This month’s #blogsync calls for “an example of a great classroom explanation”. I must admit that I have thought twice about the following contribution as there’s a sense that it really does put me in the firing line – and with a recent damning judgement by an Ofsted inspector, I don’t feel in any strong position to propose that my approach to teaching and learning is in any way congruent with current demands. Nonetheless, I continue, somewhat stubbornly to rely on what the evidence in front of me demonstrates – and that’s that my methods lead to increased interest, engagement and achievement in my students (most of the time)

So, to follow are two captures of my delivering, lecture-style, some ideas about Romeo and Juliet to a mixed ability Year 9 class. You can see the learning programme that these short explanations were embedded in, and you can also look at some samples of the students’ work, which are linked to below.

The students like these mini-lectures and they always ask to record them so they can go back to them later. They are easily accessible to students with dyslexia and the recordings have been of tremendous use with teaching assistants as they like to listen to them before working with the students on their analyical essays. They are a demonstration of the level of sophistication that I expect of students at this level, and I’d be very interested to hear from others whether they perceive this level as too high, too low or just right for students in Key Stage 3.

They do come with a health warning – don’t ever be seen doing anything like this if Ofsted are around!

Capture 1: Fate in Romeo and Juliet


Capture 2: Interpretation of Romeo and Juliet by Baz Luhrmann


The following is a video of a presentation I created earlier in the learning programme exploring the use of metaphor in Romeo and Juliet:

Presentation 1: Metaphor in Romeo and Juliet


Examples of students’ work arising from the learning programmes within which the above explanations were embedded:

  1. Louie’s Essay on Fate
  2. Joe’s Essay on Fate
  3. Henry’s exploration of Metaphor: Attempt 1, and Attempt 2

So, what do you think of the explanation, method of delivery (acknowledging that these captures are published and accessible to students) and the quality of the outcomes? I’d be genuinely interested to know.