Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 385 posts for headguruteacher

Free School on our doorstep. October Update.

This post is a follow up to my previous post about the new Free School opening up the road from Highbury Grove. This week I had a meeting with the CEO of the Meller Educational Trust along with other key stakeholders.   Here are the main points regarding their plans for the free school in Ladbroke … Continue reading

How much teacher autonomy is healthy?

I’m sure you all see a bit of yourself in John Keating, striding across the desktops inspiring the pants off your eager students day in, day out; fighting the straight-jacket of conformity; punks in the world of prog rockers; mavericks defying the powers that be…..  We all want to do our own thing right? To … Continue reading

Rethinking marking and feedback. It’s all about the response.

  At HGS we’ve been thinking hard about how to make sure teacher feedback has maximum impact and, recently, I’ve been revisiting some blog posts that continue to inform my thoughts on this important area: ‘Close the Gap’ Marking:  a whole-school approach used at Saffron Walden High School, focusing all feedback on student response. Marking … Continue reading

Dissecting Progress 8. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Now that Progress 8 has been born and looks like it’s here to stay, there’s no use wallowing for too long in outrage at the data-garbage bonkersness of it all.  We might all agree that averaging out every child’s achievements across the school via a super-convoluted and arbitrary algorithm to generate a single number with … Continue reading

Our common lesson format.

This is our attempt to capture the universal expectations and routines.  It emerged from a staff CPD session last year and was agreed by all departments.  It’s sufficiently flexible for everyone whilst providing a consistent framework across the school.  If you can’t read the image, the text is below. (To respond to some of the … Continue reading

More carrot and more stick; more love, more warmth, more discipline.

Ahead of the start of this term, I was reflecting on where we need to go next to raise standards at Highbury Grove.  Everywhere I look to find schools that are doing better than we are by some measure I see that they appear to be more disciplined; they secure stronger engagement with their expectations; … Continue reading

Watching your children grow up and then leave home…

Last weekend we took our daughter to university – an exciting and emotional moment in our lives.  Watching her become the person she is over the last 18 years has been the greatest joy and privilege; a wonderful experience. She’s an amazing person;  we’re immensely proud of her  – and we’re going to miss her. … Continue reading

Grammar Schools: Schools that don’t work for everyone.

Having previously been the Head of KEGS, a super-selective grammar school in Chelmsford, for six years, I’ve been asked by lots of people to comment on the latest proposals to extend selection.  Here are my thoughts: Very simply, it’s a bad idea.  By definition, grammar schools do not work for everyone.  The Green Paper title … Continue reading

I voted for Owen Smith. Here’s why.

I grew up in a Labour-voting family; I’ve voted Labour in every election I could and I’ve been a member for several years. I’m not a Tory.  As a Sixth Former and young adult I loved Neil Kinnock – his opposition to Thatcher and the Falklands war were heroic; a real inspiration to me. I also loved … Continue reading

My brilliant SLT: Ready for action.

In the two years since joining Highbury Grove, in common with any new Headteacher, one of my main priorities has been to build the leadership team.  This is partly to do with getting effective people on board and partly about getting them in the right places in a structure that serves the needs of the … Continue reading

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