Teaching and Learning

This category contains 100 posts

My Observation Checklist.

Ok.  The title is misleading.  On purpose. I’ve been observing the newly appointed staff at Highbury Grove over the last few weeks which has been a real pleasure.  For the first time, we’re now using the Bluesky website to write all of our lesson observation reports; this links to our Professional Review documentation, handily keeping … Continue reading

Modelling Good Speech. Let’s talk properly.

We’re building momentum in our drive to make the art of rhetoric a cornerstone of our approach to teaching and learning.  One aspect of that is a strategy to address common issues with student speech.  I think we need to be very explicit about the quality of speech we’re aiming for and not allow ourselves … Continue reading

KS3 Assessment. 8 steps towards a workable system.

We are about to launch our KS3 assessment system.  I’ve shared the full details in this post.  We’ve arrived at this model after considering all the following issues/questions/factors: 1.  Accept the reasons that NC Levels became a broken system.  This has been covered by lots of people in great detail, but here’s a quick summary … Continue reading

Our Emerging KS3 Assessment Framework.

Having explored different ideas about assessment at KS3 during the last year, we’re about to move forward with our approach.  Here is the explanatory booklet we’ve given to parents: Assessment at KS3 So far, we’ve been seeking a focus on authentic assessment within subjects, breaking free from all the illusions and falsehoods of NC levels; … Continue reading

FACE It. A formula for learning. 

 Have you been exploring ways to teach students how to revise for exams?  It’s something lots of students struggle with.  Based on recent experience of taking students through GCSE exams this idea was devised by AHT/HoD Deb O’Connor; a simple and powerful formula to convey the essence of good learning and revision. Neatly, it also forms … Continue reading

Our framework for teaching and learning

The Highbury Grove School Framework for Teaching and Learning This document is an attempt to pull together the work we’ve shared as staff during the last year to lay the ground for our agenda for improving teaching and learning at our school over the coming years.  It combines some conceptual thinking, ambitious goals and the gritty … Continue reading

Making Speech Count: Rhetoric in Practice.

Rhetoric, as part of the Trivium, is central to our Framework for Teaching and Learning. We’re now starting to put the ideas into practice.  This week, our newly appointed Director of Spoken Literacy, Andrew Fitch, gave out this excellent guide to putting rhetoric into action in everyday lessons. It’s great. Shared here with Andrew’s permission. Download … Continue reading

Research Literacy: Literacy Research

This post contains the key ideas and materials from my presentation at ResearchEd 2015.   It seems to me that a high proportion of discussion about research in education doesn’t actually make reference to specific research evidence or trials.  I’ve decided that every time I give a talk at ResearchEd, I will look at the … Continue reading

Back to School: My priorities for getting started.

OK. Summer’s over….it’s time to get psyched up for the term ahead.  I’m joining the Maths Department this year, teaching Y10 GCSE; an exciting challenge.  I’m a science teacher with good maths skills and I have taught A level maths and KS3 several times.  So, whilst I have no concerns about my subject knowledge,  I’ve never … Continue reading

Ideas for Teaching Better. All In One Place.

Most of the blogs I write that get a good response are the ones about teaching.  Thankfully.  I’d write a book but a) it takes too much time b) the money is terrible and c) I’d just be repeating everything I’ve already written here.  It would be called ‘Into the Rainforest of Teaching and Learning’. … Continue reading


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