Monthly Archives: Sep 2014

Humans in space

This week we were looking at humans in space, and what we might need.

We started off packing our imaginary suitcases – there were some good answers and some not so. Welly boots highlighted, again, the lack of vocabulary, while waterproofs seemed a bit extreme!

There were some good discussions about what we did really need, and there were some unimpressed students when I told them how little they were allowed to take.

We watched some videos from the ISS (thanks, youtube!) and enjoyed thinking about floating in space.

From there a brief discussion about sending robots (who apparently need to be able to change their own oil) and solar panels – quite a few students have these on their houses, so that was a useful starting point.


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What It’s Not

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

Inclusion is a funny thing that seems to mean all sorts of different things to different people, so I thought I’d put together a list for those of us who have special people in their lives, be that professionally or personally; you know those people who find it difficult to learn things or have specific disabilities.

  1. It’s not saying that everyone is welcome and then being flummoxed as to what to do with them when they turn up and sticking them in a corner or out in the corridor with a Special Helper and a box of cars or an iPad.
  2. It’s not having the exact same expectations for them as for the rest of the class/group, all in the name of aspiration.
  3. It’s not letting them get away with whatever they please because, aww, look at them, they haven’t got much, or they can’t understand, or they can’t process…

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We moved on from Planets this week, well some of us did. Some of the students are still getting to grips with the names of the planets. It’s not as easy as teaching new concepts in a Special School – you also have to teach the vocabulary, and without the vocabulary you aren’t going to get the concepts. If only everyone understood that…

So, we started by making a scale model of the solar system, right the way down the top corridor. Sun at one end, Neptune at the other and the rest of the students, sorry – planets, at about the right distance from the sun for scale. Shouting questions down the corridor – are you hot/cold? dark/light? has helped reinforce the concept of scale of the solar system. The planet symbols (why does Communicate in Print put a ring on each of the planets??) have been left stuck up high in the corridor. We will return.

We then moved on to the other contents of the universe – Activate book 1 was very good for this – and we have again, learnt new vocabulary.

Now, if you could just tell me where Gallifrey and Zog fit in to the plan of the Solar System, that would be really helpful!

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#100WCGU #148 – seaside

This week, the prompt was ‘…as the waves gently lapped…’


Finally, a week to myself and a chance to go somewhere to recharge. Living so far from the sea, a beach trip seemed like the obvious thing to do, so off to the South Coast it was, for some walking and to spend time near the water.
After checking in I set off for the Coastal Path, a chance to be on the very edge of the country.
It was so late the sun was setting and I stopped to watch the horizon. As the waves gently lapped I sat mesmerised, not noticing that the tide was coming in around me and I was getting wet!


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I used to think… by @ASTSupportaali


After running my first training session of the year for the NQTs in my school today, I shared with them things that I do not remember hearing during my first training session as an NQT. (8 years ago…)

After the session I walked over to the classroom of a fellow AST and said…

Well that was strange. I just shared things that I never thought I would be.

So, in this short post I would like to share thoughts I genuinely and honestly used to think and practice.

I now know different. (Mostly thanks to Twitter.)

I used to think…

  • Differentiation meant a separate worksheet for all my students
  • Writing a lengthy lesson plan will impress my observer
  • ALL lessons had to be fun
  • Being liked was more important than following through with a sanction at times
  • If people didn’t work as hard as me they didn’t care
  • Lessons had…

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