Friday Mindset #81

Free resources, fresh ideas, sessions and offers

Happy Friday, wonderful people.

We're nearly there. One more issue after this, then we, like you, will be taking a well-earned fortnight away from the classroom.

You might be wondering if, exhausted by everything, we've let standards slip this week. And the answer is a resounding... 'maybe, but we've been rescued by Daniel.' It sounds cryptic at the moment, folks, but it's going to make perfect sense in a sentence or two.

Let's dive in...

Something to try...

We've had a lovely email from an Assistant Head of Sixth Form recently.

Daniel Green, who helps run a comprehensive school sixth form in Wales, has overcome structural and timetabling challenges by - ingeniously - turning some of our VESPA activities into insightful, meditative 'thought-for-the-day' sound files so that tutor groups can all listen and reflect. They're short, one-to-two minute long talks, and we've found them really good listens. We've chatted with Daniel and he's very generously allowed us to share some. Such is the supportive spirit of the teaching community. Thanks so much Daniel!

We'll be back with more next week (hope that's OK Daniel) but let's begin with this pair of beauties. Enjoy - and get inspired by - Daniel's calm and measured delivery as he covers...

  1. Creative problem solving and the importance of limitations:

2. The Lead Domino:

Something we're reading...

Professor of Psychology Stephanie Mazza - along with a large team of researchers at the University of Lyon - are responsible for this week's paper. We've gone through this beauty with a fine-tooth comb for you. 

Mazza looks at whether a group of kids who learn material at 9pm, sleep, then test themselves at 9am (the "sleep" group) outperform a group of kids who learn the material at 9am, go about their day, then test themselves at 9pm (the "wake" group.)

It has fascinating implications for verbatim recall at the moment, not inference but might help kids get past blockages where they "just can't seem to remember the basic facts." The full paper is here:

...but, not content with simply slinging it your way, we've created a word doc that summarises the main discoveries for you. (It's already inspired a new VESPA activity called 'The Overnight Boost' which we're testing with students... it's not ready to share yet.) The summary of Mazza-et-al's paper can be found here:

Portal Talk...

As promised last week here is a video, with instructions of how to recieve a merged PDF of all your student reports. These can be easily printed, and distributed to students, parents and staff.  This function will be available to all subscribers to the VESPA Academy portal free of charge until the end of the academic year. 

VESPA Report Printing

Community Resources on the VESPA Portal

A little known feature on the VESPA Portal is our "Community Chat" feature on our resources page. This feature can be found below the slide, entitled "Join the Discussion", see below

"Join the Discussion"

This is a unique feature which allows all subscribers to the platform to add their thoughts and comments about each activity.  These comments can be read by other users delivering the same activity, to provide additional context and delivery suggestions.  The comments are currently a bit sparse so if you are using the platform to deliver student activities please remember to add a comment to help others using the same resource!

Our latest offer...

Spring clean! We're updating our training offer on the website. The usual staff sessions are there:

...but you'll also find some new student sessions, which can be found by clicking the link below:

We are currently offering our student webinar sessions at a 10% discount for all sessions booked in March. 


If they look at all interesting, say hello at [email protected] and we can discuss trying to fit you in. (There's a lot already booked up, but a few dates left at the time of writing.) Have a browse, see if there's anything there you like the look of!

And that's it for now friends. Get yourself out into your VW Passat, put on your Rage Against the Machine playlist, crank it up high and drive home at a stately 30 miles per hour, nodding in a restrained manner to the beats. We know how to get a weekend started...

All the best to you and yours,

Martin, Steve and Tony

p.s. Having difficulty accessing the resources in these newsletters? School firewalls sometimes block them. Try taking it home and opening it there.