Can Teaching Learn Anything From Elite Sports Coaching?

By Richard Morton, Sir John Lawes School

The most celebrated “expert on expertise”, Anders Ericsson, identified a process he called “deliberate practice” as the essential method of achieving mastery in any field (Ericsson and Pool, 2016), and the concept has an understandable appeal to teachers wishing to help their students succeed.  Ericsson’s work provided the academic background to the famous “10, 000 hours rule” which attempted to quantify the duration of practice needed to achieve expert performance, although Ericsson himself emphasises that this is merely an arbitrary number and that quality of practice is just as important as quantity.  A key element of deliberate practice that Ericsson identifies is the guidance of a skilled coach who can provide detailed feedback and design a sequence of specific practice opportunities to maximise learning – in other words, a good teacher.

The best teaching I have ever experienced was from an elite sports coach.  To be clear, I have never been an elite athlete, irrespective of how one may define that.  However, as a club-level rower I had the great fortune to be taught for several years by Marcus de Grammont, a coach with a deep practical understanding of deliberate practice and the experience of developing elite performers (in one case a world champion).  Despite my own modest achievements, the learning I experienced over time was spectacular, confirming to me the power of deliberate practice and suggesting a number of ways that, as a teacher, I can apply principles from elite sports coaching to support my own students.  Almost certainly, this is not limited to sport.  Although I have no first-hand experience of these (at any respectable level!) the literature on developing expertise identifies the same principles in elite musicians, performing artists and all other established domains of expertise.  Incidentally, I believe this is a powerful argument for maximising the extra-curricular provision of sport, music and the arts in our schools.

Are there limitations to using sports coaching as a model in the classroom?  Of course.  Sport is an environment in which success can be clearly and quickly measured, skills can be repeated and (some) variables can be controlled.  While sport is certainly complex, it has nothing on teaching.  Hogarth (2010) compares “kind” learning environments, in which performance is easily measured and the consequences of actions are quickly apparent, with “wicked” environments where these are not the case.  With so many variables (both known and unknown) and with success only objectively measured by external exams once or twice in a student’s 12-14 year school career (and even those measure relative rather than absolute performance) even discovering the effect of a single intervention with any degree of confidence is extremely difficult.  In addition, sports coaches work with a largely self-selecting cohort – it is ok if athletes without the motivation and mindset to work hard simply drop out.  In school our students rarely have this option, so we are teaching in a very different context.  Despite this, I believe there are lessons we can learn from the highly developed – and constantly empirically tested – approaches of elite sports coaches.  Here are a few examples:

Feedback

Feedback from a coach is one of the most important aspects of deliberate practice, and is also a major part of a teacher’s role.  But do we approach it in different ways?  To start with, feedback from a coach is not subject to any accountability policy or schedule, but is simply concerned with improving future performance (“feed-forward”, as Michael Chiles (2021) calls it).  Good feedback focuses on a very specific, detailed aspect of performance chosen to have the greatest long-term effect, much as Harry Fletcher-Wood (2021) advocates and far from the generic feedback bemoaned by Dylan Wiliam (2011).  Indeed, Marcus focused on a single part of my rowing stroke for several years, and he was right – once I had developed it sufficiently I was able to make quicker progress on subsequent areas.  Feedback in sports coaching is usually immediate – “in the moment”, as Tom Sherrington (2017) describes it – no waiting a week for written comments in a book!  Marcus was able to strike a balance between giving immediate, specific feedback with being more detailed and thorough by establishing a rigorous continuity of language between training activities and our subsequent video analysis sessions.  For example, we developed a code in which we numbered each part of the rowing stroke (initially three, progressing to eight as I improved) and a consistent verbal shorthand for the technical information I might need “in the moment”.  One of my priorities in my own teaching will be to establish a similar common language with my students to connect the immediate (during tasks) and delayed feedback (such as test reviews or whole class feedback) that I give them.

