Sherlock Holmes Worksheet

Just a little cloze exercise that I used with my students.

Mr Sherlock Holmes

In the year _________ I took my degree of ___________ of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the _________________. Having completed my studies there. I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as assistant _____________. The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at ____________, I learned that my ____________ had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the _____________ country. I followed, however, with many officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in __________, where I found my ________, and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought ___________ and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but ________and ___________. I was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail _______________, which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian ____________. I should have fallen into the hands of the __________ Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and __________ shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw me across a __________, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the ___________lines.

Doctor       corps       safety       enemy’s       regiment       disaster       bullet       murderous       courage       artery       pack-horse       British       misfortune       1878       surgeon       Bombay       honours       Army

Full text with the inserted words italicised.

In the year  1878   I took my degree of Doctor  of Medicine of the University of London, and proceeded to Netley to go through the course prescribed for surgeons in the Army. Having completed my studies there. I was duly attached to the Fifth Northumberland Fusiliers as assistant surgeon The regiment was stationed in India at the time, and before I could join it, the second Afghan war had broken out. On landing at Bombay  I learned that my regiment had advanced through the passes, and was already deep in the murderous country. I followed, however, with many officers who were in the same situation as myself, and succeeded in reaching Candahar in safety , where I found my corps , and at once entered upon my new duties. The campaign brought honours and promotion to many, but for me it had nothing but  disaster and misfortune . I was removed from my brigade and attached to the Berkshires, with whom I served at the fatal battle of Maiwand. There I was struck on the shoulder by a Jezail  bullet , which shattered the bone and grazed the subclavian artery. I should have fallen into the hands of the  enemy’s Ghazis had it not been for the devotion and  courage shown by Murray, my orderly, who threw me across a pack-horse, and succeeded in bringing me safely to the  British lines.

Leaders 4 – Managing Resources

Of all the things recently discussed this is the one thing on a daily basis that can become a nightmare particularly as a new manager you are usually left with the previous owners resources which may not suit you and a budget which initially will be non-existent or meagre.

Here are things to help you sort out in your own mind what and how to achieve the best for you, your team and learners.

  1. How will you establish staff and resource needs for the subject and how should requests of this be transmitted/reported/asked/sent to Senior leaders and/ or Headteacher? and by when?
  2. How will you or what is the process to let the Headteacher know about the deployment of your staff within your team and job roles?
  3. How will you ensure the effective and efficient management of resources including technology?
  4. How will you explore and assess the role of new use of resources in your department?
  5. How will you ensure you effectively use the rooms/accommodation that you are in?
  6. How will you ensure at all times that there is a safe working and learning environment?

I hope that some of these things have been useful and if you have any good practice to share please do so on the comments page.

Leaders 3 -Leading and Managing Staff

So you have made it to leading your own team or have being doing so far a while and want to check what you have forgotten.  (I often did that remembered 5/6 things and the sixth would just be waylaid so I had to keep refreshing myself).

It is crucial that you develop a team spirit where everyone helps everyone else to make it right that definitely doesn’t mean blaming anyone. Those working in schools with high blame culture ethos’s eventually start to fail as people are fearful of getting things wrong and let’s be fair in a day many things change and different decision have to be made out of the hundreds of different unexpected decisions that you make over a week if one is wrong then hey ho.  The only thing I would say is that if that person genuinely thought they were doing the right thing and their rationale is believable then its a mistake so we all help to solve it, if not then we are looking to another route i.e. competency but this will be no surprise as you will have already noticed other things that seem out-of-place.

Here are some questions to guide you as you think about your position and leader and manager of your team.

1. How will you help to achieve constructive working relationships with pupils and staff?

2. How ill you sustain your own motivation as well as those of others?

3. How will you sue performance management to improve the effectiveness of all of your team?

4. How will you manage and co-ordinate professional development or new teacher development via INSET, mentoring, coaching, workshops and lesson observation?

5. How will you work with the SEND and or EAL coordinators?

6. What reports do you need to send to Head teacher, Senior Team, Governors, Parents, Pupils about your subjects policies, plan and priorities, subject targets and professional development plans?

Leaders 2 -Strategic Planning and Development

As a leader you will need to ensure all of your teachers and learners receive the same curriculum to the same level using individuals skills, prior experiences and individual personality. Written like this it looks a large task but in reality it is made easier if you think about and follow your response to these questions.

