Resources - Secondary - News

15th October 2010 at 01:00

Turn your pupils into poets

The Iris Project, a charity that promotes classical languages and civilisation in schools, has launched a poetry competition. Poems should be based on the story of Orpheus and Eurydice. For details, email

Tax becomes less taxing

The taxman has updated his resources for teachers to include more lesson plans and new videos and images. Tax Matters has been produced by HM Revenue and Customs. Visit

Communication strategies

Nasen, the organisation for special needs teachers, is holding a conference on effective strategies for pupils with speech, language and communication difficulties next month. The event will take place at the Dryden Centre in Gateshead on November 12. Workshops include social aspects of communication difficulties and working with families. For more information, go to


What the lesson is about

This uses Amy Winehouse's lifestyle to inspire the creation of a health plan. It can be used for BTEC and GCSE health and social care and is aimed at key stage 4 pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- identify and classify factors influencing the diet and health of Amy Winehouse;

- evaluate her lifestyle and use this to compile an individual action plan;

- assess each other's plans and analyse the problems that the singer could have with the plans.

Getting started

Ask pupils to define health and well-being. Show pupils pictures of Amy (available on the link below) and ask the class to come up with a caption about Amy's health or well-being for each photograph.

Split the class into groups and get them to brainstorm the problems they think Amy has in her life, and influences that could affect her well-being. As a class, divide these into physical, emotional and social factors.

Taking it further

Ask each group to come up with an individual action plan for Amy. This should identify the issue, what Amy needs to do and how she will achieve that goal. It should also include the strengths and weaknesses of the plan, looking at what Amy already does well and what might cause problems.

Swap the plans between the groups. Ask each group to read the other plans and evaluate how effective they would be. Return the plans to the original groups and ask them to read the evaluation. Do they think it was sound? Explain that many people find it hard to keep to health plans. Ask pupils to brainstorm what Amy needs to do to maintain her health and well-being.

Where to find it

The lesson was originally uploaded by clairmayreds and can be found at


What the lesson is about

These are the first three in a series of 18 lessons that use texts, including Skellig by David Almond (pictured in theatre below), to look at selecting and synthesising information from different sources. It is aimed at key stage 4 pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- select and compare information drawn from different texts;

- write in a range of forms;

- use writing for thinking and learning;

- take notes from written and oral sources, summarising and reporting on them.

Getting started

Divide the class into groups and explain that each group is going to research a topic (a list of possible subjects is available on the link below). Once they have found the information, each group should explain it to the rest of the class. Ask pupils to look at links between the subjects.

In the second lesson, introduce William Blake's poetry about childhood, which features in Skellig. Read the poems (available on the link below) together and talk briefly about each one.

Explain that the poems provide a context to some of the themes of Skellig, such as the destruction of innocence.

Ask pupils to work out an outline of the story in pairs.

Look closely at The Schoolboy by William Blake. What impression does it give of school? What metaphors does it use? What do they learn about Blake's attitude to school?

Where to find it

The complete series of 18 lessons was uploaded by TESEnglish and can be found at


What the lesson is about

This is a biology lesson on the characteristics of living things and is appropriate for children with special needs. It is aimed at key stage 3 pupils.

Getting started

Tell pupils that all living things move, reproduce, are sensitive to stimuli, grow, respire, excrete waste and take in nutrients.

Display pictures of these activities (available on the link below) and ask pupils to match each picture to the right characteristic.

Show the class a picture of a microscope (available on the link below) and a list of its parts. Ask pupils to label them. Show a picture of an animal cell and a list of its parts. Tell pupils to label it correctly. Repeat with a plant cell.

Taking it further

Explain that some cells have special tasks to carry out and their shape helps them with this. Display an image of red blood cells (pictured left. More are available on the link below).

Explain that the thin outer membrane lets oxygen in, the shape increases the surface area so oxygen can be absorbed more efficiently and the lack of nucleus means the whole cell is full of haemoglobin. Ask the pupils what they believe is the function of red blood cells.

Where to find it

The lesson, including visual aids, was originally uploaded by Louise17286 and can be found at

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