Is a change as good as a rest?

After four fantastic years of #pedagoohampshire I’ve decided to have a go at a #BrewEd this year. A chance to do something new, in a different type of venue, with some old faces and most importantly for me, some new ones as well.

Our pub has been selected. A rigourous process. The next job is nearly complete with seven great speakers recruited do far. Ideas are beginning to take shape about the topics for discussion for a day of mature educational discourse . The aim is to keep the contributions as diverse as possible. Debate from a range of voices from the educational family. Without labels or agitation. An inclusive day to challenge thinking in a grown-up professional manner.

The agenda will follow a traditional #BrewEd style. Each presentation will last between 30 – 45 minutes. There will be a break for lunch, a full range of beverages available and even a quiz to finish. Over the next week or so ticket details will be released but remember to get in quick. Without a school as a venue at my disposal #BrewEdPompey will be a more intimate affair.

Details of presentations will be shared here in the run up to the day and if you have any questions please ask.

Mine’s a pint if anyone is offering.

See you in the summer.


15.6.19 AGENDA so far …..


Are You Thinking Comfortably?

VAK, Learning Styles, Inclusion, Mastery, Differentiation, Every Child Matters. Education buzz words. They come and they go, some more useless than others. So I have a new one for you. “Thinking Hard”, “Hard Thinking, You choose. Either way, it’ll be my mission to convince you it has a part to play in your teaching. Convince you that students will engage with it. Convince you that in this fact recall and content based exam system, you need to be on board with how it can support you. And most importantly, why Genghis Khan should be in your 5-a-side football team!


For the last two years I have been grappling with Metacognition and trying to use it to boost student confidence and their outcomes. I have used strategies magpied and researched along the way to help increase student confidence and access to more challenging GCSE questions. This year my work with metacognition strategies have undergone their largest test yet as I have rolled strategies out to my new department. I have learnt a lot along the way, some triumphs some failures but I would love these ideas to foster a discussion at #BrewEDPompey by learning what metacognition looks like in your school/field and do we think metacognition is here to stay? Can it evolve into different stages?


Inference calculations

Inference calculations are an effective and fun way to teach children how to infer meaning in reading but also how to include inferences in their writing. In my session I will show you how to use them to develop inference skills for all abilities. I will give you ideas for how you can use inference calculations in both whole class teaching and for smaller guided groups. You’ll leave the session with ideas you can put into practice immediately with very little preparation.


My BrewEd talk will be focused on the curriculum and how cross teaching subjects supports students in so many ways. It’s not a History teacher’s job to teach facts, or an English teacher’s job to teach words, or a Maths teacher’s job to teach numbers… but it is all of our jobs to plan across the curriculum and develop knowledge in every classroom, every lesson! I’m not a curriculum lead or co-ordinator but I’ll be sharing how I’m doing this on a small scale and hopefully discussing with you all what it could look like if we all planned together!


Diversity: Diminishing the Difference
In my presentation, I’ll be sharing my own personal experience of growing up in 1970s/80s Britain and the impact the media, society and education had on me.
We will be exploring how far the media, schools and organisations are diminishing the difference today. In other words, how far do they normalise diversity? I’ll be asking you to reflect on these questions:

To what extent do you or your school develop a sense of belonging to a community that values them? Does your classroom/school encourage students to take pride in their identity/culture? Does your classroom/school diminish the difference?


Cognitive psychology has established, beyond reasonable doubt, how people learn information that is new to them. For example, experiments have consistently shown the limitations of working memory, the ability of human minds to chunk information and store it in long-term memory for later retrieval, and the necessity for frequent retrieval practice, in order to embed information securely. Due in part to practitioner-oriented books about the implications of this research for teaching, and also to the rapid spread of these ideas in social media and the world-wide web, well-informed teachers now understand theories of learning and, more importantly, incorporate these theories into practice, for the benefit of their pupils.

The science of motivation has also generated findings which can also be put into practice in the classroom. Among the most well-founded of these is Self-Determination Theory, which explains why people are motivated to act when there is no gain in terms of survival or finance. This theory states that people are most motivated when the activity enhances their perception that they have autonomy, are competent, and are related to other people with a sense of belonging.

There is no conflict between these theories of learning and motivation but they are hard to reconcile in actual classroom practice. When teachers act according to the principles underlying learning theory, they can reduce their pupils’ motivation. Similarly, when they act in accordance with motivational theory, they can reduced their pupils’ learning. In this presentation we will explore some of the ways in which teachers can achieve a reasonable balance between maximising learning without reducing motivation.


