Keeping on the ball

16th May 2008 at 01:00
This course looks at ways of making sure your lessons meet Ofsted criteria for outstanding teaching
This course looks at ways of making sure your lessons meet Ofsted criteria for outstanding teaching. That may sound dull, but in reality the whole day is great fun. There are lots of quick-fire activities, the sort of things you can throw in at the start or end of a lesson just to liven things up.

One of the best is "snowballing". It sounds slightly mad, but you get everyone to write important points on a piece of paper. Then they screw up the paper and throw it across the room to someone else. You end up with balls of paper flying everywhere, but it gets pupils thinking, writing and sharing ideas. People say: "Isn't it a bit risky?", but I find it works well.

Another good idea for revision involves a six by six grid, with key words in each part of the grid. Children roll two dice, which gives them two different squares on the grid. They then have to fit those two words into a sentence.

During the course, we tried dozens of games like this, and you can make up your own mind as to which ones work best. I'm a newly qualified teacher, so almost all the ideas were new to me. It was different to the kind of things we were taught during teacher training.

I've since shared many of the activities with colleagues back at school during a training day. But I have to admit, I didn't share everything - I want to keep my lessons a little bit different.

Anna-Victoria Haine teaches leisure and tourism at Putteridge High School in Luton. She was talking to Steven Hastings.


Outstanding Teaching is run by Osiris Educational and takes place in Solihull on June 18; London on June 24 and July 15; Manchester on June 27, and Leeds on July 1. Cost: pound;259 plus VAT;

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