Row Rows

When I inherited my very first classroom as an NQT, back in ’04, the desks were arranged in groups. This wasn’t really surprising. Both of the schools I had trained in had grouped desks across the school, any other school I had been into had desks in groups and across the school I was now…

A Remote Chance of Learning

Over the last couple of days Lord Andrew Adonis, Labour peer in the House of Lords and former Schools Minister under Tony Blair, has been raising eyebrows with a series of tweets on how he believes schools should be setting work during the lockdown. Yesterday he announced he was talking to former head of Ofsted,…

Geography: It’s a piece of cake

Last night brought the first episode of a new season of The Great British Bake Off and with it much excitement. I love the show. I like the safeness, the comfort, the niceness. It is completely unchallenging. I also like the online reaction to it. The choosing of heroes and villains, the memes, snarky comments…

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…

An engaging post

There is an understandable antipathy in some education circles around the word “engagement”. For a long time it was used in sentences like: “You need to plan engaging lessons to prevent bad behaviour” “Make sure you plan engaging activities” “Make sure you engage pupils by making the lesson relevant to their lives” etc etc. The…

Knowledge in the classroom

  When I joined in with twitter’s educational world a couple of years ago I was struck by how much discussion there was on the role of knowledge in the curriculum. We were still feeling the reverberations of Gove’s reforms to the national curriculum and the new GCSEs were being prepared ready for teaching. Whilst…

Great Explainers – The Met Office

At the heart of Geography is a desire to understand the world. In order to do so we need to make sure that we have a very good understanding of the complex processes that underpin the our dynamic planet. Many of these processes are hard for children to grasp and we often use a lot…

The tears of a clown

A recent piece in TES, (25 traits that make a perfect teacher) which revealed what pupils say they value in a teacher, raised some eyebrow. They say that… Funny: that’s what students want you, their teacher, to be. And they don’t just want you to have a joke in your teaching toolbox to provide some…

Do detentions work?

  There has been much talk this weekend about detentions; much of it revolving around an advert from a well known free school who are looking for a “director of detentions”. One interesting strand from these debates has been this one started by Paul Garvey (@PaulGarvey4) who claimed – repeatedly – that detentions “do not…