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Archive for August 2012

Hawking: “We are all different…but we all share the human spirit”

As a Physics teacher, it has been a fabulous year for major events to bring the subject closer to students: the Higgs boson discovery at the LHC, the Venus Sun transit, the Mars Curiosity landing.  Each of these events gives us cause to contemplate our existence on our lonely planet.   This was all captured … Continue reading

Battles with AQA over English exams have shaken confidence in the concept of standards

The story of the last week has been about English GCSE and the mess that has been made of the grading.  ‘Only’ 1.5% fewer grades at A*-C were awarded compared to 2011 but still this represents thousands of young people affected and hundreds of schools.  The analysis by Daniel Stucke is superb, showing how the … Continue reading

New group? New topic? Step 1: Find out what they know already!

It is a strong conviction of mine that far too many students are systematically under-challenged at school.  It starts from day one and carries on from there – simply because a) some teachers do not take enough account of what students learn elsewhere and b), even if they do, they find it difficult to cope … Continue reading

THE Number 1 Bit of Classroom Kit: Mini-whiteboards

At KEGS we have made it possible for every teacher to have a set of mini-whiteboards or ‘show-me boards’ in every classroom, as featured in a recent newsletter.  A full set with pens and wipers costs £60 – a bargain. We are now trying to introduce dry-wipe pens as compulsory school equipment. So, why are … Continue reading

Towards Co-constructed Learning: How to get it started.

Having written about co-construction in our Learning Lessons publication (Vol 2/ Issue 8 and Vol 3/ Issue 3), also profiled in this post I was invited to run some CPD sessions in two schools and then to write a summary of the process.  It is a fabulously enriching way to approach teaching and learning; here … Continue reading

What makes a great teacher?

Over the last 25 years I’ve worked with hundreds of different teachers and had the privilege of watching hundreds of lessons in the schools I’ve worked in and supported. My children have had a quite a few teachers now and I have their perspective too. Without doubt, it is fair to say that there is … Continue reading

The folly of narrow newspaper league tables.

As a long-standing reader of Ben Goldacre’s ‘Bad Science’ column, I was under the impression that the Guardian was a champion of the idea that it is important to seek the truth through a rigorous examination of evidence.  I am therefore rather disappointed by the approach they have taken in reporting achievement at A Level.  … Continue reading

Interview in The KEGS Ambassador

Thanks to David and James; it was a nerve-wracking interview – but you were kind to me in the end.

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