‘There must be better songs to sing than this…’

The importance of cultural capital for disadvantaged students ‘There must be better songs to sing than this…’ Rita’s Mum, ‘Educating Rita’ by Willy Russell This has always been a moment in the play which brings me to tears. Rita and her mum, sitting in the pub (the usual activity for the extended group of friends…

Letting the learning shine

I was thinking today about how same-y my lessons had become. There was a time when pupils would have come in to find the tables arranged in groups for a carousel task, or ready for them to do a role play of a news report or they’d be creating a newspaper front page or doing…

New Year Resolutions – 2018

That period between Christmas and New Year always feels strangely timeless, set outside the normal cycle of the year, a moment for feasting, fighting back the dark and for introspection. I have done fairly well this year at leaving work behind and an education book or blog has barely passed through my hands. However, as…

Teachers: Simply the best

I have recently been rereading Fergal Roche’s book Mining for Gold . This book is a reflection on the teachers he has encountered through his life, as a student, teacher, consultant and parent, and his reflections on what has made them effective. It is a collection of little vignettes on teachers from across the decades and an…

Candles in the Darkness (Part 4)

I have written before about the image I have of teachers being candles in the darkness. The potential we have to shine brightly in a world of negativity, ignorance and unthinking cruelty is huge. I genuinely believe that we have the power to make a difference and be a positive force. We can make a…

CPD: Goodbye & Good Riddance (part one)

The funding crisis hitting our schools is going to have serious negative consequences. Teachers are facing redundancies as class sizes soar. Pupils are being offered fewer choices of subjects and many A level classes will see their contact time cut. Budgets are slashed, subjects aren’t resourced and buildings are crumbling. It is hard to make…

Candles in the Darkness (Part 3)

I woke up this morning with a deep sense of foreboding. This isn’t unusual for me (or most teachers I have spoken to) towards the end of the holidays. I love my job, work in a wonderful supportive school with well motivated students and yet I know that I’ll be awake at 3am of the…