Professional Development Platform

November 12, 2020 Reading Time: 25 Minutes Contributor: CLF Institute

Blended Learning – The CLF Approach

The Four Principles

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1. Close proximity of teacher with their class(es)

Teachers have a sticky responsibility for the learning of pupils in their classes.  They use their knowledge of their children to follow the learning and meet needs, particularly children with SEND or other disadvantage.

Questions to consider:

  • How do teachers remain accountable for their students?  And securing continuity in their planning and teaching?
  • How do teachers ensure the progress of individual students?  And momentum for their classes?
  • How do teachers maintain a close relationship with each student? So that they continue to meet needs?

2. Learning is carefully planned, in line with our sequenced and progressive curriculum

In planning and enactment, teachers focus on What Matters Most for their subject, those students and at that moment in time. (WMM)

Questions to consider:

  • How is learning planned and sequenced at subject level?  How well does it follow the shared curriculum?
  • How much clarity is there on What Matters Most and the key concepts and leveraging areas of the curriculum?
  • How are teachers utilising and benefiting from their Subject Community?

3. Teaching is thoughtfully planned to use the most appropriate pedagogical tools (including IT) for the planned learning in person or at distance

“The general principles of effective pedagogy remain valid in the context of remote learning.” EdTechHub,April 2020

Questions to consider:

  • How are children able to link their different learning experiences together? 
  • How coherently do the components of blended learning fit together – continuity of learning?
  • How is the most appropriate pedagogy selected and used for different learning spaces? 
  • How are teachers supported with Professional Development? How are teachers utilising their Subject Community?
4. Assessment opportunities are built in to gauge progress and to responsively plan to meet need

Questions to consider:

  • How is assessment built in?  How is progress monitored? 
  • How do we gauge progress of all children to inform planning to follow learning to meet need?
  • How are needs met, in particular those of disadvantaged students and those with SEND?

The Technical Infrastructure


Within the CLF blended learning will be facilitated through the Microsoft 365 apps. In particular the Class Teams app will play a key role.

Class Teams provide the following features beyond a normal Team:

  • Students only have write permission in certain areas
  • A dedicated Class Notebook – automatically configured to help manage your lesson resources
  • An assignments mechanism to assign and track work beyond the classroom
  • A grades mechanism to help monitor progress


• Class Teams are free and part of the Microsoft 365 environment. All staff and students automatically get access to Class Teams.
• A student can easily find all their subject resources and calendar items within a Class Team, making it quick and easy for them to pickup their work outside the classroom.
• Class Teams have been built for education and is currently undergoing rapid development and improvement. New features are added regularly.
• There are a number of security and eSafety features that are built into Class Teams. These help make the system safer for students and staff.


To make access to Class Teams as easy as possible for teachers and students the CLF are adopting a standard model of deployment.

The CLF model uses a Class Team for each individual class. This ensures that features within a Class Team are appropriately targeted towards the members.

The CLF IT Team will link Class Teams to SIMS ensuring that a Class Team is created for each class defined within SIMS. Each Class Team will then automatically be populated with students and teachers and this will stay updated should the class change in SIMS.

If you want to start using Class Teams speak to your Academy IT team or email the helpdesk.

CLF Teams Security features
  • Meeting options (set by a teacher when creating):
    • When scheduling a meeting the teacher is able to set student to wait in a virtual lobby, unable to interact with anyone else until the teacher permits them
    • The teacher can disable other members from sharing their screen in the meeting.
      Teachers will be able to select specific members to be enabled for sharing (Feature rolling out)
  • Meeting capabilities (actionable by a teacher during a meeting):
    • If required a teacher can force a participant to leave the meeting
    • “Hard mute” allows the teacher to switch of all microphones from participants and keep them off. (Feature rolling out now)
  • CLF wide settings (pre-set for all CLF students):
    • Default backgrounds can on all pupil videos are set to blur, meaning they’re unable to choose a background image
    • Students are unable to initiate a “Meet now”
    • Students are unable to schedule live events
    • Students cannot delete or edit send messages
    • Students cannot sent GIFs, memes and stickers
    • Students cannot send voice message
    • Chat logs can be searched via the IT admin console

Teams Basics

Contacting People
Scheduling & Managing Meetings
Making Announcements
Adding Files

Teams Admin

Changing Team Settings
Managing Members
Creating Channels
Adding Links
Setting up the Class Notebook
Using Class Insights

Insights in Microsoft Teams uses at-a-glance data views to help you catch up on all your students’ Teams activity, from assignment turn-in to engagement in class conversations. With spotlights on important trends in student activity, your Insights dashboard can save you time in planning, giving feedback to students, and providing help where needed.

