Friday Mindset #83

Free resources, fresh ideas, sessions and offers

Happy Friday folks.

The new term is still only five days old and feels full of promise. So, safe in the knowledge it's all going to implode in the next few weeks, let's take a moment to rest, reflect and enjoy the start we've made.

Brew up. Snaffle those final shards of easter egg, and let's dive in.

Something to try...

This image is a good one to share at this time of year. It's an attempt to encourage students to see revision as more than the passive collection and rote-learning of information, and instead make them consider the kind of revision activities that turn information into knowledge; the active tasks that require us to operate at the edge of our ability.

It's been the basis of some good classroom conversations for us. Maybe it'll be useful for you too! A fifteen minute session might start without the revision strategies included - students could speculate about what revision strategies are best suited to (i) gathering information as opposed to (ii) turning information into knowledge.

And kids could critically assess how much time they've been spending under each column. Chances are they're not yet 'connecting dots', they're still focussed on 'collecting dots'...

Something we're reading...

We couldn't help but double-take when we saw this in The Times over the weekend...

We needed to find out more, and we've been digging ever since. Heads up: we haven't yet found the study quoted above. But we have started exploring Pekrun's work. He's been in the field a long time, and a 2017 paper he produced at the University of Munich (he's at Essex now) has been an interesting read.

It's a complex study, so rather than throw everything at you, we've summarised the introduction, where some interesting concepts are defined. The illustration added - we use the term loosely! - is ours, for the sake of clarity. There's something in this study, for sure - we're going to keep digging and share what we find next week too. For now, here's the opening...

What struck us was the importance of trying to engender the emotions in the top right quadrant - and how instrumental we are as teachers in creating an atmosphere of enjoyment, hope and pride.

Portal Talk...

Welcome back! As we approach the final run in we have made some changes to the portal so that subscribers now have access to all our front-of-class tutor resources for both Level 2 & Level 3 Students. We figured that both sets of activities contain excellent activities regardless of which level of study students are at, so they are now all available until the end of the year for you to try. Here's a little sneak peak, for those of you who haven't yet seen our resources - one of our practice activities, "Graphic Organisers". It uses a similar concept to the 'something to try' section above, by encouraging students to use graphic depictions of information to "connect the dots". This is a great way to begin the preparation for any final exams:

If you enjoyed that... there are 79 more to explore! If you're interested in finding out more about our portal subscriptions, please use the link below to book a free demo, or contact me at [email protected].

Our latest offer...

You might not have dropped by the website to look at training options recently. We have a brand new student session ready to go. It's designed to be run online, and is delivered by friend of VESPA Dr Jo Phillips (Sheffield University.) It's called 'Preparing for University'. Here's Jo to introduce the session:

"Hello, I'm Jo and after teaching and being a Head of English in Sixth Form and FE Colleges I found my way into lecturing in HE. I have twelve years experience in two different Universities and now teach undergrad and postgrad students, who face all the challenges and demands of university study, responding to these in a wide variety of ways. I support my students through tutorials which give plenty of insights into their experience, which I can pass on to your year 11s and 12s, helping to reassure them about what to expect but also seeking to prepare them for being truly independent and self-motivated learners."

The session has been jointly developed, is an hour long and will be run on Zoom, Teams or as a Google Meet. We think it would suit students at any point in the university application process. It won't go big on VESPA activities - we don't want to duplicate our other sessions - but will emphasise non-cognitive elements of study; habits, strategies and routines... all very compatible with our usual work.

If you're interested, get in touch at the usual address, or fill out a training request form on our website!

And that's it. Polish off your chocolate and head for the door. Fire up a happy playlist, wheel-spin your Corsa out of the playground carpark and speed home in the sunshine.

Have a great weekend, and all the best to you and yours,

Steve, Tony and Martin

p.s. staff CPD sessions for the remainder of this term are nearly full - but there are still some choice June and July dates left. If you or your colleagues need any high-quality, engaging summer CPD, let us know at the usual address!