OAKS Subject Expert Day 3

OAKS Subject Expert Day 3 took place on Wednesday 8th December, with some sessions being held at Keele and others at schools from around the partnership. As always, the trainees were working alongside their subject colleagues and were exploring their subject knowledge and pedagogy. All subjects took part in their own individual sessions. Below is a selection of some of these.


Kate and Marine provided their group with an opportunity to talk in French, German and Spanish in every session, with examples used across all three languages. The day’s target language discussion was centred around working effectively with other adults including Foreign Language Assistants. They also explored:

  • How do you develop teaching and learning of grammar?
  • How much grammar do pupils need to know?
  • What should they already know?
  • What are the most common misconceptions?
  • Gender and agreement in verbs, pronouns and adjectives, Key Stages 2, 3, 4 and post-16 construction of sentences, phrases and punctuation.
  • Metacognition – learning strategies for grammar
  • How do you use adaptive strategies in languages?
  • How do we use data to support pupils with SEND, EAL and bilingual learners?
  • How do we stretch and challenge all learners in an inclusive classroom
  • Questioning strategies and groupings for inclusion


In this session Linda entered ‘theatres of learning’ where awareness and curiosity of surroundings are key to uncovering meaning along with peers. Techniques necessary to use this approach were discussed and they explored the impact on behaviour and engagement. Linda also spent time identifying where and how scaffolding or challenge might be required and tasks attached to this.


The overarching session theme was on oracy and literacy in geography. During this session, Craig was looking at a technique called ‘maps from memory’.


Gary’s session focused on developing our trainees’ subject knowledge, specifically based around Quarry Bank Mill (historical enquiry). The session was broken down into the following areas:

  • What high quality planning and teaching looks like for a site visit to Quarry Bank Mill and the importance of historical enquiry
  • Importance of medium to long-term lesson planning (B4L, secondary order concepts, curriculum, assessment and knowledge retrieval/spiral learning)
  • Exploring the significance in history of the bigger-picture thinking (inc. timelines)
  • Metacognition strategies in history – knowledge retrieval/deliberate practice, including subject-specific vocabulary (inc. misconceptions) in historical enquiry and site visits


Within the English session, Judith was approaching the topic of prose. In this session the trainees explored how:

  • we can effectively prepare students to approach prose texts
  • effective readers must have the keys to unlock texts
  • practical strategies and toolkits can be used for effective exploration of prose texts through a series of sub questions:
    • how do we avoid a diminished diet?
    • how do we scaffold teaching novels and extracts?
    • how do we approach structure in an unseen prose text?
    • how do we approach language analysis in an unseen prose text?
    • how do we approach 19th century texts?


For this topic Duncan and the group spent the session putting into practice a range of different effective strategies which can be used to teach BTEC, GCSE and A level theory PE. The trainees had the opportunity to plan and deliver a range of different classroom strategies. The group explored how an effective PE curriculum can be used to teach literacy, reading, writing and numeracy.


Emma was working with her drama trainees at Keele on the big questions, “How do you respond to teaching a script?” and “How do you develop teaching and learning of scripts across the key stages?”

The group looked at how to teach and support the demands of a text, the development of character, the introduction of drama practitioners, the intention of a text, and communicating meaning in an engaging way. The trainees focused on how to make continuous links from Key Stage 3 to 4 and show progression of the skills, techniques and convention.

As you can see from this selection, our trainees have been involved in some wonderful sessions hosted, as ever, by our fantastic subject experts. We’d like to thank you all and look forward to Subject Expert Day 4 in the new year.