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Teaching to the Top: Attitudes and strategies for delivering real challenge.

Teaching to top has been a long-standing principle of effective teaching from my perspective.  One of my early blogs was ‘Gifted and Talented Provision: A Total Philosophy‘ and it remains one of the topics I am asked to talk about most often in CPD sessions.  I no longer think that Gifted and Talented is a … Continue reading

Finding peace: Grief, solidarity and resolve. Responses to radicalisation.

Monday night’s bombing in Manchester was such an outrage.  It’s hard to process.  There are so many emotions to deal with.  For all those affected, there’s the personal grief; the heart-breaking disaster of losing a child or a parent, a colleague.  However hard we try to empathise from afar, we can’t get close to the … Continue reading

EVENT: Powerful Curriculum Design

If you are interested in curriculum design, this one-day course could be the perfect opportunity to explore a range of powerful ideas to take your school forward.  Martin Robinson and I will be delivering the programme based on our experience working with schools around the country. Please come and join us for what promises to … Continue reading

10 Questions to ask about Work Scrutiny and Book Looks.

The ‘book look’ concept is now firmly established as part of the educational landscape.  In many ways this is a positive development because it takes some pressure away from the problematic process of lesson observations.  It’s not just the voodoo of grading – which is still out there albeit in decline – it’s the problem of … Continue reading

You’re doing it all wrong: context and complexity in Ed-research and debate.

It’s continually frustrating to me that so much of the discourse in our debates and in the reading of education research reduces teaching and learning effects to crude averages and sweeping assumptions, ignoring complexity and context   At the same time, it’s equally frustrating that some people’s response to this complexity is to reinforce a … Continue reading

teacherhead.com anniversary. High five.

The birthday blog is an annual ritual that I feel compelled to maintain just to chart the life of the blog over time.  May 11th was the 5th anniversary of my original  Hello World page. It’s been a chaotic kind of year; a massive rollercoaster  — undoubtedly the most difficult and stressful of my career. … Continue reading

School Leadership in 12 slides.

Last week I was asked to lead a workshop on leadership for some middle and senior leaders.  Here are some of the ideas I shared.   Believe me, I’m not preaching from on high.  I’ve had some successes but there isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t run through some kind of imagined … Continue reading

Presentation: potentially a powerful proxy for progress. #shortblog

One of my frustrations with my last inspection experience was the high-speed book flick-throughs that were passed off as valid scrutinies of standards.  Essentially, in the time given to each book, in some cases, it could only really have been presentation that was being evaluated.  It was annoying when a teacher of a KS3 class was … Continue reading

Context is King. #shortblog

Just a quick observation: In our educational discourse, we make too many generalisations about a wide range of issues that ignore the context in which people operate.  I’m visiting schools all over the country and I’ve worked in lots of types of schools – it’s an inescapable fact that the specific context in which we operate … Continue reading

Headship Headaches: A brief index of leadership metaphors.

Hamster Wheel:  Everyone is running round and round and round, getting nowhere fast but working really hard.  There’s only one solution.  Step off the wheel… STOP.  Take a look around and think.  What the hell are we doing? Let’s try something different…. Permanent White Water:  There is no point telling people that it will pass; … Continue reading

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