Reflections from researchED: Durrington 2019

It was great to see rED: Durrington back for a second year. This year six members of my school took time out of their Saturday to further their teaching expertise. It was a good illustration of how far a desire for evidence-informed approaches has increased over the last year. Below is just a quick recap…

Knowledge organisers for A level chemistry

I’m in the process of making some knowledge organisers for AQA A level chemistry. They are similar to the GCSE ones I have made, but a little cleaner. They are also in powerpoint so you can edit them. All I ask is if you make any resources to support their use please share back.  Links:…

The 10 features of highly effective curriculum planning: A guest blog

Ethos What does your subject area want to achieve with your curriculum and why? Do you want students to gain enduring and powerful knowledge that will equip them to join the big conversations of culture and humanity? Do you want to close the disadvantage gap to bring poorer students in from the intellectual cold? Do…

Understanding questions algorithmically: Update, I was wrong.

This is an update about my last blog, trying to apply algorithms and heuristics to exam questions. It is also a bit of a love letter to edu-twitter. My initial thoughts were that by making my thinking explicit I would be able to teach the students an approach they could apply to all questions. I…

The trouble with Tribbles and Target grades

It occurs to me that target grades are a bit like Tribbles. They turned up innocuously in education and have been used with good intentions, but somewhere along the way they got out of control. Now they often get in the way, demotivate students and destroy teachers’ morale. I thought I would just summarise the…

Pressure bursts pipes

It’s the day before GCSE results day and for the last week I have had a little trouble sleeping. I have also had a lot of contact with other heads of science and know that I’m not the only one. Teaching is such a strange job as you are often herding cats. Running a dept…

Reflecting on angry parents: A trip to the fracture clinic

So today I am taking my daughter to the fracture clinic to get her cast removed. She broke her radius about 5 weeks ago falling over in the playground. The problem is for the first 10 days we did not get an x-ray. I think one of the unmeasurable aspects of the constant reminders of…

Formative assessment: Going back to the well

It’s that time of year where we all start reflecting on our policies and practice. I’m starting by looking at the marking and feedback policy as I think this the hardest thing for me to get right. It also has far reaching effects on the workload of staff and the learning of all students. Obviously…