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…

Crossing the Threshold 

Research from Meyer & Land (2006] into undergraduate education helps us to understand why some pupils seem to get stuck with a particular topic when others have no difficulty. They identified what they termed “Threshold concepts”, ideas that are central to the understanding of a topic and without which pupils can’t progress. They showed that…

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…