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January 2014

To celebrate a term of hard work, our Bright Spots focuses on feedback from visitors to the academy and our brilliant beginner teachers who were given the task of writing about themselves and some of the great things they are doing.

This term we have had visits from HMI and the DFE. It was a real pleasure to walk around classrooms with our guests and see how purposeful the students were in responding to some skilful teaching. The DFE agreed that teaching at Capital is improving.  A particular strength of recent developments in marking is the extent to which students themselves engage in RAG – rating their own work and effort. They do so regularly expecting additional feedback from their teachers to help them make better progress. Students were seen actively engaged and showed good independent learning skills.

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HMI liked our student progress meeting cycle and front cover sheets stating that, ‘Teachers are making better use of information about students’ achievement. This is helping to ensure that work is more closely matched to the ability of the students.’ We have seen students demonstrating a greater pride in the work and it was good for HMI to recognise that students’, ‘….books are well-kept and presented. Most students are keen to improve the quality of their written work.’ The quality of students’ writing is significantly improved in the English department. Students are expected to plan and consider their writing before beginning a task and use ambitious vocabulary. dirHMI also praised our hard working LSAs and say that teaching assistants are providing effective support for students’ learning. Well done to the EAL department in particular, HMI noted that support for students who speak English as an additional language (EAL) continues to be very effective. Students who have little or no understanding of English receive specialist teaching which ensures that they quickly learn sufficient English to be taught in classes for their age.

It was also great to have our Student Parliament recognised for their hard work. Cassie Howson has supported them in organising a collection for the Brent food bank and the Academy has donated a large amount of goods to the local community.

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Jordan Marquis, Trainee English Teacher (Capital) says:

The LSAs Nick Redgrove and Regine May work tirelessly with me to differentiate material for Year 11 EAL and SEND pupils. As a team, we create different seating plans, word and phrase banks, interactive PowerPoints and other materials which aid the teaching of both language and literature GCSEs. Focus groups take place within each class where the pace of work is either increased or decreased according to pupils’ abilities. Pupils are encouraged to develop their skills at homework club at lunchtimes and after school. The assessment of pupils’ work has three parts: pupils green pen check their work; the LSA then pink pen checks and models writing; finally, I mark it. This process ensures pupils are supported to produce work that matches their ability and allows us to track pupils’ progress by the quality of their work. All of this support for our Year 11 EAL and SEND pupils would not be possible without the by these two amazing members of our team.

 Joe Harris, English Teacher – 2nd year Teach First says:

I have been distributing a range of resources throughout the English Department. These have been specifically developed to scaffold and model thought processes. This has helped to raise pupil attainment by fostering development towards more complex activities. The colourful and engaging posters, worksheets, exemplars and “skills maps” have been tailored for a range of age and stage groups, considering the specific needs of learners based on rigorous marking. Best of all, I have generously been sharing these on the school network, allowing other members of the department to use them in their lessons, and if need be, adapt them for their own pupils. Year 10s have been using the IGCSE mark-scheme and prompt sheets to extend their answers when writing about relationships from the perspective of poets, lovers and expert commentators. At the other end of the school, Year 7s have been contemplating the true meaning of Christmas through close language analysis and lively monologues, whilst Y9s and Y8s have been confronting the question of the inherent nature of human beings.biting car

Kelly Shannon, Food Technology Teacher – NQT says:

In my KS4 lesson I wanted to see how much the students had learned so far during their first term in Catering. I set the classroom up with 6 different task areas each 5 minutes long. I explained that they were to work in pairs and they would be doing timed revision tasks:  a chopping techniques task, a key word task, a taste test task and an allergies and intolerances task. Students worked well with timings and really enjoyed the practical tasks in between theory revision. They mentioned that this was their best lesson yet and that they were confident for their next assessment. This lesson also provided me with the knowledge of where students needed more information as well as which students were weaker and stronger in the class.