The Teachers’ Standards – where did the come from? Where are they going?

The Teachers’ Standards have become a framework for teacher development, accreditation and competency since their inception in 2012. But who actually wrote them and for what purpose? Who had the privileged position of determining what the ‘standard’ is for teachers? The challenge for teacher and leaders in school is to make some sort of sense of these outcome statements as part of their professional learning. The next step is to consider what sort of Standards teachers would like to have.


#teacher5aday #calendar 2018

#Teacher5aday Calendar is back!

For the fourth year running your build up to Christmas can be filled with well-being goodness. All you have to do is get involved with the next set of #teacher5aday challenges over the course of December.

Following on from the amazing success of the calendar last year, we have another fantastic array of #volunteers who have offered to host a day each of the calendar as we build up to Christmas. They will each open a door of the calendar to reveal their challenge with the aim to get as many tweachers and teachers alike involved in something that will enhance their Christmas cheer.


Following in the footsteps of Tim Clark’s excellent brace of #calendars

2016 Calendar blog –

2015 Calendar blog-

the #teacher5aday team of Santa’s little helpers have listed their activities below.

Your challenge should you choose to accept it is to take the #teacher5aday #calendar and place it somewhere prominent in your staff room. Each day print out the festive activity so more teachers who are not on twitter join in with the #teacher5aday idea that happy teachers + happy students = improved results.

If you want to participate on twitter as well, make sure you tweet a picture of you and your colleagues completing your daily challenge and remember to include the hashtags #teacher5aday and #calendar.

#teacher5aday #calendar 2018

Friday 30.11 Patrick Ottley-O’Connor – Make / Stick up your calendar in the staffroom to get the festive fun started #connect

Sat 1.12 Kathryn Morgan @KLMorgan_2 – 3 things you are most looking forward to over the festive period #notice

Sun 2.12 Kimberley Evans

Mon 3.12 Parent Hub @ParentHub_UK – Explore a new app or website #learn

Tue 4.12 Jade Lewis-Jones – Give yourself the gift of free time #notice

Wed 5.12 Patrick Ottley-O’Connor

Thurs 6.12 Julie Hunter @MsHMFL – learn and share a new festive fact today #connect #learn

Fri 7.12 Jane Thistlethwaite – have a family or games night #connect

Sat 8.12 Jade Lewis-Jones @JLJbusinessed – Go for a walk / swim / cycle #exercise

Sun 9.12 – Rachel Atherton

Mon 10.12  Roy Souter

Tue 11.12 Emily LP @emily_slade – Go on a tour of your local Xmas lights #exercise

Wed 12.12 Chris – make someone a hot drink and leave it on their desk #kindness #connect

Thurs 13.12 Bernie

Fri 14.12 Grapeblonebounce – remembering / thanking your family #connect

Sat 15.12 Sam at Schoolwell

Sun 16.12 Mrs H

Mon 17.12 Liz Allton

Tue  18.12 Char @misscharteach

Wed 19.12 Hannah

Thurs 20.12 Kim Baker

Fri 21.12 Helen P – Celebrate by singing carols with others #connect

Sat 22.12 Chris Reddy

Sun 23.12 Claire

Mon 24.12 Ritesh Patel


Wishing you all are Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Looking forward to your #teahcer5aday #pledges in January and more contributions to the #teacher5aday YouTube channel …….






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#miniped the follow up to #pedagoohampshire18

Now that the dust has settled after #pedagoohampshire18 how will you take up Vivienne’s annual challenge of turning your learning into development?

After four great years sharing ideas of teaching and learning infused with wellbeing we would like you to spread the word a little further this year with the introduction of #miniped. During January or February could you recreate the feel good sensation of #pedagoo by hosting an event yourself. When the days are short and the nights are long what would be better than the positivity boost from like minded professionals supporting each other?

Your #miniped could be a collection of people enjoying tea and cake sharing a learning conversation from #pedagoohampshire18 or it might be the start of something like @litdrive, #teacher5adaybuddybox or your very own book, where your learning begins to take shape to develop into something that will support lots of teachers and in turn their students.

After all …

Happy teachers + Happy Students = improved outcomes.

Using Vivienne’ s model (in the photo above) this year’s impact will be bigger and better than ever before with the tentacles of #pedagoo spreading further and wider keeping the conversations going. Let’s keep the main thing the main thing and focus hard on improving student outcomes whilst thinking carefully about improving our own wellbeing at the same time.

Feedback not marking?

Joint planning to reduce time spent?

Removing pointless data collection?

