Model thinking in education 1: ‘Success to the successful’ in career progression AKA why are there so many PE teachers in positions of leadership?

I think this blog will be the first of many blogs on the use of models and system archetypes in school settings.  Daniel H Kims System Archetypes represent a powerful way of diagraming out systems and their competing factors (#dualcoding). These kinds of generalised systems appear in many areas of life. I’ve always been fascinated…

Accountability, Servant Leadership and the Feckless Teacher.

Over the last month or so I have been mulling over the role of servant leaders in a school context, ideas also addressed in the most recent issue of IMPACT magazine from the Chartered College of Teachers,which includes an article on different leadership approaches and equity of career progression.  At my school we have established…

How Behaviour Spreads: Applying the science of complex contagions to CPD

My summer reading book this year was the interestingly titled ‘How Behaviour Spreads’ by Damon Centola. It’s an account of a decade worth of work and goes into detail about why most of the research and assumptions made about how behaviour is spread are wrong in most situations. I was fascinated by the ideas and…

Setting students: What do we mean by ‘that bottom set feeling’?

There has been a recent discussion around the setting, or streaming, of students on twitter. This tweet by Dylan Wiliam seems to give a slight nudge towards mixed ability favouring less able students. Some people are very much in favour of sets. The use of rank order as a tool to make the setting process…

Walking Talking Mocks: Not as useful as they seem?

A few weeks back our English department did a series of walking talking mocks (WTM) to a large amount of praise from the students. They worked really well and students gained a lot from seeing the live modelling of essay answers, picking up tips. I was first introduced to WTMs from my first PiXL meeting….

School data and the origin of life

On Friday we were fortunate to have a visit by the amazing Dr Adam Rutherford. He came to talk about evolution and genetic genealogy to our triple science and A-level students. It was an excellent event organised by our KS5 lead David Wood. The entire hour and the Q&A that followed were fascinating. Like his…

Book Looks: A policy for teacher development, not bashing

In November our school was fortunate to be paid a visit by Andy Buck. Our Principal had found a way to carve out time for all subject leads to collaborate and look at work scrutiny. It was really useful to be able to explore a whole school strategy together, with guidance from Andy, who had…

Hive switch: How could it be used in a school behaviour policy?

I’ve been fascinated by the behaviour of students (and teachers) my entire career. I’ve worked for over a decade in a school that has come from special measures up to the lofty heights of ‘good’ (#ditchthegrades), and we still have a mix of students from vastly different economic and social standings, of which a minority…