Emma Orgar, Media Studies Teacher has seen:

Joe Harris introduced a P3 monitoring system in his LA which encourages all learners to improve their behaviour. Students are rewarded on a weekly basis based on how many P3s they have receive during the previous week, as well as how many they have gained during the term. This has introduced competition into the class and encouraged all learners to try harder during lessons

Aurora Reid, Humanities Teacher – 2nd Year Teach First says:

Reflecting on the progress that her year 9s were making, Lowri established that students weren’t able to structure language analysis paragraphs successfully. Therefore, she produced a new ‘scaffold’ that guided learners towards thinking about implied meanings. She then provided resources to support them with ‘zooming in’ on individual words that conveyed these meanings. By gradually building up their understanding over the course of a week, students are now able to write paragraphs in response to an unseen extract with minimal teacher guidance.

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Harry Pike, English Teacher- 1st Year Teach First says:

I led a lesson with my new Year 7 class which required my students to move to different corners of the classroom, deciding how ‘grumpy’ Scrooge was at various stages of Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol.

The students responded really well to this active lesson, and it provided a great springboard to the following academic evaluation of the text, which followed in the Thursday morning double. The buzz in the classroom was noticeable, and the use of timers meant students had to remain on their toes and be ready to quickly justify their decisions as to why they stood in a particular corner. Also, the fact that not all students gravitated towards the same corner offered the opportunity to justify multiple interpretations of scenarios. Students keep asking when they will do this sort of activity again shows that they enjoyed the learning and their written responses showed they had made great progress!

Lowri Ifor, English Teacher – 2nd Year Teach First saw:

Aurora Reid has been holding progress meetings with her Year 13 students. These have taken the form of coaching conversations, which guide students towards identifying their own strengths and areas for development. In addition to this, the students have collated their targets from their essays throughout the term and are tracking their progress towards these targets.  Aurora then personalises the lessons in light of the findings of these meetings.

Harry Moss, Science Teacher – 2nd Year Teach First says:

I have developed an email-based resource to enable all staff to complete their ‘Wow Now How’ stickers programmatically. Many staff have utilised this and it is proving to be a very useful assessment tool. Rather than filling out stickers by hand, staff are able to complete set of stickers by completing an excel attachment, and emailing the file to wnhsticker@gmail.com.  The filled stickers are received by automatic return email.

To get started, send a blank email to the email address to receive a blank template.  Harry is interested in developing the tool further so watch this space. If you would like any help then please see Harry who is happy to go through the process with you.

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December 2013

Kareen White led a training session focusing on the ‘everybody writes’ technique in Teach Like a Champion, our book of the year. This now means that all staff in the Academy have had access to this high leverage CPD. Kareen’s clarity of expression and the thoughtful planning of the session has engaged staff and it is a pleasure to hear colleagues talking about how they are using the visualisers to hold students accountable using ‘show call’. The Humanities Department, who had this training at an earlier date, spent some of their time discussing in small groups how and when they were going to use the visualisers Tom Charman had organised for them. Good practise was shared by Sheena Shah, Billie Thomas, Aurora Reid and Lorna Green who are already using the technique widely in their lessons. The Principal, Mr Thomas has been surprised by how well the students are responding to this addition to his classroom practise and the impact it is already having on student engagement and motivation.

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In a Key Stage Five Science lesson, I was really impressed with the way Nazia Tarmohamed developed the quality of students’ verbal answers by asking them to evaluate the responses of their peers. Students were also given time to prepare their responses which meant students were encouraged to think about their answers. Both these features encouraged students to listen carefully to others. They responded really well to the feedback by their peers that they were given and the progress that the students were making was clear. The questioning session was of a very high level overall, with students building on each other’s answers.

In Year 11 Geography, Darren showed a clear and meaningful explanation of the assessment process that allowed students to access the material for the controlled assessment, prior to completing the fieldwork. On the day, students were captivated by his stories of the Kings Cross area and students were naturally working together, questioning each other to better their work. The excitement shown by the students to succeed at every level is a testament to the culture developed in the classroom and the detailed planning put into the assignment.