I hope you take up the challenge and organise an event. Take it from one who knows the more you put in the more you will get out. Tweet your intial ideas today, tomorrow and this week using the #miniped and #teacher5aday hashtags. Let’s keep the positivity going into the depths of the autumn term. How will your learning become development in 2019?

If you are interested in carrying on #pedagoohampshire and would like to be part of a team to help organise the 2019 version please get in touch via Twitter. A few people have expressed an interest and many hands will make less work.


A Jolly Back is a Healthy Back #teacher5aday #slowchat6 day 5 Lorna Taylor @JollyBack

So, what’s musculoskeletal health and how is it related to wellbeing in schools?

As a physiotherapist it’s something I’m incredible passionate about, simply put, it’s muscle and joint health. Something incredibly important and directly liked to mental health and “wellbeing as a whole”, but a challenge to achieve when adults are working in children’s environments and often overlooked within the education sector.
I first discovered @MartynReah and his #Teacher5aday concept in 2016. One of those “YES moments” and I have been eager to help ever since. The #Teacher5aday concept is based on the “Five Ways to Wellbeing” set out by the New Economics Foundation (yes, it’s about saving money as well as morally the correct thing to do) with areas we can all related to and use to improve our own wellbeing and that of others:
1) #Connect
2) #Be Active
3) #Take Notice
4) #Keep Learning
5) #Give
I am excited to be part of the #PedagooHampshire18 and will be talking about how musculoskeletal health can contribute to your personal wellbeing and your teaching. We’ll look at practical examples, research and explain the new “Musculoskeletal Health Toolkit”, developed by Public Health England and Business in the Community. With permission I’ve been able to tailor it for the education sector. It can be taken away and used straight away but will also benefit from further input! They’ll be plenty of time for discussion and sharing ideas during the session too.

As the school holiday/work/life juggle many of us are familiar with continues, I thought I’d share a short introduction as to how I embrace the Big Five and why I fully support #teacher5aday. I hope you enjoy the read!

1. Connect
As an education-based physiotherapist I love to connect with proactive others, keen to learn more about musculoskeletal health, posture, ergonomics and the benefits it can offer children and staff. For example, how can pupils be seated to engage more fully in learning? how can a classroom be set up to limit back strain to teaching assistants? What support is available if staff are struggling with back health? What resources are available to teach children (and families) safe tech use from a healthy-posture point of view?
Changing lifestyles are affecting growing spines – 10 years ago it was rare to treat a teenager with back pain. They were seen individually on physiotherapy caseloads, now there are so many – back pain classes are set up at hospitals up and down the Country to cope with the growing demand. Children are on painkillers, missing school for appointments and when in pain, concentrating is more difficult.
For adults, it’s now recognised, there are clear links between Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs), mental illness and work loss. For example, pain often causes reduced mobility, limitation of activities and fatigue – leading to loss of confidence, fear of pain, fear of future long-term impact, further anxiety and avoidance behaviours – this chronic pain cycle is not good for anyone.
Likewise, stress often manifests itself as MSD. Physiological changes occur in the body, for example increased heart rate, tightening of muscles and increased blood pressure. At the same time, behaviour is likely to change so individuals may not think about posture or take breaks. This leads to an increased risk of injury and feeling despondent. It may be no surprise to learn that employees with MSDs are at a higher risk of stress, anxiety and depression. Equally depression is 4 times more likely for those in persistent pain (Musculoskeletal health in the workplace: a toolkit for employers, PHE 2017). When supporting improved mental health, we must consider physical/musculoskeletal health too.
As pertinent for all believers in #teacher5aday, prevention is Key, especially when considering the impact teachers have on children’s learning.
In today’s education climate where there are significant workload challenges with retention and recruitment difficulties putting further emotional and physical pressure on existing staff, often compounded by budget constraints and further staff turnover, it’s plain to see how a vicious circle can be perpetuated – all of which will have a negative impact on children’s learning and outcomes.
There has been a 30% drop in teacher applications this year (TES 2018), with the lowest teacher entry rate in 5years. Teachers are continuing to leave faster than ever, especially after 3 years and there are a soaring number of school vacancies. Primaries with atleast one vacancy went up from 6.9% in 2015 to 8.9% last year (DfE School Workforce Census 2016).
In 2015-16, 54% of teachers had at least one sick day, with the average number of sick days 7.5 days. 2.16 million teaching days were lost due to sickness absence (Schools Week, 2017).
“In a climate where recruitment is tough and academic expectations continue to rise, governors and leaders realise that they need to move funding away from ‘stickingplaster’ interventions and into sustained support and development for their most expensive assets, the teachers and other staff who work with students every day.” David Weston CEO Teacher Development Trust (Education Business 2016)
The DfE proposed looking at issues to address teacher workload with Ofsted asking a new question this year to ensure leaders and managers take workload into account. This will create a wider picture of evidence to ensure “everything is being done to ensure that the school has motivated, respected and effective teaching staff to deliver a high-quality education for all pupils” (Tackling Workload together – a new question for staff at the point of inspection, educationinsepctorblog.gov.uk 2017). I’d be really interested to see the outcome of this on the wellbeing of our tremendously hard-working workforce.
Sean Harford, Ofsted National Director of Education believes “If we work together, we can turn a corner and improve the lives of teachers and in turn the pupils they teach.”

