Friday Mindset #113

Helping students get better at studenting

Friday! You’re here at last.

Our Welsh colleagues break-up today. Not envious, honest. Have a lovely holiday folks. We’ve got another week in classrooms and meeting rooms to go, but we’re going to take a two-week newsletter break after this issue and return in early March.

OK, housekeeping done. Let’s get started. Lots to share this week…

Something to try...

We put together a powerpoint for you, but before you check it out, first some context.

A lot of the staff CPD we run looks at the whole of the VESPA model. Pretty obvious.

Increasingly, though, we also run sessions that just target a single element of VESPA. Last week, for example, we spent three hours with senior leaders at a school discussing how to raise levels of effort. (Give us a shout at [email protected] if you think your organisation might be interested.)

We also do a lot on practice; specifically, sessions about frameworking the development of more effective revision. There’s a lot of this around at the moment, but our sessions - we hope! - are different; rather than simply presenting the research (“studies show this approach leads to higher marks than this approach”) we present the research followed by a classroom activity specifically designed to encourage this approach to revision in students. A lot of the material comes from the new book (it’s out in less than a month! pre-order here!) and this powerpoint often forms part of the training.

(The videos play once you download it.)

Hope it’s useful. Have at it:

Something we're reading...

This article is a cracker. We’ve known this - and advocated for it - for a long time. You’ll no doubt have got sick of us recommending Susan Dynarski’s article No Laptops in the Lecture Hall, for example. (Here’s James Loeffler’s equivalent piece in Time Magazine if you want a fresh perspective.)

Anyway, this one from American Education News Service ‘The 74’ is another nail in the phones-in-school/college coffin. It’s interesting because its writers see the direction of travel in the UK, and want to follow. Nice that it’s that way around for a change.

We get to hear from Doug Lemov, get a balanced response from Liz Kolb, and learn what Yondr pouches are. Oh, and the coolest thing: the article references a paper about phone use and test scores whose title is Ill Communication. If you know, you know.

Portal Talk...

Just a quick one this week - remember, we’re looking for creative teachers to help develop our new slides. If you are interested you should be familiar with the VESPA model, and will be confident creating engaging and creative Slide Decks, similar to those we have been sharing recently. The work will be on a freelance basis and you will be paid per deck you create. The decks will be created in so some knowledge of this / or html would be useful, but certainly not essential.

If you are interested please email - [email protected] and we will get back to you.

Our latest offer...

OK! Very last call for Monday’s session. ‘Building Student Aspiration’ is our latest free webinar. It’s a session suitable for KS4 or 5 staff that explores how we can use tutorials/lessons to encourage students’ future-thinking, future-readiness, university aspiration and cultural capital. There’ll be practical ideas you can use straight away in class. Details:

Building Student Aspiration: Monday 12th February, 3:40-4:40pm, Zoom

If you want the link, email [email protected] and we’ll send it through. We won’t be recording the session, but we will likely run it twice.

And that’s it for now. Two days of freedom are upon us! Unless you’re teaching in Wales… in which case you have nine. Nine.

Enjoy! All the best to you and yours,

Tony, Martin and Steve

p.s. Another great piece urging us all to stop waiting to be picked, by the master of possibility, Seth Godin