The first class of a new year often sets the agenda for the year ahead. For Cheltenham Secondary College teacher Spiro Liacos, there is a special formula that starts a new class and gets his students excited about the year ahead. He starts with a welcome, explaining what to expect that year:
While Spiro teaches science, he is also passionate about ensuring students gain further English skills in his classes. ‘The most important thing you learn at school is reading and writing, and even though you can all read and write, the more practise you get, the better you get.'
He then asks the students to read their answers to the class. ‘This way you get to practise your English more, and you’ll be able to teach others about the work we’re doing. You’re not just going to learn stuff from me, but you’re going to learn stuff from each other.’
Spiro said that his strategy to welcome new students to his class seemed to set the class up with a positive start to the year. ‘I’ve been teaching like this for quite a few years now and it is received very positively by my students.
‘They get to show off their work to the rest of the kids, they get to hear best-practice answers from other kids, which lifts everyone’s standards, and kids who may not have understood something first time get to hear the answers from their peers.