Active learning is…

 Effective teacher/student input/output

 Fun

 Essential

 Chaos (in a good way!)

 Inspiring

 Engaging

 Critical for intellectual development

 Energetic

 Stimulating

 Sometimes putting down a pen

 Mind maps

 Active living

 NOT filling in worksheets

 Group work

 Exciting

 Effective

 Noisy

 Memorable

 Sharing ideas

 Leading / coaching

 Kinaesthetic learning styles

 Busy

 Practical/Hands on

 Gross motor skills

 Engages more boys

 Routine, drill, practice

 Sharing and contributing ideas

 Students taking the initiative (leading learning)

 Student led – teacher advisor (less teaching, more facilitating) (following guidance)

 Collaborative and cooperative

 Discussing

 Visible

 The only way different learners all learn

 Worth it!

 Stimulating

 Everyone getting involved

 Spiritual and social

 Exploring concepts in a new way

 Independent

 Usually like by Ofsted

 Building on existing knowledge

 Increasing independence

 Pupils doing something

 Kagan

 Thinking

 Concentrating

 Questioning

 Reasoning

 Challenge

 Different learning styles

 Risk taking

 Students taking responsibility

 Pacey

 Responding to targets

 Inspiring

 Evaluating and reflecting, improving!

 Worthwhile

 Relevant

 Easier than you think

 A journey of learning

 Uses post its!

 Can be individual not always group work

Fran’s Poundland Pedagogy

Poundland Pedagogy – from Fran in RE. Thanks, Fran!

Poundland Pedagogy is an idea that comes from Isabella Wallace (author of ‘Pimp your lesson!’ and ‘Talk- less teaching’) and involves using items found in Poundland (other discount stores are available) to support learning and progress. It involves going for a wander through the shelves and thinking about how you can use them items found as resources in activities. It does require careful planning about how items can be used and how it will support progress, but it can also be used to great effect to engage students and support their learning.

The internet is full of ideas and uses, googling ‘poundland pedagogy’ brings up a multitude of ideas, a quick look at #poundlandpedagogy on Twitter or the many Poundland Pedagogy boards on Pinterest are also full of ideas. I have found that the best starting point is to find the items, and then work out how you could use them.

My recent uses of items found in Poundland include using paper table cloths and cheap felt tip pens for year 9 to recap their previous learning, giving year 10 playdoh to model key concepts and using a washing line, pegs and paper doilies to create a timeline of religious changes so that year 7 can see what changed and what stayed the same. In the near future I am planning to use a blow- up beach ball covered in sticky notes to randomise questioning, balls of string to track who has made a contribution to table discussions and fly swatters to make a key word revision game.

Using items from discount stores won’t automatically make lessons engaging and ensure that students make rapid progress. However using items to structure and resource learning activities can provide a hook or a way of making learning accessible.

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This much I know about what we have to do to address the mental health issues in our schools

Essential, as always.


I have been a teacher for 26 years, a Headteacher for 11 years and, at the age of 50, this much I know about what we have to do to address the mental health issues in our schools.

Tom Bennett tweet

As Tom well knows, I am a big fan of creating an evidence-based profession, but this I know from mere experience: Relationships matter in schools above everything else.

Local Authority resources are dwindling. Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) are shrinking. As the gaps in provision for children suffering mental health issues appear in front of us like sink holes, the instinct is to fill those gaps but I’m not sure whether we can; as Sam Freedman has pointed out, schools face a minimum of a 10% cut in school funding during the next parliament, whichever political party is elected. And don’t let anyone kid you that the Pupil Premium…

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GCSE Pod Launch


Brigshaw has signed up to GCSE Pod, an online, exam board specific revision tool for use on all devices from PCs to tablets and phones.

We can use GCSEPod to support intervention and provide targeted support across Year 10 and 11. It is perfect for flipped learning, letting you set assignments and create playlists for relevant content to play in class or setting homework. You can even have GCSEPod mark your assignments for you, saving you valuable time and energy.

Students and Teachers can sign up HERE.

Log in HERE.

Any questions, as always, just ask.

Brigshaw Learner Display in Technology

Here is Michelle’s idea for a ‘working’ wall display in technology using the Brigshaw Learner – along side some pictures of her display. Here is Michelle explaining how it works:

“It is a wall display that uses all of the Brigshaw learner strands, I have added examples to each column showing how to be an expert in each column.

 For instance on the organisation column I have included the equipment menu and have photographed a good example of a pupils planner showing great organisational skills and book kept in mint condition.
In the expert learner column I have used examples of pupils work in yr 7 and yr 9 showing how they have responded to feedback via G4G work, I have then re marked their work which they then completed additional G4G.
In the third column for expert home learner, I got pupils in my form to bring in examples of how they are an expert learner.  Sixth former’s brought in detailed timetables of their days and weekends all mapped out, another pupil photographed their work space, others showed how they used show my homework to help them stay organised  using photographs, others just wrote what they do to be an expert at home learning.
The idea behind it it to show pupils how they can become an expert in different ways and use it a classroom resource to direct pupils to expectations.”