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…

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 РExcellent 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…

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…