Minutes of LT Meeting

Monday 10th May 1.00pm

1. Present

B Smith, E Webster, M Jegat, C Henderson, R Middleton, R Taylor, C Cruickshank, m Walker, K Balsillie, C Parker


2. Apologies 

D Ramsay


3. Progress with projects/ format of final report  

Each member of the group spoke about progress with their projects.  These are at various stages and staff reported how original ideas have sometimes developed into something different, dependent upon the class and circumstances.

BS distributed a template for the final project report.  Comments were welcomed.  Team members were encouraged to share final reports with the others members of the learning team prior to final submission in the week starting 7th June, although there was no obligation to do so.


4. In-service day in August 

There was discussion about the organisation of this half-day.  Some people felt that it would be quite daunting to present their findings on their own.

It was agreed that the team would ‘buddy-up’ with the idea of having four distinct presentations that staff could volunteer to attend, based upon learning team projects that shared a common key feature of Assessment.  Team members were encouraged to check the website to see which projects matched up with their own.  

EW,RT and KB agreed to take on the organisation of the in-service activities and will meet in the near future to discuss the way forward and investigate the views of the wider staff.


5. Website/Learning library 

The website is being updated with minutes and any other relevant information relating to the learning team.  BS reported that with current budget restraints it may not be possible to have funding for the learning library, however he would discuss this again with the headteacher.

There was some discussion of having a ‘virtual learning library’ with links to websites containing interesting and relevant information.  This is already underway on the learning team website and any further relevant sites and resources would be posted.


6. Staff opportunities

BS indicated that there may be development opportunities for staff within the learning team as a result of staffing changes in the school for next session and asked LT members to consider this.





8. Date of next meeting

 7th June 2010 – lunchtime

Improving assessment practice

Preston Lodge is one of a number of school across the country to have been involved in developing materials for the first phase of the National Assessment Resource(NAR). PLHS PE department have developed assessment practice in the level 3 Health and Wellbeing outcomes and experiences through gymnastics. Students learned to manage their own learning and that of peers and provide feedback to support others as well as assessing their own level of confidence with particular skills.

The PE department have done some really interesting work that will help lead the development of assessment practice not only withing PLHS but also at a national level.

Minutes 29/3/10


Improvement projects

• All staff involved have submitted project plans, target date for completion of projects is 31/5/2010 to give us time to collate and present the information at the in-service day in August.


In-service day ideas

There was some discussion surrounding the format of the in-service day in August that the learning team will have an opportunity to lead. Some ideas and issues raised were as follows.

• Should staff select an activity based upon a menu of options relating key features of AifL or a specific project of one of the team members, with each session delivered by one of the learning team.
• We should ask staff what they might find useful.
• Sessions should be opt-in rather than compulsory?
• Could we email staff to canvass opinion and ask for feedback at the next staff meeting or CAT session?


• BS to discuss with HT and then email staff

Comments welcome. Have you delivered in-service training as part of a learning team or in relation to improving assessment practice? Any good ideas? Anything to avoid?! Please leave a comment or feel free to email (see Learning team members page).

Peer assessment in Art and Design

Below is a short report from Ms Middleton in the Art department detailing some work she has been carrying out on peer assessment with her Intermediate 2 class. 


Peer Assessment

I carried out an extra support lesson for six Intermediate 2 Art and Design pupils in S4. Pupils are currently revising and learning how to apply their knowledge to the written art and design studies exam. This exercise was designed to help them revise and also identify areas of weakness within their own knowledge. I also think that preparing and delivering a presentation helps build confidence.

Structure of the peer assessment:

I prepared cards for the assessment. Each card explained what pupils had to do. E.g.

Art Nouveau

You have been asked to explain to the rest of the group about the movement, Art Nouveau. You must include dates, key principles of the movement and those involved.


Pupils had their notes (which had been previously highlighted to emphasise key points). I gave pupils 15 minutes to prepare and make notes if necessary.

Each pupil had two cards and were asked to talk in chronological order. Pupils had to ‘traffic light’ the talks. The criteria for traffic lighting was to compare the presentation to how they could have explained the topic


Green: meaning better than they could have done themselves

Amber: meaning about as well as they could have explained it

Red: meaning not as well as they could have explained it.



Generally, this exercise was very successful. I found that pupils performed very well in the presentations and I personally awarded all green and only two amber. Interestingly, this was echoed in the majority of the pupil’s answers. When I asked the group why they gave amber rather than green they were reluctant to answer (I think they were being polite!) I gave a traffic light evaluation to pupils asking:


‘How helpful did you find this session?  (6 green)

‘Has it helped highlight areas which you need to work on?’ (i.e.gaps in your knowledge)  (3 green, 3 amber)

‘How helpful are you finding these extra revision sessions?’  (5 green, 1 amber)


  • In conclusion, this is a strategy that I would definitely use for art and design studies in the future.
  • It took quite a lot of preparation.
  • It might be possible to ask pupils to prepare the cards beforehand as an extra revision tool.

