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Evolution Assembly Hoopla. Beyond Belief!

It’s been quite a week on this blog and on my twitter feed.  Last weekend I wrote-up my assembly about evolution and the reaction from some students. Usually assembly blogs don’t get much attention but I record them anyway in the spirit of sharing ideas.  As far as I’m concerned, given that evolution is a core … Continue reading

On going into care. And being brave.

Recently, we had one of those days.  In the middle of a regular busy day, I had to spend some time in a small meeting room with Maxine, one of our Heads of Year, having a good cry.  We’d just seen the taxi leave with Stephen and two social workers; they were heading for Luton where … Continue reading

Our Rhetoric Roadmap

Yesterday we published this document, sending it out to parents. Since working with Martin Robinson on our Trivium-fueled curriculum, Rhetoric has been high on the agenda.  We appointed a Director of Spoken Literacy – Andrew Fitch, our 2 i/c in English – and he has produced some superb guidance for structured speech events in the … Continue reading

Principles of Effective Teaching

Teachers are always being offered lists of principles, axioms, tenets, precepts – the magic beans of teaching.  We’re desperate to make sense of it all – to make something very complicated, simple and easy to grasp.  Whether it’s  the #5minplan series from @TeacherToolkit or something like my own Lesson Observation Checklist, there’s a demand for handy … Continue reading

50 Up: One Career. Six Schools. 28 Years. A thousand mistakes.

50 today. I know – I don’t look a day over 49!  9th October. Same birthday as John Lennon and David Cameron. Reading nothing into that whatsover.  I’m 50 years old and still a teacher.  I never expected this to happen. I can remember my 22nd birthday vividly.  It was my first term as a … Continue reading

Maths Mindsets: My Y10s

Three weeks into teaching my Year 10 GCSE class, I’ve come to the conclusion that a large part of my task is going to be psychological.  In a class of 28, there are so many different responses to the process of learning maths as well as to the maths itself.  Some of these are probably … 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

Walking the tightrope.

It’s been a strange and difficult few days.  I woke up last Tuesday night at 2am with the worst headache of all time; piercing intense pain.  I had to run downstairs for the pain killers.  This was stress, pure and simple; subconscious anxiety in anticipation of GCSE results download day.   I’ve only been there … Continue reading

A Levels Matter. Amongst other things.

There have been some great blogs about A level results: Here’s John Tomsett: This much I know about A level results day – the liberating power of doing well – having choices, moving away from home etc. Geoff Barton: Worrying about results won’t help – great advice to students who don’t get what they hoped for; you … Continue reading

Finding your voice in the on-line edusphere.

I recently re-read one of my very first blog posts from 2012 when I was starting to get excited about the potential of twitter and blogging: The quiet CPD revolution…getting louder!    Even then I thought that it might all be a flash-in-the-pan thing that could soon fall away – but it hasn’t at all.  In fact, … Continue reading

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