Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

If you have a topic you'd like us to cover or if you're interested in covering one yourself in a guest post, please contact us.



guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Teacher Tales: Using video to support the recruitment process

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Harrison on 12 June, 2020

In these most unusual times, school recruitment has had to be adapted significantly, and not only to ensure that schools can still recruit, but to support candidates in showcasing their abilities. Based on a large volume of questions and interactions that have been shared on Twitter, this is clearly worrying both sides when it comes to thinking about how to make it as effective as possible.

As a school we recently faced the same issues and therefore decided to create a streamlined recruitment strategy using our existing systems. Within this blog I will share the template we have created and how the IRIS Connect system has helped to support candidates display their skills, knowledge and experience throughout the recruitment process.

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TeacherTales: How we created a user-friendly curriculum model online

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Harrison on 12 May, 2020

Moving to a new school or year group can be a huge challenge; you have to learn new systems, structures and pedagogical styles whilst getting to know your class and the rest of the staff. So, having a central system with banks of resources, lesson clips and templates can be incredibly useful as you settle in school-life and get to know how things work. 

With this in mind, we decided to create a number of curriculum groups in IRIS Connect with a view to creating a school pedagogy and curriculum model for our teachers. We’ve gone from recording lessons and running internal film clubs (these were incredibly useful starting points) to now building banks of lessons that help to quality assure the teaching that’s happening in our classrooms. Our teachers can now refer to the platform with approved resources and teaching clips whenever they need it.

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TeacherTales: How we saved lesson time delivering exam feedback via video

Posted by Guest blogger - Chris Webb on 30 January, 2020

Giving quality feedback to students is time consuming but, as the EEF points out, we know it’s effective in improving the quality of learning. Here at The Blue Coat School we’re always trying to improve how we feedback to students and in the last 18 months we’ve been sharing short videos of us talking through exam questions that students can watch in their own time. 

 

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TeacherTales: How I support SEND pupils with these 10 tips

Posted by Guest blogger Dr Maria Jagiello on 16 January, 2020

I believe in inclusion and I often wonder if we’re providing the best possible academic progress for our SEND learners within mainstream schools. Do we have enough time to spend with them? How can we improve their progress regardless of sets, or mixed ability classes? How can we teach them to the best of their abilities within overcrowded classes, struggling budgets and other daily difficulties?

I consider myself lucky - I am a SEND specialist teacher who has worked at a special school and is now working in mainstream. It’s given me a different perspective and an opportunity to compare and apply various approaches, techniques and views into my teaching practice. The majority of strategies I’ve learnt from specialising can be easily adapted and adjusted to meet our pupils’ needs in mainstream schools. Here are my 10 tips to support your SEND pupils better.

 

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TeacherTales: How my lesson observations went from crippling critique to collaborative conversation

Posted by Guest blogger - Josh Roy on 8 November, 2019

Having trained in a challenging environment, being deprived of meaningful (in-school) feedback for about two years, and being bombarded with observations from all possible sides, I feel I should be better placed than any to take criticism.

Don’t get me wrong, I recognise that feedback is fundamental for my development as a teacher. But, I still can’t help the very human reaction that I believe exists in many of us, where negative feedback, however it’s dressed up (EBIs etc.), doesn’t exactly inspire motivation and joy. 

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Smarter marking: How I improved my work-life balance with these 5 techniques

Posted by Stephanie Anne Dudley on 16 October, 2019

Guest blog by Stephanie Anne Dudley, T&L Lead, The Excel Academy @Sad_English

Unfortunately, being a teacher is difficult.  Really difficult. 

The reality of it is that it is a vocation, as no one would work over a fifty-hour week unless you really believed in it, deep down. In approaching my seventh year of teaching, I feel that this is the year where I will stop working harder but will work smarter.

The main question I will be asking myself this year is:  "Am I going to mark this? Why? And, most importantly, what is the point?"

 

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