#LightningStrike – King

As published in the Lightning Strike magazine, Sept 2017


Kevin King has joined Lightning from Gap, who were the French champions last season. The Canadian right winger has worn a letter of responsibility several times over his career and is looking to bring a level of leadership to his role on the new team.   On signing the forward, Pete Russell said, “I’m really pleased to have signed Kevin King; I went after Kevin in March – he was one of my top targets. Kevin is a powerful player and plays hard every night. He is comfortable in the middle or on the wing and has put good numbers up on every team he has played on. The strength of our locker room will be key to us having a successful season and …the signing of King, forms a fantastic foundation for our future.”


Having played his first ten professional seasons in Canada, with a couple of games on loan to Texas Stars in the AHL, I was curious as to why King decided to come and play hockey first in France and then in the UK? “I just felt that the opportunities in Canada were running out for me,” he explained. “I didn’t necessarily like the business aspect of the hockey, I think people forget about that. I heard a lot of great things about Europe, I think that it’s a great opportunity to grow as person and as a player and have many new experiences. I decided to go to France last year and had one of my most enjoyable years of hockey ever. Winning the league helped for sure! Then I had contact with Pete Russell and had the opportunity to come and visit Milton Keynes at the end of last season, so I got to see the facilities and meet the coach. I went with my gut and felt like this was another great opportunity and that this was the start of something special. We’ve put together a strong group of guys, based around how they are as people before how they are as players.”


As well as King, Lightning have signed two of his team mates from Gap last season – Kyle Essery and Christian Isackson who both also play as forwards. I wondered how much of a benefit it was going to be this season, icing alongside familiar players. “Obviously, we’ve played together for a full season so we have chemistry and we know what to expect from each other, whether we’re playing on a line together or not,” King said. “Off the ice, we know what we expect too. There are some good leadership qualities in both of those guys, and they know what it takes to win. I’ve had the privilege of winning a championship before the one in France, the WHL Championship with Kootenay Ice in 2010, but I think last year was the first time for both of them. Just having that experience of winning, it’s hard to explain but it’s different to the years that you don’t. Sometimes it’s unexplainable, other times you can put your finger on it. Having those guys come too it’s a comfortable thing as well, so it helps with the initial start-up of living – at the rink and the gym, that comfort helps a lot.”


Living and playing in a new country, in a team new to the league, what are you looking forward to this season? “Today (meet the players) has solidified it, but there is so much excitement about the move to the Elite League, the fans seem super excited, the players are excited, the coach and the staff too. Riding that excitement out will be a great reminder that this is fun, obviously there’s going to be hard work, there’s going to be ups and downs but the excitement within us and surrounding us is going to remind us that hockey is fun, not just for us players but for everybody!”


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#LightningStrike – Griffin

As published in the Lightning Strike magazine, Sept 2017


Brit defenseman James Griffin returns for his third season in Lightning colours, having originally signed on a two-way contract with Coventry Blaze. Previously he had played five seasons with the Blaze in the Elite League, joining the team at the tender age of 17. I caught up with Griff to see how he felt about the challenge of being back in the Elite league, and how he feels he has developed as a player during his time in the EPL.


Why did you decide to stay with Lightning this season? Was it an easy decision to make?

“To me it was a no brainer,” Griffin said. “I was asked to come back and play in the Elite league, and it was just perfect for me. I didn’t even look anywhere else, I just signed!”


He says that he is looking forward to playing in the Elite league for a second time, and explained how the time spent playing in the English Premier League has developed him as a player. “It’s made me more mature as I took on a bigger role as an EPL player. I had more of a role on the team and more responsibilities on the ice, which helped me develop and grow as both a player and as a person. I’m more patient on the puck, hopefully!” And your hits? He pauses then continues, “I go to hit and sometimes it doesn’t come off right, but that’s what happens when you go at someone at speed!”


With the move to Elite comes a raft of import players, which means that Griffin moves down the pecking order in terms of defensemen. Does this reduction in ice time worry him and will it affect his game?  “I’m fine with being 6th D. We have three lines of defence which hopefully we will roll all the time. There will be situations where I don’t play, and I understand that. That’s where I’ve got more mature, if I’d been put in that position when I was playing in Coventry I’d have been annoyed, but it’s better for the team and the other players”, he reflects. “You bring in imports to be good, and better than me. I can learn from the import players and develop my game further.”


Moving back to the Elite league means a chance to play teams you’ve not seen for a while. Where are your favourite places to go? “My favourite rink is Sheffield. I love playing in Belfast as the city is great to visit, and Nottingham have a great rink. Edinburgh has got…character, it’s a lovely city to visit! I’m looking forward to the triple header weekend, they have been good fun before.”


