Pixar Pitch

I spent part of the half-term reading Dan Pink’s new book ‘To Sell is Human’.

Don’t be put off by the title. Pink’s message is that selling is no longer the preserve of the salesperson; everyone is now in sales, including educators. Each day we sell our message to students.

One of my favourite chapters is about pitching. There are a number of ideas that could be used with students, particularly when summarising knowledge.

One that I’m going to have a play with, and is mentioned in the video, is the Pixar Pitch. The idea is based on the format of stories told within a Pixar movie. This week I’m going to try adapting it as a plenary activity.


I’ll let you know how I get on…


Favourite quote from my latest read

Do not expect applause. Accept applause, sure, please do. But when you expect applause, when you do your work in order to get (and because of) applause, you have sold yourself short. When your work depends on something out of your control, you have given away part of your art. If your work is filled with the hope and longing for applause, it’s no longer your work—the dependence on approval in this moment has corrupted it, turned it into a process in which you are striving for ever more approval.

Why is David an orphan?

As part of my independent learning drive I returned to the old favourite- the mystery task. This was based around the orphan David in Botswana, the aim was to enable students to consider factors that had influenced birth and death rates, and as a result population structure, within the country.

The resources I used can be downloaded here.

Presentation evidence 1mb pptx
Mystery Task 35kb doc
Follow-up questions 128kb docx
Support cloze passage 18kb docx

We ended the lesson with the legend that is…

Revision coasts

I’m beginning to utilise some ideas from Helen Young’s course earlier in the week. For the first time in my career I have drafted a revision timetable for students. Each week will focus upon a topic,  supported by a knowledge and a past papers session at dinner or after the College day.


We give students revision notes but I’m concerned that their use of these (Am I being optimistic?) is passive, as a result I’m putting together A5 mini-booklets for each of the topics. The aim is for students to use these alongside their class and revision notes.


Feel free to download a copy and adapt to your syllabus. Clicking on the image above will (should) take you to a copy of the file. (1mb docx).

Preparing students for GCSE exams- Course Review

It’s been a long time since I have been on a geography course, but I jumped at the chance of going to meet Helen Young (please take a moment to look at the excellent resources on her Geography Geek website) who was delivering the GA course ‘Preparing students for GCSE exams’. The course was also based in Nottingham and within walking distance, which was a bonus!


Helen discussed a number of strategies she has used with her students to prepare them for exams, I was particularly stuck by her message that revision starts from the first day of the course. As a course leader she stuck a balance between delivering content and providing time for participants to develop their skills, with the opportunity to make revision videos and podcasts. I had a little time to remix one of her podcasts to a funky beat… Smile

Sadly it’s fully booked at the moment, but I’m sure the GA will run it again…

Remember the snow… Landform features.

It was only a week ago since this…


Until this happened.


I set my Year 10 the task of producing snow stack formation as a voluntary homework. I set an example by having a go myself.


It also gave me the opportunity to test out the IMotion time-lapse app.

A couple of students, working in groups, rose to the challenge.







Which is your favourite? Please tell us below.

For Key Stage 3 and beyond…