTC launch event which will be run in conjunction with Apple and JTRS.   The event will give attendees a chance to understand the RTC programme and what it offers, hear what Apple have planned for the future.  The event will also feature breakout sessions for our educational colleagues to understand more the benefits of Apple Technology in the classroom.

Skype in the classroom: Upton students have world at their fingertips

Learning geography simply from maps and atlases could be outdated for school students. Upton-by-Chester High school students closed their books and took to Skype to learn about and identify a specific place in Sri Lanka.

Students on both sides of the world were able to ask questions of each other to identify their country, city and school.

Mrs Mitchell, Geography Teacher, said the Skype session was one in a series of lessons which aimed to help students learn about the world by expanding their learning opportunities beyond the traditional confines. “Technology has allowed students to practice skills such as mapping, using sources i.e. atlases and Google maps and identify what information they need to guide their search for a school,” she said.

The ‘Skype in the Classroom’ project is giving students the opportunity to connect with students in classrooms around the world. It is a fantastic cultural exchange from the convenience of the classroom and an amazing enriching development for Geography.



Brain food 

Geography QR code display: very interactive



WWW and EBI Bookmarks

As title states, adapt some lines for other subjects this is intended for use in Maths: click on the link for them in PowerPoint.Peer-Assessment-Bookmark (1)



‘I helped’ stickers in use in maths:

maths stickers

Article of the week

The Interactive Plenary Board January 24, 2015

After 3 weeks of working on it here and there since the beginning of term, the Interactive Plenary Board is finally complete.

I’m really pleased with the results plus the kids are enjoying it so far.

It built up slowly, going from this…



to this…



I now have peer assessment guidance and have identified what WWW and EBI stands for as no matter how many times we do it somebody ALWAYS has to ask what it means. I’ve also printed off smaller versions of the tickets with WWW and EBI guidance on the back to support learners in writing appropriate feedback.

So far I’ve only really been able to use it with year 8 since year 7 are currently working on their Dangerous World project; they’ve been completing Exit Tickets each lesson to demonstrate their understanding so far.

Year 8 however are engaging with the activities and particularly like the social media based ‘Assess’ activities. Not sure if that is a good or bad thing however!

Since I only see my classes twice a week so far reminding them of the new procedures when they finish the main part of the lesson has been important. Encouraging them to choose a suitable task for the time left e.g if they’ve 10 minutes to go they should choose an ‘Extend’ task; whereas if they have 5 minutes they should pick an ‘Assess’ task or roll a plenary to decide on the plenary task. The ‘Reflect’ tasks I feel need more direction, so I’ll be the one to decide when they do these, once they have practised them a number of times they should hopefully be able to recognise how long they need and choose accordingly.

Under the roll a plenary board, there is a folder with additional activities such as key word and definition match up games and top trumps. These are for pupils to practice what they are learning, most of which have been created by the kids as part of their homework and sometimes classwork.

You can find out more about where some of the resources came from here and here.

Thanks for reading.

Recommended reads

1) Don’t change the light bulbs: A compendium of expertise from the UK s most switched-on educators by Various Contributors (Author), Rachel Jones (Editor)

Change the Light Bulbs’ offers tips and hints on how to be the best teacher you can be, dont change the lightand is written by some of the most respected leaders in education today. It covers primary, secondary and post 16 phases, in addition to cross curricular sections on leadership, ICT, inclusion, creativity, SEN and tutoring. It also presents the practical advice of those who have been there and done it and who now want to share their collective wisdom with you. The aim of which is to make education better, not just in your classroom but for everyone.

Useful links/resources/articles/apps

1) Geoguessr – a website where you can be transported to anywhere in the world that Google has mapped. Students can then explore and guess where they are.

2) Pictureteller – a great way to create photo slideshows. You can add effects and audio to create videos that you can embed, link to or download.

3) Mixlr.com – Use Mixlr to create your own school radio station!

4) Hopscotch – The ipad version of scratch. A great app for doing basic programming on your iPad (Martin claimed it was even better than scratch!)

5) Streatview Stereographic – Create maps of anywhere that Google has mapped using street view and display as a mini world. Great for geography activities whether that’s the local area or furtherafield.

