The use of video to aid reflection

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This spring term our CPD focus has altered to include the use of video to aid reflection and our approach is based on the work of Mike Hughes. We continue to work towards providing opportunities for staff to talk about teaching using classroom based evidence.  Whilst CPD during the autumn term relied on the written work of students, this term relies on video clips which show teaching and learning in action.

The cross curricular Collaborative Enquiry Groups remain in place and colleagues are basing discussion on the use of 3 minute video clips.  Videoing lessons provides opportunities for staff to revisit lessons to reflect with more reliable information than memory allows.  It’s astonishing what you filter during a five period day.

In order to create the most positive atmosphere, an atmosphere in which emotions run less high, the collection of data is useful. Identifying the cold facts relating to quantifiable evidence can result in fruitful discussion as well as the changing of habits.

As trust builds, and colleagues are more open with one another, discussing clips provides an interesting opportunity to view teaching from alternative perspectives.  However, a different perspective from each pair of eyes allows for the balancing of ideas and ensures constructive discussions which move away from subjectivity.

As I look back at the term, I conclude that I enjoy using videoing as a tool for reflection but as I watch video clips of lessons, I come to realise precisely why films rely so heavily on music.  The one thing which is very difficult to capture on video is the atmosphere of a classroom.  To fully appreciate a lesson I need to feel the atmosphere.  Then I start to wonder about creating two opposing soundtracks to accompany one video clip.  Would the differing music alter the reception of the viewed lesson?  And that of course makes me wonder just how much atmosphere accounts for learning and progress and just how that atmosphere is created in the first place…

 

Myth Busting

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Following the ‘Share or Dare’ theme of the Autumn Term, the Spring Term focus for Teaching and Learning Briefings is the busting of myths.
In the autumn, the briefings aimed to help develop a climate in which staff felt able to share the successes and failures of trialing new ideas. In the spring term, there needs to be a different focus. As staff work to video lessons and reflect on personal practice, the briefings need to give some knowledge input as well as spark points of enquiry.
Therefore each week has a theme. We begin with lesson beginnings and end with lesson endings. We visit topics such as AFL, differentiation and teacher talk in between.
To begin each briefing, a statement is displayed and staff vote with cards: myth or truth? For example: ‘Students should be sitting working within two minutes of entering the classroom’.
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Working with Mike Hughes – Discovering the ‘Magenta Principles’

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Mike visited us at Wymondham High Academy in September 2013 for a whole staff training day. One of the approaches he introduced was the ‘Magenta Principles’. Creating a piece of drama, based around the image of onion layers, to represent the effect of erosion on rocks is the abiding memory I have: a sun-drunk wanderer in the desert; the sun dancing on stage; staff representing flakes of rock shimmying on stage…cpd with mike hughes at wymondham high
The ‘Magenta Principles’ are brilliant. Just as it often is with great ideas, you realise you have been using them in your best lessons without thinking about it. Once you have the notion formalised you begin to be able to draw on it in a measured and deliberate fashion.

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Collaborative Enquiry Groups – continuous professional development

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Tuesday afternoons have a new look at Wymondham High for the academic year 2014-15. Lessons end at 2.10 and CPD begins.
A CPD model based on collaborative enquiry has been adopted. This is in acknowledgement that while the exchanging of tips and solutions, the visiting of outside experts and the observation of colleagues play an important role in CPD, it is when teachers are active in the CPD process, experimenting and engaging in conversations based on classroom based evidence and the trial of new things, that real change happens and developments are made.

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Sharing and Daring

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Thinking of how to create Teaching and Learning Briefings with a sense of challenge and a competitive edge and ‘Share or Dare’ was born. The ‘Wheel you or won’t you?’ spinner was spawned. Each week of the autumn term, a Department was chosen at random. Each week the Department had to choose to either: share a teaching and learning idea or to accept a dare.
The dares were again randomly selected (by the ‘Wheel you or won’t you?’ spinner) and were generally of a constraint nature.

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Facts, Skills and Wagon Wheels

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I have spent the last week looking back at one of my lessons in light of listening to Daisy Christodoulou on Radio 4’s series, ‘The Educators’. To reduce her argument: “Have too few facts been taught in schools in favour of teaching skills?”
It was a lesson for a Yr11 group I see only once a fortnight for Progress Plus, in which I intended to motivate through curiosity. I needed to provide an opportunity for the students to practise the skills they would have to employ in the English GCSE exam. Practising skills can be tedious. The facts in the lesson were chosen for motivational purposes. In my experience, students are often very interested in general knowledge. News stories too are powerful motivators.

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