Teaching & Learning

‘Education is not the filling of a pail, but rather the lighting of a fire.’ WB Yeats

What happens in the classroom is only the start of the learning process, engagement is vital for students if we are cultivating independent learners who will be ready for the linear structure. This page is an area where we can share good practice as a school and look at teaching strategies which will engage our students.

Top Tips from students:

  • Get me hooked from the start with a question or an image on the board.
  • Tell me early in the lesson what I will be achieving this hour.
  • Let me know the relevance of why I am doing this.
  • Get another student to explain the tasks for me.
  • Check my learning through specific questions.
  • Ensure that I achieve something during my time in the room.


Keep scrolling down this page and take a look at the blog entries received via the Good Practice Form which can be found at the bottom of this page:


Random Name Generator

A random name generator is a really quick and easy way of targeting specific groups during planned questioning sessions. You can add the names of any groups you think would benefit the most, for example just HA, MA, LA or PP students. You can then focus questions towards those students as a starting point before bouncing the questions and extensions around the room. This helps to avoid passengers within the lesson as well as stretching and challenging all students.

I find this site particularly useful: http://www.classtools.net/widgets/fruit_machine_6/MJtcZ.htm

Miss Lomax - St Cuthbert's

Home work quiz

As a revision activity students look at their course content and then create revision quizzes for their classmates to complete. The act of creating the quiz is a revision activity and as students know their quizzes will be answered by their classmates a real element of competition is introduced. The more challenging the better! When students have completed their quizzes I ask them to email them to me. I then print one quiz per week and set is as a homework. When a student's quiz is used as a homework the author has a free week which the students really enjoy. The author can then lead in the sharing of answers during MIB time in class. The regular use of knowledge testing really helps students to retain knowledge which is an essential requirement for the new GCSE exams.

Miss Turton - St Cuthbert's Catholic High School


Using social media

Using social media has been a great tool for us in RE. For example, in lessons students can tweet their understanding of the topics we have covered. We have also used social media as a revision tool - we've posted pictures of work done in class, used channels on YouTube and posted relevant links from the news which cover our topics. Instagram has been used also for revision but also the contact between student and teacher for particular support and guidance.

RE Department - St Cuthbert's Catholic High School


Take Away

During the Plenary part of the lesson, ask students 'One thing they will take away from the lesson'.

In RE, I like to ask students for one thing that they will 'take away'. For example, a 'moral', a thought or a highlight from the lesson which will stick with them; for the rest of the day, week or even years.

Miss Kenny - St Cuthbert's Catholic High School


C V Creator

Students can create and store an online CV quite easily. The CV can be updated at a time convenient to students and as it is online can be accessed anywhere. This is very useful for all students, but in particular Years 10 and Y11 Website below https://www.cvplus.co.uk/

Mr M Atherton - St Cuthbert's Catholic High School


Barclays Life Skills

This is a great resource for Form and PSHE teachers enabling students to move forward in the 21st century work place. There are loads of activities, lessons and links that prove really useful. https://www.barclayslifeskills.com/teachers/ Quick and simple sign in then get going!

Mr Arkell - St Cuthbert's


Popcorn Reading

When approaching a larger text, or when reading a novel, it is difficult to motivate students to read aloud. 'Popcorn' reading is where the teacher would read the opening paragraph/sentences, and then would pass the reading onto a student, e.g. 'Popcorn Tom'. This student would then read the next section and would choose the student to read after him. The students enjoy choosing one another to read, and therefore each student is required to follow the text closely in case they are chosen to carry on. I have found that students are much more eager to read aloud when choosing one another than when asked by the classroom teacher, and you will find that they ask to Popcorn read in future lessons. A great way to promote Literacy across the curriculum and boost speaking & listening skills.

Miss Donaghy - St Cuthbert's



Kahoot! is a tool for using technology to administer quizzes, discussions or surveys. It is a game based classroom response system played by the whole class in real time. Multiple-choice questions are projected on the screen. ... You create the quiz, survey or discussion item.

Miss Kenny - St Cuthbert's


No hands up!

Ban hands up in your lesson to avoid 'passengers' not contributing to discussion. I use pose, pause, pounce, bounce regularly during questioning to ensure all students are involved.  Pose the question and allow thinking time. Pause and allow all students to prepare an answer in case they are called upon. Pounce on a student at random to answer. Bounce the idea around the room. Bouncing questions around is easily done within History. I forewarn students to be listening to their class mate's answers as I may ask them if they agree or disagree with the answer given - and the challenge is they must explain why.

Miss Turton - St Cuthbert's Catholic High School


Tweet your Understanding

Last four minutes of the lesson, get the students to tweet what they have understood from the lesson. Tweet should only have 140 characters including spaces. Students can use symbols and words. Students share that with their partner before they leave the lesson. Could tweet at any point in the lesson to check understanding.

Mrs McKeagney - St Cuthbert's



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