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TFTW4: Cosmic events and how wonderful life (as we know it) is!

Essex Chronicle Thought for the Week. Context:  Spring 2012, and the moon has company! Venus transition is coming…. As a Physics teacher, I love to take stock of experiences that tell us that our everyday lives are played out within the awe-inspiring enormity of space: Earth, solar system, galaxy, universe…..  Of course every day, sunset … Continue reading

TFTW3: Time for a Parenting for Learning campaign?

A Thought for the Week for the Essex Chronicle Context:  August 2011.  Post ‘summer of unrest’,  the annual hand-wringing about exam results.. and that gap just won’t close.  Broken Britain is the headline concept of the moment. At this time of year there is usually a national debate about standards in schools.  Following the riots, … Continue reading

TFTW2: Political Correctness Gone too Far? Really?

Context: April 2011.  Fed up with persistent prejudice and surge of ‘chav’ comments. We’d all sign up to a campaign to eliminate prejudice and discrimination wouldn’t we? Would we? I sometimes wonder.  On the surface, society has come a long way in the last decade or so.  There is more public tolerance and a deeper … Continue reading

TFTW1: You Say That I’m a Dreamer

A piece for Thought for the Week,  Essex Chronicle October 2010:  My first one. Context:  Party conference season.. and John Lennon’s 70 birthday, October 2010. (JL and I have the same birthday… not that this is relevant to anything, except that I always remember!) “Imagine all the people, living life in peace”. John Lennon b … Continue reading

If lessons were like skateboarding…

Wouldn’t it be great!?  Off you go kids, have a go, see how you get on and we’ll take it from there…… However, can you imagine what ‘Skateboarding Lessons’ might look like in the real world of routine school: First of all there would be an extended safety briefing…. and another thing…. and make sure … Continue reading

What do Outstanding lessons look like?

Another attempt to grapple with OfSTED criteria and to match them to our observations of excellent teaching at KEGS. When you see an Outstanding lesson, these things are likely to be happening…. ALL students  are actively engaged and challenged…e.g. simple think/pair/share discussion is routine structured group work where everyone has a role is being used … Continue reading

Co-Constructing Learning

Please click this link for the full pdf: Co-construction: Learning in the hands of learners This issue of the KEGS Learning Lessons series describes how students have been involved in planning and delivering the IGCSE Physics course  and the Year 7 RE course. It is at an early stage of development but is already proving … Continue reading

Bringing AfL Alive in Every Classroom

These issues of Learning Lessons describe a range of strategies for bringing formative assessment alive in every classroom.  Click this image to view the pdf online via Issuu: The next issue in the series by MFL specialist Alex Steele. It  cannot be recommended highly enough – it is packed with practical strategies and interesting approaches … Continue reading

The KEGS IT Think Tank Launch

I want to get the show on the road….  this is my call to arms, sent to a range of teachers who I think might be interested.  Students to come on board after Y12 exams. Let’s see…. The idea is this – Project 9 (our in-house student-led IT curriculum) tells us that there is an … Continue reading

From Comp to Grammar; Plantation to Rainforest.

I wrote this article for ASCL’s The Leader Magazine.  It was rejected because it was felt some Heads might be offended – some comprehensives do all this stuff already they said.  So, fair enough, it isn’t sensible to generalise from my experience of specific schools – but I still feel the message and ideas are … Continue reading

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