  • How will you develop subject policies then ensure all teachers” commitment to them?
  • How will you ensure the above particularly in relation to high achievement and teaching and learning?
  • How will you maintain a positive attitude towards your subject?
  • What data will you need to collect? How often will it need to be collected? How should it be sued to inform policies, planning, targets and teaching methods.
  • How will you establish short, medium and long-term subject development plans? How will you ensure that:-they contribute to the whole schools aims, that they are based on pupil performance data, identify targets for improvement within your subject and then most importantly ensure that they are understood by everyone involved, parents included.
  • How will you monitor progress made in achieving your subjects development plan and targets?

Leaders 1 – Teaching your subject

As managers of subject areas the following are things to think about to ensure effective teaching and learning.

  1. How will you (as a manager)  ensure curriculum coverage for your learners?
  2. How will you ensure that teachers are clear about the sequence of teaching in the subject and objectives of individual lessons?
  3. How will you provide guidance on choice of appropriate teaching and learning methods?
  4. How will you ensure that there is effective development in all current strategies including literacy, numeracy and technological skills?
  5. How will you establish and implement policies and practices for assessment, recording and reporting learners achievement including target setting?
  6. How will you set targets for a) learners and b) teachers in relation to standards of pupil achievement and quality of teaching?
  7. How will you evaluate the quality of teaching and then how would you use this good practice to improve teaching in your department?
  8. How will you establish a partnership with parents, community and businesses?

Positive learning ethos

For new Pastoral leaders September is a time for change so maybe this is a good time to write about what a pastoral leader should be about.  Those who have done it for  along while it may be a time to reflect and ask whether some things that they sued to do would be a good idea to bring back.  You know your children so what is right for them?

the object of the pastoral system is to give support and guidance in various measures depending on the situation occasionally there will be a need to be objective and influence to ensure both the students and the staffs needs are met. This is what makes it tricky when staff member A comes and says child X is making my life hell…you listen and respond supportively then talk to child X. That’s if child X hasn’t already reached your door saying staff member A is a (expletive).  Again listen and respond supportively negotiate and influence better behaviour and learning. Then go back to staff member A without going into too much detail explain you have talked to child X and again negotiate a way forward without them losing self-respect or their authority but make sure that learning on their next lesson together occurs. NB know your staff and children then it is far easier to referee.

Our role is to nurture and support i.e. we must constantly strive to foster personal development through providing our students with counselling and guidance. They must always be given the opportunity to take responsibility for their own actions, to make decisions based on knowing the implications of choice. Self respect and respect for others must be key. Unacceptable action can be challenged  but not the individual or their background. As teachers we must work towards the students developing self discipline and understanding responsibility for actions. Ultimately we want students to behave responsibly because they feel it is important.

Suggestions for a referral system for challenging behaviour or under achievement in a secondary setting could be;

Tutor                 or/and                    Subject Teacher

to                                                                 to

Head of Year        or/and              Head of Department               or/and       Head of curriculum Area

to                                                                   to

School Attainment Officer / Learning Leader

to

Deputy Headteacher (Attainment or behaviour)

to

Head teacher

One of the best ways to ensure the students and staff (from a managers point of view) are all aware of the system is to be clear what the behaviour policy, attainment policy and marks scheme is.  Clarity from these adhered to by all ensures a more successful school.

Most schools have a clear marking scheme but if you are new to the job of coordinating or leading this maybe a good starting point. What makes this good is a child could have put E top effort in but got 1 for understanding making them feel their effort has been recognised. Whilst just on this subject it is also good to let parents and students know how you will be marking i.e. over a term you may mark 1/3 in-depth, 1/3 impressionistic and 1/3 self assessment.

In depth means marking to curriculum and subject/exam expectations of understanding and feeding back relevant information to help them develop their work to the next level or grade boundary.

It is also worth mixing things up a bit and also change seating so that students gain many experiences  and also develop their own learning strategies. once you are settled into school use a mix of 1/3 friendship grouping, 1/3 boy/girl seating and 1/3 teacher defined pairs (based on ability etc.)

EFFORT

PERFORMANCE

(Understanding/Knowledge/Skills)

Excellent Effort E 5 You really understand this work
Commendable effort G 4 You have a good understanding of this part of the work but with a   little more effort you will understand it better.
Satisfactory effort S 3 You seem to understand it but you need further work to understand it   better.
Unsatisfactory effort P 2 You don’t seem to have understood all of it, ask me for help.
No effort made C 1 You haven’t understood this. Please ask for help.

What is a good teacher?

Schools will now have new teachers arriving finding out what they need to start the job in September from newly qualified to those taking up their first management role.

