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Whywe all need to think outsiWhy we all need to think outside the garden shedrden shed H


owdo you turnaround a student’s


attitude to learning?What tools can you use to reignite their passion for learning? The Let Teachers SHINE competition invites teachers fromacross the country


ry to submit


ideas to help disadvantaged students. The winners receive grants to develop their ideas. In the second of our features on best practice, Education Today recently sat down with Jane Kay and Seliat Agboola, two of this year’s recipients, to find outmore about howthey came upwith their alternative ideas for raising attainment.


The Oxo factor The Oxo factor


Ever wondered how a game of darts can help students improve their maths skills?Well, thanks to one inspirational teacher, that’s exactly what students taking part in a GCSE revision session recently got up to. Jane Kay’s winning idea uses sport to help students engage in maths and develop their mathematical and numerical skills. Having worked in the further education sector, Jane has come across many students who have failed several attempts at GCSE maths and has seen first-hand how negativity can rapidly take hold. “Although many are disaffected and often disadvantaged students, what is actually holding them back is their attitude to maths stemming from the failure they’ve experienced,” she


explains. Jane firmly believes that finding new and different ways of teaching maths is important as once they’re engaged, students realise that


So, why sport? Ja there’s no barrier to


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ne is a teacher at Bolton learning.


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Wanderers Free School which has a sp sports department. Although students


de the gard Top Tips


are eager ecialist


to learn, their passion wanes when it comes to maths. By combining learning with sport – something all her students are passionate about – Jane hopes to change this.


Jane recently held a pilot run of her All Stars Mathematics project during a two-day GCSE maths revision group for year 11 students from four local secondary schools. Instead of handing out worksheets, students took part in a series of activities to develop some key maths skills. They were invited to play darts and work out their percentage scores or take part in long jump sessions and were asked to calculate their average distances .


Jane is working closely with the school’s sports department to enable students to understand how closely PE is connected to maths. “When they play football” she points out, “there are all sorts of mathematical questions about the size of the pitch and how far the ball needs to travel. Even badminton players need to be aware of the space in which they compete, how it has an impact on the way they play and the techniques that need to be employed.”


Plans are in place to roll out her All Stars


Mathematics project, and further GCSE revision sessions will be held during the half-term holiday for those apprehensive about their sitting the exam. “How do I know I’m on the right path?” remarks Jane. “Well, many students have been in touch asking for their exam results. I’m thrilled as it’s clear that they not only want to know how they performed, but are driven to succeed.”


www.education-toda y.co.uk .co.uk Top Tips


Jane shares her top tips for raising the attainment of disadvantaged students.


Jane shares her top tips for raising the attainment of disadvantaged students.


1. Find outmore about your students They may say “I love sport,” but actually they’re really only interested in golf. So, if you attempt to illustrate a point using basketball, they simply won’t engage in the lesson. Try to find a solution that sparks the interest of every student – perhaps not in every lesson, but maybe every other class.


2. Create content tailored for you r students


2. Create content tailored for your students


The internet is a fantastic resource for finding a worksheet for your next algebra lesson, for example. But tailor the plan so that it taps into the interests of individual students to spark and capture their attention for the entire lesson.


3. Use real life in the classroomand undertake asmany active tasks as possible


3. Use real life in the classroom and undertake as many active tasks as possible


the figures and ca down the stairs. T


I recently asked my students to calculate the area and volume of an Oxo box. They had to measure it to find out whether they could fit any more cubes into the box. I’ve even asked students to measure their heart rate and measure it again after they have run up and hey were able to compare


I recently asked my students to calculate the area and volume of an Oxo box. They had to measure it to find out whether they could fit any more cubes into the box. I’ve even asked students to measure their heart rate and measure it again after they have run up and down the stairs. They were able to compare the figures and calculate an average rate.


The internet is a fantastic resource for finding a worksheet for your next algebra lesson, for example. But tailor the plan so that it taps into the interests of individual students to spark and capture their attention for the entire lesson.


1. Find out more about your students They may say “I love sport,” but actually they’re really only interested in golf. So, if you attempt to illustrate a point using basketball, they simply won’t engage in the lesson. Try to find a solution that sparks the interest of every student – perhaps not in every lesson, but maybe every other class.


2015 lculate an average rate.


Octobe r 2015


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