Drills and skills

Daisy Christodoulou (2016) notes that many of the most effective tasks for long-term learning look very unlike the final tasks on which summative assessments will be made.  This approach is exemplified in sports, in which a coach will carefully select a specific drill to isolate a single aspect of performance, and rehearse this until a very high standard has been achieved.  In my training, this led to lengthy periods of time when I didn’t actually appear to be getting any faster, but it made me much faster when racing many months later (as Marcus had known it would).  In teaching this would translate into repeated practice of a skill or retrieval practice to develop extensive schema of knowledge – far beyond a token exercise to “show progress” in a single lesson before moving on to the next topic.  Although curriculum timing can be a limitation, regularly repeated practice of carefully chosen essential knowledge and skills – to the point of “overlearning” (Willingham, 2004) – would be time well spent in the long run.  And surely, in teaching as well as in sport, the only progress that is worth having is long-term progress.

Marginal gains

The concept of marginal gains was made famous by the success of British cycling teams around a decade ago, and has been well described by Matthew Syed (2015).  In reality however, it has been around much longer, since most sports are “highly developed fields” (Ericsson and Pool, 2016) and have consistent and well-understood methods of training.  Any method that led to a huge improvement in performance would already be in use, so (barring very occasional innovations) making marginal gains is the only way for the field to keep progressing.  Transporting athletes’ mattresses between team hotels – as Team Sky famously did – only worked because the rest of their training programme was already finely tuned.  Most of the training activities I did with Marcus were ones he had been using successfully for decades, refining when necessary.  Like sport, teaching has been around a long time and many great minds have devoted themselves to the challenge of doing it better.  If there were a silver bullet that could reliably produce great improvements we would probably all be using it by now.  While we can always improve our teaching, we shouldn’t expect the latest “fad” – be it dialogic marking, growth mindsets, cognitive science, ed-tech etc (or indeed learning from sports coaching!)  – to revolutionise our students’ performance.  As successful sports coaches know, sustained improvement for both individuals and organisations usually comes from constantly trying to optimise many individual aspects of performance, and perhaps this would be a better approach for us too.

Student welfare

An essential aspect of a good sports coach is that they care more for the welfare of their athletes than for their results.  This should be too obvious to need saying.  However, throughout history coaches have adopted a “winning at all costs” approach (Weil, 2011) in which the pursuit of results has negatively affected athlete welfare.  This is not good coaching, I’m not interested in any teaching techniques these coaches may use and I would argue that they have misunderstood the very nature of sport.  However, we must recognise that the same can apply in teaching if we focus on student attainment (on which teachers and schools are measured) ahead of student welfare (which is not measured).  Good coaches and teachers are prepared to adapt their teaching to take account of student welfare.  While we trained hard, Marcus knew when to reduce the intensity of sessions or increase rest in order to maintain quality and prevent injury.  Crucially, his experience had made him a much better judge of this than I was – perhaps we as teachers are in a similar position with our students (and colleagues)?  Winning an Olympic final or achieving an A* may be good things, but not at all costs – especially if that may involve damage to anyone’s physical or mental wellbeing.  With much current concern over “lost learning” and students “catching up” after lockdowns, there is the potential for conflicts to arise between performance and welfare, and I believe the example of good sports coaching may help us as teachers to focus on our greatest priorities.

I hope some of these areas have provided some food for thought.  I am sure some readers will have had more experience of elite performance – across a range of fields – than I have, and I’d be very interested to hear any feedback you may have.  Teaching is an extremely complex learning environment, and while not everything done in elite sports coaching can – or should – be transferred, I believe there are insights we can gain from another highly developed field that has benefitted from a rather “kinder” environment in which to learn and develop.

