Graham Andre

Graham Andre

Graham Andre has worked in education for over two decades, with roles ranging from school cleaner and secretary to teaching assistant and, most recently, class teacher. After several years of indecision and fear of paperwork, Graham finally bit the bullet, completing a part time degree in Education and Training Studies and became qualified through the GTP route. Graham has experience in teaching all year groups from Reception to Year 6, and is currently ‘progression team leader’ for Year 3 and 4 at Lanesend Primary School (Isle of Wight). He loves to share his creative Maths ideas and resources with educators.

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In August 2017, BBC Two aired a two-part series looking at the role of gender equality in Primary education, with much of the action taking place at Lanesend Primary School on the Isle of Wight. Here, IMS editor James Cain and programme star (and Lanesend leader of learning for Years 3 and 4) Graham Andre discuss how attitudes towards gender have changed at the school.

Its was a with some trepidation and a little fear when our head said to us about teaching Shakespeare as a topic. This was shaped by my own experience with Shakespeare at school, which basically amounted to reading from a book and having little to no understanding of his fantastic language. After a staff trip to the Globe in London for CPD and some inspiring ideas shared I was happier, even a little excited about the prospect of teaching Shakespeare to 7 and 8 year olds. My class were called The Tempest - this was primarily the play I concentrated on - but many of the ideas I used could be used and adapted with any Shakespeare play.

Teaching can be a strange thing, you can plan a lesson to within an inch of your life, you can create resources and finely tune the learning objective, but sometimes some of the best lessons can be those that you didn’t plan or even create an objective for. This is one of those lessons. It was our termly celebration day, where parents are invited in to share their children’s work from the term, and we had just come to the end of the sharing with an hour still left of the day. I had a class of expectant parents with little to do. “Right,” I thought, and pulled a bit of gamification out of the bag.

I love music and regularly use it in my classroom (I have written a couple of Staff Room blogs about this). I love the impact it can have on your children and the mood of the class, want to soothe them, play some chilled classical music or Spanish guitar music, want them to get ready for learning then use Don’t Stop me Now for a wake up shake up.

What’s better than the Amazon Prime Sale and Black Friday? Twitter! When I first joined Twitter I didn’t realise its full potential. I followed a few sporting heroes and a couple of celebs but did not realise the use it had, especially as educators. It wasn’t until I offered to edit the Numeracy Shed for Rob Smith that I started to follow other educators and take part in educational chats. As my following and followers rose, the benefits and potential for learning using Twitter grew. In fact I’d say it has been one of the single most influential things in my teaching in the last 18 months, and continues to give me fantastic ideas and resources. It has opened up avenues for me that otherwise would not have been possible.

Now that the new year and new term is well underway, how about trying something new in your classroom? How about trying ‘Genius Hour’?

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