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GCSE Grading Goes Ga-Ga.

Ofqual has been doing its best to communicate the meaning of new GCSE grades to people.   Here’s their video: It’s amusing to think there might be hints lurking in the relative heights of the paper piles. (There won’t be.).  There is also this handy ready reckoner for the conversion: The problem has been with … Continue reading

The Bell-Curve Cage: Something must break.

  I keep going on about this but at some point, something’s going to break. Ever since Michael Gove and Ofqual – more or less independently – decided, reasonably and sensibly, to bring an end to grade inflation around 2010, taking effect from 2013, we’ve been on a collision course with our embedded, natural and … Continue reading

Too Much Teaching is Wasted

Let me give you some information: (Try to imagine that you’re going to learn it.) The Earth-Sun distance is used as unit of distance called the Astronomical Unit. 1 AU.  The Earth-Moon distance is 0.0026 AU to 2 significant figures.  The nearest Star is Proxima Centauri (part of the Alpha Centauri system. Pronounced ‘Sen-TOR-eye’). The … Continue reading

Knowledge and skills: Explicit; sequenced and, ultimately, interwoven.

It has been fascinating engaging in the debate around knowledge and skills over the last few years; I’ve made various attempts to make sense of it.  Here are some related posts: Some knowledge-skills interplay The progressive-traditional pedagogy tree Drills, skills and being match fit.  I’m a natural third-way person, uncomfortable with polarised positions.  I often … Continue reading

Team Culture is King. And that’s not necessarily good.

  Recently I read a fascinating blog by Harry Fletcher-Wood on some research into the impact of CPD – or, actually, the lack of impact. One of the issues Harry raises is the suggestion that ‘no matter how good your external training is, culture is stronger’. The answer, in CPD terms, appears to be to locate CPD much more at … Continue reading

Teaching and assessment for top-end success in new GCSEs

I’ve been looking at the specimen papers for GCSEs in English, Maths and Science to get a feel for the expectations at the top-end.  Although, in theory, schools should have been engaging with these materials for a while, with Year 11s ready to go this May and Year 10s already on the road with Science, … Continue reading

The cause-effect illusion-confusion

If we knew the precise things that make the most difference in terms of school improvement in order to secure the specific outputs we want, then everyone would be laughing.  We would simply do more of those things and the outputs would improve. Voila! Bob’s your uncle! However, of course we don’t actually have a precise … Continue reading

Ofsted Reliability Trials. Some suggestions.

It’s very welcome news that Amanda Spielman is going to support an Ofsted ‘research push’ as reported here in Schools Week.  The publication of results of an initial trial is a step in the right direction. In my ‘Gimme some truth‘ blog at the end of 2014,  I complained about the lack of any validity … Continue reading

40 Curriculum Models 2017:

With enormous thanks to everyone who has contributed, the spreadsheet below now shows the curriculum models for 40 different schools. I’m going to stop there. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1fuZV6mg5BQLDnQ3xACDMqTuKbUKZGr5k9iYz56RpDvM/edit?usp=sharing     The collection includes the models for grammar schools, comprehensives, middle schools and international schools.  No two are the same. There’s a mixture of 25, 30, 50 and … Continue reading

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