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Lead Learners

I’m the G&T Co-ordinator at a sixth form college and am exploring different strategies to improve provision for our most able students within a classroom setting. I’m working with a wonderful group of teachers to develop new approaches and revisit old ones. After a lunchtime discussion with colleagues, I set up a lesson this week where students acted as teachers and was taken aback at just how successful it was. I selected 4 of the most able students in each AS class – although I also selected a couple who, on paper, are not quite so high achieving, but who have real enthusiasm for the topic we’re doing – and gave them the task with resources and ideas attached. I told them they’d be teaching up to 4 of their classmates and also told them they’d be scored (by their classmates) on how well they explained, answered questions and how much progress was made in the lesson.


To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect, particularly as I’d given the students the instructions on a Friday to be delivered on the following Monday morning. I had also chosen a student who is very able (target grade A) but who makes little effort to concentrate and work in class. I was particularly interested to see how she would tackle the task after she commented “oh great – so I get extra homework?” when I explained what I wanted her to do.


Several emailed me resources to be printed off for the lesson over the weekend and I was really impressed with the understanding the resources showed and the effort they had employed in the task. One asked for scissors and glue (that always makes my heart skip as a Geography teacher!) and two more asked for mini whiteboards and pens. I was feeling very optimistic and excited about the lesson and I wasn’t disappointed. Each group started by assessing their level of confidence in the topic on a scale of 1 to 5 (they revisited the scale at the end of the lesson) and then spent the next 40 minutes being taught by their peers.


WP_20150323_10_16_52_Pro WP_20150323_10_14_58_Pro WP_20150323_10_14_36_Pro

I was amazed at the quality of explanation and questioning that ensued. For 40 minutes the classroom buzzed with discussion, demonstrations, quizzes, sketching, card ordering and, most impressively, sustained student engagement with the task. I had organised mixed ability groups for each Lead Learner and made sure personalities were balanced as well. One outcome which I had hoped for (and which did actually happen) was that the quieter, less confident students would ask their Lead Learner as many questions as they wanted. What happened was that if they weren’t satisfied with the answer, they asked the question again and again until they understood. This would never have happened in a whole-class setting.


The Lead Learners clearly enjoyed the experience and so did the rest of the class. The written feedback the students gave showed significant progress made in the lesson and they all voted to repeat the exercise again with a different topic. After the 40 minute group work, I gave the class a hinge question test with some deliberately misleading options. Each group continued with the same level of discussion and engagement and every student got every question right. They’re now writing an essay on the topic for homework.


And which was one of the most lively and productive groups in the room? The one lead by the student who didn’t want extra homework! She blushed when I praised her for the effort she had made and reluctantly admitted that she had enjoyed the experience.

Reflecting on exams – how can I improve?
March 22, 2015
Addressing the common misconceptions.Addressing the common misconceptions.

Usually the best ideas are born out of necessity, having over 100 students sitting either an A level or GCSE exam in the coming weeks marking was becoming the only task I had time for. Whilst marking numerous pieces of work I realised I was writing the same thing over and over and… over. Surely there must be a more efficent/streamlined way of doing this that still remained personal to the student?

I created a marking grid based on the mark scheme and marked a couple of tests to pilot whether I had included everything necessary. I copied and pasted the blank grid as many times as there were students in the class. The grid took between 15 – 20 minutes to create but streamlined the process massively as I marked each test, this was then printed off and attached to the exam paper of each student. As I went through I created a tally of common mistakes on a piece of paper of WWW (What went wells) and EBIs (even better ifs) that were common for the majority, I then used this to create a reflection poster for us to go through as a class as opposed to just talking through the main errors. It was a combination of addressing the common misconceptions and being given the opportunity to react to the feedback they had been given – a colleague introduced me to the concept of “show me growth” which is incorporated here.

After showing they had purposely reacted to the feedback students were given the time to reflect – why had they lost marks and crucially what are their next steps in order to be successful for their forthcoming exams (post it and footstep boxes respectively)?

I feel there are many advantages to these posters -

  • 1) It has streamlined my marking process immeasurably
  • 2) It requires active participation from the students
  • 3) It is taken away and can be used as a revision tool
  • 4) I have further developed this by creating “Show me growth” worksheets of AFL questions that share similar principles to the ones they had already completed so they can use their feedback and improved answers to enable them to make outstanding progress on future tasks.