Mentoring is really important for this group as they need to learn the schools ethos and how they fit within the community.  Some have very different ways of doing things but nevertheless get really good results.  So rather than seeing that they do things differently check whether they fulfil these attributes and this list from a school I previously worked at should help you make better judgements about your peers and their ability to do their job. This is particularly important of you are a new senior manager and have to observe other colleagues lessons.

Good teachers:

Are sympathetic to the needs and aspirations of all pupils –  I would add that as  senior manager this could be said of your staff as well.

Set clear targets and are able to provide positive reinforcement

Are able to engage and inspire pupils with their own enthusiasm

Have high expectations of all pupils – again as a senior manager just change the word to staff

Push all pupils to fulfil their individual potential – you can only do this if you know where they are and where they need to be.

Are both supportive and co-operative to colleagues – really important sometimes individuals forget it is not personal and by working as a team everyone achieves their best pupil or colleague.

Establish clear, consistent and realistic standards of behaviour – with realistic being the most important thing if they are not, you cannot sanction effectively and behaviour becomes a big issue. Secondly be consistent its the fairness that ultimately shows them that you are fair and finally as a team player within a set area or within the management team support those who establish these clear, consistent and realistic standards. Know what to do when they are challenged and need your help.

Know your subject area and employ a variety of interesting teaching methods remembering to include both boy and girl friendly activities as well as those that stimulate the kinaesthetic, and aural learners.

Use the management system and processes put in place to support teachers to do their job.  If you are on the team designing it them ensure they do what they say on the tin and are not heavy on time wasting exercises that get nowhere.

Be aware of an seek to establish relationships within the community

Prepare, support and contribute to the schools ethos

Make learning enjoyable not being afraid to laugh at themselves

above all like and respect the young people in their charge – if they do not it is  along day for both them and the pupils.

Benefits of Bilingualism

Brilliant post that explains some of the benefits of bilingualism. They include;

1. A conscious approach can help you clean up your writing and your speech and help you communicate more clearly.

2. Bilingual individuals can pick out a speaker’s voice easier

3. Develop creativity because learning a second language improved speakers’ planning, cognitive flexibility, and working memory, three pillars on which creativity is built.

4. Patients who spoke more than one language had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years after their monolingual counterparts.

and finally

5. Make smarter decisions as people thinking in a foreign language were more likely to consider a question more slowly and analytically than in their native language 

Really interesting thanks to http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dan-roitman/why-it-makes-more-sense-t_b_3435076.html for this story.

Recent research suggests that learning a new language, at any age, not only will enhance your next vacation or better prepare you for an upcoming business trip, it can also make you a better listener, boost your creativity, spur brain growth, and for some people, even delay Alzheimer’s.

Each of these benefits stems from the various ways that language learning improves your brain’s ability to focus. Learning a language physically changes your mind, ultimately making you a stronger, more creative thinker. Here are five reasons why you should start learning a foreign language right now:

1. To improve your communication skills. The key here is consciousness. While most of us rarely think about the grammatical structures of our native tongue, learning a second language brings them into stark relief. When attempting to write or speak in a second language, you suddenly have to focus more on the order of words, your verb tenses, and parts of speech. And in recognizing how sentences are constructed in a second language, you can become more aware of how they’re arranged in your first language. That more conscious approach can help you clean up your writing and your speech and help you communicate more clearly.

2. To become a better listener. A study at Northwestern University showed that bilingual individuals could better pick out a speaker’s voice amidst distracting noises. This superior “attention, inhibition, and encoding of sound,” as the researchers put it, can help you better focus on what a client, boss, or employee is saying. The ability to listen closely is a valuable skill that can translate into a real dollar value. Look at IKEA, which attributes its record 2012 revenues and growing appeal in part to its ability to listen to customers and then respond accordingly.

3. To boost your creativity. Every time you speak a second language is an exercise in creativity. While words in your native language might string themselves together naturally, requiring little effort on your part, constructing sentences and meaning in a second language often requires more conscious thought. A study published last year found that learning a foreign language enhanced people’s fluency, elaboration, originality, and flexibility, the four scales measured by the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking. Researchers concluded that learning a second language improved speakers’ planning, cognitive flexibility, and working memory, three pillars on which creativity is built.

4. To sharpen your mind. Learning a second language can beef up your brain’s executive control center — the hub that helps manage your cognitive processes. A second language offers a strong exercise regimen for the executive control center, ultimately making it more efficient. Bilingualism can keep this center strong even as you age. In a study of 24 million dementia patients worldwide, many of whom also had Alzheimer’s, researchers found that the patients who spoke more than one language had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s four years after their monolingual counterparts.

