Desirable but impossible

I am increasingly convinced that one the biggest problems we face in schools is a belief that because something is desirable it must be possible. I think we see this particularly when it comes to assessment, tracking and reporting. What do we want! I can completely understand that everyone would like to know what grade…

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…

The Blagger’s Guide to… Marking

You know all those teachers who really love marking? No. Me neither. That teetering pile of books sits on my desk in silent reproach all week, just to be taken home for a tour of the back of my car, my hall, maybe the dining room table. There they wait, judging me as I sit…

On fads and fashions

I really enjoyed this recent post by the great Tom Sherrington on Lessons That Misfire. In this post Tom carefully explains the conditions that make a great lesson before giving examples of the terrible activities he has seen that fail to deliver them. Most of these activities are ones I was encouraged to use when…

Looking both ways

The last week of term is always an odd affair. I find the time rushes by as I try to get as much done as possible to set up for the next year; all the while dodging around the break down in the normal routines as trips, sports events and various activities take over. In…

An engaging post

There is an understandable antipathy in some education circles around the word “engagement”. For a long time it was used in sentences like: “You need to plan engaging lessons to prevent bad behaviour” “Make sure you plan engaging activities” “Make sure you engage pupils by making the lesson relevant to their lives” etc etc. The…