Playing at Elite level means having on ice training pretty much every day, as well as needing to find time to go to the gym. On top of this, Griffin is studying Graphic Design at Coventry University, and somehow needs to find time to study as well. He explained, “I’ll be training in the morning and trying to fit my university work into the afternoon. Hopefully I’ll get a sports scholarship again this year, so that the team can help by talking to my lecturers. As long as I get the work in, and I can do my coursework at home, I’ll be fine! I’ve done so many courses.  I was later than most people going to university, as I wanted to play hockey. if someone asked me now, I’d have gone to university at 18 and played hockey after! At the time though, when Thomo (Paul Thompson, former head coach of Coventry Blaze) asked me to play hockey I thought that if I declined then I wouldn’t get another opportunity. Looking back at it, at where I am now, I wouldn’t be here I’d still be playing at a lower level.”

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#OnFire – Doucet

Unedited – as published in OnFire, Sept 2017


Guillaume Doucet made the unusual decision to move from the Elite League and Challenge Cup Champions, Cardiff Devils, to spend a season with one of the new teams to the league, Milton Keynes Lightning. He’s had a varied experience as a player, having played in the UK, France and Denmark since leaving McGill University.


Why did you want to come and play hockey in Europe? Doucet explained, “I knew I wanted to try the experience of living in a different country with different cultures, food and people, to meet new people and travel the world, and I thought that playing hockey would be the best way to do that. I knew I wanted to travel from a young age, so as soon as I graduated from playing college hockey in North America I tried to find a spot over here. I ended up in France and I loved it. My plan was to come to Europe for one or two years and I’m still here, six years later!


Which has been your favourite country to live and work in? “I think that hockey wise, job wise, the UK is a good fit for me,” said Doucet. “It’s more suited to my style of play, as it’s more North American, which is what I am good at. I was able to have two good seasons here with Cardiff, so now it’s easier for me to get a job, and I know people here, so that helps. Culture wise, France was nice. The food is good, the scenery is awesome and I love France. I met my girlfriend in Denmark, so Denmark was nice too. She was here with me last season in Cardiff and she’s here with me this year too.”


As you mentioned, you had two good seasons with the Devils, getting over 30 points each season, so why did you choose to move on from a trophy winning side? “It was not an easy decision. We had a great season last year, and I enjoyed my time in Cardiff,” he said. “I was at a point in my career where I wanted a little more responsibility, a little more action. The way that Pete approached me and what he was trying to build here in Milton Keynes was something that I felt that I could help and be a part of. It’s a good challenge to start from something new and turn it into something good, something successful. It was a hard decision that became easy as I thought about it. The location being so close to London means I can try something different, something new. I play hockey to try new things, so I thought it was a good fit.”


How is your experience of playing in the Elite league going to help the team? “I have already been using my off-ice experiences to help the players who are new to the country to sort things like paying their council tax and getting Wi-Fi! Hockey wise, I’m hoping that I can play like I usually play, and help them with the little things. I feel like I know most of the guys in the league, the rinks, and most of the refs. I’m hoping that I can prevent some stuff and help when the issues happen.”


Are you excited for the team and looking forward to the season? “Building something from scratch is exciting. It’s a completely different ball game to the team last year, I’m not sure people realise the Elite league is so different. That’s going to be something I’m looking forward to, and the challenges that we will have to face.”


Finally, some people have been keen to write off the chances of both of the new teams in the league before the players have even stepped onto the ice. How do you feel Lightning will do this season? “I think we have a chance to win the conference,” Doucet said. “In this league, on any night anybody can beat anybody. If you don’t show up, I don’t care who you are, you are going to lose a game. This is what the Elite League is now. On paper, Coventry and Manchester have a good team. It’s not going to be easy for us to win the conference, but if you don’t have high expectations you are not going to achieve anything. We have to expect to win the conference and we’ll see what happens. It depends on how well the team gels, there’s a lot of factors to think about.”

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AQA Entry Level – Biology 2

Scheme of work and accompanying worksheets for AQA Entry Level unit 4 – Chemistry in our World. Designed to be taught in 3x45min lessons a week, and to take a term. Assumes you have access to expected lab equpiment

Based on Exploring Science textbooks. Not all worksheets are my own, a majority have been found on TES and remodelled slightly to suit the needs of our students.

Biology Environment evolution and inheritance

1 SAPS – Bubbling Cabomba pondweed – student sheet

1a SAPS – Bubbling Cabomba pondweed – technical notes

2 Animal adaptations

3 plant adaptations

4 creature design

5 pyramid of biomass

6 Food webs

7 Decay

8 Competition between plants

9 How fossils are formed

10 Factsheet – Fossils

11 Darwin-Storybook

12 sticky dogs

13 peppered moth

14 Peppered moth Qs and As

15 Gm_organisms

Environment, evolution and inheritance

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Linda – teacher prof development

Effective cpd is a partnership between teachers and slt. Focus,  does it make it better?  How do I know?  Evidence or expertise based?  Collaboration?  Bigger picture at school? 

Lucie – educational doctorate

Need time, finances, support. 

Start with a question,  three research papers,  project,  thesis, 

Need to find a gap in the field of research.  Question everything you read. Supervisor makes a difference, as do colleagues. 