There are some drawbacks, however, they are fairly time consuming to make initially, they are class specific – I have two year 10 classes but their targets are very different due to the make up of the class and it also needs to be differentiated by ability (I made a higher and foundation sheet for one of the classes). Overall though I’ve had some very positive feedback from the students and colleagues who have utilised this resource.

Personalised to each student and filled in as each test was marked.

Personalised to each student and filled in as each test was marked.

Addressing the common misconceptions.

Addressing the common misconceptions.


Completed by the student.

Completed by the student.


Stop motion videos to demonstrate learning
Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 20.26.54

We recently have been lucky enough to get the use of five iPads in our biology department and we have been trying to integrate them into the classroom.  I recently came across the Lego stop motion app when making movies with my own kids and thought about applications for use in the classroom.  The app is free and I very easy to use.  My s4 class has used it to create videos to show their understanding of pyramids of energy, biomass and numbers.

My advanced higher class have used the app to demonstrate their understanding of cell and tissue culture.  

Both classes loved it.  They were very engaged in the activity and were on task throughout.  They shared ideas about what to add to the videos and showed me a few new features in the app that I didn’t know about.  

The advanced higher class worked in groups of 3/4 each choosing a different cell type to culture. They then shared their video with the rest of the class (using a vga cable and adapter linked up to the projector).  It made a great explanation tool for each cell type as well as a good revision tool.  It can be used in so many areas of the course and I plan to use it more and allow pupils to be creative in explaining what they have learned.  I have added a few of the videos (the ones without the kids in them) to let you see what they did.  We have to learn how to slow the videos down a bit but I’m sure the pupils can teach me this! Hope this helps

Sarah Clark

Arts learning resources from The Fruitmarket Gallery
Installation view Possibilities of the Object at The Fruitmarket GalleryInstallation view Possibilities of the Object at The Fruitmarket Gallery

The Fruitmarket Gallery is an art gallery funded by the taxpayer displaying exhibitions of work that are not for sale. The Gallery brings the work of some of the world’s most important contemporary artists to Scotland. We recognise that art can change lives and we offer an intimate encounter with art for free. The Gallery welcomes all audiences and makes it easy for everyone to engage with art. Gallery facilities include a bookshop and café. The Gallery is physically accessible and family-friendly.

As part of our learning programme, we produce free resources to help teachers, families and community groups to get the most out of each exhibition. Links to our resources are below.

The Learning Through Exhibitions series helps schools and community groups to explore exhibitions before, during and after a visit to The Fruitmarket Gallery. They can also be used for arts activities at any time alongside our other resources documenting the exhibition. Developed with artists and teachers, the series suggests ways to think with and through art and be inspired to make it. Creative Challenges are open-ended and adaptable to any age group. Covering artists including Louise Bourgeois, Gabriel Orozco, Jim Lambie and our current group exhibition of modern and contemporary Brazilian art Possibilities of the Object, resources cover curriculum areas including Expressive Arts, Literacy, Social Studies, Religious and Moral Education, Health and Wellbeing and Languages. Activities include dance, storytelling, poetry, drawing, sculpture, installation, music, film and photography.

Little Artists are activity sheets for families and primary school groups to explore and respond to the exhibition together. Activities include colour poems, storyboards and designing a display of sculpture.

Possibilities of the Object:

Stan Douglas:

Jim Lambie:

Tania Kovats

 Louise Bourgeois

 Gabriel Orozco

“I am very impressed by the learning resources available which accompany the exhibitions. They are comprehensive and motivating as well as being relevant to the curriculum.” Kathryn Malcolm, Teacher of Art and Design, Inverkeithing High School

Learning by Mistake

Learning by Mistake

Over the last few months I’ve become enthused by Carol Dweck’s work on the concept of a growth mindset. As a result of this I decided that it was time to make much better use of students’ learning mistakes in my classroom. Typically most students tend to not want to dwell on mistakes they’ve made, as they don’t want to be reminded of what they and others perceive as failure.


My Best Learning Mistake

My year 8 Geography classes had been working on an assessment about Cheddar Gorge and today was the day they were going to find out how they’d got on. I always allocate a whole lesson dedicated purely to feedback and reflection when I return an assessment but today I added a new activity to our usual repertoire. I asked students to identify their best learning mistake – the one that they’d learnt the most from. This is actually quite an abstract concept, the class I first trialled this with found it tricky. I had another year 8 class after break so did some tinkering and provided a framework to help them structure their answer. I could almost hear both classes’ brains stretching as they completed this activity.






