Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life


So the dreaded day had arrived- #TMOxford!

Why dreaded you ask? How could a room full of teachers sharing ideas be a bad thing?

I would be one of the so called ‘presenters’…

Today has been one filled with tests – beginning with my neighbour leaving his set of keys in the front door- on the outside- anyone fancy free stuff? Come in and help yourselves!

8.30am started with a Pass It On promotion stand in reception. Our #poundlandpedagogy challenge had the most interest but a lot of the time, it felt like collecting for charity. Hopefully after tomorrow and Friday’s plugs, more staff will be on board- even if it’s just through finally giving in to our relentless persuasion!

Time was then spent organising car parking spaces, presenters, promotion and the all important food for our eagerly anticipated mini TeachMeet with Bulmershe School tomorrow! I think this warrants a rather irritating #excited hashtag!

Lunchtime saw me facilitating a short Pass It On ‘Shake up and Share’ CPD session on starters and plenaries- more of that towards the end of the week but I came away with a host of great new ideas from fabulous colleagues!

I then dashed to deliver some GCSE training, which actually went very well! Bearing in mind, this is my interpretation in a day fraught with fear! It went well as I didn’t want to puke or cry by the time it was over!

I’m trying to grow my confidence at the moment after a year of knocks. I’m heading towards my former self but I seem to have decided on a rather bizarre strategy- throwing myself into as many terrifying things as possible. Judging by today, I should be super confident by the morning! Anyway- it had better pay off soon or this fear will be for nothing.

TeachMeet-Universal-Logo (1)

Anyway, enough of the diary style reflections. I will attempt to summarise what I saw at #TMOxford (the most feared event of the day). Apologies to all presenters in advance. The quality of my notes and summaries certainly do not reflect your marvellous presentations but are simply a by-product of my ever increasing nerves. I will try to add more information as the internet and Twitter feeds it to me!

Sir Tim Brighouse- Features of Excellent Schools

  1. Teachers talk about teaching
  2. Teachers observe each other’s progress
  3. Teachers teach each other
  4. Teachers plan together- these are the success criteria for a high functioning department.

Triple impact marking was mentioned… After that… Oh dear!

Helene Galdin- O’Shea (@hgaldinoshea) walked through a lesson on silent debating and deeper questioning. Students’ ideas were challenged and they were all active- an instant winner in my opinion! I great first TM presentation!


Claire Hamnett- Speed dating
Arrange topics and students prior to the lesson and they score their date based on the learning they gained from them- or the confidence they felt with it? This part is blurry but I guess either would work just as well!


Sophie Burrows- Film Club- seems like an excellent site and strategy to investigate!
Teaching resources in addition to clubs
Free DVDs etc!
Next steps- if they like that film- try this one!

Tom Boulter (@tomboulter)
Getting students to think more!
Direct instruction is powerful
If you’re not under threat then your body is occupied by keeping you alive- energy and focus is conserved for when it will be needed. This is why students may switch off.

My question is, in that case, how can we add threat into lessons (obviously in a safe way) so that students must focus on the task in hand.

Videos (flipped learning) had been of huge benefit to them tackling this. Cherwell Online video channel

have all the teachers’ videos they’ve been using in class and out to cover those times when students have switched off- it switches them on again!


Carina Byles– use Poll Everywhere or (my tip- Socrative) to get instant student quiz results on screen. It looked easy and was seriously effective- I love this and will try it soon- to vary from using Socrative!

Amjad Ali (ASTsupportAAli) presented lots of great ideas (as expected) for teachers to take away with them.
Check out his amazing toolkit ( for all of these ideas and more:

Raffle tickets- numeracy/ random picker/ task setter/ starter/ motivator

Shadowing/ they watch you write an answer and put it together. They do it and shadow each other. Try doing a mock exam or question when they do one!

Learning zones- share and replace boards for staff by the photocopier- however I loved the idea of getting one for students to share revision, resources and notes with each other!

Spelling mistakes sticky notes on the board with their mistakes from work completed in class/ out.

Use iMovie and make a trailer for a lesson to allow students to engage better with a new topic- creates intrigue.

Think tax and knowledge bank to develop independence.

Balloons- mission impossible under the chair challenge for them to locate and complete.

Marco Pontecorvi- The UFGWPA

The UFGWPA- This is probably the point at which my notes went from sparse to dire as real panic set in and I was eyeing up the door!

Andy Wright- marking and literacy skills

They check/ friend checks/ teacher checks- 3 way check with all work to reinforce the importance of editing and making corrections.

Rob Brown
Take out the anxiety for learners, dim the lights, get a plant out, all learners recite things at the same time so they can’t be heard- it makes them feel more at ease.

Perhaps I’d be able to get people talking my presentation with me to remove the anxiety for me! Any takers? Anyone?

Unnamed! Printed hats for work assessment
Facts/ Empathy/ Benefits/ Problems/ Suggestions- students fill it out, you fill it out, a peer fills it out. A great template to check out!

James Gurung (@jamesgurung)
It’s the process that counts!
It’s okay to make mistakes!

Persevere/ Collaborate/ Enquiry/ Explain/ Generalise/ Specialise/ Feedback/ Systematically
Leave your own mistakes on things for students to see! We all do it! I guess don;t do it too often though!

Keven Bartle (@kevbartle)- Pedagogy leaders

Questions asked of staff: Do you consider yourself to be outstanding?/ Do you want to be responsible for taking T and L responsibility from managers etc.?

The ped leaders organise links between teachers to connect them! So and so needs help with this, so and so can offer it. This is the kind of specific direction I’d love some of our Pass It On CPD to take. It was really exciting to meet Kev and he had a really great presentation- content and delivery- thank you!

Read more about the project here:


Matt Gray’s blog (@Cherwellenglish) Take a look here and follow his work at

He started his presentation with that familiar scenario when you hopefully hand out blank A3 sheets for mind-maps that are returned with disappointingly stunted growth. He gave the example of a concentric circles style grid that students would add to gradually- great idea to try in the classroom!


Alexia Uhia
Mobile phones in lessons for engaging learners- lots of top tips!


Rebecca Bartlett- Killer questions
Students design questions for each other- they had to know the answer and a quiz was put together.

Ox- Fail is the next date and it sounds fabulous! Teachers will present on something that went badly that was subsequently reworked to improve it. Perhaps I could present about my TeachMeet presentation?


My presentation came among the above presenters somewhere- at some point between the butterflies, the sweating the shivering and the head in hands.

It was over after a perhaps overly generous 2 minutes, babbling and staring faces.

Here it is- so that it can be absorbed in relative calm at your own leisure. There are posts on each of the technologies on this site if you’d like to explore them more. I’ve done video walkthroughs for each to help you out and have given examples of ways in which I’ve used each one thus far.


Today’s Meet



So- TeachMeets- Oxford was the best of the two I’ve been to by a long way. I left with so many ideas to take into the classroom!

Presenting? Maybe I’ll see how many other scary things I can handle first- lion taming next- that’ll be a breeze in comparison to today’s challenges!

Oh wait, hang on, presenting at mini TeachMeet Reading tomorrow!


My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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