References

Chiles, M. (2021) The Feedback Pendulum; A manifesto for enhancing feedback in education Woodbridge: John Catt Educational Limited

Christodoulou, D. (2016) Making good progress?  The future of Assessment for Learning Oxford: Oxford University Press

Ericsson, A. and Pool, R. (2016) Peak; How all of us can achieve extraordinary things London: Vintage

Fletcher-Wood, H. (2021) Focussed feedback: why less is more available online at https://improvingteaching.co.uk/2021/02/28/focused-feedback-why-less-is-more/

Hogarth, R.M. (2010) Intuition: A challenge for psychological research on decision making. Psychological Inquiry, 21(4), 338-353

Sherrington, T. (2017) The Learning Rainforest; Great Teaching in Real Classrooms Woodbridge: John Catt Educational Limited

Wiliam, D. (2011) Embedded formative assessment Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press

Willingham, D. (2004) Ask the Cognitive Scientist: Practice Makes Perfect—But Only If You Practice beyond the Point of Perfection available online at https://www.aft.org/periodical/american-educator/spring-2004/ask-cognitive-scientist-practice-makes-perfect

Weil, T. in Volker Nolte (Ed., 2011) Rowing Faster: Serious training for serious rowers (second edition) Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics

 

 

 

 

 

How Will Maths Help Me In Real Life? By Nazeela Shirazi

It’s the dreaded question many teachers face across the academic year: when will I ever need this in real life?

Some students ask it to challenge us, using it to mean ‘prove to me that I need this in my life.’  Other students ask it sincerely, honestly wanting to know how the course content might be used in the future. Some subject teachers may hear this question less often, or they may find it relatively easy to answer, if they can link their content to vocational roles post-education. Which question is more commonly asked by students: when will I ever need this maths? Or when will I ever need to play football in real life? A devastating number of polls show that students rank mathematics as their most boring or even despised subject, and I believe that we, as mathematics teachers, fall victim to this question more than most.

Why does referring to yourself as a mathematician leave others with a bewildered look, wanting to run as far away from you as possible? Why is it so common to hear people exclaim, with no reservations, that they ‘cannot do maths’ or that they have never been ‘mathematically minded’, when those same people would be ashamed to admit that they could not read or write? Sadly, it has become socially acceptable to boast of poor maths skills. Figures reported by The Independent show that, while literacy rates are improving, the number of adults who have numeracy skills no better than those expected of an 11-year-old has shot up from 15 million to 17 million – 49% of the adult population. One study concluded that those with poor numeracy are twice as likely to be unemployed, while 65% of young people in prison have the lowest levels of numeracy. Even with an alarming array of statistics supporting the claim that learning mathematics is important, there remains a clear, deep-rooted negative mindset associated with the subject. This mindset will only be changed if educators and parents alike contribute to transforming the dialogue.

While strong numeracy skills correlate with better career prospects, this is not my answer to the dreaded question. In my own practice, I relish the chance to change a student’s mindset, encouraging them to think not only about what they are learning, but about the learning process itself. The purpose of teaching mathematics is to teach students how to think. Many believe that mathematics is about learning and utilising formulae to solve abstract problems that do not mean anything. Yet I argue that mathematics is extremely practical, inclusive, and even beautiful. It is not just about finding answers, but about using your imagination and learning how to ask the right questions. It is not about mindless number crunching, but about forming new ways to see problems. We can solve problems by combining insight with imagination. Mathematics allows us to build analogies between different parts of the world and to perceive realities that would otherwise be intangible. So we must change the dialogue connected with mathematics from one of numbers, addition, subtraction, multiplication and division to one of patterns, relationships, problem solving and logical connections.

Humans are fantastic at making patterns. The people who do this well have a special name: artists, musicians, sculptors, painters, cinematographers. They are all pattern creators. But what is behind all of these patterns? Leibniz expressed it so beautifully: ‘music is the pleasure the human mind experiences from counting without being aware that it is counting.’ Mathematics.

When will you use simultaneous equations or trigonometry or derivatives? You might not. But that is not the point. The point is that studying mathematics allows you to exercise and expand the capacity of your brain, and to learn how to approach problems. What could be more important for ‘real life’ than that?

