#C2C – the final countdown

Two weeks ago, the boys and I attempted a 30+ miler, with hills, to help prepare ourselves for our #C2C journey at Easter. We were aiming to cycle all over Derbyshire, up hill and down dale. We made just under 30. Pretty much a marathon. We did indeed encounter plenty of hills (some fearsomely beastly) but it was all good training. We had an enjoyable day, a cracking (if not over ambitious) pub lunch and an opportunity to test out the bikes in the wild, as it were.

What concerned me slightly was, as we arrived back at the Team Leader’s ranch, wet and tired, that we had cycled only half of the first day’s target. Could we have cycled the distance again? Unlikely. But, we knew we were at home, we’d finished. Mentally, we’d clocked off.

The rest of the Wheezy Riders have been training brilliantly, thighs are pumped, bikes are serviced and endurance is brimming at an all time high. Not for Benji however…

Tonsillitis hit me this week and the knowledge that I had to fit yet another flat tyre. With less than a fortnight to go, there are lots of preparations, including some night-time rides that need to be squeezed in to my hectic schedule.

So why then are we doing it? Why are a group of wheezy riders cycling the width of our country? For charity, it’s simple.

Andy & Nigel are cycling for Sarcoma UK – LINK

Rhys is cycling for the Dogs Trust – LINK

Matt is cycling for Anthony Nolan – LINK

And I’m cycling for Derby Kids Camp – LINK

So, if you’ve got time, click a link or text WBEN75 to 70070 with your amount.

Don’t let us push ourselves without good cause. Thanks.

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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Thoughts & Musings


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Maths Problems: Working backwards

This is a problem I used when I was teaching in Notts a few years ago and have since used again with Y6. It’s a good example of working backwards; eliminating redundant information; and partner work. As an extension, the children changed the names of the teams and re-wrote the scores using the same pattern. For the really able, they produced a similar problem but changed the wording of some of the problems.

I altered the team names to match the then current employees – more for amusement value than anything else.

Let me know if you try it and it works. It is available in Smart Notebook, Promethean but the quality has changed during the transition from one to another. Best solution: use the word doc and drop it into your own table. I am happy to email the files for you if you want, can’t upload them here.


basketball scorelines – word doc

basketball-scorelines – PDF

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Posted by on April 6, 2014 in Numeracy


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Tweetable links and goodies.

Have recently prepped a load of my (and @batttuk’s) more popular links into a ‘tweetable’ form. Lots of good stuff here – not all mine. Take a look.

My TMMidlands presentation – Ben’s Google Tools: Boogle #ukedchat

GTAUK: food for thought and stomach

#esafety poster idea (used in anti-bullying week) #ukedchat

Maths: layered learning – an Ofsted like. #ukedchat

#Y3 #tagrugby plans

Macbeth resources: a veritable hoard/horde #Y6 #shakespeare #ukedchat

Positive behaviour card #ukedchat

Circuit training cards with Action Man #ukedchat #pe

#Y6 spellings: a collection to use & abuse #ukedchat

Maths & writing marking policy – a step in the right direction? #ukedchat

Punctuation tally stickers – very useful. Levels 3,4 & 5 #ukedchat

ICT AUP – acceptable use policy #ukedchat

Level 6 grammar resources (not mine – just passing them on) #ukedchat

Alice in Numberland – a large problem-solving pack. Can be tailored to suit. #ukedchat

Who is responsible for the death of King Duncan? #shakespeare

Adverbial phrases homework #ukedchat

#esafety presentation to parents

Shoved-in-clauses: embedded clauses, a festive take…

Want 20gb of FREE cloud space? A couple of clicks and you’ll be there. COPY is fab.

Using twitter in education. @ianaddison @ideas_factory

Surviving an EBD school via @njthurly #ukedchat

Twitter Magic – guest post by @ICTMagic

#batttie by @johnmayo

#battt week guest posts – old but still great to read. #inspiration

10 ways to use twitter – a helpful guide. #ukedchat

Twittering Tweachers @sorrell_km #ukedchat

School Twitter Account @basttuk #ukedchat #bastt

Twitter Tips from @syded06 @mracolley #ukedchat #battt

What the # are hashtags? #ukedchat

The 10 stages of Twitter: stolen from @syded06 #ukedchat

Pimpin’ the profile – make yourself ‘followable’ #ukedchat #battt

Breaking out of the egg shell – show us who you are. #ukedchat #battt


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That first half-term…

… I’ll not lie, it was tiring.

