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Exams vs Extra-curricular, what's the impact?

In my developing career in teaching, I now wear two hats; leading early intervention with years 7-10, and subject lead for PE. 

Everything I've read highlights the positive impact that physical activity can have on student progress and it is playing a huge part in my planning for those early interventions. However, my department is starting to feel the massive pinch of end of year exams across all year groups, not simply those that are subject to external exams such as 11, 12 or 13. 
The peak of this has meant that we're unable to field a male or female year 10 athletics team for our district competition and have had numerous students across years 7, 8 and 9 withdraw from the team. This for me is extremely frustrating, as a school of just over 850 students in an affluent area of north west Essex that prides itself on a well rounded education. I understand the school progress measures and pressure on students raising more than ever, but is this not all happening too early?
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Teacher Trance

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As every other teacher in the country does; I have deadlines, meetings, fixtures and moderation days coming out of my ears, but I feel I'm working in a zone of performance. Lessons are flying past with energy, interventions and progress, the meetings that I'm holding are positive and productive, and deadlines are being met. Is this based on the experience I've had of this time before? Or is it coming from the extra planning and work that I completed during Easter and after work?
Is what I'm feeling similar to when you hear athletes speaking about their zone of performance or 'flow'? Csíkszentmihályi coined this term and has published research to demonstrate that this is possible for people to experi…

Intervention, the Key 20 approach

Key 20

The key 20 approach is one I developed during the completion of my NPQSL course, based on early and effective intervention. The focus is to triangulate academic, behaviour and attendance data to highlight underperformance and concerns that can be improved upon.

The key group of 20 students are selected to be 'easy wins' that are underperforming or causing concern and would not normally come onto the radar of a head of year or key stage. This does two things, it engages staff with knowing 'grey students' in the year group and also helps to address issues early and before the mad rush of Year 11.
The process is a two week cyclical routine that consists of data collection, review and intervention through student ownership.

2 week Cyclical process:
Day 1 Data gathering
Day 1 Pastoral discussion - review
Day 1 Identification and communication
Days 1-14 Intervention

Data gathering
Data is gathered and analysed against agreed levels that can be varied over the course of …

Is assessment in ks4 Core PE relevant anymore?

A recent meeting ahead of a data storage and tracking program change has made me think; is assessment in core ks4 PE still relevant? There is no questioning it's relevance in GCSE PE and how important a role it plays there, but what about in Core PE?
Historically in the department I work in, KS4 is assessed based on performance levels in sport against the GCSE criteria set by the exam board being studied. These grades are then never shared formally with parents, they're at most shared with students informally and aren't put forward for external examination. I personally feel that this has limited the approach to physical activity as a whole and thus the development of students physical activity levels post secondary education. 
The questions that keep circulating my head are: - does assessment in Core PE overly formalise an activity that needs to be viewed as fun? - is assessment and thus viewing quantifiable progress fundamental to students enjoyment and involvement? - does ta…

Proactive and Reactive Behaviour for Learning

Every school has a behaviour policy that is used consistently by all members of staff, right? The questions I get asked and I'd like to answer are; how do you employ it? How can you work proactively in your classroom so that you don't have to get to that stage? If the situation does arise, how to use it?
In order to answer these questions, I have split Behaviour for Learning into two phases; proactive and reactive. These will allow you, the reader and teacher, to see the differences in the two approaches, and how you can go about using them in your own classrooms. Both of them involved the key idea that you have to take control, behaviour for learning in your classroom is your responsibility and only you can change it. 
For the purposes of this blog; proactive is: the processes you go through in order to plan and engage your pupils so that low level disruption and off task behaviour doesn't occur. (I.e. Preventing bad behaviour from happening) reactive is: the processes you go t…

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I've used Goldilocks as an example to portray pupils approach in lessons through a story that everyone is familiar with. Over the course of the story, Goldilocks has to try different temperatures of porridge and different mattresses before she feels comfortable to eat/sleep. In the context of a lesson,…

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What's been the biggest challenge this term?
There have been too many challenges to list individually, however one of the biggest has been evidencing successes and areas for development. This has led to some of the hardest conversations I've ever had, but the ways in which I have approached managed, structured and supported these conversations, has enabled them to be productive r…