The Independent

Almost 50 per cent of adults can’t do basic maths (that means half) | The Independent | The Independent

Verulam TALES, Remote Teaching Edition

shared by Fiona Rosler

This document is intended as a place for staff to share their tips and resources for remote teaching, however many of the ideas shared here will still be applicable when we return to face-to-face teaching.

Use the table of contents found on the link below.  New content will be added each week.

Click here to access this real time google document listing all the relevant tips and resources

Wellbeing? A few reflections

Maria Santos-Richmond

For the last 3 years staff wellbeing has been a priority on our School Development Plan.

Year on year it has retained its position, not because we have made little progress in this area, but to recognise that, especially with the changing climate, this is not something we can just tick a box to say, done’.  I am not saying we have all the answers, but we have adopted a few ideas, established a few working practices, and maintained a clear focus that has helped us try to take care of everyone who works in our school.  I thought I would share with you a few of the easy wins that make staff feel valued and help us remind each other, that we all need time to reflect and refresh.

The Wellbeing Group

2 1/2 years ago we established a wellbeing group that meets half termly.  This is an open forum, anyone can attend, and the agenda and minutes are posted in the staffroom for all to read.  Currently meetings are being held remotely.  The aim of the group is to share ideas for staff wellbeing, raise issues and concerns, and to consider areas for improvement.  A number of initiatives have come from this group, including the establishment of the Wellbeing Email.

The Wellbeing Email

This is a dedicated email that all members of staff can email with questions, concerns, and ideas.  It has become a forum for sharing special offers, tips and general messages of support.  We have a regular Wellbeing Wednesday message that goes out to all staff, sometimes this has practical advice, like how to avoid eye strain why teaching remotely all day, to offers, like reminding staff about teacher discounts.  All in all, it is one small way we try and stay connected.

Cake Friday

This has been a feature in our school for getting on to a decade.  Sometimes a cuppa and a piece of cake is just what you need to shake off the week’s worries before heading home.  It can be a real bonus to those in smaller faculties and has proved popular with trainees. This is one of the things we look forward to reinstating after lockdown. During lockdown we have been drawing the names of a faculty out of a hat, and the winning faculty gets the Friday treats.  We would not want to lose all chances to spread a little happiness.

Thank you cards

At SJL we have ACE cards that we send to students who have done exceptionally well.  We also have a post box in the staffroom where we are encouraged to post thank you cards to each other.  Once a month a card is drawn from the box and the winning card receives a £10 voucher.

Access to counselling

On a more serious note we ensure that our in house student counsellor is also available for staff and appointments can be made with her in strictest confidence.

These are just a few of the things we do in my school and I know there are many blogs and articles out there about wellbeing with many more exciting tips for looking after yourself or others.  However, for me, ultimately staff wellbeing comes down to the 3 Cs: Communication, Compassion and Care.

In the current climate one of the factors contributing to people’s lack of wellbeing is loss of control over their own lives.  We are told where we can and can’t go, when and where we can work or socialise and have often been left to speculate about when it will all end.  Uncertainty is a major contributor to anxiety, and although we cannot conjure up answers where there are none, we must consider what we can do to reduce the impact of this uncertainty.  School leaders are at the mercy of the ever-changing landscape and have frequently had to react overnight to government changes in policy and procedures.  One of the easiest ways to reduce staff anxiety is to keep them informed.  If staff know as soon as possible what is happening, then they can work within the parameters to make things happen.  Thankfully in the world of email, it is easy to keep staff in the loop, to let them know that a solution is on its way, and to reassure staff that we are in this together.  But effective communication must be two way.  School leaders need feedback, what is working, what needs tweaking?  We have to ask ourselves whether we are making the job of our school leaders easier by communicating openly with them?

We have always advocated the staff wellbeing survey as a way of gathering feedback.  Since January we have engaged in much shorter and more frequent surveys, often in response to new initiatives.  These have been a real benefit to the Senior team, in trying to understand where staff are at, and a real opportunity for staff to have a voice that is taken seriously.

