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Archive for September 2012

Can you feel the force? A leadership model

Did I invent this? Unlikely .. but it makes a lot of sense to me and I don’t know where it comes from: In explaining my perception of how organisations work and what the role of leadership is, I’ve been using this model a lot recently.  The magnetic forcefield analogy. An organisation is a group … Continue reading

Creating the conditions for great teachers to thrive

A previous post, What makes a great teacher?, was a popular post. I suppose that’s not surprising; people are intrigued to know what the answer might be. Am I a great teacher? Can I be a great teacher? What would it take for me to feel that this applies to me? We all want to … Continue reading

Independent Student Newspaper? Trust and Responsibility

The KEGS Ambassador is the Independent Student Newspaper at my school.  A full back catalogue can be found here. Arriving at KEGS I was surprised to find that the students didn’t run their own newspaper given that they obviously had the capability required.  The English Department does a lot of work with creative and factual … Continue reading

Reaction to EBCs: Why I’m not jumping for joy

New Model Exams Even if we leave aside the absurdity of politicians designing our examination system with virtually no input from the teaching profession and then letting the details come out as little more than propaganda in the Daily Mail, the re-configured announcement/leak regarding O Levels (now EBCs) is frustrating on many levels.  However, it … Continue reading

Gifted and Talented provision: a total philosophy

One of my core beliefs as a teacher: G&T is a total philosophy of teaching and learning. At both a pedagogical and strategic leadership level, I’d argue that cracking the issue of ‘G&T’ provision is the key to success – in the classroom and across the whole school.  In fact, I think that if the … Continue reading

The Ripstick Analogy: If you want to succeed, you need to commit!

Ever tried riding the Ripstick? It’s not easy.  Most people fall off straight away and struggle to get going at all.  But when you watch someone cruising along on one, it looks like it should be easy.  You just need to swivel those hips and glide along – simple?! Well, no.  The thing is you … Continue reading

iGCSE Physics Co-construction #1

Imagine my delight when, just before term started, Arjun sent me this: a 20 page Revision Guide for the Waves unit we completed last year. Along with Kishen and Karam, Arjun was part of my co-construction team at the end of Year 10. The background to this process is described here.  (Arjun is also the … Continue reading

Leadership Lessons from Geese

I made this presentation for an assembly a couple of years ago. I have since discovered several identical versions on the internet.. but this was my effort. The point of the assembly is obvious enough. Although it has spawned a continuing stream of ‘animal analogy’ or goose-themed gags from my students ever since, the messages … Continue reading

Homework Matters: Great teachers set great homework

As long as I’ve been teaching, I’ve held the view that homework makes a massive difference to the learning process. Without any doubt, students who are successful at A level and at GCSE are those who have highly developed independent learning skills, have the capacity to lead the learning process through their questions and ideas … Continue reading

To maximise learning, get your students RAMPed

The acid test of any CPD is probably that, many years later, you remember it and you use it.  One example for me was a nugget of gold from Trevor Hawes, (Optimal Learning) who came to Jakarta when I was at the British International School there.  He summarised the need to create the right conditions … Continue reading

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