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Archive for June 2012

Setting Cover? No need: Email exchange with Year 10 student

Co-Construction in Action with Year 10 Physics This is the email exchange I had with a Y10 student earlier this week: (for some context take a look at this post and linked pdf to see what the co-construction process entails. Arjun is one of the team co-teaching the Waves unit this term. They had recently … Continue reading

Exams debate is far too narrow…. as usual. What are the alternatives?

I always think that if you want to criticise an idea, you really should be prepared to offer a better one. So far in the debate stirred up by Michael Gove’s back-door announcement of a return to O Levels, there has been very little in the way of serious evaluation of competing alternatives – and … Continue reading

Y5 son’s existential realization of the Goldilocks paradigm

My Y5 son had one of those lovely awakenings recently, marveling at the extraordinary fact of our existence on Earth. This followed two events. One was a trip to the superb Darwin Centre in the Natural History Museum which tells the story of evolution brilliantly well. The second was the moment I woke him and … Continue reading

Marking in Perspective: Selective, Formative, Effective, Reflective

Marking in Perspective: Selective, Formative, Effective, Reflective Context and Motivation I’m feeling relieved, smug and virtuous because I’ve just marked some books. It feels good because a) it was overdue and, hence, was having that ‘albatross’ effect; b) for a change I am looking forward to going into my class tomorrow without feeling guilty and … Continue reading

Learning Lessons: Talking Texts; Reading with the Ear

Please click here for the latest issue of Learning Lessons.  It describes the power of reading aloud in a range of teaching and learning contexts. This now has a companion online issue of Learning Lessons reporting on the English Department’s ‘Reading with the Ear‘ project

Connecting Performance Review to CPD: The KEGS Departmental Review

At KEGS we have been working on a new process we call Departmental Review. The idea emerged from a discussion about what processes really make the biggest impact on improving the quality of teaching.  Our hunches were that for the majority of teachers the following applied: Accountability driven processes – the formal PM lesson observations, … Continue reading

Song for Venus: Sola Vida

I’ve been working on composing a song, Sola Vida, with help from some students over the last few weeks.  Here is the latest recording: The composition originated as an instrumental piece: On June 6th Venus completed its transit across the sun.  My son was moved to say “how come we got picked out of all … Continue reading

Teaching and Learning ‘Market Place’ CPD.

A key strand of our ‘research-engaged’ philosophy and practice is that all KEGS teachers are involved in a Teaching and Learning Workshop throughout the year.  This is in addition to the CPD that takes place through departmental meetings, individual CPD courses and the routine practice of ‘reflect and refine’.  We are looking to explore new … Continue reading

Empowering students to own their learning solves maths problems

Empowerment isn’t just a buzz-word.  It makes a difference to learning.  Take a look at this problem:  The question is this: what fraction of the shape is shaded? The level of maths required is well within KS3.  Area of a square?  Simple.  Area of a circle?  Harder, but straight forward.    But, ask students to do … Continue reading

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