Of course, communication goes much further than keeping your team in the loop about developments, it is also about connecting with people.  How many people have you made direct contact with during this more recent lockdown?  How do you know who is feeling happy or safe in your team?  How do you know who is coping well with the on-line learning and/or working remotely?  If you are not a team leader, do you know if anyone has checked up on how your team leader is coping?  Also worth considering, who is looking after the smaller team?  The single person department or office worker who is on their own?  If no one else has taken that role, perhaps the person to make that contact could be you.

This is also where compassion comes in.  Do not be quick to judge, we never really know what is going on with someone and in this current climate, there will be many of our colleagues touched by tragedy.  Sometimes someone might need a little leeway, as they may be dealing with things we do not know about.

At the end of the day, however your school approaches staff wellbeing, the underlying message has to be about caring for everyone.  School workers, whether teachers or support staff, are all one team, one body, and when one part of the body isn’t functioning to full capacity, we all feel the pain.  So, it makes sense to look after each other, in whatever ways we can.  Wellbeing is a minefield and we won’t always get it right, yet we all have a responsibility to contribute, no matter how small that effort might be. In the words of Mother Teresa, it may only be a drop in the ocean, but that ocean would be less without that missing drop.

Five things middle leaders can do for their teams

by Melissa Hall, Curriculum Leader of English at a secondary school and Specialist Leader in Education

As we lie in the midst of a third lockdown, to say there is tension in the air in the world of education would be a vast understatement. It sits like a heavy fog, seeping into every crevice of policy and procedure. There has never been a more crucial time for middle leaders to support their teams through one of the most difficult times in education.

Here are five things middle leaders can do right now for their teams:

Consider the whole school calendar

Consider the calendar carefully at the start of the year with workload in mind, with departmental deadlines and assessment timelines scheduled appropriately. Additionally, if middle leaders can adapt the placement of departmental meetings and CPD with consideration for part time teachers within their department, this will allow for inclusion of these teachers who deserve as much of a say as everyone else and who can often feel overlooked and undervalued.

Know your staff

What are they facing? We know that isolation, illness, redundancies and reduced income are an unfortunate side effect of life in 2020-2021, so it is ever more important to be aware of the atmosphere within the school environment and in your department. Who are the parents in your department? Who may have additional responsibilities at the end of the school day? Who is struggling? If you don’t know the answer, find out. Moreover, knowing your staff helps you support your team better as not everyone responds to the same method of management so the need to adapt is essential in this case.

Make wellbeing a priority

Education staff report the highest rates of work-related stress, depression and anxiety in Britain.[1] This cannot be ignored. Open dialogue is essential more than ever before. If you make it a priority to really invest in those you line manage, you are more likely to offer timely support and your staff may need that support more than ever.  Maintain a culture that doesn’t value clock watching and emphasises explicitly that work ethic matters more than visible on site hours.

Have compassion and empathy

These two words have an inconceivable amount of importance. Life happens: both positively and negatively often without our control but knowing your manager ‘has your back’ is one weight that can be lifted that can make a world of difference to a member of staff. While there is a place for logic and policy in middle leadership, in a very human role such as teaching, the human element is crucial.

Flexibility in the face of constant change:

Things are changing rapidly. Be the measured sense of calm, even if you are struggling under the surface.  Be like a Swan. Stay calm on the surface but paddle hard underneath.”

[1]https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819314/Teacher_well-being_report_110719F.pdf

And then there were two by Allyson Casby

My second baby Emilia arrived in a far simpler way than her older sister, who caught us unaware at a wedding 150 miles away from our home in Manchester. My maternity year at home with her was generally just as straightforward – a combination perhaps of being a more laid-back second time Mum or being so tired with a toddler and a baby to manage that all standards I once had didn’t matter any more.

It was also my first experience with a baby that napped for longer than half an hour at a time; she didn’t need me to pound the streets of my neighbourhood in the pushchair or tediously drive her around in the car to send her off to sleep.

