Weaving a Web

How the new teaching frameworks can support teachers to grow Learning we know is a complex thing. Developing the intricate web of knowledge that pupils need, with its various interlocking parts, woven together with their experiences and wider understanding of how the topic sits within the world, is difficult and teachers spend significant periods of…

Marking a Mockery

It is that time of year again. Or should I say that time which now seems to occur with increasingly regularity over the school. That’s right, it is mock seasons(s). Mock exams seem to be something which have developed over the years. When I were a lass in school, I have a vague recollection of…

Just a little bit more

Everywhere I look at the moment I am seeing exhausted staff in school. This runs across leadership all the way through to support staff and, whilst the November to Christmas gloom is not something new, seeing people so demoralised and exhausted so soon after the half term is. So, what seems to be happening? Well,…

The hardest working teacher in the school

We’re busy doin’ nothin’ Workin’ the whole day through Tryin’ to find lots of things not to do We’re busy goin’ nowhere Isn’t it just a crime We’d like to be unhappy, but We never do have the time Bing Crosby There have been a lot of recent discussions around workload, and these have morphed,…

Stepping off the Treadmill

One of the things people who have not worked in schools can never really appreciate is the pace at which they work. At the start of your teaching career, especially if you took a more traditional route, you would spend hour after laborious hour working on an individual lesson, trying to perfect if and thinking…

In Safe Hands

I can recall my early days of teaching vividly. Much as I loved my mentors, they were very much of the view I would either cut it or not as a teacher, and whilst I could go to them with specifics, there was little guidance in terms of the way I should do things. There…

Three Wishes

Every child knows stories about fairies and genies and the wishes. It used to be a staple task we were asked to do at primary school, and each year it felt like we would return to them to see if those wishes had changed. Unfortunately, try as I might, I still do not have the…

Sorry

This is a guest post from a school leader who wishes to remain anonymous She sits on the edge of her chair, fists clenched. “What’s he done now?” Wearily I go through the latest string of offences. We’ve been here many times before this young mother and I. We know the steps of this dance…

Chasing the Impossible

To say that the start of this term has been chaotic would be an understatement. Schools were struggling with rising rates of COVID cases towards the end of term. Leaders were told they couldn’t move to remote practices. Plans were put in place to deal with home learning for those who weren’t able to be…

Annus Horribilis and Trying to Be Brave

At the start of 2020 I knew this was a year I was going to have to work hard at being braver. After over 23 years working in schools, I was taking an exciting, but terrifying, step in a new direction and it was not going to be time for my whimpering and indecision. In…