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…

A glimpse inside

  Early on in my teacher training, before we had gone into our placements, I remember asking “How do you work out what to put in a lesson?”. We had spent a lot of time talking about differentiation, assessment for learning, behaviour management, but as far I could recall no one seemed to have talked…

Do detentions work?

  There has been much talk this weekend about detentions; much of it revolving around an advert from a well known free school who are looking for a “director of detentions”. One interesting strand from these debates has been this one started by Paul Garvey (@PaulGarvey4) who claimed – repeatedly – that detentions “do not…

Why we can’t have a fun lesson today

This scene has played out at the door to my classroom day after day for years. Surly youth: Are we having a fun lesson today? Me: No. We are doing Geography. It isn’t meant to be fun. It is meant to be rigorous. It is meant to be hard. It is going to challenge you…

Can we put Learning First?

I have been thinking a lot recently about the feedback we give to pupils on their work and the usefulness or otherwise of trying to record progress. The removal of national curriculum levels at KS3 and the fact that we have no idea what the grade boundaries look like at GCSE mean that we have…

Modelling Excellence

Our department motto is “Expect Excellence” and we have put it at the heart of everything we do. One thing we have really insisted on this year is that pupils make sure that their  work is excellent before they declare it “finished”. Quite early on though we realised that pupils were not always sure of…