The tears of a clown

A recent piece in TES, (25 traits that make a perfect teacher) which revealed what pupils say they value in a teacher, raised some eyebrow. They say that… Funny: that’s what students want you, their teacher, to be. And they don’t just want you to have a joke in your teaching toolbox to provide some…

Building Independence 

At our school, we build our idea of excellent teaching and learning around four pillars. The first two, challenge and feedback, are fairly uncontroversial but the other two, engagement and independence, sometimes raises eyebrows. I think this is because the two terms get so misused in education out of a desire to make everything something…

How do you design your curriculum?

Towards the end of last term, as we started to review our Expect Excellence action plan, my thoughts shifted towards our next goal. I have become increasingly concerned that over the years our focus has been on how we teach and that we have taken our eye off what we teach – and why we…

A Culture of Excellence – Excellent Geography 

What does excellence look like in your subject? That is the question that my department will be putting at the heart of all we do over the next year.  For the last two years we have focused on increasing aspiration and expecting excellence. I wanted to ensure that we had a culture where everyone wanted…

Picking your battles

Two years ago I decided that my department should have one particular focus for improvement. I work at a wonderful school, where results are very good and our kids generally want to do well. I was concerned though that there was a risk of complacency  and the data seemed to bear this out. Results were…

What’s the point?

My Year 7 class had something of a revelation this week. We have just started looking at coasts and coastal processes and spent the lesson learning about different types of erosion. Knowing that coasts, like rivers, are responsible for three processes (erosion, transportation and deposition) and that these shape the landscape are fundemental to the…

What’s your superpower?

Do you ever find yourself watching the news or reading a paper and saying to  yourself, ‘I don’t understand how this could happen’? If so, I’d suggest you may not have been paying attention in your Geography lessons.  The study of Geography is as old as the hills. Or at least as old as people…