2. Be Active
As a physiotherapist, I will always advocate for physical activity. It has so many benefits and is essential for musculoskeletal health – a strong core of muscles and flexibility really do help you cope with the physical demands of the job. I know the pressure of finding time to “fit in exercise” but it helps to think of ways activity can be incorporated into your day. And think, even if I just start with 10minutes – make it manageable, you will enjoy it and the motivation to do more will come. I often think it would be great to have a #Teacher5aday be active 5km Park Run Day when we all run wherever we are in the country on the same day to support each other 😊. For those thinking, “I’d never be fit enough to run 5km”…take a look at the Couch to 5km NHS Plan – it’s phenomenal and YES YOU CAN!! https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/couch-to-5k-week-by-week/

3. Take Notice
With the increase in awareness about the benefits of mindfulness, I think we are more able to take notice of our surroundings, embrace nature and reflect and in the words of my dear late Gran “always take the time to smell the roses”. Give yourself those moments to stop, breath and inhale, wherever you are – you deserve it and things really do seem better afterwards!

4. Keep Learning
I am an avid believer in personal development and in the development of others. Two of the most useful questions I’ve found to help are “What went well?” and “What would I do differently next time?”. I keep learning and have read several motivational business books recently as I look to expand Jolly Back into the USA. “Productivity Ninja” has been a revelation and I would be interested to know if any teachers have read it as it’s a fantastic management resource. I really have got my inbox to zero and never thought that possible!!

5. Give
And finally, to give. When working within education we all give so much as we serve others and ultimately our children. To volunteer and give time, a finite resource, is a real privilege and to work with others doing the same, really does give pleasure and momentum.

I’d urge everyone keen to improve their wellbeing and that of others to join liked-minded individuals at #PedagooHampshire on the 15th September. It really is going to be brilliant – it feels good just to think about it!
I’ll be hosting Day 5 of #SlowChat6 on Friday 31st August from 7:30am (in between going on a video making course). With that in mind, the questions I’d like to explore over the day are:
1) In what ways do you find your physical health affects your mental health and vice versa? It can be positively and/or negatively.
2) How do you feel your physical health affects your teaching?
3) What advice would you give to colleagues who are finding it difficult to start exercising?
4) Which “must read” book would you recommend to colleagues to help support wellbeing? A summer read, management, cook, craft book or anything else?
Lorna Taylor, Physiotherapist @JollyBack

Travel Well, Teach Well #teacher5aday #slowchat6 day 2 @abbiemann1982

I’m fresh off the plane from a five week travelling holiday; I can honestly say I’ve had the time of my life doing exactly what makes me happy: hiking mountains and being in nature. All in all, I visited thirteen different places. My average step count per day for the past five weeks has been around 30,000 steps. I’ve hiked over sixteen mountain or lake trails. It’s fair to say I’m quite tired, especially with the jet lag looming. So, to be writing a blog when I’ve been home for just twelve hours seems somewhat bonkers. However, I agreed to write ahead of a slow chat on Twitter organised by @MartynReah some time ago and it’s illusively crept up on me.

ab 1

Martyn and I spoke recently as I pondered what to include in the blog and we came up with the idea of using my travels to explore wellbeing.

Since 2014, I have spent my summers out of the country; I’ve trekked across the southern states of America from New York to Los Angeles; travelled to Tanzania to climb Kilimanjaro and volunteered in the community; train hopped around Europe on a shoestring budget; taught in Zimbabwe whilst living with a host family; and this year I toured California and Canada. Travel to me is an absolute must during the summer holidays. I get to experience some truly incredible things (this year I saw black bears and humpback whales).

