Dixons Allerton Academy

Teaching and Learning Bulletin

Our weekly bulletin...

Each week, the Learning Team will circulate a bulletin covering all things Teaching and Learning at the Academy. Principally, the purpose of the bulletin is to keep all staff updated in terms of all the T&L news at DAA, as well as key events for your diaries connected with T&L.

Don't forget the T&L Breakfast.... WEDNESDAY MORNING in the 6th form hub

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Week 13 Focus: Collaboration in the classroom using technology

What's in it for me?

  • Make the best use of technology at your disposal
  • Enhance student engagement
  • Encourage students to work independently as part of a group


A online corkboard that allows students to post ideas and pictures on a similar topic. Settings need to be changed to allow guests to be posted. An example Linoit board can be seen here.


Imagine Facebook, but in education and used for classroom purposes. Really easy to use- students can post ideas/work on a topic and comment on one another's work. More can be seen here.


Used ideally in terms of iPad in the classroom, but can be used with a number of laptops too. Basically a very easy means of collecting feedback from your class- set free text or multiple choice questions for students to complete and watch the results appear live on the screen in front of you. More can be seen here.

Anthony Agony Section...

Dear Anthony,

I am struggling with the openings of my lessons- at times, it feels like I'm just doing a starter for the sake of it, and it seems to do next to nothing to actually enhance the learning in my classroom. Have you got any bright ideas?

This is a typical problem that teachers have, and a typical reason why they should (like you) always try to reflect on their practice and ask whether what they are doing is really worthwhile. This is the key question you should always ask- is it worthwhile? If not, why bother?

I would suggest that you don't put the cart before the horse- don't spend 25 minutes planning a starter that lasts for 2 minutes. Think about the purpose of the activity-

  • is it to settle?
  • it is to refocus?
  • is it to energise?
  • is it to form a baseline assessment?

You can't fail to find any number of resources or ideas online for starters such as here- the problem isn't the ideas as such, it's more about the purpose.

Common things that I find work are:

  • A controversial statement on the board to elicit an instant response
  • A number of images on the board to connect to previous learning
  • Anagrams of key words previously studied
  • Rebus codes of key words previously studied, such as here
  • A range of tasks based on previous errors made in exercise books- ask students to select from a range of activities

Good luck!




In the raffle for the Teaching and Learning book is:

Andy Sammons – Excellent work with Home Learning – nominated by Marcus Philpot

Andrea Dykxhoorn – Observed using differentiation to engage her students – nominated by Neil Miley

If DOLs have any nominations, please email dcarr@dixonsaa.com

The Learning Team

Danny Carr (AHT)

Andy Sammons

Kiran Ali

Emma Butterworth

Carolyn Shaw

Dates for your diary... THURSDAY TRAINING

Thursday Training: LITERACY WITH RTR

Wednesday, Jan. 29th, 3:30-4:30pm



Thursday, Jan. 30th, 3:30-4:30pm


Thursday Training: AFL WITH MPR

Thursday, Feb. 6th, 3:30-4:30pm



Thursday, Feb. 13th, 3:30-4:30pm