Mistake Marsh
The second activity I created evolved after reading about the concept of a learning pit. I wanted to develop a variation on this theme and add a geographical flavour. Marshes are notoriously difficult to cross, so to is climbing to the summit of a towering mountain – a good analogy I felt for a learning journey. I returned assessments to year 9 and we did our usual review and reflection but added the ‘mistake marsh’ to our menu of activities. This was the final step in our evaluation process. Students were asked to note three mistakes that they’d made in the boxes on the marsh – these represented mistakes they’d made on their learning journey. They then had to decide which mistake was the most important one and write it in the box at the base of ‘Mistake Mountain.’ Once again there was lots of silence and cranking of brains. My hope is that by identifying crucial mistakes they will not make them again.






I know that these strategies are not ‘perfect’ yet and that students will need more practise; I plan to revisit and refine as well as devising new activities to get the most out of mistakes. There always has to be a starting point and being afraid to make a mistake shouldn’t be a reason not to have a go!

I feel a bit like that about this first post – it’s the first blog post I’ve written for years and I know that I’ve made lots of mistakes but one thing I know for sure is that I’ll get better :)

Marking Grids
March 8, 2015
photo 1 (12)

I saw this post by Fiona Old on twitter about marking grids and thought that it would be useful in science. Recently I set my Y7 groups a takeaway homework on particles. I had some wonderful examples of work handed in : comic strips, 3D models, songs, posters and cake! I wanted to provide detailed feedback as the students had put in so much effort – but found myself wondering why I hadn’t thought about the marking when I set this homework to two classes in the same week.

photo 1 (13) photo 2 (12) photo 3 (11)

I decided to try using a marking grid. I looked through the homeworks to get an idea of comments that I would give and what pupils would need to do to improve. I also looked at some level ladders for the topic and the ‘I can’ objectives for the unit and came up with some statements for the grid. I think that some of the statements probably need to be modified but as a first attempt I think it was successful. I highlighted 2 things that I thought that students had done well and I also highlighted something that they could do to improve their work. I then left them a question that they could answer related to the improvement in DIRT time. I found that the grid made marking much quicker – but hopefully the quality of feedback for the students is not compromised. 

An example:

photo 1 (12)

I have used this approach with my Y7 and Y8 classes so far and the response from pupils has been positive. They find it easy to see the things that they have done well and what they need to do to improve their work.

Originally posted on my blog here.

Pedagoo Primary
March 4, 2015

There have been many Pedagoo events in Scotland. Each has been highly successful, and enjoyable. Both those presenting and those joining workshops left with heads full of new ideas, feeling inspired to make changes. In my opinion the reason these events work so well, is that all the presenters are fellow practitioners. Not only does this mean their ideas and experiences are highly relevant, but you also know that if it works in their classroom, you can make it work in your own.

The one downside to the events I have attended, has been the lack of primary colleagues presenting. The strange thing is, on my Masters course, I reckon about 75% of the cohort were primary teachers. There is clearly no lack of inspiration or ambition in the sector, so I’m not sure why Pedagoo hasn’t inspired more primary teachers to attend or present at events. Any ideas?

Whilst I have learnt how much links teaching and learning across all stages, it would be nice to look down the list of workshops and see more than a couple of primary colleagues presenting. I also believe that bringing more primary colleagues into the Pedagoo community would benefit them and the schools they teach in. In fact, I believe that if primary teachers became involved in sufficient numbers it could revolutionise the whole sector.

So, in an attempt to rectify this imbalance, a group of us (all primary teachers) are organising a one-off dedicated primary event – #PedagooPrimary. It is a one-off as we don’t want to become a seperate group, we want to introduce more people to the wonders of Pedagoo, and as I said before, we have learnt the value of sharing and learning from each other across all sectors. Pedagoo Primary will take place on the 9th of May at East Edinburgh Library.

Please help spread the word, please consider whether you could lead a learning conversation and please come along on the day – lets start that revolution.

Go to www.pedagoo.org/primary for more details and to sign up.

Technology crossover
March 1, 2015
Image by flickr.com/photos/adactioImage by flickr.com/photos/adactio

I have been teaching for around 13 years now and this is my first blog post. I have been making great efforts to keep up with technology and all it’s exciting developments but, I must confess, I am finding it harder than I thought I would. Having recently acquired ‘Plickers‘, ‘Socrative‘ and ‘Memrise‘, I am ready to try new things out in the classroom.