In Maths, Eleanor Palmer has created a fantastic learning environment in her classroom. She has thoughtfully considered how she can use resources and display student work in order to make her classroom a special place for students to learn maths. It was obvious from her lesson that students appreciate her efforts and the buzz and excitement in the room demonstrated how engaged and enthused the students are.

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In a Key Stage Five History lesson, I was really impressed by Sheena Shah’s class and how much progress is evident in their learning since the start of the academic year in their written work.  The students work in mixed ability pairings to develop their essay writing skills within and outside of lessons. This symbiotic relationship has helped develop students’ exam technique.  Students could articulate strong ideas to support the development of their own analysis and written exam answers.

Cassie Howson led a day with our student parliament focusing on Character and Values. She spent the day discussing what character was and how we can embed this within life at Capital. Students worked in groups to look at the Academy’s values and how the student parliament can become more influential in ensuring we are living these values in our time in school. Cassie welcomed Dawn Butler to the meeting and had prepared the student parliament to ask highly intellectual questions about community issues and Government politics. The students were a credit to the Academy and Dawn Butler left with a fantastic and well deserved impression of our students being ambassadors for young people. The relationships that Cassie has built with the students are inspirational and they are responding to her leadership through becoming a more powerful student voice.

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I really liked the way MFL use marking to improve the quality of students’ written answers. Teachers are using the Capital literacy marking policy to identify errors and then give students the opportunity to redraft for their home learning activity. It was clear from the latest work scrutiny that applying this to the written feedback is having a positive impact upon progress over time. Students are taking greater care over their work and the accuracy of their written work is improving.

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Lowri Ifor has had such an impact on her learning advisor groups’ vocabulary through her exquisite delivery of the Wave 2 vocabulary building lessons. The Year 7 students are captivated by her lively and intellectually stimulating contextual references and students report that they are trying to use the words regularly. Lowri has also been teaching in a fetching blue plaster cast from her ankle to her hip since returning from the winter holiday and an ice skating accident. Her resilience and determination to teach her classes is an inspiration to many.

It was a pleasure to train colleagues from Capital City Academy and welcome some teachers and leaders from other schools to the second of our coaching training days. Billie Thomas, Fiona McDougall, Lowri Ifor, Aurora Reid, Carmen Edlin, Edna Majekodunmi, Celia Squire, Dom Jones, Ben Okoh and James Keep spent the day working with incredible commitment learning how to coach using the Leverage Leadership model.  Capital City now has 27 coaches working with teachers to provide weekly feedback around teaching and learning. Capital City was proud of the feedback from visitors to the school some of which is captured below.

 ‘I am looking forward to getting started with leverage coaching and can honestly say that it was one of the best training days I’ve attended since becoming a TF Ambassador.’

‘It was great to see fellow TFers being developed with the skills required to become effective middle leaders.’

‘I’ll be sharing leverage coaching back at school and will definitely let you know how we get on!’,

 ‘Genuinely great to meet you and the training was invaluable.’

‘Preparing a CPD session as we speak….strike while the iron is hot’

‘Again thank you very much for your hospitality. It was a really useful event and I have taken lots of ideas to drive this in my school.’

‘…Anyway, have been reading your blog (@HFletcher-Wood) for a while now and just wanted to thank you for the heads up re: training in leverage coaching at Capital City yesterday – was honestly one of the best training days I’ve been on since becoming an Ambassador – which is probably a reflection of some kind of school-based training, but anyway – thanking you kindly for bringing it to my attention.’

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The AS and A-level Textiles show in the summer is always a highlight of the year. I was lucky enough to visit the class on a learning walk in preparation for this year’s show and exam. As ever the atmosphere was incredibly productive and students were working with the independence that will stand them in good stead whatever career path they decide. Ms. Hamilton-Bannis generates an energy and work ethic whilst also pushing students out of their creative comfort zone. Sasikia (A* at GCSE) has carried this into level 3 and she talked with passion about what she was doing. We look forward to seeing their final pieces in May.

