Desirable but impossible

I am increasingly convinced that one the biggest problems we face in schools is a belief that because something is desirable it must be possible. I think we see this particularly when it comes to assessment, tracking and reporting. What do we want! I can completely understand that everyone would like to know what grade…

Simplifying and Taking Control: The Power of Clarity in CPD

In her second guest post, Director of Improvement and CPD, Zoe Enser, discusses how CPD can be used to let teachers take the power back. ‘When the tempest rages, when the thunders roar, and the lightnings blaze around us it is then that the truly brave man stands firm at his post. Martin Luther Working in a school which had faced a number of challenges made us vulnerable in a number of ways. Often we were buffeted by the…

Losing sight of the subject

Yesterday I was at the University of Brighton talking to PGCE students about the ways teachers use educational research. At the end of the session I showed them my own 10 year challenge; a lesson I taught ten years ago and a lesson I taught now. These lessons are ones I have discussed here before. The…

Torturous Teaching

Rock or vulture? Prometheus stole fire from the Gods and gave it to man. His sentence for this bit of larceny? To be tied to the side of a mountain and have his liver ripped out by a vulture. Every day. This seems a little steep (although if I catch the person who purloined by…

Building Schema to Make it Stick

This is a guest post from Zoe Enser (@GreeboRunner), Director of Improvement and CPD at Seahaven Academy. Building Schemas in the English Curriculum ‘But we did this last week!! How can you not remember?’ We hear ourselves say this with annoying regularity and the urge to sit and quietly sob at your desk almost can be almost overwhelming at the end of a long day, week or term. This repeated cycle…

Letting the learning shine

I was thinking today about how same-y my lessons had become. There was a time when pupils would have come in to find the tables arranged in groups for a carousel task, or ready for them to do a role play of a news report or they’d be creating a newspaper front page or doing…

Teaching and the dangerous “culture of doing”.

The invisible nature of teaching well Many of the elements of great teaching are invisible to the naked eye. It comprises of the tiny adjustments we make in the classroom, there and then, in response to events as they unfold. These decisions are based on a combination of professional knowledge and experience. As our experience…