Settling in to a new school by @missjavery

Name: Jennifer Avery
Twitter name: @missjavery
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: NQT
What is your advice about? Settling in to a new school

  1. Get to know your department – they are the ones who will help you out when you really need it.
  2. Find out where to access any shared resources, and how to add to it. Most departments will plan together to create a generic scheme of work to work off.
  3. Get to know the support staff. Although not a complete list: TAs, Learning Mentors, IT Support, Caretakers, Cover, Timetabling, Cleaners. They will know more than you!
  4. Know the behaviour policy inside out. There is nothing worse than not being clear on expectations or where (or who!) to escalate the issue to.
  5. Know what is expected of you. Do most teachers run extracurricular activities? How often should you mark books?

UCAS References by @RequireImprove

Name: Requires Improvement
Twitter name: @RequireImprove
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Phyiscs
Position: Teacher & 6th form tutor
What is your advice about? UCAS References

  1. Get as much done in summer term, year 12 as you can. The deadlines in autumn come up very quickly, especially for Oxbridge & Medicine.
  2. Don’t over-inflate predictions (rounding up to the next grade is usually OK). There’s no point a student getting an offer that they have no chance of meeting.
  3. If year 11/12 grades are below expectations, try to explain what went wrong and what the student has done about this.
  4. One big reason unis are interested in extra-curriculars is that they show “spare capacity” beyond school/college work. If that is caring for families, that’s good to mention.
  5. Showing an interest in the subject beyond lessons is good, independent interest is even better. Facilitating student-run activities will help applicants a lot.

Outside Speakers by @iteachRE

Name: Andy Lewis
Twitter name: @iteachRE
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): RE
Position: Head of Year 11 & 2nd i/c RE
What is your advice about? Outside Speakers

  1. Work on personal recommendation if possible – ask for a reference (that you can contact directly).
  2. Ask to see material in advance – PPTs, handouts etc.
  3. Check their requirements – rooming, projector, sound etc.
  4. Ensure they are “top and tailed” – introduce, set expectations… and then thank at the end!
  5. Have a back up plan if they don’t turn up!

Instructional Routines by @davidwees

Name: David Wees
Twitter name: @davidwees
Sector: Early Years,Primary,Secondary,Special school
Subject taught (if applicable): Math
Position: Formative Assessment Specialist
What is your advice about? Instructional Routines

  1. Establish instructional routines for teaching math.
  2. Use one of these instructional routines everyday until you and your become completely fluent in the steps of the routine.
  3. Use routines other people have invented already and ideally ones which you have experienced directly yourself. There’s no reason to re-invent teaching everyday.
  4. Make sure that the routines offer you opportunities every time you use them to see how your students understand the math that day.
  5. Once you and your students become fluent in the steps, test different decisions within the routine and see what happens. Find a colleague to talk about this work with you.

Working With Science Technicians by @emc2andallthat

Name: Gethyn Jones
Twitter name: @emc2andallthat
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): Physics
Position: Head of Physics
What is your advice about? Working With Science Technicians

  1. Science techs often have an eclectic mix of backgrounds. Some will have more experience and knowledge than you — get to know them!
  2. Submit your lab reqs on time in the appropriate format. Although a custom more honoured in the breach than in the observance, your effort is appreciated.
  3. Make sure it’s a two way conversation: lab techs may need to clarify or amend your reqs — or act as gotbetweens when there are equipment clashes. Be flexible!
  4. Set up a book of “Standard Pracs” that other staff can use. It can be a great timesaver!
  5. Count things out — and count them back again!

5 easy ways to differentiate

Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): English
Position: Literacy and Language Co-ordinator
What is your advice about? 5 easy ways to differentiate

  1. Active listening – give student question before you read passage. I guarantee they will listen more effectively to whole passage/poem.
  2. Active reading – tell the student what she is reading to answer but don’t overload – one thing (similar affect to 1).
  3. Active error spotting – put up a factual piece of information on the board and get them to find three errors. If time give them paper copy too.
  4. Images for sequencing – for a science experiment or drama piece – let them take photographs – upload into writing frame – student writes about what they’ve done.
  5. Write out a plan for an essay (preferably with student but not necessarily) ask them to write really good quality introduction, conclusion or middle paragraph (only 1 not all)

Hot Weather by @iteachRE

Name: Andy Lewis
Twitter name: @iteachRE
Sector: Secondary
Subject taught (if applicable): RE
Position: Head of Year 11 & 2nd i/c RE
What is your advice about? Hot Weather

  1. Open windows first thing in the morning. Work out the optimum blind / window position.
  2. Encourage students to fill water bottles at break or lunch. If you let out one, they’ll all want to go.
  3. When Y11/12/13 go on study leave or are taking exams, move your class to rooms with air con, or are just cooler.
  4. Students can be reluctant to take off blazers, jumpers and cardigans. Gently encourage them to do so – especially if they are red faced!
  5. Think about things that generate heat – is it a good opportunity to switch off the projector?