Say what you see

Oliver Caviglioni Dual Coding Last week I was lucky enough to attend the ResearchEd national conference in London. I have spent the last week mulling over the sessions I attended and writing up my notes. Any errors are most certainly my own but this is what I took away from my day.  Pupils learn best…

Keep Calm and Just Teach

As we approach the end of the summer holidays I notice a real surge in posts and tweets from people worried about returning to the classroom. The issues that keep being mentioned are things like a feeling of being overwhelmed, of not knowing where to start, of feeling inadequate and not being able to keep…

What makes the difference?

A few days ago, after getting our GCSE results, I wrote a quick post about some of the things we had done as a department that I felt had made a difference and helped us go from getting “quite good results” to “really quite excellent results”. Since then people have asked lots of further questions…

Where did it all go right… again?

This time last year my department got the best GCSE results of my time in teaching. We had made some changes and reaped the rewards (I wrote about it here) but I always knew it was going to be a hard act to follow. Well, we followed it and improved on it. When WJEC finally…

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…