See more at: http://www.mediacore.com/blog/teachmeet-london-inspiration-ideas-and-lots-of-resources#sthash.Y47wZQfm.dpuf

6) Rachel Walker from Chilton Trinity School explains how she encourages the use of props for more effective revision.


7) Assessment Marking Grid for my year 9 DME – this could be edited to meet the needs of your class.


iPad bumper edition

Good Practice at Upton :

A positive response from Upton Parents on iPads for learning December 2014

My child feels more motivated to work, with their iPad than without it:

IMG_1135Year 7 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 92% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He loves it. It really taps into what kids are into and so encourages him to want to learn more. It’s easier to research topics, and present in a more interesting way. She is able to research and find out things for herself at home. If I don’t know the answer we can find it together. (Work by Jemma Year 7)

The iPad is helping my child to improve the quality of their work.

Year 7 Parents: 87french% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He can add more detail, spell check his work, use the online dictionary, thesaurus and include pictures. She has a world of knowledge at her finger tips so she is able to put a lot of detail into her work – an extension of what she learnt in school. (Work by Jessica Year 8)


My child is making better progress with the iPad than without it.

Year 7 Parents: 83% Strongly agree/agree  history

Year 8 Parents: 88% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He is more motivated so he is working harder and so making greater progress. Probably because it is more convenient than using different books and of course technology is a major part of life today.The speed of what she is learning has increased. Teachers explain to her how to improve on Showbie and so she can improve her work before the next lesson. (Work by Dan Year 7)

I think that my child’s achievement has improved since they received their iPad.

nateYear 7 Parents: 82% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 86% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: His grades have improved because he is more motivated. She is able to work on her own and so has improved at a faster rate. Rosie is improving in most lesson because she using her ipad. My child is keen to undertake the challenge of using the new technology to work with.


I feel that my child is able to work more effectively with the iPad than without it.

Year 7 Parents: 86% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 89% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He enjoys learning now. The world at her finger tips! I think my daughter loves working on her iPad. He can research independently. My child is more organised.

My child is able to work more with others with the iPad than without it.friends

Year 7 Parents: 88% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 92% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: He can share work using air drop. She can share ideas using iMessage and email. The little video’s they produce from team work are really good. He tells me that he shares his work with others in class. I have seen examples of his work in the ipad news letter too. He also showed me some apps that he uses with a partner.

I am happy for my child to use the iPad regularly in their learning.

Year 7 Parents: 97% Strongly agree/agree

Year 8 Parents: 95% Strongly agree/agree

What the parents said: It is why we chose Upton High. Helps with their learning alongside written work & books. I think it makes learning more exciting, accessible and appropriate for the time we live in. I am happy for iPad to be used along side traditional teaching rather than a replacement. (Work by Dan Year 7)

Brain food:

  • A study from the National Literacy Trust and Pearson, published last month, suggested that touchscreen computers were particularly useful in helping boys and poorer pupils to learn to read.
  • It showed children in poorer households were particularly likely to read on touchscreen computers rather than printed books.
  • Another study from Ofcom last year showed how tablets have spread quickly within families with children. About 70% of five to 15-year-olds had access to a tablet at home.

Exposure to technology – a timeline:


IMG_0019 copy


Article of the week:

15 Unique and Creative Ways to Use iPads in the Classroom by teachingwithipad.org (1 by me JKE!):

Here are some great new ideas to use your iPad in your classroom. The iPad, as we all know, is a great tool for education. We are hoping that you can use at least a few of these new and creative ideas.

1. Use your iPad as a document camera with the Stage Interactive Whiteboard and Document Camera.

With this app, and the help of a dedicated, or DIY, mount you can use your iPad as a document camera, annotate over anything you set under the camera, and even record what you show. Got another $10? Make your own microscope attachment for up to x175 magnification!

