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Promoting Cultural Capital: We are naming our classrooms.

As part of a long-term, school-wide initiative to develop our students’ cultural capital, we are going to be giving each of the spaces in our school an identity linked to a significant person.  Each department has been asked to select people who represent their subjects, blending historical and contemporary figures and seeking to achieve a … Continue reading

Exam grading is inherently flawed; but there’s no conspiracy.

    To put this post in context, previously I have written various other posts about the nature of exam grading, the way OfQual operates, the bell-curve of norm referencing and its role in setting standards, the degree of error that is inherent in any assessment and grading process.  Here is a selection: https://headguruteacher.com/2013/08/31/ofqual-insights-more-thoughts-on-exams/ https://headguruteacher.com/2014/05/27/the-assessment-uncertainty-principle/Continue reading

A Free School on our doorstep? I have some questions….

  Just before the end of the summer term, I was tipped off that an architect’s website was showing the development pictured above.  They suggested it was to include a 750 place secondary, a 250 place sixth form and residential units.  I contacted the Local Authority officers who knew nothing about it.  Subsequently, this development … Continue reading

Happy Holidays

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

Dear Justine. Some thoughts…

Dear Justine Congratulations on your appointment as Secretary of State.  I’m quietly optimistic and looking forward to seeing how education policy develops under your leadership.  You’ve got a genuine opportunity to create a significant legacy; without question, there is plenty to do! I wrote to Nicky Morgan from this blog twice last year – you … Continue reading

Our School Development Plan Priorities 2016-7

  It’s that time of year when we’re looking ahead, planning for next year and beyond, trying to reorganise and regroup so that we’re moving forward.  As ever, we’re ambitious for what we can achieve and we’re trying move forward on lots of fronts.  Here are our School Development Plan headlines (the full plan is … 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

Rethinking Success in the Post-Gaming Zero Sum Era

  My sense is that people across the education system have yet to fully appreciate the implications of the slow-creep bell-curve hold that’s been applied to school outcomes. Talking to folk from OfQual on a couple of occasions recently, they have reiterated the view that, even in systems regarded as successful, year on year improvement might … Continue reading

Schools should be more teacher-centred.

The idea that schools should be more teacher centred has been gathering momentum in my thinking.   In fact, the whole education system should be more teacher centred.  Ridiculously, to some folk, that will sound regressive  – because we’re supposed to say that everything we do is for the children.  Well, of course.  Schools are set … Continue reading

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