The Standard

The Standard is our termly newsletter aiming to support and inspire our teachers to reach greater heights. This was introduced in December 2015. Feedback was fantastic from our staff and many teachers volunteered to contribute to future newsletters. Here are some of the best bits.

Pensby T&L newsletter December 2014

The use of positive language in the classroom and its effect on learning

•This session reminded us of the power of our language. 

 •What teachers say and how it is said will have a significant impact on pupils. 

•We look at how a simple shift in language may have the desired effect. 

Making your mark

Teacher - Pupil dialogue

• Sometimes it can be hard to get pupils to respond to the feedback and marking. Why not try using post it tabs?

•It reminds the student that there is something they need to respond to in their books. It also reminds you to check they have responded next time you collect their books in.

Pensby T&L newsletter April 2015

Planning Questions

These questions are simple, but too often they are not answered in the planning for learning. Too often learning is pitched at too low a level and lessons do not have high enough expectations. Every lesson should at least have these questions answered. On this sheet or in another format. 

This is not about a detailed lesson plan, this needs to be manageable and purposeful.


 Encourage pupils to "feedforward". Before starting a new task get them to write their previous target from the teacher feedback at the top of the page.


Pensby T&L newsletter July 2015

Student Support Centre

The new student support centre will aim to meet the needs of the individual pupils. The needs could be related to learning, behaviour, emotional, physical and/or social aspects. However, the appropriate support will be conducted and monitored in a structured way, and will by no means be on a 'drop-in' or 'ad-hoc' basis.

The Student Support Centre will be tailored to meet the needs of the pupils.

Pensby T&L newsletter December 2015

New look CPD - WHY?

Whilst externally delivered INSET can be useful, often it is costly and the benefits are poorly disseminated. External CPD can inform but even with the best intentions there is little evidence to show the impact of INSET over time.

For too long teachers have feared intrusion into their classrooms; felt fearful of unfavourable comparison with their peers; adopted strategies to conceal their concern that they may not be good enough. Teaching is an arduous and stressful job. No-one is excellent all of the time. We are all human beings who sometimes feel under par; at times like this our delivery can suffer. The biggest resource we have is each other. It is in this spirit that the triad coaching internal CPD has been developed

Pensby T&L newsletter April 2016

No hands rule

A no hands rule has now been introduced. We have been working hard within our triads to become more confident with using this technique. Here is a reminder of what it is all about.

•The process involves choosing a student at random who provides the answer. As it could be anyone, students naturally need to be paying attention. 

•The 'not knowing if it is me' scenario is an easy way to keep most students involved in the lesson. 


•We are calling on what we perceive to be high achievers or more able to get an answer whilst actually missing the high achievers who aren't responding. •Same students answering - only gaining a few students insight 

•Not allowing pupils to think because we give them the answer •Engagement

What to do when they say 

"I don't know"

If questioning begins with a student unable (or unwilling) to answer a question then questioning should end with that student giving the right answer as often as possible, even if it is only to repeat the correct answer.

No Opt Out!

No Hands Rule Help!

•After targeting questioning, say "would anyone like to develop any answers we've heard?" to give super keen beans the chance to say things or they can get really frustrated. 

•Get an observer to record on a tally chart where you direct questions in the room. This can be revealing about the distribution. You could even give a pupil a secret mission. 

•If you tend to question from the same spot in your classroom, try moving about. Teachers seem to ask those pupils seated in sort of "shifting spotlight" in front of them. By moving to different area of the room you are likely to ask a wider range of pupils.

•Try random name generators to add some fun to your lesson. 

 •Use red, amber and green AFL cards as a visual display for the teacher to see if a question has been asked. 

Pensby T&L newsletter December 2015

Marking: What's New?

The new Pensby High School Marking Policy will be put in place from September. There have been some key changes in light of the March 2016 review of teacher workload and marking.

Key points

  • Marking should serve a single purpose - to advance pupil progress and outcomes. 
  • The quantity of feedback should not be confused with the quality. The quality of the feedback, however given, will be seen in how a pupil is able to tackle subsequent work.

  • Marking should be meaningful, manageable and motivating. 

Top Twitter Finds

Twitter is a fantastic way of finding new ideas for the classroom. Each edition dedicates a double page spread to highlighting some of the best ideas. 

These speeding violations from @Geoisamazing are a great idea and aim to help improve presentation, spelling and grammar.