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headguruteacher.com is three

Three years ago, I started blogging and tweeting.   This is my annual stock-take. A major milestone in the year was passing the 1,000,000 million mark for blog views. The three-year tally is 1,293,000 – a total of about 610,000 for the year which puts my book sales (500) into perspective!  I’ve also gained almost exactly 10,000 new … Continue reading

Dear Nicky…. An Open Letter

Dear Nicky Congratulations on your re-appointment as Secretary of State for Education.  Education Policy had rather a low profile in the General Election, but I’m sure  you’ll be returning to the DFE with renewed determination to put Education at the centre of the agenda for the new Government.  To some extent, you and your predecessor … Continue reading

For the record.

Gosh – what a weekend. First the TES and then the Daily Mail. For the record, behaviour has been an important area for me since joining Highbury Grove but, by no means the only one. We’re also working on our curriculum and pedagogy, building a strong trust culture across the staff, exploring research-engagement, changing our professional … Continue reading

Parents’ Evening = Teacher-Appreciation Night!

I’ve just been to my son’s parents’ evening; earlier this term I went to my daughter’s. I just want to say Thank You! It’s such a privilege to sit on the parents’ side of the desk, talking to a series of committed, professional people who know my children in ways that I don’t, sharing their … Continue reading

Preventing Radicalisation: Let’s not clutch at straws.

This is a short reflection on the growing imperative for schools to ‘do something’ about the radicalisation of young Muslim teenagers.  The recent case of three girls from Bethnal Green Academy leaving home in order to join IS has brought the issue onto the agenda for schools once again.  I found it painful to see the … Continue reading

Our (Brilliant) Stonewall Champion Launch: LGBT Pride!!

This week, I am was extremely proud of my school as we launched our new status as a Stonewall Champion School.  In a week of assemblies and workshops we’ve sown the seeds for a long-term process of changing attitudes: It’s not merely acceptable to be gay at Highbury Grove; it’s normal. It’s part of life. … Continue reading

Launching the College of Teaching: Vision vs Inertia

Pre-amble:  Change vs Inertia I’ve often argued that it is far, far easier to campaign against something that you don’t like compared to campaigning for something that you want to happen.  There are countless examples in education at school level and national policy level.   One of my leadership mantras is that in order to challenge … Continue reading

Proposals for our new curriculum.

This is a follow-up to a recent post about the ideas we’re exploring around the Trivium and a Baccalaureate. The final piece in the puzzle is the curriculum structure that enables the rest to work.  This is still under discussion with an important Parents’ Forum next week and further discussions among Governors and the staff. … Continue reading

Beyond Dependency Learning: scaffolding, crutches and stabilisers.

One of the challenges we face as teachers is knowing how much help to give.  There are so many examples of structured support across a range of learning experiences: arm-bands in swimming, stabilisers on a bicycle… the vocab crib-sheet in language learning.  They are all designed to provide support in the early phases of learning, … 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

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