Microsoft Promo Video

Adding the Insights App

Microsoft Support Page

Pedagogical Tools

The general principles of effective pedagogy remain valid in the context of remote learning.” EdTechHub,April 2020

Below is an evolving set of videos and links that will help you utilise Office 365 tools in your teaching. Overtime, these will include real examples of good practice from across the CLF.


Recall and retrieval quizzing is an important part of the learning process and a key element of many teacher’s practice. The ‘testing effect’, widely referred to now as ‘retrieval practice’, is a well-known psychological phenomenon whereby people remember things better if they are tested on them. The benefits don’t stem simply from getting feedback on right or wrong answers – although that can help too. It appears that the process of retrieving information from memory actually helps it to be consolidated. In other words, a test can make the memory more secure and less likely to be forgotten. Original Article

Within Microsoft Teams this can be achieved through the FORMS function

Microsoft Forms – PD Platform Support Page

Forms – How to Video

CLF Examples


Discussion in classrooms makes learning more interactive and helps students develop additional skills. Increasing how much students actively participate in the classroom can increase the students’ enjoyment of the class and their retention of factual knowledge. Discussions help to summarize what students have learned and strengthens conceptual and procedural knowledge. Article 1Article 2

Within Microsoft Teams this can be achieved through verbal discussion during a lesson or through using Channels, OneDrive or Onenote

Microsoft Teams – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft OneDrive – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft OneNote – PD Platform Support Page

Channels – How to video

OneDrive – How to video

Onenote – How to video


Questions are an integral part of classroom life and essential to every teacher’s pedagogical repertoire. Questioning serves many purposes: it engages students in the learning process and provides opportunities for students to ask questions themselves. It challenges levels of thinking and informs whether students are ready to progress with their learning. Questions that probe for deeper meaning foster critical thinking skills and higher-order capabilities such as problem solving, and encourage the types of flexible learners and critical thinkers needed in the 21st century. Original Article

Alongside verbal questioning this can also be achieved through the FORMS function

Microsoft Forms – PD Platform Support Page

Forms Poll – How to video

Forms Quizzing – How to video

Providing written feedback

Feedback is an important part of the assessment process. It has a significant effect on student learning and has been described as “the most powerful single moderator that enhances achievement” (Hattie, 1999 – LINK). Feedback is valuable when it is received, understood and acted on. How students analyse, discuss and act on feedback is as important as the quality of the feedback itself. Feedback holds the top place in the Education Endowment Foundation’s Toolkit for enhancing learning – LINK

Within Microsoft Teams this can be achieved through the Quiz, OneNote and Assignments functions.

Microsoft Forms – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft OneNote – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft Teams – PD Platform Support Page

Automated Quiz Feedback – How to video

Onenote Feedback – How to video

Assignment Feedback – How to video

Collaborative student work

Collaborative learning involves pupils working together in pairs, small groups or as a whole class to co-construct knowledge and understanding, solve problems, and/or create artifacts together. Syntheses of research evidence provide compelling support for the effectiveness of group work when it is well-designed and well-set up. Article 1Article 2

Within Microsoft Teams this can be achieved through OneDrive or OneNote

Microsoft OneDrive – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft OneNote – PD Platform Support Page

OneDrive – How to video

OneNote – How to video

Independent Practice

‘independent practice’, involves students practising tasks without guidance from the teacher. While independent, this practice should be monitored, to ensure that mistakes are not made. Barak Rosenshine argues that independent practice is required for over learning and automaticity and that students need extensive, successful, independent practice in order for skills and knowledge to become automatic. Original Article

Within Microsoft Teams this can be achieved through OneDrive, OneNote and the Assessments function in class teams

Microsoft OneDrive – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft OneNote – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft Teams – PD Platform Support Page

Onedrive – How to video

Onenote – How to video

Teams Assignment – How to video


Most human behaviour is learned observationally through modelling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviours are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.” Much of the evidence and research point towards modeling being an essential part of effective teaching – Article 1Article 2

Within Microsoft Teams this can be achieved through Stream, Powerpoint and Onenote

Microsoft Stream – PD Platform Support Page

Microsoft Onenote – PD Platform Support Page

Stream – How to video

Powerpoint – How to video

Onenote – How to video


Assignments are a great way to set, collect and assess student work. Teachers can create tasks, upload worksheets or set quizzes. Students can easily access all of their assignments for all of their subjects and complete them online or download and complete them offline. The feedback loop is also quick and easy with teachers adding comments to work and a summary before sending it back to students for review. Students can make amendments before resubmitting if required.

Setting Assignments

Completing Assignments – Student View

Assessing and Providing Feedback

Responding to Feedback – Student View

Adding Rubrics

Using Rubrics during assessment

Additional Resources

October INSET training Videos

Training Skills Sheet – This form was used to structure the INSET training

Training Video 1 – Basic Teams skills

Training Video 2 – Teams Admin

Training Video 3 – Pedagogical Tools