Very recently, I used QR codes combined with Vocaroo to get students to hand in ‘speaking’ homework and, apart fom the obvious “my computer crashed” excuses, it worked very well and spurred me on to refine it and improve it in future. This is definitely a positive thing as I feel as though I am not just using technology for the sake of it, I am using it to enhance my practice.

This Monday, I will try using Plickers in the classroom for the first time and I am not hugely confident. The management of the individual cards plus the iPad plus the PC seems like a lot of things to manage but hopefully it will all come good and I will feel invigorated and enthused by this next step in using technology in the classroom. I will let you know how it goes…

Also, I have been very aware of stress levels at work lately and so am trying to focus on making staff feel valued and important. I already send out a positive message every Friday but am trying to develop this further following the example of someone else’s wellbeing bags (which include treats and motivators). Fingers crossed this has a positive impact!

I will let you know how the Plickers experience goes!

Ofsted Inspection… by @ASTSupportAAli
February 8, 2015
Image by flickr.com/photos/ebarneyImage by flickr.com/photos/ebarney

Wednesday the 28th and Thursday the 29th of January 2015. Two important days in my Senior Leadership career. These two days saw my school receive a full Section 5 Ofsted Inspection. In this short blog I would like to share some tips/observations and reflections about the inspection and its process both as a school and a member of SLT.

The call:

Tuesday, around 13.30pm, I was summoned by a frantic looking member of support staff to go to meet other SLT in our meeting room.

‘Where were you? I have been looking everywhere for you!’

My response’s tone couldn’t have been more opposite,

‘Hi, I have been running an annual review, as per my calendar. Why what’s the panic!?’

I replied with a beaming smile.

Usually what would have happened if somebody was searching for me is they would radio for me. If no luck, they would call my admin assistant or Learning Support Manager and ask simply, do you know where Amjad is. The response would be easy for them as they would check my Outlook calendar. (Which I obsessively write all my daily things to ‘do’ in on.)

I guess the lack of usual behaviour is a by product of the feelings that Ofsted bring!

After reading many reminder emails sent out by Heads of Department to their teams containing lots of reassurance that we are proud of what we are doing and to simply keep doing what we are, all SLT met the staff to inform them of the process and reassured them (again), that we are a very good, effective school. The Head stood there confidently and let everyone feel that we are ready and proud. The face we, as SLT present to the staff is crucial…

Our SLT team all met up and discussed the big two days, in detail. We clarified who would meet with which inspector and the Head and her P.A created and outline programme. This was done really quickly. It was extremely helpful to see the what we could potentially be doing! We also researched the inspection team; found out a little about their backgrounds, their specialisms and read their previous reports.

We ordered all staff pizza on both days in case they were going to stay late in school.

What did I do personally? Well, firstly, I didn’t send any of my team any reminder emails. I went round and tried to see them all. I asked them if I could support or help them with anything. I answered any questions they had. I felt it important to be a presence of clarity. They too offered me help, asked if I needed a hand with anything, and I took a couple of them up on the support.

When I finally reached my office, at around 6.30pm, my Learning Support Manager had kindly left our ‘Ofsted’ pack on my desk. We had previously planned a protocol for the call. She was following it exactly as we discussed. (What a star!) My Assistant SENCO, was there still, to simply ask me, ‘Is there anything you need me to do.’ There is an immeasurable value in colleagues being there for one another, if this is missing in your department or school then seek to fix it. Now. I left school at 9.30pm. Which meant I returned home for 10.30pm. I ate, marked some books further, planned my lessons, updated my SPOT folders and went to bed around 1am.

Day one/two: Flew by in a mad blur!

I arrived to school earlier than normal. Which meant I was in school by 6.30am, (I had to leave my house at 5.30am, which required me to wake up at 4.30am- ouch!) On arrival I went round and asked colleagues if they were OK, popped into the Heads office, shouted ‘Morning Boss!’ Like I do daily. Ensuring you maintain as regular a routine as possible is fundamental to surviving an Ofsted inspection.

