Achievement Show 2016 – Inspiring departments

Focus on history, geography and MFL

Hear from outstanding practitioners in history, geography and MFL about what has worked in their departments. Effective approaches for developing teaching and learning and Inspiration for subject-level practice no matter what your subject specialism.

Holmfirth High School

Out with the old and in with the innovative: using a range of thinking tools to improve the delivery and outcomes of your teaching practice

Speaker: John Cannon (Head of Geography)

Insight into bringing a geography team into the 21st century and growing a positive growth mindset as a new subject leader of geography, incorporating a range of thinking tools into the everyday practice of meetings and lesson delivery. Also convincing a teaching team that there are other more innovative methods of teaching than simply textbook, and training both staff and students in the use of the de Bono Thinking Hats to help lead more constructive meetings and to aid teaching and learning.


Students at Holmfirth High School are now confident in the use of the Thinking Hats, and this is evident in progress and attainment.

Durrington High School

Knowledge Retention – the use of case study diagrams

Speaker: Martyn Simmonds (Director of Humanities)

How do you ensure that students retain the large amounts of knowledge they need to remember? This session shows how key information can be combined into one ‘memorable’ diagram which can be used as a trigger for students’ memory. These diagrams are used in teaching and also by teachers and students in the revision process.


Students at Durrington High School are more secure in their knowledge (reflected by 88% of students achieving A*-C and 46% A*/A in 2015). This equates to 67% of students achieving 4+ levels of progress and 32% achieving 5+ levels of progress. Feedback from students is also positive – they regularly watch the videos on YouTube as well as re-drawing the diagrams as part of their revision programme.

Parklands High School – an Academy, Chorley

Combining Imaginative Teaching in History and Promoting Challenge


Eleanor Brown (Curriculum Leader for History) and Clare Batson (Senior Assistant Headteacher)

This presentation offers an outline of the top 5 reasons for a history department’s success, especially with A*/A, touching on the importance of transferable skills across the curriculum, touching on creative ways to make the drier topics memorable to students and promoting depth of thinking and empathy in the top ability.


Last year Parklands High School’s A*/A figures were 50%, having previously been 40%.

Trinity Catholic School, Nottingham

The Student’s Voice – feedback in the MFL classroom

Speakers: Natalie Campbell (Head of Spanish) and Alison Rogers (Head of Faculty)

This session shows how student voice can have a huge impact on teaching and learning. Following on from some in-house action research called ‘#itsnotpersonal’, Alison Rogers will show how students’ opinions affect how she plans and delivers lessons.

Natalie Campbell will then look at the value of recording speaking assessment at KS3-5 and the effect of detailed feedback from the teacher on student performance via the Showbie app.


Focusing students’ attention on their pronunciation, accent and application of grammar has enhanced the quality of students’ spoken work and improved their confidence.

Ilkley Grammar School

Top fun tips to help engagement of the unengaged and boys!

Speaker: Kevin Kehoe (Curriculum Leader for MFL/ SLE for the Red Kite Alliance)

This session will explain a successful approach to engaging boys and making language learning fun and accessible using traffic lighting, co-operative learning structures, pupil lead activities and getting the ‘language police’ involved to improve DIRT time, reflection and using the more able to support the less able. Ensuring boys understand and are captivated by language learning through quick snappy games, ideas for vocab learning than doesn’t become onerous as well as making grammar interactive and fun.


Changing the view of language learning for boys and making it more kinaesthetic, interactive and fun. We have equal numbers of uptake of boys and girls for languages at both GCSE and A-level is steadily closing the gap as are results.

Valentines High School

Raising Attainment in A-level History

Speakers: Steve Woodley (Assistant Headteacher) and Nazia Ahad (Head of History)

This presentation will focus on simple, effective ways of raising attainment in A-level history which have proven to be highly successful. The session will share approaches and resources that get students working harder than the teacher by getting them to prepare in advance of lessons, revise from the start of the year in effective ways and ensures that they act on feedback to improve their learning.

‘Raising the level of challenge at KS3’

Alder Grange Community Technology School and Sixth Form

Grey Court School

Taking a department from requires improvement to Outstanding

Speaker: Tom Gordan-Walker

The humanities department had traditionally lagged behind the success of other departments at the school. The challenge was to ensure that humanities achieved results that were significantly above the national average.

I will discuss a range of strategies that can easily be applied to other schools and departments to help them achieve a similar success to ours

‘Using global learning to enhance engagement in geography’

Chelsea Academy

MFL at Chelsea Academy – a blueprint for success

Speakers: Thomas Cragg (Vice Principal) and Bruno Gomes (Curriculum Leader in MFL)

This session covers how to achieve outstanding results across Key Stages 4 & 5, the journey to success from Year 7 onwards, sustaining success with a young team, the importance of staff induction, and the students’ perspective.


MFL at Chelsea Academy was in the top 1% on RAISE Online in the 2014 GCSE results, and the top 3% in 2015 with former language students already at Oxford and King’s College, London. Chelsea Academy are also currently in ‘The Good Schools Guide’ for results in MFL.

Wellington School

Student engagement

Speakers: Joanne Williams (Head of Department) and Alison Weeks (2nd in Department)

This presentation looks at the process of self-evaluation, identifying under-use of student voice and consequently a need to encourage student engagement, and how a development plan can therefore focus on ways to engage students in their own learning. It also covers the introduction of a team of year 10 student language leaders who carry out a variety of responsibilities, including mentoring younger students, conducting peer book scans and organisation of “profile-lifting” events.


A significant improvement in written results and student motivation at Wellington School.