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In French James Keep, was giving live feedback to Y13 students.  As they were working on a task, James was circulating around the two groups, checking on how they were doing.  Whilst doing so, he picked up a few common mistakes that were occurring. He then stopped the class, wrote the mistakes up on the board and asked the students to solve the problem.  Once this was secured James asked them to resume their task and continued to check for accuracy.

October 2013

SSATAlex Thomas, the Principal at Capital, represented all of the staff and students at the SSAT awards evening held at the impressive Holland Park School. Capital City Academy received an award for being in the top 15% of all schools nationally for progress. The schools represented were given time at the event to talk through educational challenges that will dominate the national agenda, both now and in the future. The culture of sharing good practice that we embrace at Capital was celebrated and it was a pleasure to talk about all the things that are making a real difference to the lives of our students with other school leaders.

Capital City Academy hosted a visit from a group of 12 Principals and school leaders from 5 different countries, all affiliated to Teach for All.  Teach for All is the organisation that includes Teach First in England and Teach for America. The purpose of the visit was examining how school leadership impacts on actions in the classroom and how we create consistency through our vision.  The group met with representatives from the Student Parliament, observed lessons taught by some of our Teach First Participants, and met with members of the Leadership Team.  They are in the process of starting up schools in countries such as Germany, Chile and Spain and came to the UK to visit a range of different schools who have all had a major impact on student attainment.

Some of their comments after their visit are below:

“I found both the classroom observations and the meeting with the School Leadership team really useful. On the one hand, consistent explicit literacy teaching in the different classrooms we observed (full sentence policy, thinking time before answering, reflection and responsibility for their own learning using the WWW, EBI system…) was a great example for me of how having a shared school culture and vision maximizes the impact on students. Having the chance to hear the leadership team talk about the main aspects you need to take into account when leading a school, especially the importance of being very clear about the mission and key actions that all teachers are on board; having a strong strategic vision; resilience; purpose and holding teachers and students account to personal values and morality was very useful.”

 “Particularly impressive was the way the school developed the student’s character; having student leaders who supported other peers and encouraging students to do volunteer hours in order to develop a sense of community.”

 “I was impressed by the level of organization and thoroughness – it seemed that everyone holds a very high standard and high expectations in their work – what they want to achieve for the students and the community. The environment was extremely professional. It reminded me a lot of my school, which is a private school which has very high standards basing, rooted in performance.”

More Able

Lowri Ifor and Harry Moss spoke at our More Able event which was an opportunity for students in years 7 to 9 to come together for a day and discover more about Russell Group Universities and what they offer. Lowri spoke about her academic journey from a town in Wales to Oxford University and students were treated to seeing pictures of her age 12 as she explained that she took every opportunity she could at school to develop her experience. Harry, who is a Cambridge University alumnus, ensured our students understood what awaited them at university; everything from applying to student digs, money and Fresher’s Week. The 120 students also heard from our 6th formers, who had just won a major Science competition meaning that one of them was off to NASA, and Mr Forder, another Cambridge University alumnus who ensured that students understood entry requirements and competition for places. The event encapsulated the high expectations we have of these students and the thoroughness and care that had gone into Lowri and Harry’s presentations was remarkable.

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The Science department are using the visualizers in class modelling meta cognition before their examinations. All staff and students were totally focused and engaged in this preparation for the Core and Biology unit 1 examinations. The English department spent two hours with the entire year 11 cohort in the exam hall using the same technique (which @johntomsett writes about in this blog http://johntomsett.com/2015/04/24/this-much-i-know-about-what-really-works-when-preparing-students-for-their-examinations/ ). All the students came out of the experience talking incredibly positively about how much it had supported their understanding of what was going to be required of them during the examination. Using this tool is not new for the classrooms at Capital and teachers from all subjects can be often seen putting their ‘Show Call’ training into practice.