It also prepares me for the next academic year in many ways:

  1. I don’t think about work. If I were at home, I know I would. I am able to completely detach myself. If you’re wondering how I manage to go away for so long during the summer and not do any school work, the answer is planning. The new DfE resource ‘Ways to reduce workload in your schools(s)’ states that ‘time investment in planning is key.’ I’m lucky enough to work with a fantastic team of individuals and we were able to plan effectively before the end of the summer term.
  2. Exploring new places and meeting new people makes me a better person and therefore a better teacher, team member and leader. Adapting to new cultures promotes understanding and patience, as well as improving your social skills.
  3. It enhances my tolerance for uncertainty. It’s been wonderful to go from place to place not knowing what to expect. There is always so much change going on in education. Travelling to different places each year allows me to deal with those changes.
  4. It decreases my stress levels. After the build up of hard work throughout the academic year, a good stretch of holiday does wonders for me. I go back to school in September ready to get cracking on a new term.
  5. It makes me insanely happy! I love my job, I really do. It’s the best job in the world and I can’t wait to get started again. But I also love switching off and taking time for my favourite things: hiking, running and mountains.

I could say plenty more and I intend to blog more about my travels in due course but for now my eyelids are heavy and my bed is calling, so I’ll leave you all with some questions to mull over in preparation for my slow chat on Tuesday 28th August.

  1. Do you travel in the summer holidays?
  2. What are the benefits of travel for your personal wellbeing?
  3. Does travel benefit your role/teaching in any way?
  4. If you don’t travel, what do you do to switch off in the summer holidays?
  5. How does it contribute to your personal wellbeing?
  6. Does it contribute to your role/teaching in any way?

Enjoy the rest of your summer break and I hope you can join me for some slow chat on Tuesday.



#livewellteachwell #teacher5aday

In charge or in control: The power of positive relationships for behaviour. #pedagoohampshire18 Sue Roffey

This blog is taken from Chapter 7 of Changing Behaviour in Schools: Promoting Positive Relationships and Wellbeing published by Sage, 2012. The illustration is from The New Teachers Survival Guide to Behaviour (2011) also published by Sage ©Nic Watts.

A healthy relationship is where there is equality and shared decision making. A controlling relationship does not model positive relationship skills and undermines protective factors in resilience. It can lead to resentment, is exhausting and reduces rather than increases the chance of pro-social behaviour. Where pupils are already emotionally volatile it can spark a melt-down. At the far end of controlling relationships, we find bullying and abuse.

Relationships between teachers and students are already unequal because a teacher has more power than a student. Using this authority to empower others is a more intelligent way to promote positive behaviour than asserting power over others.

A common discourse on teacher-student relationships is that a ‘good’ teacher has to be in control of their students. The evidence shows otherwise. A good teacher certainly does not let students run riot but does give them a say in what happens. A teacher who is able to be in charge of proceedings in the classroom, orchestrate events, lead, support, guide, encourage participation, provide timely feedback and be responsive to individuals as well as the group does not need to control students. An effective educator encourages self-control and believes in the ability of students to learn this. It puts responsibility back where it belongs.

Relationships are enacted by what is said and not said and messages that are given about value and expectations. Words are powerful. We need to be aware not only of how we can use them to positive effect but also of the potential for damage.

Glasser (1998) says external control is destructive to relationships and that being disconnected is the source of almost all human problems. He advocates seven caring habits to counter what he calls ‘deadly habits’ which undermine healthy relationships:
Caring Habit Deadly Habit

Example of a practical application in school

  • Supporting Criticising ‘How can I help you?’
  • Encouraging Blaming ‘Tomorrow is another day, let’s try again then.’
  • Listening Complaining ‘What happened? What did you want to happen?’
  • Accepting Nagging ‘That didn’t go well. How can we move on and make this better?’
  • Trusting Threatening ‘I will come back later and see how you have got on.’
  • Respecting Punishing ‘The decision is yours – but you need to know the consequences.’
  • Negotiating difference Bribing, rewarding to control ‘Let’s see if we can both get what we want here?’

Teachers also bring their own constructs and emotions into any situation. The school system impacts on these. A teacher may feel supported as a member of an emotionally literate culture or fearful of criticism within an authoritarian one. Colleagues can boost your confidence or undermine it; they can be supportive or dismissive of your approach; they can build on what you are trying to develop with students or ridicule this. If relationships between teachers are warm, supportive and full of good humour, this leads to higher levels of social capital and relational trust. It is easier to respond thoughtfully to challenging behaviour in such an ethos, and be more resilient when things do not go well.

Questions for Reflection and Discussion

  • What is your experience of the above approaches?
  • What helps build strong relationships across a school?
  • What supports vulnerable students whose behaviour is challenging AND the teachers who teach them?