Pre-exam Stress? 

Tomorrow is the first GCSE Geography exam and after half term we’ll have the A Level ones. Usually this time of year feels pretty fraught for pupils and teachers alike. This year, in my department anyway, not so much. I’d usually expect a flurry of emails this weekend from worried pupils but this year I…

Candles in the Darkness (Part 4)

I have written before about the image I have of teachers being candles in the darkness. The potential we have to shine brightly in a world of negativity, ignorance and unthinking cruelty is huge. I genuinely believe that we have the power to make a difference and be a positive force. We can make a…

A Call for Efficiency 

This week I have been looking at aspects of teaching that I have found to be effective. I wrote a couple of blog posts on my thoughts (the building blocks of an excellent lesson) after we spent some time as a department piecing together our answer to the questions “What does effective teaching looking like?”…

Building an excellent lesson (Part Two)

Yesterday I wrote about an activity we had used in our department CPD session to consider the component parts of an excellent lesson – you can read about it here. The outcome was this graphic which shows the things that we, as a department, currently feel are effective ways to ensure that learning happens in…

Building an excellent lesson

One of the many things I love about my school is that they are giving more CPD time to departments. Before we start the term 6 frenzy of lesson planning, I wanted to spend some time exploring what we felt would make an excellent lesson and to record our ideas so that we could explore…

How do we assess?

Every year, at about this time, I start dreaming about all the things I’ll get done during Term 6 when my exam classes have gone. With both Year 13 and Year 11 heading off I should actually get a reasonable amount of time to get stuck in to something and this year is a biggie.…

CPD: Goodbye and Good Riddance (Part Two)

Last week I wrote about some of the appalling CPD I have attended and suggested that the silver lining of otherwise horrendous school budget cuts could be that these kinds of training events stop. Of course I am not suggesting that professional development should stop, so what should replace it? I have found that the…