I just secured my first official deputy post and first time as class teacher of Y3. I have done both before but only on a temporary basis. After 12 years in education (16 if you include the 4 at university in intensive training) and 5 of those as assistant head; I felt I was ready for the next step.

I have learnt loads, how to deal, encourage and communicate with different staff – I am by no means an expert – how to transfer the skills I learnt in my previous posts and embed them here. I am learning. All the time, learning. No one gets it right first time, and that includes me.

I think the hardest thing I had to get used to was the come down from year 6. From leaving them in the summer as nearly Y7 to picking up Y3 who had only just left Y2! I knew I would have the constant questions, the continual patting of my shoulder (only when sitting down, I am tall) and the need to ask me everything about anything. All. The. Time.

It’s a different mindset is all. My wife teaches in Nursery and Reception and to her, Y3 are pacey, independent, sharp and ‘grown up’. To me, compared to the ‘big league’ they’re not. I do love my class though, they are fun and after a few weeks, they are already beginning to form into Mr W’s class.

The main thing I’ve learnt this half-term though: expectations. Not lowered expectations, that would be wrong. I have high expectations and the children and parents know it. Just, differently pitched expectations. I have had to adjust what they can do in a certain amount of time. Two lessons prove this more than anything else: PE and ICT. I planned a unit of tag rugby for the children and they were fab, just a lot less skilled than a Y6 group would be, obviously. With ICT, their hands are constantly up, constantly asking for support as they can’t find this or click that.

So, I’ve adjusted. I’ve tweaked. I have a specific number of children who are ICT comfortable and they are my class leaders. They are the ‘go-to’ people before me. Teaching Y3 is very different to Y6 but I like it. I love their innocence and happy acceptance of new things. They are thrilled by simple things and are desperate to improve.

Next update at Christmas…

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Posted by on March 8, 2014 in Thoughts & Musings


#C2C – the battle of man v bike.

… or rather, man and bike. I have no intention of going to war my trusty steed – it has to support my rotund buttocks for 140 miles.

So, the story. My good friend (and team leader) Nigel cycled the width of the country last year and had been encouraging (pestering) us to join him the following year. I was up for it, to be honest. I love a challenge – I have been known to make some rather bold and ridiculous ones during the last couple of decades: walking Lands End to John O’Groats, climbing to Base Camp and a personal favourite: Rowing to France in a two-man boat. This, however, I could do.

We leave in 8 weeks!

I’ll be honest (again) I have been monumentally busy at work (a different blog post or two) and being a #distressedad is never conducive to bizarre, macho challenges, so when the date was agreed, I thought I had ages to prep.

We leave in 8 weeks!

I mean, I’ve ridden before, you know to the park and back with the boys. Sometimes even with a bag of papers on my back but this was different. It seemed…bigger.

We are to ride the 140 miles or so over three days: day 1 – 60, day 2 – 40 (mostly uphill) and day 3 – 40. I am looking forward to it very much, the idea of pushing myself physically is not something I’ve done for a while and I am relishing the chance to train and to spend time with Team Wheezy Riders.

We are: Rhys Morris, Matt Waldram, Andy Barker, Paul Doyle, Steve Baxter and Team Leader: Nigel Woodings.

There is another reason for cycling: I believe that if I am doing this, then someone should benefit from it. I have worked with Derby Kids’ Camp for a number of years and think the work they do is brilliant. Take a look at their website for more information. You can sponsor me in a number of ways, probably the easiest is via a text.

Text WBEN75 and your amount to 70070 – just a couple of pounds is all it takes to make a difference. Site HERE


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Posted by on February 16, 2014 in Family, Thoughts & Musings


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TM Midlands – Boogle

My super-speed presentation at #TMMidlands – feel free to check the links and see if you’ve missed anything.


The presentation

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Posted by on February 6, 2014 in Edugeneral, ICT, Thoughts & Musings


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#C2C – sponsorship

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

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Posted by on January 29, 2014 in Thoughts & Musings


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