Golden Memories – Why do we remember what?

I have just finished reading a wonderful book – The Book of Spice by John O’Connell. This is an encyclopaedia of spices with each entry discussing its history, culinary and medical use. It is packed full of fascinating facts. Almost all of which I have forgotten. I know there was a section on liquorice but…

Scaffolding -creating and sharing criteria

We have been thinking a lot about scaffolding recently. How do we best ensure that all pupils can achieve the same outcomes and that these outcomes are excellent? One method we use to achieve this is the creating and sharing of success criteria. My Year 8 class were completing an assessed piece of work at…

The anatomy of a lesson

This post comes with the usual caveats that it is based on my own experiences of teaching and learning which come almost entirely from an 11-18 context and usually in Geography – although I have always leapt at the chance to see other subjects in actions. That said – what makes up the anatomy of…

Can we change mindsets?

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of years about creating a “Growth Mindset”. A lot of talk, a lot of assemblies, a lot of posters, but not a huge amount of action or progress in actually achieving this goal. This post from Online Learning Insights (What Does a Growth Mindset…

When to Just Tell Them

I have observed the scene below, or at least ones like it, on occasions too numerous to mention. Teacher: Today we are looking at Ghana. Does anyone know the name of the capital city? (hands shoot up). No, no hands I’ll chose someone at random (starts overly complex random name generator). Mia! What is the…

Testing Times

I wonder how much of what I have taught over the years has been almost immediately forgotten? When I think back to my own schooling all those years ago, and what I can remember from it, I’d have to assume the majority has been lost. I spent 5 years learning German and at one point…

Developing Challenge

When I started teaching, all those many moons ago, challenge wasn’t really discussed. When it was mentioned it was as something we had to add on for the most able as an “extension task” and often consisted of more of the same work – perhaps a little more difficult – or open ended so as…