I’d noticed at around the time Emmy was 6 months old that my reading habits had changed. In the early days, Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes had kept me company during the endless nights (what she gave me in naps she took away in night feeds). But as time crept on, I re-read Mary Portas’ “Work Like a Woman: A Manifesto for Change” and Jenni Murray’s “A History of the World in 21 Women.” I’d read the first book after returning to work in 2018, curious and slightly terrified at how working parents get the balance of work and home. In Portas’ case, she also explored the idea of being successful as a woman without the need of adopting traditionally “masculine” traits of work. I read Jenni Murray’s book after having a rare night out at Tring Book Festival. Being a mum of two girls had intensified my interest in girls’ empowerment: something I had always cared about suddenly became a lot more personal.

When I read about the MTPT Project and its partnership with the Alban TSA, it felt like a way of getting my head round the return to work whilst exploring a focus that was meaningful and relevant to me. I was instantly sold on the “No guilt, no pressure” policy because I was conscious that my time at home was precious but at times exhausting and complicated. The coaching aspect of the accreditation had the most impact. Coaching sessions took place over the phone, once the girls had gone to bed (most of the time), allowed me to set the agenda around my return to work with my coach. In one session, we talked about my fears around having forgotten how to teach in an engaging and relevant way. In another, we explored why I don’t see myself as a future leader. After months of being in mum-mode, I was struck by how invested in I felt during those conversations. An hour of just me – no crying, no feeding, no snack-providing, no Peppa Pig.

I also began to create professional development opportunities of my own to run alongside the coaching. This didn’t prove to be too difficult to fit around a baby as it could include listening to relevant podcasts, reading educational literature or online work. My aim was to explore what opportunities specifically exist to empower girls in our schools.  I’ve had mixed results with this mainly because I must be one of the few people that find resources like Twitter inspiring but completely overwhelming. So my profile, “Mrs A Casby, English teacher and Mum of girls” currently remains a bit dormant, but my aim is to come back to it in the future and use it to continue the work at Sandringham. I did, however, have far better luck in more familiar surroundings of reading and finished “10% Braver: Inspiring Women to Lead Education” in one sitting. The stories and accounts of Mums (and Dads) who have made leadership work for them without compromising their values were incredibly powerful.

One of the more memorable moments of the project was arranging a visit to the English Faculty of my local secondary school. Having to bring Emmy in with me made this a fairly unique experience. She drew a bit of a crowd from the students on my tour of the school and my meetings with the Director of English and SEN Co-ordinator were interrupted repeatedly by her crawling to any printer or computer cables she could find. But I enjoyed having those types of conversations again about education and exchanging ideas on approaches. I am also really grateful to Tring School for being so open-minded about my visit and for supporting this part of the professional development.

I’ve decided to pause my work on the accreditation for now. We’re all still adjusting to working through COVID and the challenges it brings but being able to prepare for my return to work in this way has been really valuable.  Although I know I’ll always feel some sort of guilt around home and work, there might be a “10% braver” version of myself somewhere in the future who can do both well and with confidence.

Jump forward to the Autumn term and the Christmas holidays are in sight. It’s not been an easy term, but we’ve all somehow managed to get to this point, testament in my eyes to the resilience and adaptability of the teachers in our country. My experience has probably been similar to anyone who has been adjusting to being back in school after such a long time away. The dynamic at home for me has interestingly shifted. My husband, like so many others, is now working permanently from home, so is taking charge of the nursery run. This has allowed me precious time to get in to school earlier than I’m contracted to start. Squeezing in as many hours as I can at school reduces the hours I have to do at home. “The Second Shift” begins when I pick up the girls from nursery and ends when they go to bed at 7.30pm. And this is when my working day starts up again, hurriedly eating dinner before opening my laptop or getting out a set of assessments to mark.

