Teaching and Learning

This category contains 117 posts

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

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

The Joy of Teaching SRE

I’ve written about teaching SRE before – in this post and in this piece for the Guardian Teacher Network.  It remains one of my favourite lessons to teach for lots of reasons.  Mainly it is because students are so curious and happy to be engaging with the content which is very rewarding.  It feels like … Continue reading

Research Evidence that has shaped what we do. #rEdYork

— My presentation at ResearchEd in York was an attempt to outline some of the research that has had a direct or indirect influence on our practice at Highbury Grove.  Here is a summary. The ideas we are working on at HGS include the following list; many of the ideas come from blogs. I’ve written about … Continue reading

Emerging KS3 Curriculum Map and Exhibition Plan

Our Head of School for KS3 has been working with subjects leaders to pull together  a map of our curriculum.  This idea is to look for links, to plan future links, and, more routinely, keep tabs on what is going on in our students’ learning lives. All too often the detail of the curriculum is … Continue reading

Great Teaching: Informed wisdom in the heat of every day practice. #EducationFest 2016

  Here are the slides from my talk at the Education Festival at Wellington.   The thrust of my talk was sharing the process I’ve been on as a teacher and leader in my school, helping teachers (and myself) to develop the most appropriate knowledge and strategies – the informed wisdom – needed to make … Continue reading

SEND IS Mainstream. But it’s complicated.

Lately I’ve been thinking a great deal about SEND provision in my school – for several reasons. a) It is at the forefront of our thinking as we plan our staffing and curriculum within the real-world context of declining financial resources – how best to deploy finite resources to meet the needs of every student? … Continue reading

Too much data; too many meetings: stop talking and do something.

In recent weeks, I’ve been thinking about the huge imbalance between the time and effort we spend identifying issues relative to the time and effort we spend doing something to address them.  There are two main areas where this imbalance comes into play:  assessment data and ‘referrals’. Here’s a thought experiment (One I’ve used before): … Continue reading

HGS CPD: Festival of Learning 2016:

  On Friday we held our second annual Festival of Learning following the success of the event we held last year.  Once again we were delighted to run this collaboratively with our colleagues from Samuel Rhodes School, our co-located special school partners . Here’s a flavour of the ideas that were shared. Teachmeet:  A series of … Continue reading

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