May 202012

Year 7 were set the task of creating brand new Missions for Mission Explore. Here are some examples:

Selfless Bunny 3164: Crop Dancing 

Dew Drop Wishes

Find a field with very long grass or tall crops. Dance for a minute or longer.

Verbal Walrus 3176 “Back to Childhood”


Ask your mum / dad / carer if you can go out on the weekend with them. Tell them you want to go to a place that you have never been to before, somewhere that they went as a child. Explore the new place. Well done. You have just turned Space into Place!

Reliable Burro 3174 and Positive Ibex 3150 both suggested  going out for a short walk and keep a list of all the different trees you see.

Gentle Dog 3138 had a specific place in mind when she suggested “Learn to read rocks” It’s easy to forget that fossils and geology can have a powerful influence on the imagination…

Ladram Bay

Go to Ladram Bay to see the cliffs. See if you can find the fault lines and think about what might have caused them.

Cheerful Rabbit 3131, a potential member of the Cloud Appreciation Society suggested “Daydreamer”

Spring is Here....

Look up at the sky and try and find shapes in the clouds. Take a picture and make a cloud booklet of 20 pictures you have taken.

Good Peccary 3143 volunteered “Mime a river”  We haven’t done any work on erosion yet, but I would normally do a spot of erosion kung fu, so her suggestion is somewhat prescient…

River Stones 3

Go to a river and mime what is happening under the water.

We’ve looked at waterfalls in a recent lesson and watched some video footage from Angel Falls. Logical Marten 3149 thought it would be fun to  “Find the smallest waterfall in the world” and take a picture. I agree.

Loyal Mink 3152’s suggestion “Bug Life” is inspired by recycling…


Create a bug house after finding 5 woodlice. The house must use sticks, leaves earth and an item you have recycled.

This is just a sample of the early suggestions and I’m hoping that some may make it to the public Mission Explore site. In the meantime…

‘But where are your lesson objectives?’

‘I don’t know Mr Lesson Inspector. We were trying to grasp at things we couldn’t possibly ever understand.’

Phil Beadle,  Dancing About Architecture (Independent Thinking) Amazon UK (not a sponsored link!)

Longitude and Latitude poem by Year 7

 Student work  Comments Off on Longitude and Latitude poem by Year 7
Mar 302012

I really liked this poem.

North, East, South and West
These coordinates are the best.
And if you’re not smart enough to know,
Grab a sextant and away you go.

Longitude and Latitude are the way,
Cross the dateline to change your day.
Foward and back, 24 hours,
It’s like some new invented super power.

Harrison invented 5 clocks to tell,
The time on a ship, they sat near a bell.
First he made 3 clocks and they all failed,
Then he made a 4th and it prevailed.

That’s our lesson, easy to understand,
if you don’t get it, please ask for a hand.

by Courtney and Ellie

Writing for a real audience

 Student work  Comments Off on Writing for a real audience
Mar 062012

It was Chris Durbin who first impressed on me the need to get students to write for a real audience wherever possible. Year 10 have just completed a unit of work on coasts; the final task to complete a visitor guide for Dawlish Warren with details of the various habitats and management strategies. This assignment is a precursor to their controlled assessment project.

Creating a leaflet is a somewhat tedious homework task – the difference with this work is that it can be downloaded and feedback left on the student’s own blogs. Here’s a couple of examples to reinforce the point I made in the previous post about online publishing resulting in improved outcomes.

Anna’s work:
[scribd id=84181698 key=key-9c0umfpttj1vtb6fjh3 mode=list]

Lucy’s work:
[scribd id=84181880 key=key-1bihan58aw59wrfhjrjx mode=list]

Posterous networking: an update

 Student work  Comments Off on Posterous networking: an update
Mar 042012

My GCSE Posterous network is beginning to mature. At the outset of the project, homework assignments were set and marked remotely by the teacher. Students responded very positively, the standard of written work being demonstrably better than in previous years. Most of the class have taken the opportunity to personalise their blogs, though I was surprised to discover that few were showing their work to their parents. A tiny minority of students have not been able to sustain their blogs, due mainly to domestic internet issues.

It’s clear that students are taking an active interest in each other’s work and they seem increasingly happy to collaborate with each other to create shared resources. Evidence comes from the feedback they are leaving on each others’ work, enthusiasm for the collaborative ibook and a recent Voicethread homework embedded below:


Feb 212012

The climax of Year 7’s unit of work on landscapes. Thanks to Alan Parkinson for the original idea of Landscape in a Box. We made use of Alan’s super KS3 Geographer’s Toolkit publication “Look At It This Way” The landscape assessment was completed over half term. More able students included location maps and detailed research notes as part of their work.All students were able to access the task, though possibly the instructions could have been differentiated better.



Gallery of student work

Video from the lesson: The peer assessment activity and students talking about their work.

What students were asked to do…
Landscape in a Box

Peer assessment sheet: When the music stops, sit down open a box and write some comments for the creator. (Musical boxes activity)
Landscape in a Box