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The talented Visual Arts team led by Kim Lee guided our Capital 6 students to achieve real excellence in their art examinations. As an academy we have looked at Austin’s butterfly as a student and staff body. Tom Sherington @headguruteacher writes about it here http://headguruteacher.com/2014/09/26/improving-the-basics-inspired-by-austin/ . Capital’s focus on GEM (get excellent marks) and DIRT tasks (redrafting) is having an impact on progress. This was especially evident in the beautiful work that the students created over their exam period.

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The student parliament led a mock general election and Cassie Howson worked with them on impressive manifesto speeches which were delivered through assembly. It has been evident throughout the year how the academy’s values are embedded in our students and these values were clearly seen through our election. In the run up, Ross Petit had prepared the academy some excellent resources which were used in learning advisor in the two weeks prior to the big day. The audience listened politely to their peers and the students involved were confident orators in front of over 200 listeners. The academy enjoyed voting and this was done in a calm, orderly and serious fashion. The student voice is growing in a positive way at Capital and the work that Cassie is doing with student parliament is contributing to this in a huge way.

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Election Results

Labour – 48%, Green – 20%, UKIP – 13%, Conservative – 12%, Liberal Democrats – 7%

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The Year 9 students have all been working on their BTEC assessment over the past two weeks in health and nutrition lessons. Jill Kulandhaisamy and Kelly Shannon set the students a brief to make a two course meal and to be able to teach someone else to make it at the same time. The students were mature, independent and enthusiastic; the culture for learning is incredible every time you walk into one of their classrooms. Kelly also delivered an early Friday morning inset session which was attended by lots of staff, she offered a valuable insight into how this culture of enthusiasm and hard work is generated and all of us left with lots of new ideas to try.

Ms Aizenberg reflects that in English, students in year eight and nine have been following a new curriculum which has its foundation in using complex texts. Over the school year, the students have been studying texts that were previously taught to GCSE and A Level classes, such as ‘The Crucible’, ‘Lord of the Flies’ and ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’. These challenging texts have resulted in perceptive analysis, higher levels of literacy and a greater understanding of the world around them. This was no more evident than in her year nine class where she introduced them to the prologue of Romeo and Juliet. The class were completely unfazed by the Shakespearean language and attacked the text with gusto, showing clear understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s writing and intricate plot. Every other year Ms Aizenberg has taught Romeo and Juliet, it has taken students much longer to reach the same level of understanding and analysis, partly because they have been intimidated by the complex language.  Speaking to her English colleagues, it was clear this was not a one-off; teachers throughout year eight and nine were bowled over. Ms Aizenberg  can only attribute this to the new intellectualised curriculum and the students’ fantastic attitude to English.

 

Over the past two weeks the Academy has been a very busy place. The flexi day was excellent with students from years 9, 10 & 11 having detailed conversations with their Learning Advisors about the progress they have made. We also had the best attendance ever at our year 7 parents evening with over 90% of parents attending, demonstrating the positive relationship we have built. Year 7 and 8 took part in PSHE activities developing British values and enterprise skills whilst focusing on their speaking and listening skills. We raised over £1,100 for Children in Need. The whole school assembly was thought provoking and an opportunity for students to showcase their excellent behaviour. Student progress meetings have provided an opportunity to discuss how our students are making progress and to plan how we can continue supporting them in our lessons. Finally, to remind us of how hard staff are working to support learning a picture of some Year 7 DIRT.

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Sarah Lynagh, Curriculum Area Lead for Visual Arts saw…

Alex Saraiva lead a transition activity on flexi day which culminated in the creation of a beautiful book bench which has been donated to Newfield primary school. The Visual Art department initiated the collaborative project to decorate a Book Bench with inspiring images from Children’s literature. The Art departments technician Alex Saraiva facilitated the project with five year 7 students from Capital City and five year 5 students from Newfield primary school. It was decided that ‘Alice in Wonderland’ would be the main inspiration for the Book Bench and students worked hard all day to produce beautiful imagery. There was a great creative buzz and the students successfully transferred their design. The finished bench will be transported to Newfield primary school where we hope the students will enjoy using it as an inspiring  place to read.

