Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 717 posts for teacherhead

Check for Understanding… why it matters and how to do it. #rEDSurrey21

This post gives the key points from my ResearchEd Surrey talk at Farnham Heath End School. Firstly, I explored the challenge for teachers in teaching a group of people all at once, with reference to Willingham’s ideas about memory and understanding. When children don’t understand – there are numerous possible reasons: lack of prior knowledge, … Continue reading

Well-being is an outcome. We need actions, not words.

Recently I tweeted this about well-being and it seemed to resonate. I was making the point that promoting well-being insofar as it relates to a school’s responsibilities and its employees’ professional lives, should be regarded as an outcome of doing tangible specific things that support them in their work. It’s not about adding extra feel-good … Continue reading

Building Understanding: supporting students to assemble their own schema.

Recently, as I’ve engaged with numerous curriculum webinars (eg EduGiveUK) and continued working with schools and colleges, observing and discussing teachers’ practice, I’ve been thinking that much greater weight needs to be placed on exploring what our students have actually understood during a teaching sequence: the depth of their understanding relative to the teacher intentions; … Continue reading

An Inspector writes….

This was submitted to me this week from a serving Inspector – who wants to share their perspective whilst remaining anonymous. I’m happy to share it. From their point of view, though the direction of travel might be the right one in principle, in practice it’s not compatible with the process itself …. “Ofsted can … Continue reading

‘Inside the Black Box’. Classic Education Gold from Wiliam and Black.

Having started teaching in 1986, it’s hard to overstate the impact that Inside the Black Box by Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam had on us, when it landed in 1998, summarising the case for formative assessment. It was the first time many of us realised that people undertook research into classroom practice at all – … Continue reading

EduGiveUK Curriculum Conference supporting @FareShareUK in partnership with @SchoolsWeek

In case you haven’t picked this up from my twitter feed, my daughter and I have set up an organisation EduGiveUK to run fund-raising events and our first endeavour is a Curriculum Conference on October 1-2 supporting FareShareUK. The event is being run in partnership with SchoolsWeek with additional sponsorship from Hodder Education, Century Learning … Continue reading

Counter-examples in CPD. The power of ‘don’ts’.

Recently I’ve had lots of conversations about teachers’ habits and how difficult it can be to change them. Harry Fletcher-Wood’s recent book explores this whole area in detail – it’s superb. In my work with schools and colleges, we encounter this issue all the time. Sometimes we realise that, although in CPD discussions, there’s a … Continue reading

Concrete not Sand – build on what they know!

I’ve encountered so many scenarios across the curriculum where students’ prior knowledge just isn’t secure enough for them to handle the new content of the lesson – at least, not to the level the teacher is assuming or hoping. Sometimes without even realising it, the teacher is building on sand. The learning is tentative or … Continue reading

Cold Call Variations

In a previous post, Cold Calling: The #1 strategy for inclusive classrooms, I’ve outlined the essence of the Cold Calling technique and why it is so powerful. It’s one of the main techniques I include in this post: Great Teaching: The Power of Questioning and we’ve captured it in our Walkthrus Volume 1 in the five … Continue reading

School Development Priorities for 2021-22.

Taking stock of the various conversations I have had with teachers and school leaders, I think there are some common threads that, when added together, might represent a solid school development agenda for a lot of schools in the coming year. Of course, in any specific context, there’s a need to filter and prioritise but … Continue reading

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St Jude Songs. And others.