On fads and fashions

I really enjoyed this recent post by the great Tom Sherrington on Lessons That Misfire. In this post Tom carefully explains the conditions that make a great lesson before giving examples of the terrible activities he has seen that fail to deliver them. Most of these activities are ones I was encouraged to use when…

Reclaiming Chalk and Talk

In our department CPD session this afternoon we looked at teacher explanation. We were interested in how we could make sure that our explanation was memorable and how we could support pupil’s working memory. Below are the slides I put together to trigger some discussions and share some key ideas. We started by sharing and…

Teach Like Nobody’s Watching

My presentation at the 2018 ResearchEd National Conference was based on the conclusions I have reached about teaching after 15 years at the chalk face. There are three things I believe to be true. Teaching is essentially simple.¬†What ever you want to teach you start with a recap of what they know about the issue…

Looking both ways

The last week of term is always an odd affair. I find the time rushes by as I try to get as much done as possible to set up for the next year; all the while dodging around the break down in the normal routines as trips, sports events and various activities take over. In…

Preparing to slay the dragon

In my younger days I was obsessed with all things Dungeons and Dragons. From the ages of 10 – 20 I spent my time reading about it, talking about it, writing about it and when time allowed, actually playing it. For the uninitiated (to see if you are initiated, roll a d6. If you get…

An engaging post

There is an understandable antipathy in some education circles around the word “engagement”. For a long time it was used in sentences like: “You need to plan engaging lessons to prevent bad behaviour” “Make sure you plan engaging activities” “Make sure you engage pupils by making the lesson relevant to their lives” etc etc. The…

The Blagger’s Guide to… Wave One Intervention

  As with most education buzz-words, wave one intervention burst forth fully formed. Striding out confidently from the mouths of deputy heads and consultants as Athena strode from the head of Zeus. No one ever came into the hall and said “Guess what guys! There is a new idea in town and we are all…