Going up to my office I was smiling, thinking I am glad Ofsted are here on Week A; Wednesday and Thursday, the two days I teach two lessons on each day. This is what I feel strongest and most comfortable doing: teaching. The least stressful part of the whole process was when I was delivering those lessons. I guess the thought of any of the five inspectors coming in to judge my lessons didn’t bother me one bit. In fact I willed it to happen. I am used to this, I went through my GTP process to acquire my QTS in this procedure. Then my AST qualification in similar fashion. Us, SLT Being observed by Ofsted means that teaching staff know that we are open to judgement too, that our procedures, tracking, marking and assessment are also open to scrutiny. I wanted to show that we model what we preach/expect. Nonetheless, we do this without Ofsted. We expect all HODS to carry out learning walks on us, paired observations on us and so on.

Throughout the two days all of SLT was scheduled in for joint lesson observations with he inspectors. We were then observed giving feedback. We carried out joint learning walks with the inspectors too and ask to talk through our findings. We were also invited in for interviews with the inspectors. (Mine included- Year 7 Catch Up money impact. SEN/D provision and Pupil Premium impact.) We were also asked to attend debriefs with middle leaders and other members of SLT.

Things kept changing, but we rolled with it. All with a smile on our face. (We hope!)

Top Tips:

So, here are my top tips in general related to the Ofsted experience these are my opinions! (In no particular order…) I am hoping to speak with other members of SLT/Middle Leaders and gather their thoughts too.

  • Be proud, be ready, be clear, be honest.
  • Have all your documentation ready- School Improvement Plan & School Self Evaluation, ensure all staff are being consistent. For example, all of our staff have a SPOT file for each class. (Student Progress Over Time folders.)Their SPOT folder contains detailed, annotated information about each student. Their attendance. Annotated seating plans, along with data and tracking sheets. Annotated if relevant.
  • Ensure all staff know their roles and what they are responsible for. This might sound obvious, but being really clear about this is vital.
  • Have all generic paperwork- like lesson plan proformas, observations forms etc in a central location for all staff access.
  • Update your website, let all involved know, pre-warn all the students that additional adults may be in their lessons. (Particularly important for ASC students.) Celebrate successes with all students. Let them know they should be proud of their school. (This shouldn’t just be for Ofsted!) This should be regular. We do this via a weekly newsletter and a fortnightly Cheney News video that all tutor groups show.
  • Have a central location/room for your inspectors to work. Provide them fresh water and food. Hospitality is important.
  • Ensure the inspectors follow the usual safeguarding procedures. I.E sign them in, give them name badges. Tell them your policy and so on.
  • Involve everyone in the schedule. From the Head Teacher to the cleaners. Let every know know their value in the machine that is school.
  • Know your data, do not present statistics that you do not understand. If you do not know, then ask! Talk through data together. Have a clear picture of the picture!
  • Be passionate, enthusiastic and ambitious. Be like your SIP and SEF states! More so…
  • Ensure the Inspection team know about which lessons are being covered because of a planned/expected/unexpected absence(s). Alert them to what whole school events are going on. Also which teachers teach across a variety of phases and subjects. Try to get inspectors to avoid observing one teacher more than any other teacher. However, do not change things that you are doing. For example, we had Year 9 Immunisations planned for the Thursday. this would interrupt many lessons. but we maintained this. Changes are not good- the Ofsted inspection team go through the school website/calendar with a fine tooth-comb before hand anyway!
  • Ensure all staff are aware of the inspection framework. It is quite a big document. Could you summarise it for your teams? Ask them which elements are relevant for them. This changes often, however, the most recent one can be found here!
  • During the inspection collect via email, information on the types of questions being asked by the inspectors. Their routines. This can help prepare for day two
  • Have a clear picture of your teaching ‘grades.’ Although Ofsted do not judge individual teachers, they do make an ‘unofficial’ overall judgement of Teaching and Learning. This inspection they did not observe any member of SLT, no core subject leader and only 1 of our 6 ASTs.

Overall, do you know your students and is there a relentless drive to ever improve the quality of teaching and learning.

  • Keep the governors in the loop! Ofsted will check through the governors minutes, is your SIP/SEF constantly monitored.

