Simplifying and Taking Control: The Power of Clarity in CPD

In her second guest post, Director of Improvement and CPD, Zoe Enser, discusses how CPD can be used to let teachers take the power back. ‘When the tempest rages, when the thunders roar, and the lightnings blaze around us it is then that the truly brave man stands firm at his post. Martin Luther Working in a school which had faced a number of challenges made us vulnerable in a number of ways. Often we were buffeted by the…

The Blagger’s Guide to… Wave One Intervention

  As with most education buzz-words, wave one intervention burst forth fully formed. Striding out confidently from the mouths of deputy heads and consultants as Athena strode from the head of Zeus. No one ever came into the hall and said “Guess what guys! There is a new idea in town and we are all…

Developing subject knowledge

A recent blog by Tom H (@GeographyTom9) on Why Subject Knowledge Matters made me think about how we treat teacher subject knowledge in our profession. I’m not convinced we give it the attention it deserves. Tom points out that subject knowledge adds texture to a lesson – it gives the details. It varies hugely by…

Who trains the trainers?

‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Your grace.’ ‘I know that one,’ said Vimes.  Who watches the watchmen?  Me, Mr Pessimal.’ ‘Ah, but who watches you, your grace?’ said the inspector, with a brief smile. ‘I do that too.  All the time,’ said Vimes Terry Pratchett, Thud.  An interesting report from the Wellcome Trust this week found that…

In defense of being informed

Earlier this week I had a piece published in the Guardian entitled “How can schools use research to better inform teaching practice?” Whilst the response was overwhelmingly positive I have still spent a significant amount of time having to defend the idea that teachers should be informed about their own practice. As someone who had…

Life inside the bubble – Part 1

For the last couple of years I have been writing, blogging and tweeting about education. I have read dozens of fascinating books, countless papers, attended conferences and met many brilliant teachers. I have been invited to write for TES and the Guardian’s Teacher Network, speak at conferences, teach meets and school’s CPD sessions, write a…

The Ritual of Teaching

Terry Pratchett’s novel Small Gods tells the story of what happens to Gods when people stop believing in them. The much diminished God Om is talking to his last remaining true believer, Brutha, and explaining to him how it comes that Gods die. He quotes the Discworld philosopher Abraxas. “Around the Godde there forms a…