Looking back…

…at posts as far back as 2011, there is evidence of changing the way I teach to promote Growth Mindsets in students (although I may not have specifically used the term back then).

I have been having a look at the archives, in readiness for a CPD session for the PE staff of Academies within the Cabot Learning Federation. I am co-coordinating this termly event as part of my Specialist Leader in Education work.

A range of posts include:

Comfort – Stretch – Panic from December 5th, 2011

A range of thoughts/posts considering Setting in PE from March 2012
I recall writing these early in the morning (5:00am) and early evening (5:00pm), on my phone, whilst turning out and bringing in my horse from the paddock/stable. In particular Part 5, talks about setting by Personal Skills.

This incident from a Waboba / water polo lesson called Man Down, a post from a swimming lesson called I don’t want him in our group and the follow up to both of these. All posted in November / December 2011.

One final post on a tipping point, occurring in November 2011.
On reflection, this behaviour is now an embedded culture; a culture that I am immensely proud of.


Leading from PE

As part of my role as Assistant Head Teacher, I am planning to deliver a series of sessions at our weekly CPD session that runs every Thursday from 3:30pm – 4:30pm.

The sessions are going to be based around the “comfort stretch panic curve”, a concept first introduced to me by Ronnie Heath (@creatorronnie), Managing Director of Create Develoment. I posted about CSP back in December 2011. Click here to read… 

This is another example of where practice emerging from PE is being valued by SLT and is having a positive impact in the wider Academy.
Here are my initial thoughts about what the programme will include.
CSP inset thoughts
– what is the CSP curve?
– Key features of each zone – C, S & P.
–  what factors influence placement on CSP curve?
– What impact does it have on leap practice.
– How do we know when students in our lessons are in C, S & P? What behaviours do we witness?
– how can we ensure we stretch all students?
– self reflection:
  – how often do we visit stretch?
  – what influences our decision to be comfortable than to stretch ourselves?
  – Why do we sometimes find ourselves panicking (avoidable and unavoidable factors).
  – what impact does this have on student learning?
  – how can we stretch ourselves in the classroom?
As I adapt and refine my content, I shall post updates on this blog. When I deliver the training, I shall upload activities and feedback from staff.

Stretching in Maths

Here is a response from our Head of Maths, Tim Dando, on the comfort-stretch-panic post…
Having looked through the blog on comfort-stretch-panic I am trying to relate this model to Maths lessons. It is obviously still valid that maximised learning takes place when students are in the stretch zone, however, I feel that for many of our students this stretch zone is quite limited. As a subject we encounter a lot of negativity with many students giving the “I can’t do it” or “I don’t get it” responses as soon as they are challenged.
The problem comes from the fact that for the majority of our students seem to like the success of getting questions right but are quite reluctant to push themselves. This means they are quite happy to sit in the comfort zone even though this does not result in the level of progress and learning that we would like. As soon as they some students are pushed into the challenge zone their negativity towards the subject tells them that they are not going to succeed which results in this becoming the panic zone. As soon as they enter the panic zone, learning is once again not as effective as it should be.
The key to changing this has to be getting the students to take more ownership of their learning and challenging themselves to improve. They need to realise that there is little to be gained from happily working though questions or activities that they find easy and need to be willing to push themselves to maximise learning. I’m not sure how easy it will be to start changing the negative outlook that some students have towards Maths, but it is obvious that we need to get students working in their challenge zone more often if they are going to make the required progress in their learning.