Away day

Wordle: Assesment - learning team


We recently had an ‘away day’ to give staff time and space to develop their thinking for their individual projects.  It provided and opportunity for us to get to know each other a little better away from the busy working environment, to reflect on strengths in our teaching, as well as our areas for development. 

Each member of the team is about to submit a project ‘brief’ to detail the work they are undertaking in their classroom.  In doing so they have considered their baseline evidence, the ways in which learning intentions and success criteria will be agreed and developed with yougnsters and how they will show progression.  We have some really interesting ideas that I’m sure will make a significant impact across the school.  Have a look at the learning team members page for the focus of each staff member.  Please feel free to  get in touch if you see something of interest.

Our learning library will also be coming to fruition in the next few weeks.  We have taken suggestions from staff about what they would like to see in a professional learning resource and hope to have it ‘up and running very shortly’ .  Any suggestions about how we use this resource as a learning community are welcomed.  Current suggestions are:

  • book reviews
  • publication of the month 
  • learning lunches 

 We are keen to develop more ideas to make this valuable resource acccessible to the whole staff so please get in touch if you have any thoughts.

Meeting 8th Feb


1. Away Day

Group wanted time to share ideas and have time to focus on their individual project.

2.  Learning Library

Some of the books suggested are:

                           Teachers Toolkit; Paul Ginnis

                           Can’t Learn, Won’t Learn, Don’t Care; Finton O’Reagan

                           Getting the Buggers to Behave 1 and 2; Sue Cowley



CC suggested that we create a fictitious subject and class and then come up with strategies for teaching the lesson i.e. start of the lesson, assessment etc.  The group felt this is something which could be developed for an in-service day to give staff an overview of different strategies to be used at different times within a lesson.


Group hoped for the students to become more comfortable in their own learning and to get a sense of consistency across subjects e.g. in how to carry out group work


It was also suggested that we speak to P6 and P7 teachers to discuss how we can develop things which are already successful at primary school.


CP wanted to highlight that Music Practical Exams were taking place week beginning 9 March.  This will need to be considered when planning time out of school.



Group members who have not already decided on a focus to email EW or BS as soon as possible.


EW and BS to email out details of time out of school as soon as possible.


Group members to email BS or EW with details of books for the staff learning library before the end of the week.

First meeting feedback

Below are the responses from the group to our ‘starter for 10’ questions.

      1.      What do you want to get out of participating in the Learning Team?

  • Better understanding of how much and how well students have learned
  • Gaining more confidence with AifL
  • Embedding AifL in practice
  • Identifying obstacles to using AifL
  • Sharing with the group – critical friends
  • Getting more consistency of approach to things like sharing learning intentions and success criteria


    2.     What do you want your students to get from you participating in the Learning Team?


  • Enjoyment
  • Feeling part of their learning
  • Different(better) approaches to learning based on the teacher improving his/her practice
  • To know that students are learning more effectively than before



    3.     What would you hope for the Learning Team to achieve this session?

  • Report back to staff on progress
  • A better understanding of approaches to teaching and learning adopted by different teachers and departments so that we may disseminate these good practices the whole school







We will apply for funding to support some project planning and discussion time out of school


There will be a page on the school website for the learning team.  This could be a useful place for people to chart their progress.


There are resources available to help staff think about the focus for their project

  • Shirley Clarke formative assessment book(Available from Emma)
  • ‘Why’ learning teams booklet (Available from Emma or Barry)
  • AifL website  www.ltscotland.org.uk/assess


Action (thanks to Marie!)


For our next meeting have a think about a project you’d like to take forward.  The focus being AifL. 



Date of next meeting Monday 8th February 1.10 pm



Please feel free to add any comments or perspectives of your own if you have a view on any of the above.

First meeting

At our first meeting we are considering the three questions below:

  1. What do you want to get out of participating in the Learning Team?


  1. What do you want your students to get from your participation in the Learning Team?


  1. What would you hope for the Learning Team to achieve this session?


From the responses to these questions we hope to formulate our next steps…..

PLHS Learning Team is born…

Welcome to the pages for the PLHS Learning Team.

The posts here will give you information about what the Learning team are up to and will provide links to sites and articles of interest.

Please feel free to contact us by leaving a comment if you have any questions.

Best wishes!

The Learning Team.