Billie Thomas, Curriculum Area Lead for Learning for life saw…

Drita Mustapha has been using the Capital PLTS stickers in learning for Life and students have responded really well to these. PLTS stickers are used to praise students when they have met any of the 6 core competencies. Year 7 students endeavour to have a sticker placed alongside their classwork to highlight that they have made progress with the development of their personal, learning and thinking skills. Drita Mustapha awarded a ‘team worker’ sticker to a student who had positively worked in a group to complete an activity where students had to write a piece of poetry about the identity of their learning advisor group. The work the students are creating is of a high quality and the students are enjoying the lessons.

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Rob Forder, Assistant Principal says…

Through coaching David Crouch I have had the opportunity to see him teaching high quality A Level lessons to his Year 13 class.  Students are engaged in learning at the highest level through his thoughtful approach to questioning and regular written feedback.  This has allowed students to perform very well in their recent assessment.  A particular strength is that David is allowing more able students to solve complex problems themselves, and intervening only when necessary as a ‘guide on the side’.

Alex Pedroso, Curriculum Area Lead for Performing Arts says…

In Ornella Shosola’s Y8 Spanish lesson, she wanted to explore the AFL strategies that she was using in the lesson to check for student understanding, as many of the same students were always putting hands up. As a result she began to implement her coaching action step of using the mini whiteboards as an AFL activity. At the end of each dictation task that was delivered in the target language students had to write the translation of the correct word she was looking for in Spanish. The students who got the correct word and spelling were then asked to sit next to someone who had not got it correct and in that pair then discuss how they arrived at that answer. Consolidating the knowledge of the more able student and giving the less able student the opportunity to acquire the new knowledge. This also allowed Ornella to see who needed more support and who she could stretch with the next activity.

Michael Wade, Curriculum Area Lead for Vocational Education says…

The outcomes in Health and Social Care are outstanding and seeing the resources that Leyla is developing it is not a surprise why. The students are consistently responding to the feedback they are receiving with enthusiasm and progress is rapid. The student help sheets that Leyla has made are such a useful resource and students are using these independently to respond to her feedback. Though identifying errors that students have made across the class, Leyla is able to spend more time focusing on other more personalised verbal feedback which will move the students to the next level of understanding. Leyla also made some criteria sheets which enable students to reference what they should be doing in order to access the higher grades.

Danielle Whelan, Behaviour Lead says…

David Gacheru and Andrew Apraku have created a fantastic spreadsheet which tracks students’ progress.  They  presented this to the rest of the pastoral team and now the other YTLs will use this model to track / monitor students’ progress. From this all students in year 9 and 10 are aware of their progress and areas for improvement.

Tom Charman, Curriculum Area Lead for Humanities says…

Steve Swinhoe has set up a positive praise postcard home initiative within humanities which the department has started to drive forward. This has facilitated many positive conversations within and around humanities classrooms with their different subject teachers recognising achievement around the department. Students now have an added incentive to take on the opportunities to broaden horizons and develop curiosity in lessons as set out in our vision. This ties in really well with the academy behaviour policy as teachers are adding P4 for every postcard they write.

Simon Darcy, Curriculum Area Lead for English saw…

Lamyaa Khammal’s AS Level English Language and Literature peer assessed each other’s responses.  Students annotated on desks around each other’s writing to highlight their successes and areas for more language exploration.  Students were left with strong visuals to support the development of their analysis of language and spoken language features.

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September 2013

 

Krista Grant,  Curriculum Area Lead Maths says…

Eleanor Palmer has been doing some brilliant student lead learning around equations and I observed some of the quieter members of the class teaching the other students in a self-assured and confident way. It was a pleasure to see the students working so-operatively in a group. Eleanor often uses mini whiteboards to assess the students learning through-out the lesson and they are developing a culture where not knowing the right answer “YET” is ok. Behaviour management of this group is a real strength of Eleanor’s practise with this group and students are engaging in maths because of the relationships that Eleanor has built with them over this half term.

