A collection of short, sharp teaching ideas to get you thinking…

May 2017

Helen Wilson:

Following a term of exploring different revision techniques, my year 10 study skills group prefer using index cards.  They used index cards to make pairs games (also snap) for formula, dates and events and vocabulary.

December 2016

Lyndsay Jubb:imag0641

Use pre and post assessments: students complete a ‘fluency’ baseline assessment, recalling learning from previous year/topic. On the feedback, ask students upgrade questions. This will inform both the student and teacher what they still need to learn. Then, set a post assessment, mixing similar and newly acquired skills.

Use pre-prepared extension stickers, complete with pre-printed yellow box to add to the students books when marking:


Paul Robson:

Use displays to flag up key words: imag0658-2

and make your efforts evident:


Introduce difficult concepts in fun ways:

  1. Binary with sweets (1s are cola bottles, 0s are buttons)- students learn how to calculate in binary:



2. Understanding the importance of sequencing- by using bells! Students play a song, ringing particular bells- this teaches them about the importance of algorithm order.

July 2016

Helen Wilson:

Turn your lesson objectives into a list of must-do tasks ready for anybody who is absent. These can be given as homework and glued into books.

April 2016

Helen Wilson: 

‘Ginger’ highlighters (via Andrew Sargerson)

Have you ever wondered what to do with that redundant fourth highlighter? Pink, yellow and green all have their places in the marking of books but that pesky fourth pen is useless.  Or so you thought…

Sarge has been encouraging students to use ‘ginger’ highlighters to draw boxes around key information.  This makes it easy to find during future lessons or when revising for tests and exams.  These ‘boxes of power’ (because knowledge is power) have been so popular with his students that they have been known to request the use of a ginger pen to create boxes of power in other lessons…

So put those fourth colours to good use to make your exercise books extra colourful!

December 2015

Helen Wilson: A lot of teachers give directions after getting students to start tasks but students with processing difficulties cannot concentrate on reading or writing if you’re talking.

So PST: please stop talking.

Phil Rigby: The Create Home Learning task sheet provides the students with an element of choice and independence. The students have a selection of Home Learning tasks and are required to complete two IMAG0178of them. Tasks are either numeracy or literacy based and have a connection to their current Create project. Each task is worth a number of points based on its difficulty and students can complete as many points as they want – the more the merrier!

Nicola Watson:

The ‘Online Gold Standard’ guidelines IMAG0131are adapted from the whole school Gold Standard checklist to encourage students to have high expectations of their own work in all aspects of the curriculum. It is vital that students understand the importance of taking pride in their work especially in a 21st century world where online communication is so prevalent and is often the first instance where we give an impression of ourselves. In Media lessons the ‘Online Gold Standard’ checklist helps students present their coursework, research, essays and controlled assessment in a professional manner.