 Stage Interactive (1)

2. Review almost any academic topic using the Quizlet app (FREE).

Quizlet is a completely free resource that allows you to create flashcards for your students. Interactive games can also be done on the web. Project them for great review as a class! An optional Teacher account with extra features is available. Students can also practice individually at home for review for upcoming tests. You do not necessarily need the app, as it is a web-based service as well. Run it straight from your browser.

flash cards


3. Use your iPad as a “game show” – style soundboard.

Play review games (with the aide of technology or without) and use special sound effects in your class using apps such as Game Show Sound Board.

game show

4. Build Posters using great photography apps like Diptic, Pic Collage and Over.

Have lots of interesting photos to share? Stitch them together using these apps, print them off to display in your classroom! Your students can create poster projects containing multiple images displaying what they have learned. Students and teachers can then add text using the Over app.


5. Use your iPad as a music playlist manager.

Do you sing and/or listen to a lot of songs in class? You can choose to use iTunes to create playlists but did you know that you can easily create playlists in YouTube as well? Find essentially any song you wish on YouTube and play it on your iPad! Better yet, use apps such as Musi to stream your music if you have a strong wifi signal, orInstatube to save your music for offline viewing/listening.

you tube

6. Use your iPad as a classroom management tool

Use visuals on your projected iPad with the app Silent Light ($3.99).

The iPad will monitor noise levels and you as a teacher can set what level is appropriate for each particular activity. Set a goal for points your class to achieve to earn rewards.

traffic light

7. Create a special effects movie with the Doink green screen app.

Recreate your favorite Sci-Fi movies or your own mini blockbuster with the aid of a green sheet and this innovative app. Film your scene in front of a green screen, then layer your background on top if it to create an awesome special effect! Export your video to the Camera Roll and it is ready to be edited further or combined with more clips in iMovie. You might also want to take a look at the Action Movie FX app.

green screen app

8. Record Podcasts with USB Mics.

The iPad is a great multimedia device, but the microphone is not of the highest quality for recording professional sounding audio in video or for podcasts. However, with the help of Apple’s Camera Connection Kits, you can connect good quality USB mics and other peripherals to use with your iPad.

camera connector

9. Create multimedia eBooks with Book Creator.

One of the best uses for the iPad in education is digital storytelling apps, and they don’t come much better than Book Creator for iPad. Over 3 million multimedia eBooks have been created with just this app! You can add text, images, video, audio and more. Choose from over 50 fonts, draw your own illustrations, and send your finished product to iBooks, Dropbox, or share by email. Try it out for free!

book creator

10. Let the iPad choose!

Ever have trouble deciding who gets to answer in class? I still see teachers with a can of 25 names on Popsicle sticks with their students names on them. The iPad can choose names randomly.

Also, Do you have difficulty choosing people for group projects? There are various apps that can do this for you. Check out Pick Me! ($1.99), which can keep a standing record of correct and incorrect responses that the students give. The app is able to choose, based on their individual percentages of correct answers, leveled, random and balanced groups.

Read: Let the iPad choose! It’s the fair way!


11. Capture metacognition with Explain Everything.

We talk a lot about differentiated instruction, but not enough about differentiated assessment. Using Explain Everything ($2.99), students can show you (and tell you!) what they know in a way that works for them. Explain Everything is a screencasting app that allows students to “annotate, animate, narrate, import and export almost anything to and from almost anywhere.” Whether students demonstrate their understanding of a math concept, summarizing skills, or phonemes, Explain Everything allows you to capture students’ thoughts while viewing their work.



12. Share your students’ learning experiences with families and other schools using Instagram.

Looking for an easy way to share your classroom with families and other educators? JoinInstagram (for free)! Using the iPad’s camera, you can capture photos and videos to quickly post to Instagram, where families and other educators can celebrate your students’ learning right along with you.

Read: How to use Instagram’s great features without its social sharing issues


13. Augment reality with Layar or Aurasma.

Augmented reality can change the way your students see the world by offering additional digital information to real objects that can only be seen via apps like Layar (free) orAurasma (free). Post a blank map or timeline, where teachers and students can add different types of multimedia content that can be viewed depending on age, ability, and/or curriculum.



14. Collaborate with other classrooms using video conferencing and Subtext.

We should never let our students think that their classroom is just the four walls around them. It is essential that students know that the world is their classroom, and the iPad is a great way for students to connect and collaborate with students anywhere in the world. Whether students video conference with FaceTime or Skype (both free) to discuss a book in they read together in Subtext (a social reading app), or to do a Mystery Skype, the iPad opens doors to collaborative learning experiences for students of all ages.

