Our Lady's R.C. High School
Winning resources shared by
Q&A with Mr James Keulemans, Headteacher
What is your reaction to winning the Primary category of the TES Schools Challenge?
The school is very excited to be recognised for the work done by our staff in sharing resources. It is a testament to the ethos of the school and the genuinely collaborative nature of our staff that this has been achieved.
What will you spend your £4,000 on?
The money the school will receive will be split and used to further enhance CPD opportunities in school as this has been a key component of our recent success and again supports our collaborative ethos. Secondly the money will be spent on resources and the further development of literacy skills across the whole school, as we believe that this is an essential base our students need to continue to raise their aspirations and expectations.
What was the inspiration behind the resources shared by your staff?
The team have shared many of their English teaching resources and the resources are wide and varied. With a change of curriculum in Key Stage 3 and a change of GCSE specification, they were changing pretty much all of their lesson plans, but didn’t want to lose the years of work that they had already put in. So, at the start of uploading, the two teachers were sharing work that had actually spanned back to when they were both unqualified and from their NQT year. They knew that those resources could be used as a springboard for someone else to design more up to date lessons and that even the exam PowerPoints on the legacy specification would be useful, as they were skills based.
Although most of the lessons are for English, both of these teachers also teach the Citizenship GCSE, so they have uploaded their GCSE teaching materials here too. Michelle runs our whole school CPD and manages the NQTs, so she has also added some training PowerPoints to support schools with sharing good practice and, as an ex Head of Media, she has uploaded all of her GCSE Media Studies materials too.
Nearly every upload is at least a full lesson PowerPoint with its own resources attached. In some cases, where lessons can work standalone, schemes of work have been split. However there are also full schemes of work uploaded as single uploads.
The inspiration behind the recent lesson uploads was an awareness that teachers were struggling to find quality resources to teach the new GCSE specifications in both Literature and Language. As this school is categorised as “challenging” and “improving” there is a huge drive to constantly look for new ways to engage and differentiate lessons to the needs of the individual pupils. What Claire and Michelle teach to one class today, will be entirely different for another class next year so, by uploading the resources to the TES, not only do they always have a lesson on line to adapt, but they are able to share that with others who can do the same!
Why do your staff enjoy sharing resources on the TES site?
The simple answer here would be that both teachers like sharing their resources for the prizes… but there is more to it than that! Both Michelle and Claire are very competitive.
One of the things that I know that both of them love, is the emails that they get from all over the world that thank them for their contributions. Michelle says that she gets at least one email a week from a TES user about her resources and, recently, she even had an email from someone who had used a scheme of work and updated it, offering to send it back to her.
Both Claire and Michelle use the resources area to get ideas and lessons too. So, they feel that, the more people that contribute, the better it is for teachers everywhere!
What does your school like best about the TES site?
Various members of the school community use the website for various reasons. Alongside the resources, that I know many of the teachers use to find ideas and inspiration, is the obvious job adverts section. Most of our staff have come here on the back of the positions that have been advertised in the TES. Some of our teachers are also users of the forums and seek advice and ideas in there too. In fact, so valuable is the website that, as part of induction, we now show PGCE students who are placed with us what is on offer in the TES new teachers area!