Simplifying and Taking Control: The Power of Clarity in CPD

In her second guest post, Director of Improvement and CPD, Zoe Enser, discusses how CPD can be used to let teachers take the power back. ‘When the tempest rages, when the thunders roar, and the lightnings blaze around us it is then that the truly brave man stands firm at his post. Martin Luther Working in a school which had faced a number of challenges made us vulnerable in a number of ways. Often we were buffeted by the…

Developing subject knowledge

A recent blog by Tom H (@GeographyTom9) on Why Subject Knowledge Matters made me think about how we treat teacher subject knowledge in our profession. I’m not convinced we give it the attention it deserves. Tom points out that subject knowledge adds texture to a lesson – it gives the details. It varies hugely by…

Who trains the trainers?

‘Quis custodiet ipsos custodies? Your grace.’ ‘I know that one,’ said Vimes.  Who watches the watchmen?  Me, Mr Pessimal.’ ‘Ah, but who watches you, your grace?’ said the inspector, with a brief smile. ‘I do that too.  All the time,’ said Vimes Terry Pratchett, Thud.  An interesting report from the Wellcome Trust this week found that…

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…

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…

The anatomy of a lesson

This post comes with the usual caveats that it is based on my own experiences of teaching and learning which come almost entirely from an 11-18 context and usually in Geography – although I have always leapt at the chance to see other subjects in actions. That said – what makes up the anatomy of…

Developing Challenge

When I started teaching, all those many moons ago, challenge wasn’t really discussed. When it was mentioned it was as something we had to add on for the most able as an “extension task” and often consisted of more of the same work – perhaps a little more difficult – or open ended so as…