Read: Use Facetime in class.

mystery skype

15. Look at good practice in our school. This one is by me. Click on the link below to see examples on uptoni:


Recommended Reads

1) iPad in Education For Dummies by Sam Gliksman

It′s easy to bring the incredible iPad experience to your classroom today! The iPad is a natural fit for education in the 21st century, and this straightforward, full–color guide shows you just how to deploy it effectively in your educational institution. From understanding how iPads can be used for different learning styles to managing idownloadPad content and classroom use, finding the apps to complement your curriculum, creating interactive lessons, and beyond, author Sam Gliksman, a sought–after consultant on integrating technology in schools, answers all your questions. Helps teachers and administrators see how to use iPads effectively in different grades, classroom settings, and curriculum levels Explains iPad′s built–in media features and the importance of multimedia in modern education Explores iPad best practices, tools, and apps for a successful iPad program in your school Shows how the iPad can be used as a valuable tool for research, collaboration, communication, creativity, and discovery Provides tips and guidance on keeping information updated, managing content, and taking advantage of the iPad as a learning tool iPad in Education For Dummies is your guide to using the world’s most popular tablet to inspire and educate your students in a whole new way.

2) Top 10 UK education Blogs:

The full list: (last Updated 15/01/2014) – click here to visit the page.

  1. @TeacherToolkit
  2. @Learning Spy
  3. @headguruteacher
  4. @HuntingEnglish
  5. Learning from my mistakes: an English teacher’s blog
  6. @johntomsett
  7. Scenes From The Battleground
  8. Geoff Barton’s Pick ‘n’ Mix
  9. ClassroomTM
  10. Tabula Rasa

Useful links/videos/resources

1) Free online textbooks from top private school. Read the full article by clicking on the link below:


2) Used by thousands of teachers worldwide, Teacher Guide to iPad includes over 500 ideas for lesson activities using iPad across all age groups. 200 Video tutorials walk through apps, ideas and skills in small, manageable sections. Plus pupil work examples, labelled guides and links to resources that have all been tried and tested in school. Click on the link below.


3) ipadteachers.org is a website where teachers and education professionals can share ideas about making the most of the use of iPads in the classroom. Hosted by Hove Park School in Brighton, England, our site aims to share the experiences of our teachers as well as providing links to interesting blogs and articles from around the world. We also welcome direct contributions from any teachers who are excited about the positive impact iPads can make to learning.


4) Ideas and resources for using the ipad for learning


5) Developing digital leaders


Challenge them and change their mindset

 Good Practice at Upton :

Below is a photo of Hannah and Lauren, Year 8, receiving their certificated from Mrs Dixon Headteacher. They took part in delivering a work shop on Feedback using iPads for learning at the SSAT national conference. Well done!

FullSizeRender (9)

In Science Year 7 have been learning about specialised cells and have produced some fantastic models and cakes for a homework task. The photographs are from Mrs Bradbury, Head of Science.






 Level 1 TEEP training. Presentations on the TEEP journey below by Upton staff, 12/1/15

the journey


Brain food:


mindset responses





Learning that tastes good, and gives us that sense of satisfaction after a good meal.  What might the ingredients be?

  • Staples: learning from the teacher – direct instruction; formative feedback in some form;  learning from books; reading aloud; think-pair-share; asking questions; solving problems;
  • Variety: making videos or websites; teaching part of a lesson; making a model or a composition; acting out a role-play; experts and envoys; peer assessment; debates and discussions; designing your own experiment; pre-learning material from online video tutorials; using ‘ExplainEverything’ to produce a short presentation for the class.
  • Tastes: Having the option to respond in a variety of forms; or to choose the topic; or to work at a pace that suits; to create learning independently; to work collaboratively with a group of my choice; to learn through extended open-ended projects with opportunities for doing some things in depth over time.

Pitch It Up. Aim High. Expect Excellence. Demand It.

It’s not one strategy…it’s more a frame of mind; the cumulative effect of the many micro-strategies that result in higher levels of engagement, longer periods of concentration, wider use of vocabulary, better explanations, deeper learning and stronger performances. Click on the link below and watch the video.


