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Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 468 posts for teacherhead

10 ways the gold dust of CPD time is wasted.

CPD time is precious.  Teachers have so many issues to address; so many things to discuss, to share, to thrash out, to reflect on – and there’s lots of strong evidence about the importance of collaborative professional dialogue in fuelling teacher development. And yet, there are lots of barriers to schools delivering good CPD; I’ve written about … Continue reading

Our family remembrance trip. 40 years on.

A few years ago I posted a copy of an assembly I gave for Remembrance Day, linking our family story – the death of my father, Richard Sherrington – to the act of remembrance.  You can read it here.   He died on 4th December 1977, 40 years ago, after his plane from Penang to KL … Continue reading

10 low impact activities to do less of – or stop altogether.

Teachers and leaders across the country do too many things that have unacceptably high ratios of time and effort relative to their impact and/or they are unjustifiable educationally.  Sometimes I think that the debate about workload is tinkering around the edges when actually we need much more fundamental change.  I also think that we need to … Continue reading

Y6 and Y11 take too much strain: up the ante from Y3 and Y7.

In the last six months I’ve had the opportunity to see lessons in all years and I’ve spoken to teachers and leaders responsible for learning from Year 3 to Year 11.  From what I see, the expectations, pressure and intensity in Year 6 and Year 11 are MASSIVE compared to what happens in the other years at KS2, 3 and 4.  It’s … Continue reading

Just Teach!!

Featured Image: USC Rossier School of Education  Just Teach? What do I mean?  On my travels I see a lot of lessons where I find myself wanting to say this to the teacher.  Sometimes Just Teach! is the essence of my feedback. It has two meanings. 1. Keep it Simple: Just Teach means that you teach … Continue reading

Goodbye Headteacher; Hello Consultant

Yesterday morning I woke up to my weekly Guardian and TES job alerts and, instead of exploring the latest batch, I deleted them.  I’ve unsubscribed.  Doing that has sealed the decisions I’ve made this week marking a major turning point in my professional life. I’m no longer someone in between jobs, looking to return to Headship; I’ve … Continue reading

Planning a KS3-4 Curriculum Model: Walking through the thought-process.

This blog is a walk-through of the thinking in an imagined school, designed to highlight the range of parameters curriculum designers might have to consider. Before setting about carving up the pie of time into allocations to subjects, it’s important to establish the principles that will guide all the decisions you make. Let’s explore the … Continue reading

Let’s get radical on Ofsted reform. Power:reliability:impact ratio is wrong.

I think it is time for a very significant review of the role of Ofsted, the nature of inspection and the whole accountability machinery for schools in England.  I have a lot of time and respect for Amanda Spielman and I’m writing this hoping she will read it at some point.  I’m sure that much of what follows … Continue reading

Discussing Behaviour, Inclusion and Exclusion: 12 considerations.

In this post I want to explore some issues that emerge from debates about behaviour systems.  This is based on my experience in numerous settings, including some challenging schools alongside others that are/were much more straight-forward.  It’s not a definitive list  – please feel free to add ideas via the comments. 1. Context: Context is King … Continue reading

Building Word Confidence: Everyone read, say, understand, use, practise.

A very common phenomenon in many lessons is that students encounter new words.  The way we approach this ought to be something teachers think about explicitly so that effective strategies are used.  I’ve seen explicit vocabulary development done extremely well but, quite often, I find that it’s approached in a rather shallow manner: new words are … Continue reading

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