It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom (the new staff were wise to join you), it was the age of foolishness (for those that left your incredible team), It was the epoch of ….. Ok I'll stop with this tedious Dickensian intro. Every once... Continue Reading →
In school variation and that 2004 OECD quote: Maybe I’m wrong?
This blog may only exist as long as my ignorance. Throughout most of my career I have been shown a quote from a 2004 OECD report on maths PISA results and socioeconomic status. “In the PISA results, 80 percent of the variation between the pupils in their achievement lay within schools, fully four times as... Continue Reading →
Reflections on research ED 2021.
As I have done in previous years, here is my summary of my takeaways from the talks I went to and some general thoughts on research ED national 2021. Firstly I was really really impressed at how the day ran. The volunteers and organisation was exceptional. Also the speaker's swag bag included jelly beans and... Continue Reading →
What a year!
I thought this academic year was the kind of year that warranted some reflection. So this blog is going to be more of a string of personal reflections and thoughts around a year that I have often described as a kick in the nuts. Seems like the teachers pay and conditions negotiations this year. Firstly... Continue Reading →
Demand characteristics: Why remote learning may allow us to finally see what actually happens in lessons.
Determining the quality of teaching in a department is a vital and challenging part of every school leader's job. This has had a recent twist with the move towards remote education and live lessons. Quality assurance is a difficult thing to get right, we often put too much emphasis on metrics and not enough emphasis... Continue Reading →
Biology SLOP: The Next Generation
In lockdown I've tried to live by the mantra everything you do now, try to make sure it is of use when "normality" returns. With this in mind I have been going through the Biology SLOP booklets and made some changes to the originals Some changes that have been made are: Proof readingSlight reduction in... Continue Reading →
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. https://twitter.com/dylanwiliam/status/1262037870560378882?s=20 Some people are very much in favour of sets. The use of rank order as a tool to make the setting... Continue Reading →
KS3 Mastery booklets
Below are links to download the majority of our KS3 booklets we used this year. These were incredibly helpful in supporting non-specialist teachers, disadvantaged students and improving the amount of reading in science lessons. They are varied in nature as they were written by a wide range of staff and also show a progression in... Continue Reading →
Creating a safe space of the children of key-workers part 2: Promoting social distancing within the school
This is the second part of a blog that focuses on the issues involved with protecting the children of key-workers and suggests some possible solutions. Part 1 which is focused on temperature screening all building occupants on a daily basis. This section shares some of the decisions we have made to try to promote social... Continue Reading →
Building a teaching and learning policy from a single idea: The genius of Prof. Daniel Willingham
I've recently been reading "Why don't children like school?" by the incredibly insightful Professor Daniel T. Willingham. It's amazing! I wish I had read it years ago. While there are lots of ideas that I am now familiar with, through CogSciSci and reading other books and blogs, it's great to read Professor Willingham's perspective on... Continue Reading →