The TEEP planning cycle: Common misconceptions

It has been a while since your 3 days of training and since you revisited the planning cycle. Click on the link below to dispel those common misconceptions.


Article of the week:

Using Tests Formatively by

The goal of summative assessment is most often to measure student learning at the end of a topic or unit by comparing it against some ‘standard’ – i.e. a grade or level. Summative assessments – tests, exams, final projects etc. – are often high stakes and ‘one-off’, and in many students this can lead to a ‘fixed mindset‘ approach to them.

On the other hand, the goal of formative assessment is to monitor student learning by providing ongoing feedback that can be used by students to improve their learning. This process should help students identify their strengths and weaknesses and target areas that need work, and in the process help teachers identify where extra support/teaching is needed.

What if we could do both at once? Do we have to choose? Isn’t that what the growth mindset is all about?

Possibilities for using a mock exam formatively:

  • Revisit questions answered incorrectly – students go back and improve, then remark!
  • Break questions down and attempt as a rally
  • Get students to mark / coach each other
  • Agree as a class what is required for the marks in advance
  • Use previous papers to help recognise the type of question and the style of answer
  • Identify common misconceptions to address with students – build this in to D.I.R.T
  • Reflect on one’s own teaching of problem areas to identify gaps in teaching /learning
  • Co-construct a WAGOLL by taking the best student answers from each question – groups have ownership of a ‘perfect’ model paper
  • Incorporate quick strategies like a ‘5 minute steal’ or use question tokens during the exam – students can ask you questions but it will cost them a token!

If you’re going to set a mock exam, you might as well make it work for you. I strongly recommend getting into a habit wherever possible of marking mocks quickly enough so that students can act on your feedback in the next lesson, therefore planning your next lesson for you. If this isn’t practical, why not get them to mark their own/each others in class? Some teachers would recoil in horror at the idea (“what if they cheat?”) So what! Let them ‘cheat’ if it helps them learn! After all, we can never go back in time, all we want our students to do is to do better next time.

How do we ensure that students do better next time? Give them the time and opportunity to improve – D.I.R.T or ‘MAD time’ next lesson. Here’s an example of the guidance given to Engineering students the lesson after their recent mock exam:

Summative Assessment used formatively

They then had a good chunk of the next lesson to ensure they went back and improved their score by at least ten marks. Simple, no bother formative assessment leading to progress for the students.

Recommended Reads

1) The Secret of Literacy: Making the implicit, explicit by David Didau


Literacy? That’s someone else’s job, isn’t it? This is a book for all teachers on how to make explicit to students those things we can do implicitly. In the Teachers’ Standards it states that all teachers must demonstrate an understanding of, and take responsibility for, promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy, and the correct use of standard English, whatever the teacher’s specialist subject. In The Secret of Literacy, David Didau inspires teachers to embrace the challenge of improving students’ life chances through improving their literacy. Topics include: Why is literacy important?, Oracy improving classroom talk, How should we teach reading? How to get students to value writing, How written feedback and marking can support literacy.

mindsets2) Mindsets in the Classroom: Building a Culture of Success and Student Achievement in Schools by Mary Cay Ricci

When students believe that dedication and hard work can change their performance in school, they grow to become resilient, successful students. Inspired by the popular mindset idea that hard work and effort can lead to success, Mindsets in the Classroom provides educators with ideas for ways to build a growth mindset school culture, wherein students are challenged to change their thinking about their abilities and potential. The book includes a planning template, step-by-step description of a growth mindset culture, and “look-fors” for adopting a differentiated, responsive instruction model teachers can use immediately in their classrooms.


Useful links/videos/resources

 1) Carol Dweck researches “growth mindset” — the idea that we can grow our brain’s capacity to learn and to solve problems. In this talk, she describes two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve. Are you not smart enough to solve it … or have you just not solved it yet? A great introduction to this influential field.

2) Execellent examples of starters and plenaries.


3) Leaving a high-flying job in consulting, Angela Lee Duckworth took a job teaching math to seventh graders in a New York public school. She quickly realized that IQ wasn’t the only thing separating the successful students from those who struggled. Here, she explains her theory of “grit” as a predictor of success.

4) What Twitter offers teachers: The evidence


5) Blooms Taxonomy revised and high order thinking