This is nothing new to the Mums and Dads who have been balancing work and home in this way over the years, but to me, this is new and pretty exhausting territory. I particularly find it hard making time for the things I know will make me a better Mum, a better teacher;   exercise, a phonecall with a friend or reading a book.  Because by fitting in a run in the evening, something from school will inevitably be put on hold and will need to be caught up in a lunch hour – a time I have always enjoyed as a way of catching up with colleagues. But I’m learning it’s about compromise and organization and just doing the best you can. When those Fridays roll round and I get a day at home, I remember what I’m doing it all for.  I’m lucky I can to do the job I love and spend time with the family I adore and for that I’m truly grateful.

Using feedback whilst teaching virtually

With my Year 10 class, we began the lockdown period by revising. This meant that I did not have to write new work for them. However, I was keen to help them gain the most from revision. The class were a high attaining class and in previous class discussions, it had become clear that they relied on minimum revision for end of topic tests. They needed to revise five topics and relying on their usual strategy of a quick look through the work the night before was not going to work.

This gave me an excellent opportunity to show some of the ways they could structure their revision. I began by reminding them of the resources available to them, for example checklists, revision guide, past questions and mygcsescience. I also found them revision mats and gave them a list of the key ideas that from the topic. I gave them 40 minutes to complete the revision and then gave them an Educake quiz.

For those of you not familiar with Educake, it is an assessment tool. It has a bank of questions and it marks the students’ answers and gives them immediate feedback. It enables you to see how students have performed across the test and in individual questions. I was able to choose the level of the questions I wanted for this high attaining group and it gave me an opportunity to identify the questions in which students performed poorly.

I used this information to write a PowerPoint to address these areas. I began by choosing questions that had 40% correct answers or lower. I read each question and the accepted answers. Sometimes I thought the wording of the question or the precision of the answer might have been partly responsible for the number of students getting the answer wrong. Regardless I made a slide for each question explaining the science behind the idea with diagrams. I was not surprised it was often the more challenging ideas and those common misconceptions that were behind the wrong answers. It was however reassuring to have the proof that these still were problem areas for this group. It also gave me an opportunity to extend students’ knowledge by attaching web links to articles showing either the original experiment or an application used today.

The next lesson began with them looking through this PowerPoint and my hope was that whilst the mistakes were still fresh they could then begin to work on removing the misconceptions and adding to their understanding. I will only know how successful this was when I can assess them with an exam. I will be using this going forward not just whilst we are in the period of lockdown. I aim to upload a PowerPoint to the Google Classroom after every test with an explanation to the commonly poorly answered questions to tests. I do go through these areas verbally in class but I have realised that having a document uploaded gives students the chance to go back and look over it in their own time either straight after the test or later when they are revising the topic. I appreciate that this relies on the motivation of the students and I am fortunate that this class is very motivated and independent.

By Nicola Gunton, Head of KS5 Chemistry and professional learning team member, Sandringham School

The MaternityTeacher PaternityTeacher Project

Inspiring, empowering and connecting teachers choosing to complete CPD on parental leave.

For teachers taking leave or in the two years following maternity and paternity leave.

A membership platform is now available for teachers at just £5 for three years offering access to short coaching tutorials as well as an increased range of case studies and blogs, and other goodies:

https://www.mtpt.org.uk/membership-account/membership/
https://www.mtpt.org.uk
Twitter: @maternityCPD  #MTPTproject
Instagram: @mtptproject
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MTPTproject

The OLLIE Foundation

 The OLLIE Foundation is a suicide prevention training charity.

Initially aiming to reduce youth suicide, their work has evolved and during these incredible days of uncertainty, they have become acutely aware of the impact lockdown is having on people around the world, and the tragic rise in suicides being reported.

In an effort to support anyone who may be feeling overwhelmed, or who may be aware of, or supporting others who may be struggling, the team at OLLIE have developed a range of important FREE training programmes which can be accessed online.

Click here for the course schedule and booking details: https://theolliefoundation.org/training/dates/