The Progress Pie Chart

THIS has been developed as a Computing/ICT resource. This resource can be used to demonstrate progress of all learners over the course of a lesson. It could be easily adapted to demonstrate progress over a period of lessons (ideally 3 based on the 3 segments).

The resource is a different slant on the more conventional Progress Clock or Progress Wheel teaching resource used by teachers to demonstrate progress in a lesson for every student. It has been changed into a pie chart as this gives it the Computing/ICT backdrop. A blank template can be found in this link THIS Education Progress Pie Chart.

The idea is that students identify what they know at the start of lesson, the progress they have made in the middle of the lesson and then finally what they now know/have achieved by the end of the lesson. The example that can be seen in Image 1 shows a student in one of my groups who is nearing the end of a project over several lessons to create Apps using App Inventor. The student identifies their level and what they are going to do to try and make an improvement within a lesson. The student can show progress within the complexity of the task they are doing or via an improved level (hopefully both!).

Image 1


It can be seen that the student is making choices about their learning, demonstrating understanding about what they need to do to make progress and developing independent learning skills within a given success criteria. It also provides a self assessment tool for students to use at 3 points during the lesson. It could easily be used as a peer assessment tool too. A collection of these would demonstrate progress over time.

At my school we have department open days which allow teachers to visit lessons in other areas of the school to gain ideas and provide constructive advice to improve teaching and learning. In my opinion this a truly collegiate approach to improve teaching and learning within the school structure and breeds a really supportive environment through peer review.

Image 2 shows feedback that I recently received at one of these open days when the Computing department was open for colleagues to visit our lessons. I have included these peer comments within the blog as it demonstrates what other teachers thought of how the Progress Pie Chart is used.


Progress Pie Chart main points from Image 2

‘Clear pathway for progress’

‘Students really interested and engaged, all spoke highly of how much they liked the pace and challenge – I liked the Progress Pie Chart’

‘Effective assessment tools’



Dissecting Progress 8 (@Headguruteacher)

Now that Progress 8 has been born and looks like it’s here to stay, there’s no use wallowing for too long in outrage at the data-garbage bonkersness of it all. We might all agree that averaging out every child’s achievements across the school via a super-convoluted and arbitrary algorithm to generate a single number with […]

via Dissecting Progress 8. The good, the bad and the ugly. — headguruteacher

Reflecting On Growth Mindset Teaching

THIS is a link to number 36 of the Scalby School Teaching and Learning blog which has some great ideas on how to teach a Growth Mindset to young people. 

One link that is mentioned originates from MindShift and attempts to clear up some confusions. The author, Eduardo Briceño discusses ways to support a Growth Mindset and this quote stuck out for me;

cultivating growth mindsets involves a gradual process of releasing responsibility to students for them to become more self-sufficient learners, and praise is a communications technique that tends to be more helpful earlier in that process of building agency. Later on, adults can ask students questions that prompt them to reflect, so that they’re progressing down the path toward independence“.

This has helped me to reflect on two things. Firstly that students cannot be just left to their own devices. So called experts who criticize progressive teaching (if it even exists?) often think that kids are just put in classrooms, given a task and then left to their own devices. It plainly states that if Growth Mindset (arguably a progressive teaching technique) is carried out well it is about building a young persons ‘agency’ and their skills to become truly independent learners. Teaching Growth Mindset therefore is about a teacher using both traditional and progressive teaching styles.

Note: I really hate the fact that I even have to consider that there may be two different styles of teaching. For me there is just one; ‘Common Sense Teaching’ which involves adopting different teaching styles and techniques as the need arises.

Secondly it has given me further confidence that the skills I am trying to develop in the learners that I teach are going to create young people with a Growth Mindset needed for life in the 21st century. The quote encapsulates how I like to teach on a daily basis.

