Virtual Learning UK

Teaching and Learning Newsletter - Edition Two


Welcome to edition two of the VLUK Teaching & Learning Newsletter. As we move towards the end of term one I am sure you are all looking forward to a well earned break. Term one always tends to be hectic as teachers work hard to get their learners settled in and site teams try to create a positive working environment. Now is a good time to reflect on your progress to date and ensure you are well equipped moving into term two.

This edition will hopefully point you in the right direction with some curriculum planning ideas that are useful at this time of year. You will also find some messages from the admin team and some information on the all important UCAS applications.

As always, we welcome contributions to the newsletter as well as feedback. Thank you to those that have been in touch already. If your ideas are not in this edition, they will certainly feature in the newsletter very soon!

Ideas and feedback to:

Focus on Teaching & Learning

Learning walks & observations

By now your VLUK lead is likely to have completed learning walk or perhaps an observation at your site, perhaps in one of your lessons.

The idea of these visits is to get a clear picture of what is happening in classrooms across the country and to highlight the excellent work demonstrated by our teachers. They are also there to support teachers and to identify where we might be able to support each other. We hope to use the newsletter to showcase some of the excellent work we see and to also offer some suggestions as to how we can demonstrate outstanding teaching and learning in our classrooms.

Learning walks and observations will continue throughout the academic year and will be completed by VLUK and EFP staff.

Remember, these procedures are there to develop us as practitioners and should not therefore cause worry or distraction from your usual teaching practice.

Questioning Techniques

One of the common themes picked up in lesson observations is the use of questioning. Whereas teachers often use this as a form of assessment it is sometimes aimed at one level only. It is worth referring to Bloom's taxonomy to combat this. As teachers, there is only a certain bank of questions we can store in our short term memory and therefore refreshing knowledge might be a way you can stretch and challenge learners through effective questioning.

The image below is an example of how Bloom's taxonomy could be used to develop questioning techniques.


A brilliant tool to interact with students is Educreations. This comes in the form of an app for tablets and smart phones and essentially acts as an interactive whiteboard from which you can create a flipped classroom scenario. This can then be shared with learners so they can access the message form anywhere and at anytime.

Useful uses for Educreations are:

- Recap sessions

- Stretch and challenge tasks

- Homework reminders

- 2 minute topic snapshots.

Have a look at the video and download the app to see how it could work for you.

Scheme of Work

Those of you teaching year 12 level 3 learners will have noticed that we are now moving into delivering the fitness modules, unit 7 and unit 4. The scheme of work is designed to allow you to blend these units and to be as hands on as possible when it comes to collecting fitness data and developing training programmes.

Note: Some sites might be delivering the SOW in a slightly different order. Remember, this should be amended on your SOW document and agreed with your VLUK lead.

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The idea is that you are able to deliver the different types of training (U4) before collecting fitness testing data (U7). The students can then use this data to develop the six week training programmes with realistic targets. This is also a fantastic opportunity to work alongside the coaches at your site to help collect data and set up fitness testing sessions.

Unit 3 - Assessing Risk in Sport

This is written into the scheme of work as an independent study unit. The learners are asked to work through the content on SportsBrain independently in their own time and come to their teacher as support as an when needed.

This is designed to develop their research skills and time management but it is advisable to use part of each week as a catch up session where learners could use an open forum to ask questions or perhaps discuss topics in small groups.

It is worth considering the work done in other units when looking at unit 3. It might be that you have covered some of the grading criteria in other units. For example, Unit 5 Sports Coaching asks the learners to plan a sports coaching session. This would then produce evidence for some of the unit 3 criteria.

Checkpoint 1

You should now have completed your first set of checkpoint data. As mentioned previously, this is a really important document that allows you to track the progress of your learners and project their overall success. The checkpoint data will form the basis of discussions at the performance board to be held between the 29th November and 2nd December.

Now is an excellent time to highlight any under performers and put early interventions in place. The earlier the intervention, the easier it will be to get learners back on track, meeting the minimum standards and ultimately exceeding their target grades. Please speak to your VLUK lead for support and it is important to record learning interventions to allow a review and action process.

Internal Reminders


Please be reminded that as of 31st October, we will only be using email addresses.

This is for both professionalism and safeguarding purposes.

Reminders have been sent out via email with instructions of how to set up the accounts. If you are still unsure or have any questions, please contact Gemma Halsey.


The UCAS application process should now be well underway for your learners.

Remember that all learners should be applying through EFP that you are linked to. For the 'buzzword' of your EFP please contact your VLUK lead.

We will be featuring some UCAS hints and tips int he next edition of the newsletter. In the meantime, take a look at this youtube playlist that covers each and every section of the process.

Using Apply 2017


Something for nothing

A great way of accessing industry experts and maximising the learning experience for your students is to have a look at what is available in your local area. Talk to local professional clubs, use the contacts in your own sites and browse the websites of local universities.

Thank you to Danny Laws from AFC Sudbury who has highlighted these excellent workshops being delivered by the University of Essex. They are run by the schools outreach team at the university and although they are only covering a local area, it is certainly worth contacting your local universities to see if their outreach teams are doing something similar.

These particular sessions are all free and the Sports Science team at the university are travelling to school, colleges and sites across the county to engage FE learners.

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