Exam Season: Anxiety, Research and Damned Hard Graft

In her latest post, Zoe Enser (@GreeboRunner) reflects on the journey that gets her pupils feeling relaxed and ready for their exams. ‘Should we be worried we aren’t more worried about our exam?’ pondered my year 11 last week. They genuinely were bemused as to why their anxiety wasn’t through the roof. They didn’t feel…

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…

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…

Revision, assessment and the lies we tell.

In December I wrote a short piece for TES suggesting that schools should stop laying on after school and holiday revision sessions for pupils (Schools must say “no” to out of hours revision, for the good of the profession). My argument was based on applying the economic model of common resources, put forward by Hardin,…

What makes the difference? (Part 2)

At the beginning of this year I wrote a post called What makes the difference? This was after we achieved some excellent GCSE and A level results both as a department and as a school, our option numbers were soaring at the same time (suggesting pupils were also enjoying their lessons) and there seemed to be…

Teachers: Simply the best

I have recently been rereading Fergal Roche’s book Mining for Gold . This book is a reflection on the teachers he has encountered through his life, as a student, teacher, consultant and parent, and his reflections on what has made them effective. It is a collection of little vignettes on teachers from across the decades and an…