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5 on Sunday musings

Updated: May 18, 2022

Sharing 5 ideas / resources / links / commentary / work life on a Sunday. Sunday is for musing and reflecting and then relaxing. Reset for the week ahead. Think positively about what has been achieved. These are my 5 for the week before heading out for the day. Enjoy!

1 Maps (& knowledge maps)

Maps: Every classroom should make excellent use of a wide variety of maps. In EYFS that might mean placing small world animal figures on a map spread out on the floor to show where animals can be found in their natural habitat, in Year 4 it might mean learning how to use a map in the middle of a nonfiction text text about the Roman Empire, in Year 4 it might mean comparing maps in order to make connections between the resources of a country and climate maps and graphs.

Chelsea shared an excellent idea of tracking topic knowledge about the world on wall maps. Social media is such a great way to celebrate the work of individuals and schools.

Teach pupils how to read maps, images, cutaways, diagrams, charts, graphs...

How are you using maps? Has your geography leader had the opportunity to run a twilight training session for staff recently on using maps? Has your reading leader contributed to training on using a wide range of nonfiction features? How are you using maps in school?

2 Leadership prompts

This thinking framework for decisions by TCEA is a great tool, particularly at this time of year when leadership teams are starting to think about school improvement plans for the coming academic year. Laminate it, give everyone in SLT a copy, use it in meetings.

You can download a printable copy here:

decision map printable
Download PDF • 67KB

3 EYFS videos DfE

If the senior leadership team need a flavour of EYFS developments then the video clips produced by DfE may be a useful prompt for discussion and governors might also find them useful.

If EYFS colleagues have not watched the DfE video clips then perhaps they might do this in a meeting / twilight. There are a series of recorded meetings related to moderation and end of year assessments - stressing the value of 'professional conversation' and 'teacher understanding of the child'.

There is a series of video clips on the new framework which emphasise:

  • freeing up adults to be interacting and playing with pupils,

  • maximise the use of provision through adults,

  • building vocabulary and language,

  • love of books and use of texts,

  • focused and meaningful adult led activities,

  • appreciating some of the changes to the wider curriculum.

The two series go hand-in-hand as only by spending less time on creating profiles and written assessments can adults have more time to be actively engaged in teaching and learning!

4 Book purchase, black out poems and word collections

This week's book purchase was the Oxford Dictionary of Synonyms and Antonyms. I think any KS2 teacher would find this a useful book, particularly to support new vocabulary development. Pick a word...and set off on a journey.

I have already used it to inspire a black out word picture about summer (based on a simple wikipedia search for summer).

Sunny adjective 1) bright, sunlit, clear, fine, cloudless. 2) cheerful, cheery, happy, bright, merry, bubbly, jolly. Doesn't a sunny day make you feel all this?

5 Spending time finishing videos

It has been a busy week finishing filming and editing sections of online courses. Video tutorials take quite a lot of time to produce, but if it means that many schools can access the tutorials at affordable prices then it is all worth while! My expertise is loving poured into designing courses, producing resources that I think will help classroom teachers, writing audits and checklists to benefit leaders, writing think pieces to help disseminate research...

Online learning can also be paired with live zoom sessions to support leaders and teachers. The last couple of weeks have been training sessions with DHTs new to role, half-day sessions with four excellent AHTs who are working together to improve their effectiveness, and 1:1 hour long sessions with subject leaders focusing on reflecting and thinking forward to the next academic year.

To work in the online world means constantly learning new IT skills, such as adding my photo to video thumbnails. Life on line has its pros and cons. One benefit is that I can be anywhere and we are still loving our nomadic lifestyle around the UK.

Get in touch to find out more about live sessions or for online courses you can also visit the new shop (another IT development :-))


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