New To The Post:

Here are my top tips as a first time senior leader facing Ofsted! (In no particular order also…)

  • Prepare an Ofsted protocol with your entire team. I have a massive team of over 40 members of staff. Including teaching and support staff. Rehearse what you will all do once the call has been made. Essentially a fire drill. Have a ‘Ofsted‘ file ready. Present this to Ofsted. If they say, like they did this time, that they do not have time to read it, then, like I did, tell them to find time. To take the files away with them to do so.
  • Have all your important documentation to hand. Printed. Annotated. Use post it notes to highlight salient points. Not necessarily for the inspectors to see, but for you to draw them out during discussions/interviews with the Ofsted inspectors.
  • Keep organised. Keep up to date with the changes in the schedule. Know where you are going and when. Be early. DO not be late. I created a folder in my Outlook email. I tagged emails linked to Ofsted with another colour. I also, ensured my to list linked to Urgent, Important only.
  • Know your data and thus the students behind the data. Know the teamthat support the students too.
  • Talk about impact, along with plans. If something isn’t going well, then be able to talk about why and what you plan on doing. Talk about changes you have made since last year, since this year.
  • Link everything with teaching and learning. All you are doing, planning and trailing must be linked to quality first teaching and learning.
  • Have case studies detailing successes and reasons for apparent failures. Link this to Raise online. Expected progress scatter graph. In the case studies, highlight all interventions put in place. Create these as a chronology of support. Be clear that you tried all you could. But, most importantly, what you will do differently/better this year.
  • Do not put yourself first. Do not bemoan how much work you have to do to your team. Be supportive to your staff/team/teachers/support staff. Ask if they need anything, help them first. Keep everybody involved. Aniexty and nerves from your team or you is not good! Ask for help, if you need it.
  • Annotate with a document the SIP and SEF with your actions to date. What you have achieved and how. Link this to your govenors meetings.
  • Do not be stressed or worry if anyone else is stressed or snappy at you. It is the Ofsted blindness. Do not worry if anybody else is slightly out of character. Just smile and try to be as helpful as you can. If you snap, or become stressed, apologies when relevant. People will understand.
  • Do not change your routines. Do not go over the top. Other than Ofsted your team, your colleagues and the school will notice the change. They will ask why this wasn’t your normal routine. Do not do things for the sake of Ofsted.
  • Prevent at all costs the climate of fear. Do not let your emotions become obvious or apparent. Be a shield for your team.
  • Contact your link governor, reassure them you are all OK and ask if they need anything more from you. Ensure their reports are with you and you are ready to discuss them.

Once we have received the report, I will add to this post about what to do post an Ofsted inspection…

Post Ofsted:

Since Ofsted has been…

  • The Head has met up with all staff and thanked them for their continued hard work.
  • SLT have met up and forensically analysed the unofficial feedback from Ofsted. We linked them to the Inspection framework and highlighted strengths and areas of improvement.
  • I have met up with my team and thanked them for their hard work.
  • Read the Ofsted report and suggested any changes to matter of facts/wording.
Using Discussion Trees

Last Friday I posted a #pedagoofriday comment about how pleased I was with my bottom set work on discussion trees. This is a simple method I use to help students consider the strengths and weaknesses of any statement. in RE the discussion of such statements counts for a significant number of marks and so is an important skill for us to work on.

On the desk the students blue tack a prepared picture of a tree that then has a statement printed on the tree trunk. On Friday the statement was “It is reasonable to believe that God does miracles”

Without any ‘fresh’ input from the teacher the students consider points to support the statement  - these are represented as roots for the tree, and challenges to the statement – these are represented as gusts of wind.

In the photos below you can see one table group creating a desk full of challenges, as well as a group who are just beginning the process.

IMG_0790 IMG_0796

An important part of the process is getting the students to represent the strength of each argument through the size of the root or gust of the wind. This evaluation of each argument should be achieved as they engage in discussion in their table teams.

I then extend the task by introducing some philosophical arguments. In this case it included arguments from Hume, Swinburne, Aquinas and Wiles, plus a little info on quantum physics. The students decide whether what they are reading is root or wind, they summarise key points and write down accordingly.

The final part of the task is for the students to then discuss and agree on the final state of the tree. They indicate this by using a ruler and drawing a line to indicate if the tree remains vertical, or blown at a greater angle. They may even suggest it has in fact been felled. Obviously they are considering whether the arguments against the statement are more effective than the arguments for the statement, and most importantly, to what extent this is the case.

I then photograph their group work. The following lesson students get a copy of their group work for their own books but also to use as they provide an exam response to the discussion statement that they have worked on.

This approach works well with the whole range of abilities and can be modified based on the material you give each group to work with.

by @lorraineabbott7

See more on my blog at https://lorraineabbott.wordpress.com