Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 262 posts for headguruteacher

The Trivium and the Baccalaureate: The flesh and the bones of a great education.

At Highbury Grove, we’re actively developing our thinking about the curriculum, pedagogy and learning ethos we want to create, shaping the educational experience of our students in line with our overarching values and vision.  There are three interrelated strands to the thinking: 1. The National Baccalaureate @Highbury Grove.   In line with the national developments, … Continue reading

Developing our in-house system for improving teaching.

At Highbury Grove we’re in the process of engineering a culture shift away from inspectorial top-down accountability systems towards collegiate high-trust processes built on collective responsibility for student outcomes, professional development, mutual challenge and support.  I’m convinced that this is the best way to secure improved outcomes for students as well as making teaching at … Continue reading

Our School Development Plan 2014-5

  Last time I published my school’s development plan, I was surprised by how many people were interested. At Highbury Grove we have adopted the methodology we’d devised at KEGS.  The criteria are posed as questions; this allows us to be evaluative in deciding how we’re doing.  The live version includes columns of target dates, … Continue reading

Meaning and Magic amid the Muddle of Mental Mathematical Models.

Forgive the gratuitous alliteration.  In recent months, I’ve been thinking about the basics of maths education a lot. There have been three main contexts: 1. The teaching of maths at Highbury Grove:  I haven’t taught maths myself for years but I line-manage the department and I’ve observed 12 Maths lessons in the last two weeks all … Continue reading

Sixth Former Caricatures…for assembly

One of my favourite KEGS assemblies was the one delivered to Year 12 early in the Sixth Form. The Sixth Form team used these caricatures to explore and anticipate various issues.  I’ve been given permission to share them from my former colleague Helen Wiltshire, Deputy Head and art teacher who drew them. The powerpoint version … Continue reading

Overloaded? Out of Control? Press the Reset Button.

When things get out of control, work is very stressful.  The solution is to take control.  In numerous school scenarios, I’ve found that it helps enormously to seize control out of the chaos by pressing the Reset Button: clearing it all away and starting again.  This applies to marking, behaviour management, emails, reports and general … Continue reading

Inclusion and Exclusion in a Community School.

  I’ve just read Nancy Gedge’s excellent, powerful blog ‘Battle Weary’ about her son’s experience of school and the challenges of parenting a child with Down’s Syndrome.  It encapsulates a range of issues around inclusion and the extent to which schools truly embrace the concept.   Since arriving at Highbury Grove, inclusion is something I’ve thought … Continue reading

Cor blimey, we’re in Tatler. Darling.

I woke up on New Year’s Day to be greeted by various tweets alerting me to the news that Highbury Grove was featured in a new guide to state schools published in Tatler. Here’s one from Alice Woolley, Editor of Education Guardian: And then came the Daily Mail link:  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2892985/Highbury-Grove-School-tops-Tatler-guide-one-Britain-s-best-state-schools.html According to the Daily Mail, … Continue reading

The English National Baccalaureate. Coming Soon! Updated.

(Updated 8th Jan below) After a couple of years working on this, it seems that we may be in a position to launch a genuine National Baccalaureate for England in the near future.  2015 could be the year.   In November we hosted the National Baccalaureate Summit at my school, bringing all the key players … Continue reading

OfSTED Outstanding? Just gimme some truth.

I’m sick and tired of hearing things From uptight, short-sighted, narrow-minded hypocritics All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I’ve had enough of reading things By neurotic, psychotic, pig-headed politicians All I want is the truth Just gimme some truth I’m sick to death of seeing things From tight-lipped, condescending, mamas little … Continue reading


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