This tag is associated with 17 posts

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 A* Victory vs Pearson. David 1: Goliath 0

Yesterday we heard the news that we had finally won our case with Pearson/Edexcel about an A* grade in Art GCSE.  Despite several negative responses to appeals and complaints, spurred on by the candidate’s parents, we persevered and ultimately won the case. It was just one grade, but it mattered to the student and her … Continue reading

The Assessment Uncertainty Principle

In our system so much hangs on the value given to our assessments leading to qualifications.  As we seek to measure learning with some degree of accuracy, we risk losing contact with the meaning of what the nature of the learning is.  Our increasing need for measures that are reproducible, consistent and transparent decreases our … Continue reading

Pedagogy Postcard #12: Blending content with assessment

A series of short posts about specific elements of teaching practice that I think are effective and make life interesting. Some are based on my own lessons and others are borrowed from lessons I’ve observed.   The idea of teaching to the test is often referred to as a being a limiting, narrowing aspect of … Continue reading

Labour’s National Baccalaureate: Strong on Principles and Pragmatism

Over the last year, I’ve been working with IoE Director, Chris Husbands, as a member of the Labour Skills Task Force; it has been a fascinating process. This week the third and final report from the group was published, outlining some recommendations for 14-19 curriculum and qualifications reform.  I recommend reading the report in detail … Continue reading

An Inside View of Exams: Messages from the Chief Regulator

  Last summer I had the opportunity to meet Glenys Stacey, Chief Regulator at OfQual.  She contacted me after I’d written about exams on my blog and was keen to have an exchange of views.  (Another power-of-blogging moment.) I now feel comfortable contacting her directly to ask what is going on with various examination issues.  … Continue reading

Taking Stock of the Education Agenda Part 1

Intro This has been a rather remarkable year in education and in my professional life.  Amid the permanent white water of policy change, I’ve been fortunate to have numerous opportunities to engage with teachers, school leaders, academics and policy-makers.  The world of twitter and blogging continues to provide a wonderfully rich seam of challenging material.  … Continue reading

GCSE Tactics: Stick or Twist

The lack of coordination between OfQual and DFE in relation to exams reform is so frustrating. Two major mid-stream announcements have put lots of schools in a difficult position, essentially having to decide between their students’ individual exam successes or the school’s overall performance. We’re reducing exam preparation to a matter of tactics rather than … Continue reading

OfQual Insights: More thoughts on exams.

This week I met Glenys Stacey, the CEO of OfQual.  She’d invited me to share views about aspects of the examination system.  I had previously met Amanda Spielman, the Chair of OfQual – where she offered advice on our Baccalaureate model.   OfQual leaders are keen to engage in dialogue with people in the profession, … Continue reading

My Exam Results Postmortem

My Exam Results Postmortem. Don’t you just love exam results days? I always have….all the anticipation, the nerves, the agonising wait and then, finally….the big reveal.  Jubilation and despair and everything in between….wrapping up years of endeavour in one big moment. It’s an emotional field day. When that email arrives from the Exams Officer carrying … Continue reading


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