Why Language Matters

As an English teacher for over twenty years it is hardly surprising that I think language use really matters. During that time I have taught not only a variety of English Language syllabus’ but also Media and Film, both of which focus closely on what it is our language signifies and who may or may…

What do we value?

Why we should think about our focus in the absence of exams Recent events have turned education upside for many. Suddenly, those clear end points and structure to work towards have been stripped away with the removal of exams this year, and understandably, many feel all at sea without a life buoy. The students and…

Chasing the Impossible

To say that the start of this term has been chaotic would be an understatement. Schools were struggling with rising rates of COVID cases towards the end of term. Leaders were told they couldn’t move to remote practices. Plans were put in place to deal with home learning for those who weren’t able to be…

Annus Horribilis and Trying to Be Brave

At the start of 2020 I knew this was a year I was going to have to work hard at being braver. After over 23 years working in schools, I was taking an exciting, but terrifying, step in a new direction and it was not going to be time for my whimpering and indecision. In…

‘Tradding The Prog’

A journey through teaching approaches It seems to be that time of the year (the month or the week) on Twitter when discussion around ‘progs’ and ‘trads’ are doing the rounds. Once again I find the twitter sorting hat is trying to sort me onto one side of the discussion, deciding who I follow and…

The Importance of Having a Voice

The trials and wonders of Edu Twitter There is no denying Twitter is a funny old place. Social media in any form has the potential to bring together a wide range of people from significantly different contexts. All of a sudden you are connected with people from all over the globe, constrained only by access…

My Joyless Curriculum

In a recent interview with TES, the new Shadow Education Secretary, Kate Green, made a number of very good points. For example she suggested that schools should focus on teaching “a wider understanding of the world they’re growing up in rather than just teaching skills for future employment” “I want an education system that’s inclusive.…

But I’ve Always Done This!

Every seemingly new venture which emerges in the world of education is can met with the cry of ‘but we have always done this’. Whether that is research coming from Doug Lemov in Teach Like a Champion or Barek Rosenshine with his Principles of Instruction, or discussion around knowledge rich curriculum as advocated by people…

Thinking it Through

Recently one of the key phrases in education is about how we need to get our students ‘thinking hard’. We want our students to think hard, we want them to reflect deeply and we want them to hold on to a wide range of information in order to do some rather complex things with it…

Lend Me Your Ears: Listening and Leadership

If you search for quotes about listening, you will find there is a profusion of them out there. It seems that absolutely everyone recognises the importance of listening carefully and that being quiet when someone else speaks is not enough. The irony that so many people rush to say something about the power of being…