5. To make smarter decisions. A study completed last year showed that people thinking in a foreign language were more likely to consider a question more slowly and analytically than in their native language. It seems that thinking in your native tongue is often associated with breezy, emotional decision-making that reveals natural biases. But when considering the same problem in a non-native tongue, subjects in the study demonstrated “enhanced deliberation” based more on cold hard logic. So the next time you have to make a big decision, you might get a better outcome if you consider it in a language other than your own.

As a language learner, you’ll not only become a more conscious thinker and listener who can communicate clearly and think creatively, but you’ll also gain the most significant benefit of multilingualism: a broader, more global perspective. Each of the five benefits outlined above show that learning another language really does reshape the way we think, helping us better empathize and communicate with customers, partners, and employees by adopting, through language, a new way to see the world.

English Dept Assessment Schedule

Assessment Schedule

Often I am asked what to do about assessments. I usually suggest that the person in charge of English works out a schedule then ensure that all teachers and learners are aware of their appropriate assessment schedule.  It is a good idea to work out when parent meetings and feedback are needed and then work back from there, giving you and your team time to fulfil your duty. Assessment that is timely and well written is supportive and helps the child reach their potential.

Students new to the school need to take progress test to find out where they are.  If you are assessing EAL students, initially use their first language where you can to gauge their current knowledge. As a teacher every week the pupils work should be marked inline with the schools marking policy. To ensure that marking feedback is effective in developing future learning and knowledge make sure that feedback is better than a tick and a bland comment saying good. Really let the learner know something that they are good at and something that they need to work on next time.  All done in a  positive learning environment will mean that the learners just work towards the next goal as opposed to feeling they are rubbish and cannot succeed. It’s up to you as the teacher to create that environment in your classroom.

This is just a suggestion which you can use and change to suit your circumstances.

Year 7
End   Oct Assessment Reading :   Language structure and variation Writing   : Spelling 
Nov All   about Me booklet
March Assessment   Key Objectives
June Assessment   NC Test
Year 8
Nov AssessmentReading :   understanding Text Writing   : Standard English and language structure
March Assessment   Key Objectives
June l   Assessment NC Test
Year 9
Nov Assessment   Key Objectives
March Mock   SATs all papers
May   3 – 6th SATS   exam
June Assessment   test
Year 10
Nov Lit   – compare poems of other Cultures.Lang   – Argue to write/persuade
March Lit   – Of Mice and Men and poems of other culturesLang   – to inform, explain advise, and argue/persuade
June Exam   preparation : Lit and Lang papers
Year 11
Nov Preparation   : Lit and Lang papers
March  Mock  Lit and Lang papers

Lessons to be learnt – How much trust should we give EAL TAs?

Lessons to be learnt How much trust do we give EAL TAs?

After observing some planning and teacher training in London last week the following occurred to me not as way of criticism but more as reflective practice and moving learning in the classroom along.

Clearly we should not give any teacher or TA (Teaching Assistant) 100% trust until we have assured ourselves that they are giving 100% correct instruction. As no teacher is a super teacher i.e.  never needing support, mentoring or guidance then why should we give EAL TAs (English as a second language Teaching Assistants) this trust and change policies to suit them?
Don’t  get me wrong I think TA’s and EAL TA’s in particular are great but we should not implicitly trust them to guide our youngsters in the ETHOS of the school, the teaching of academic concepts and language and assessment without having an overview of their abilities and skills ourselves as senior managers and governors.
I watched a situation recently where a group of excellent teachers were planning and talking about the use of technology available to support maths teaching. They were thinking really creatively about how they could teach in their classrooms (and not looking at a withdrawal group) a mathematical concept that the rest of the year were  learning. For me it was brilliant they were marrying their skills with technology to save time for them when planning and delivering, but increasing the children’s learning ability whilst making it interesting.

All went well until the TA that supports them became part of the discussion and within no time suddenly the TA had convinced them the group needed to be withdrawn and that it could take time for the children to learn it. What struck me most as an observer was that I had been in that situation many times but could see now that the TA  was steering our teaching. Today seeing it this way made me wonder what made these excellent practitioners take another persons word and run with it?

Why didn’t they question or try out their theory and review it if it didn’t work? They had built a translation requirement in, their practice was excellent, their topic was interesting, their own personal understanding of the concept was excellent and yet they let someone without the same or better credentials influence them and their decisions.

Something worth pondering on.