Can we create a clever culture?

Key differences between high performing cultures (such as those in East Asia) and lower performing ones (such as the UK) include how pupils work.

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What makes the difference?

A few days ago, after getting our GCSE results, I wrote a quick post about some of the things we had done as a department that I felt had made a difference and helped us go from getting “quite good results” to “really quite excellent results”. Since then people have asked lots of further questions…

Where did it all go right… again?

This time last year my department got the best GCSE results of my time in teaching. We had made some changes and reaped the rewards (I wrote about it here) but I always knew it was going to be a hard act to follow. Well, we followed it and improved on it. When WJEC finally…

Planning Learning – A line in the sand

What do the following have in common? The human and physical causes of flooding The impact of free trade on Low Income Countries How to draw a climate graph Did you get it? Other than being pretty standard, and therefore awesome, pieces of a geographers education, they all take one hour to learn. Exactly one…

How do you design your curriculum?

Towards the end of last term, as we started to review our Expect Excellence action plan, my thoughts shifted towards our next goal. I have become increasingly concerned that over the years our focus has been on how we teach and that we have taken our eye off what we teach – and why we…

A Culture of Excellence РExcellent Geography 

What does excellence look like in your subject? That is the question that my department will be putting at the heart of all we do over the next year.  For the last two years we have focused on increasing aspiration and expecting excellence. I wanted to ensure that we had a culture where everyone wanted…

Picking your battles

Two years ago I decided that my department should have one particular focus for improvement. I work at a wonderful school, where results are very good and our kids generally want to do well. I was concerned though that there was a risk of complacency  and the data seemed to bear this out. Results were…