In GCSE PE we use the learning line, this is where at the beginning of the lesson you write your name on a post-it note. Then as you go through the lesson and you learn more about the topic you move your name through the categories. The categories are the success criteria and levels of understanding based on our own personal feedback from what we knew. This helps because, like SOLO taxonomy, it gives you goals and aims to attempt to achieve. Having this is good because you know that in order to improve you have to do certain things. When you say you think you are at a certain level, you have to say why and be able to explain yourself. This is a great way of getting us to reflect on our own learning and understand where we are going next.
- Laura Jephcott
In our i-future and English lessons we have been using Edmodo. We access Edmodo for homework tasks as well as work in lessons when we are using the iPads. Also, in English when we plan and teach our own lessons to the class it is good to be able to post the work and resources on the class Edmodo page so that we don’t lose it and it is easier to get to. It also allows our teachers to give us instant feedback on our work in class and to achieve digital badges for effort, team work, discussion and group presentations.
- Rebecca Kitson
In February, Ryan, Jay, Rebecca, Lucy and I went to Massiluis, Holland. It was a trip of a lifetime. We all stayed with Dutch students but we didn't just meet families and friends for life, we learnt about their classroom dynamics. Unlike many schools in England, in Holland, iPads are an important part of their education and the use of apps like iMovie and Simple Minds is commonplace in some schools. Each student has their own personal iPad with apps and books to help them study. In my opinion, I think that this is what we should start to do, as incorporating iPads into our lessons keeps us interested, will help productivity, challenge our thinking, encourage creativity and assist in raising the quality of our learning and work.
- Tiegan Meadows (i-learner)
On April 27th to the 28th, we completed a practise Duke of Edinburgh expedition. For the first day, we were with teachers so they could make sure we were map-reading ready for the next day because we had to walk in our groups without a teacher. Before we could start the expedition, we had to map our route for both days, which had to be at least 12km long. Accompanied by our map we had two route cards where we wrote all the grid references and instructions so on the days we knew if we were on the right track.
On the first day, everybody met at our starting point, which was Ongar. We got into our groups, then we were given our maps and route cards. We set off and after at least six hours walking time we got to our destination: the campsite. When we got to the campsite we had to put up our tents and then we were able to do whatever we wanted. So our group decided to cook our dinner and then we sat in our tents and played cards, which was really fun. We were able to be with people we wouldn't usually be with. After a horrible night’s sleep due to freezing conditions, I got up, got dressed, had breakfast, took down my tent, packed my hiking bag and then finally my group were ready to set off again for the last day.
- Georgia Goldhawk
On the 27th of April, a group of year 10 students, including myself, went on our Bronze Duke of Edinburgh practice walk. We walked for at least 6 hours each day and it was challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable. Through ﬁelds, we trekked. Through bog, we trudged.
Once we reached camp we were all very tired and hungry so we had to set up our tent and cook dinner. Pot noodle and cup-a-soups all around! It was a great evening, even though nobody was satisﬁed with their feast of soggy pasta. A memorable experience for me was when 8 of us gathered in a tent playing cards games for at least 2 hours, it got very serious!
The second day was tougher than the ﬁrst for us as a team because we got lost twice and suffered serious shoulder numbing, however it was all worth it.
All in all, I would deﬁnitely recommend Duke of Edinburgh for anybody offered the chance. I made new friends at the same time as working within a team; I loved it! I'm very excited and prepared for the real thing.
- Rebecca Weston
Getting the students to teach lessons is what makes the lessons more active and fun. The students are interacting with other fellow students in order to help them learn in a comfortable way. It is also helpful to the student’s teachers as it helps them learn new things from the feedback and they pick up points through constructing their lesson. I myself find the student lessons constructive and helpful as I can understand the work, which is set to our group’s ability and the student teachers are able to come up with new and interesting ways of teaching the curriculum.
In geography, we use a technique called hot maps, which can be on the causes of things, effects of situations and similarities and differences within topics. This helps us widen our knowledge and have an effective layout of information that will help us when it comes to revision.
These are from my Geography GCSE class where we are working on rivers and coasts.
What is Relay Racing?
Relay Racing is a new learning technique, which our school is using that enables students to successfully learn in a different way. I currently use it in GCSE PE. Instead of listening to a lecture and having to remember all the information being given, teachers create a distinctive learning strategy to ensure we achieve the potential grades we need to achieve. This technique helps the students remember the majority of the information because they have to work strenuously to find the information within the resources they are given. Therefore, they cannot take the easy alternative of asking for the teacher’s knowledge; they have to take responsibility for their own learning. Also, the students have to decide which resource they would like to use - which determines if they will get the correct information - improving the skill of decision making for future references.
How do you do Relay Racing?
To triumphantly complete Relay Racing each group have at least two people so one individual at a time searches for the information they need, like athletes do in a relay race. The teacher will give the class a specific topic for the class to study (meaning that the students will understand what they are looking for). Only one person is allowed to be at the resources finding the information for a set amount of time, after the time pairs have to discuss and write down what they have just discovered. This sequence repeats until one group wins the race by possessing all the correct answers.
This learning technique draws out the competitive side of everyone resulting in students wanting to be in class and learning in an unusual way, therefore making classes more interesting as a whole.
By Bethany Hart
In Geography we use the SOLO technique a lot to help the way we structure our writing and to help us become the best that we can be. There are three ways that you can use SOLO to help with your learning: through the teacher making their own steps whilst following the SOLO structure, by making the students create the steps for themselves to do whilst following the SOLO structure and by giving students an exam question for them to do but they have to answer it using the SOLO structure.
We used the first technique in our Geography lesson when it was the start of the new topic about rivers. This helped because we learnt some brief things about rivers but we also went into a bit more depth with other things to do about rivers. This was also useful because it was finished within one lesson and it kept me and the other students interested because we had to move about and it didn’t just involve writing as we also used the iPads and were drawing graphs.
We used the second technique a bit later on in the topic about rivers when we learnt about the Boscastle flood. In this lesson we had to create our own tasks for the structure table shown at the bottom. This helped us show what we thought we were capable of and it gave us a bit more freedom to do what we thought was useful under the watchful eye of the teacher. This turned out very well because everybody cracked on and finished the outstanding work in good time. We decided to make a model out of card and paper Mache (with labels) for the extended abstract stage which we completed and were successful with.
We used the third method not long ago when we had a test on rivers. Many of the students used Solo taxonomy which helped them a lot because almost all the students got great marks, which was helped by the structure of the writing and the detail.
Yesterday (19th March) I had a really great lesson using solo stations. In catering, Miss Shirley had created a booklet for each of us. Each page was one stage of solo taxonomy. The idea was that you work your way through, filling in exam questions and research tasks and marking them after each page. The lesson was on vegetarianism, which to be fair I knew nothing about, except for the obvious: they don’t eat meat. I really enjoyed it because using this way of learning enabled me to fully understand everything, especially how one thing built upon the next – for example, that lacto vegetarians can eat dairy products, which means that when planning a menu for them anything made from dairy products was okay. I hope we do this in more lessons because it can make topics less confusing and it shows you where you are in understanding the topic.