Sources Of Finance (Business Studies Lesson)

THIS is a lesson plan and PowerPoint for a 30 minute Business Studies introductory lesson into Sources of Finance. It could easily be extended for longer learning periods.




The attachments offer the resources needed to carry out the Business Studies lesson.


Leading The Standard For Teachers Professional Development

July 2016 saw the publication from the DFE of the new TeacherStandards_July2016.

THIS is what the new standards suggest to me. I have highlighted some specific detail in the link, some of which I would like to comment on.

A teachers professional development in my view should be based on 2 main objectives. The first objective should be set around how that specific person would like to develop their career and to learn how to improve so that they can excel at their craft of being a teacher. The second should be based around how to ensure the aspirational progress of all learners within that teachers care (very much linked in to the first objective). This objective should also promote the priorities of the school in which they work. These objectives are often broken down further as part of an appraisal cycle. However, I do believe that those who lead professional development in schools should ‘balance school, subject and individual teacher priorities‘ with sensitivity and challenge to ensure successful outcomes for ALL teaching staff and learners.

These are the the excerpts that I would like to make a comment on from the document:

‘A shared commitment for teachers to support one another to develop so that pupils benefit from the highest quality teaching’.

‘Ofsted put it their September 2015 handbook, “a motivated, respected and effective teaching staff” in “a culture that enables pupils and staff to excel”. Meaning that leadership not only prioritise the operational aspects of teacher development’.

‘Activities to form part of a sustained programme, typically for more than two terms… includes opportunities for experimentation, reflection, feedback and evaluation’.

‘effective leadership of professional development… develops genuine professional trust’.

I believe that these are the most important points in the document due to the strong leadership that would be required to make professional development a positive ongoing experience. I have seen, and have anecdotally been told of, leadership in schools which may struggle to promote a culture which enables these professional development standards to be an effective source of improvement. It could be argued that schools where leadership does not harness a culture of professional trust use professional development in a negative way, in direct conflict to using it as a positive tool to embed sustainable improvement.

I have often talked about how leadership should promote collegiate approaches in their schools where colleagues work together to improve towards a common goal. Ultimately this is to provide the best standard of education possible and to achieve challenging outcomes. One final important comment to evaluate is that teachers should be encouraged to take risks and reflect upon improvements that need to be made within a supportive environment. At my current school this was very much the flavour of a recent training session where the focus was planning towards the new academic year and the encouragement of taking risks within our observed teaching.

THIS is what I hope is the genuine way forward for the continual professional development for ALL teachers.


‘Growth Mindset’ or Common Sense?

THIS is about about Growth Mindset and it’s not the first time that I have shared thoughts on this educational approach. Firstly I am a great believer in the concept. I practice this concept in every lesson that I teach and with every child that I come in to contact with in my role as a teacher. My only problem is that over the last few years it seems to have been hailed as the new great approach that all teachers should practice. Again I would agree with this… but its not new! In my view all teachers if they are doing their job properly should be demonstrating this approach every day.

It is this article that has got me thinking. It is written by Carol Dweck who revisits her research on Growth Mindset. Although this is from September 2015, it made me think about the amount of school leaders I read about who discuss Growth Mindset as the new big thing. I cant help feeling that the research is just common sense.

Surely the point about being a teacher is to grow a young persons mind and always has been? To get their brain working harder than ours is what we should always be trying to achieve? To try new things, to think that did not work and to re-try again in a different way to solve the specific problem should be a mindset adopted as often as possible. That is what we, as teachers do when reviewing our practice and lessons that have gone well or not so well?

If what I am saying is true then we are not only encouraging but practising growth mindset every day in our roles as teachers. What we must do therefore as teachers is to continue this common sense approach to teaching and encourage our young people to adopt a growth mindset. Remember though, we all display a fixed mindset on occasions and that is not the end of the world. However a common sense growth mindset should be a default state we try and return to. It may also help our well-being as it helps us to approach difficulties in a positive way? Again, THIS is just Common Sense!