- Teacher of Business Studies and ICT for 11 years.
- PGCE Business / QTS achieved 2004. BA (Hons) Business 2:1 2000.
- Head of Department at both Oxford Spires Academy and Oxford Academy for a total of 6 years (with responsibility for Business, ICT, Enterprise and Design Technology).
- I have also held positions as Enterprise Coordinator and Lead for BAF Diploma Qualification across the City of Oxford.
- In Business, I have coordinated and taught GCSE (AQA and Edexcel), BTEC (Level 2 and 3 New and Old Specs), AS/A2 (AQA), BAF Diploma and BTEC Enterprise & Entrepreneurship L2 aswell as host of other short courses.
- ICT - I have taught ICT every year apart from at Hastingsbury. Mainly KS3 IT, Digital Literacy, BTEC Level 2, OCR National and GCSE.
- Geography - Completed 12 lessons of cover in Tourism topic at GCSE level last year.
- I have maintained websites for my Departments and for sharing of great practice since 2004. The most recent 'off-shoot' of this is MrCoakley.com. Please click the link below to see how I organise courses / classes and how I engage students with my subject both inside and outside of School.
- My most recent observation here at Hastingsbury highlighted "positive engagement", "good at picking up on low level disruption", "use of praise", "high expectations", "stretch and challenge", "good organisation and planning" and "excellent use of ICT". A copy of the observation form can be provided upon request.
Attaining Good Outcomes
- Last year, I was at Oxford Academy and as Head of Department (Business and ICT) I oversaw the following set of results...
- GCSE Business - Assumed control of group of 22 students at the beginning of Year 11. Quickly identified 6 students who had not submitted C grade exam practice results or controlled assessments and transferred them to the Old Specification BTEC. All 6 passed the course! With the remaining 16 students, 6 achieved target grades C+ (38%) which was in line with overall School results. In retrospect, having the group for two years would have made more of a difference.
- BTEC Business Level 2 - 6/6 students achieved PASS grade (100% C grade GCSE equivalent)
- GCSE ICT - Assisted (Line managed) a new Teacher to the Department in successfully achieving a subject-best 83% A*-C
- BTEC ICT Level 2 - Directly involved in delivery of two units towards an overall 100% PASS rate with nearly 80 students! We even changed specification at the beginning of the year so effectively started and completed the course in a single year.
- BTEC Business Level 3 - 5 students completed at or above targets. 2 Distinctions, 2 Merits and a Pass.
- On the link below, you can see my final report to Governors at Oxford Spires Academy where I was Head of Department for Business, Economics, ICT and Work-Skills...
Selection of recent lessons (with good range, variety, pace and challenge)...
A 'flipped lesson' I recently designed and delivered as a 'last minute request' for a colleague. The lesson features video, good example images and a template accessible to all. It can be sent / shared as a single hyperlink and delivered anywhere anytime!
In a recent Year 13 A2 Business lesson, we used the 'thinglink' below to aid collaboration and fuel a fascinating discussion about Privatisation v Nationalisation using Royal Mail as a case study...
As a break from theory lessons and to also cover the topic of 'Entrepreneurial Skills' I set my Y10 GCSE group a 'Winter Warmer' challenge. This meant getting prepared to sell some form of product / service from a ‘stall’ on a specific date. The winning team was the one that made the most profit (which students kept). I invested between £0 and 5 dependant on an impressive Business Plan and Team after a Dragons Den style pitch.
In addition to the above, I deliver a wide variety of lessons and adapt my teaching style regularly throughout a cycle of lessons with each group that I teach. Lessons often feature for example...
- E-Notes via Tackk or a Blog
- Silent Debates
- Research and Analysis
- Discussion and Debate (Question Time Lessons for example with Y13 just last week - A tweet about this is on the School website - see picture)
- Dissecting an Infographic
- Contemporary case study work (often based on up to the minute Twitter feedback)
- Re-draw / Re-imagine a theory
- Summarise in a postcard home / tweet
- Collaborative work via Google Documents or Edmodo
- ......and much much more! I don't run the same lessons every year (unless it truly enthuses and engages)!
Maintaining discipline and good punctuality
I use the Schools' already excellent behaviour management and attendance monitoring systems but fundamentally, I believe that the secret to success in these areas is simply to give students no reason to want to misbehave or miss lessons i.e. to make lessons as engaging as possible! I am particularly keen to use the 6 principles proposed by the Connected Learning Alliance (below) as I believe this gives us a starting point for engaging today's learners. Essentially, if we make learning meaningful and relevant then you reduce behaviour issues and increase attendance!
Current major curriculum issues in Business
Increased academic rigour (e.g. BTEC Business Exam, Higher grade boundaries for GCSE, one attempt at BTEC coursework etc) is a major concern. Additionally, ongoing generic difficulties include finding relevance and meaning between what students have experienced and what is taught on a typical Business course. It is difficult enough to teach 'dry' abstract theory like 'Break Even' and 'Production Methods' when the students themselves cannot 'picture' or imagine a scenario where they may even apply the theory.
Solutions might include some or all of the following...
- Increased teaching via innovative 'flipped learning' outside and inside the classroom. Build a culture of independence and resilience.
- The use of technology and social media to get news and examples onto the devices that students use
- Increasing practicality and use of actual Business links. The possibilities via Twitter to contact small local Businesses are endless. Set projects around meaningful and relevant work.
- 'Live' and genuinely useful 'Even Better if / My Response is' rather than on 3 weekly cycles. Continuous Improvement and Dialogue is key (I am trialing this with Y10 / 11 GCSE and VI Form classes right now).
- Increased literacy and exam technique work within each and every lesson. I am currently looking at best practice in the School via my Literacy focus and then trying to adapt to encourage
- Use of 'Classroom Roles' to promote learning together rather than the traditional didactic approach. Students feel more motivated if they are part of their lesson rather than passive learners.
- Use of debate structure to help tackle longer written questions. Practice arguing both sides of an argument which is what is commonly done in Business exams.
- Use of 'silent debates' to really get lessons started. Help to create a common purpose and an industrious atmosphere. Perhaps begin all lessons with an investigation or a question to be answered?
- I find the talk given by Sir Ken Robinson below to be an inspirational 'starting point'....
Contributions I can make to College
Already contributing in three ways...
- Work with Tina Kundi and Heads of Year on 'Padlets' (online noticeboards).
- My area of focus is Literacy. Currently working on Literacy engagement and displays for Teachers without a permanent classroom!
- With John Kane on possible Google Apps / Chromebooks for a trial class at first. If successful, a cheap and very current alternative to the current ICT system in School
- With various over an alternative and free VLE known as Edmodo!
....adding some potentially transforming technological changes at HBEC!
I was due to demonstrate much of these during the workshop scheduled for 16/12 as you can see below...
One of the reasons I joined the College was because of it's Business & Enterprise Specialism and with that, the emphasis on not just the academic but also the development of essential life and work skills. This is best illustrated in the table of PLTs below...
My belief is that we need to nurture these skills and qualities in order to best equip our students to 'find their talents' not necessarily now but certainly in the near future. I am excited about the 'next chapter' in the College's history and I hope that I can really get the opportunity to further develop much of what has been seen above!