Monthly Archives: May 2012

Can you display. The hexagons and mark scheme please?

Key stage 3 internal assessments for years 7 and 8 this week. So each assessment that involves extended writing includes a levelled mark scheme which is. Shared with classes as part of the Pre-assessment revision lesson.
Over the last today’s revision classes with year 7 sets have included work with the mark scheme. Then the two key aspects – a labelled diagram and written piece are explored further using hexagons of the skills and expectations against the target levels for the particular teaching group.

For one group today as the assessment was taken the mark scheme, generic hexagon groupings and countdown timer were displayed using the IWB and requested by another group for tomorrow’s assessment.

The best aspect of the exercise has been the development of key terms. Use of a mark scheme to identify skill needs and a series of questions from a range of pupils – in conclusion I need to develop the use of SOLO further.

Digital leaders and explorers – first meeting

Tuesday 29th May 2012 – a momentous day for me as I held. My first formal meeting with my new digital team. We discussed a range of points, the team introduced themselves to everyone else. Tasks before next meeting after half term:
– design logo for group and in school badges to wear on a house coloured lanyard to indicate digital. Leader role – school credits on offer as reward for entries and winner
– sir to sort transport for Kidsmeet at Goldington, Bedford on 20/6/12 – the group were ok about leading a table discussion and very interested
– next meeting to watch and give constructive feedback on the 8 successful applications
– start to develop group minute taking knowledge and skills
– sir to set up access alongside staff to cross curricular room on school’s Fronter MLE and links to meeting record ( done 😀 and link to included and notes from meeting in a collaborative Fronter document

Possibilities of In-school. Developments re. New IWBs, champion MLE status, sir talking to borough primary ICT leaders re. DLs and much much more. Meeting was scheduled for half hour, last group left after 60 minutes.

This group have do much potential, more to follow.

SOLO revision at Key stage 3 – day 2

Ok yesterday’s jump to SOLO stations was too far too soon for my year 9 groups.As the day progressed I had modified the activity and differentiated by ability and “characters”.

So day two, a simpler approach – year 9 back to their comfort zone seating plan – using a mix of revision styles explicitly – passive, active and ask the teacher. Structure was more rigid and they were clearly more comfortable.

Use of SOLO hexagons to demonstrate on Activboard (IWB) how to develop a written answer from level 4 to 5 to 6 and 7 where applicable. The structure of coloured hexagons shared on the board evoked some very good discussions.

Year 7 revising for an assessment using labelled diagrams and a written element also responded well to the use of hexagons to develop diagram and written answers. I also added simplistic levelled diagram examples of a waterfall.lots of discussion provoked, use of key terms eg.differentiate between label and annotate.

The extra was recapping on topic by scrolling back through each group’s flipchart to share previous lessons – the joy and ease which technology helps. A good day…

How do we set up a department blog?

Last week the PE department were asking about Twitter accounts. Today, a request for guidance on blogging – I love this new enthusiasm in school, maybe the cracks are opening up. It was good to refer colleagues back to particular twitter feeds and followings.

So saw my HoD to shame him into doing something – oh I leave all that up to you! The problem with being the keenie and did make the point that my personal blogging and tweeting is fairly exhaustive, but heh our department needs a formal presence – so something to work on ( join a large list!).

I just have to note this collaboration (sharing) with others has rejuvenated my enthusiasm for the job and I thank my blog readers and twitter pals especially, plus of course the slightly guerilla-mad geocollective to.

Twitter spreads its wings

The first department to go live onTwitter is our PE department – well done to the team. Now I have a way of publicising all the rowing club achievements.

Digital wannabes

Brief lunchtime meeting, certificates issued including in-school credits. When is the best time to meet? We decide Tuesday’s after school and schedule first meeting for tomorrow. Then some of the interested who did not apply in time enquire about being involved,so the concept of Digital explorers is hatched and the experience can bemused as part of their application in the Autumn half term application round 2.

More details after our first meeting …..

Solo SOLO or how did it go?

Woke early full of enthusiasm. Got to school and printed off the resources, rearranged the room into the four stations. Used three times in various guess today.

First lesson
Mixed response. Passive, active and ask the teacher worked well, especially the latter on second rotation. Kinetic was too big a leap from previous practice – fair play. Next lesson will include using hexagons to demonstrate links in developing more comprehensive written answer.

First lesson of the. Afternoon
Energy drinks, humidity did not help. The girls responded better than the boys. Active and ask the teacher worked better, but on second round was advising on station to consider. Again second lesson will follow modified pattern above.

Last lesson. Of he day – stifling and at least one dispute transferred from previous lesson. Didn’t offer kinetic this time but active got a lot of variety in speed and accuracy of answers.

Not the success I had hoped for but several areas to go away and develop for complete unit delivery based on SOLO to trial after half term.


Saturday, we established #geogsolo. By the end of the evening a set of hexagon linked flipcharts to help yr 7 revise this week – see #geogsolo post. Today as family drove down to Kent I produced a keynote presentation to lead a SOLO stations revision approach with yr 9 for their end of year exam. So presentation ready – what resources do I need to make?

SOLO poster – that’s ok there’s the Comic Life app one from @EV_Sport.


Hexagons – blank – hmm tried a few ideas for this @thegeophyte in Melbourne, Australia had posted hexagon templates on her blog.

20120527-230002.jpg then hexagon presentation from @geogjo I think provided an opportunity to save as keynote, remove text leaving another template.


Tracking sheet – based on original from NZ edited to include pupil details and topic of focus.

So now presentation for starter is ready by the end of the afternoon it. Had been requested and shared with colleagues in Australia, Abu Dhabi, Salisbury, London … Wow an exhilarating feeling.

Late return from beach and time to complete lesson plan to link SOLO resources.

Monday – test in class…

Digital Leaders appointed

The Digital Leader decision has been made.

Friday 25th May was the day to sit down with the 8 applicants. Five video entries submitted on YouTube and three PowerPoints. I sat and reviewed the evidence and decided to select all the applicants who met the deadline.

How should the results be announced? The Head was e-mailed to check she was ok with my decision. She was and then read the list out over the school “Bing Bong” at the end of afternoon school Friday. The successful pupils met myself and the Head, were duly congratulated. Their names will be displayed on the schools’ digital signage next week. A notice is to go on the news section of the school website.

So, one year 7 and 7 year 8s. Our first task to meet on Monday lunchtime to identify their first challenge (I can’t tell you until they’ve been briefed!). Then we need to see how many would be able to attend the Kidsmeet being arranged at Goldington. academy, Bedford on the 20th June.

The Head took away details of the applications on Friday night and viewed them – she sent a very enthusiastic response.



Saturday 26 May – a day where Twitter demonstrated its ability to encourage development through like minded individuals. Chats today started with commenting on friends work rate, then an idea to get geographers interested in the use of SOLO taxonomy to develop resources together. This became too large a list – time for a hashtag# #geographysolo became #geogsolo.

So we formed a new collaboration and moved on- No. We discussed how to discuss online possibilities included Skype, Collaborate through VITAL CPD and decided to start with a Twitter chat. So then we had time zone discussions with participants from the UK, Abu Dhabi and Australia – later to be joined by Virginia, USA.

The outcome – join us on Twitter at 12pm GMT on Saturday 16th June 2012.

Amazing and I was then enthused to develop my own SOLO practice this week with revision work.