Learn to manage supervisor.  Keep a research diary.  Supervisor and course team will develop skills. 

Looking for volunteers to take part.  Use  Twitter to take part in discussions about teaching contact @yorks_bunny

Liz – teaching about nature of matter during transition

Young people leave education without understanding particulate nature of matter.  Begin to study behaviour of matter in ks2. Huge dip in attainment and interest in secondary transfer.  How do teachers interpret the curriculum in this area? How do students experience curriculum? What is happening in the classroom? Ks2 and ks3 documents are not similar. 

Going to survey teachers,  analyse documents and teacher materials,  case studies. How to help – complete a survey,  link to follow. Short interview.  Must teach ks2 or 3, all sectors of education @oboelizzy

Stuart – Iop. Looking at teacher learning

How important is the role of knowledge of others to help teachers learn? 

What is the essential knowledge for someone coming into teaching?  What should you look out for and identify during an observation week? 

Katherine-  gratnell #learningrooms

Looking at a child’s journey through school.  Focus on physical environment and impact on learning.  Labs and prep rooms need to be planned for learning. 

How does space we teach in affect learning outcomes?  How much control do teachers have over learning spaces?

Sarah – finding out what students know (questioning) 

Hinge questions…. those that determine where your lesson is going next.  Questions should not be too wordy.  Multiple choice responses can show a increase in difficulty to check understanding.  True or false statements.  Easier to write when in teams with a range of experience.  Quality of questions is important. 

 Need to allocate time in departmental meetings for collaboration. 

Finding out where students are stuck is the key.  Hinge questions should show benefits as students get unstuck

Alistair – research informed curriculum development 

Best evidence science teaching-  new curriculum project for ks3. Four main strands focusing on engagement,  practical work,  assessment and effective teaching of difficult ideas. 

Looking for some partner schools to run trials and give feedback bestevidencescienceteaching.org

Use of written questions to assess practical skills, research project.  Looking for partner schools

Linda – technician conference 

Some ideas for science club activities. Discussion about how to make these more likely to involve science learning and how to extend this learning

Richard – practical 

Using predict,  observe,  explain to get students thinking about practical experiments

Born to engineer website.  Worth a look on stem learning website 

Helen-  writing or compiling tests

For aqa activate.  Writing questions and compiling tests. 

When compiling tests need the outcome to help discriminate between students.  Consider language and phrasing,  start with the answer and craft the question from  there,  working as a team helps. 

Need to look at spec to identify questions.  Use real data.  Keep questions short  and wording clear. 

Alex – using video to teach teachers

When showing video have questions to respond to.  Do teachers have enough time to read?  Videos are quicker.  Nustem.co.uk

Has a spreadsheet with all #asechat tweets.  Lots of uses. Ask for info. Use if this then that

Learningscientists.org put the topics you are teaching and how long you want to take,  to set these tests as homework.  Forgetting curves. Blog is really good for resources and cognitive science. Especially strategies for revision

Mary-  electricity 

Does the colour of insulation on a wire matter?  Easier to see the circuit if use one colour.  Add parallel in different colours.

Use colours of spectrum to label electrical potential of each wire,  red highest potential, violet lowest. Draw circuit with cells on side to highlight potential difference

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AQA Entry level – Chemistry 4

Scheme of work and accompanying worksheets for AQA Entry Level unit 4 – Chemistry in our World. Designed to be taught in 3x45min lessons a week, and to take a term. Assumes you have access to expected lab equpiment

Based on Exploring Science textbooks. Not all worksheets are my own, a majority have been found on TES and remodelled slightly to suit the needs of our students. (and I’ve just spotted two worksheet 19s. damn)

Chemistry – chemistry in our worldChemistry in our world

1 Make your own indicator


3 comparing reactivity

4 Acid with metals

5 making salts

6 acid + allkali

7 Reactions of Carbonates Practical Sheet

8 Exothermic and Endothermic Reactions

9 combustion

10 concentration

11 temperature

12 surface area

13 catalysts

14 atmosphere

15 Fractional Distillation

16 Fractional Distilliation Cut and Stick

17 global warming cartoons

18 Greenhouse Cloze

19 filtration

19 Modeling the Greenhouse Effect

20 Distillation

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AQA Entry Level – Physics 6

Scheme of work and accompanying worksheets for AQA Entry Level unit 6 – Electricity, Magnetism and Waves. Designed to be taught in 3x45min lessons a week, and to take a term.

Based on Exploring Science textbooks. Not all worksheets are my own, a majority have been found on TES and remodelled slightly to suit the needs of our students.

Physics Electricity magnetism and waves

1 measuring current

2 measuring voltage

3 Alternating Current and Direct Current

4 how a powerstation works

5 the plug

6 How fuses work

7 calculating bills

7a bill

8 calculating cost of electricity

9 magnets

10 magnetic field lines

11 strength of electromagnet

12 uses of electromagnets

13 reflection refraction

15 wave equation

16 Electromagnetic Spectrum

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