Laura Ellener,  Vice Principal Teaching and Learning says…

The Y11 GCSE practical drama exam had been so well planned by Jordana Berk that the students made fantastic progress. A booklet with assessment criteria, writing frame and examples were introduced to the students and supported them to be able to access the higher grades. Jordana  also used a DIRT resource that promoted self-reflection and further progress. Students demonstrated the academy values throughout the 6 hour examination and  the activities that Jordana planned were so engaging that the students responded with real vigour and determination to do their best.

Alex Pedroso,  Curriculum Area Lead Performing Arts says…

Daniel Smith and Maxine Wand from the music department have created a fantastic resource to help the GCSE Music students identify and revise the 14 professional works that they must know entirely for their aural exam. The resource is interactive and differentiated. I saw the class during the activation stage of their lesson using hot seating to see who could identify all the information pertaining to each professional work. The lesson began in a focussed and creative manner and allowed students to recall information and this established an atmosphere of learning and immediate student engagement.

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Emma Millington, Curriculum lead for MFL saw….

“In Shoala Hentzen’s Y7 Learning for Life lesson the discussion of the poet and writer Maya Angelou was structured beautifully by Shoala using the snowball questioning technique which encouraged students to listen and use what the student before said and to add to it. Students spoke eloquently about the meanings behind the poem “Still I rise”.

Students were asked to write their own lines to the poem using new key vocabulary that they found independently in the dictionary. The task was done using the  ‘life line’ cards. The idea behind these is that if the student still holds the card at the end of the lesson they receive a merit, however to do this they need to use their own resources and their buddy rather than asking the teacher. In order for this to work, Shoala ensured that higher level students were buddied up with lower level students. Students were clearly enthused and determined to work through any problems that arose, with a partner or alone.”

Simon Darcy Curriculum Area Lead for English saw…

In Joseph Harris’ Y8 poetry lesson pupils were enthusiastically engaged in interpreting Sujata Bhatt’s ideas about language and identity in Search for my Tongue.  Pupils were able to work collaboratively and independently because Joseph had organised the pupils into groups according to their specific needs providing them with writing frames to enable them to close the gap between their spoken and written responses.  Pupils’ writing demonstrated a high level of understanding of Bhatt’s central metaphor.  Pupils who speak more than one language were able to compare Bhatt’s experience with their own; all pupils had thought deeply about how our language contributes to our identity and were able to articulate their ideas to me and each other. RU1A2616_thumb

Anyone who looks at our website will see…

Curriculum and Assessment maps that were created by departments focusing on each year groups End Game . It is clear to see how much thought and expertise has been poured into this impressive piece of work. Teachers worked to ensure that the curriculum could lead any student to University in their subject area should that be their aspiration. Assessment Week 1 was an opportunity for us to see how engaged and determined the students were to show us their best work.

Jill Kulandhaismy,  Curriculum Area Lead for Food says…

After the work scrutiny the feedback we received in food was that we needed students to respond to our written and verbal feedback. I asked Joanne O’Hara to produce a DIRT slide to use with her group in Food Technology. Going above and beyond Joanne made a really comprehensive resource that we are going to use across the department. This power point guides students through the importance of reflecting on and improving their work. Since joining the academy Joanne has been committed to ensuring that students are producing their best work and this tool will help the students produce even better outcomes.

James Caldwell,  Curriculum Area Lead for PE says…

Dominic Jones has worked on developing a set of resources that we are going to use to help us assess our new curriculum in PE. These clear guidelines will be used by staff and students to indicate what they can do and what their next steps are. Dominic has invested time into mapping the skills, concepts and knowledge that are needed in each sport to create a tool that will be used across Key Stage 3.

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