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Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 584 posts for teacherhead

Goals, Set-backs and the Psychology of Giving Up.

I went running today and completed a 5km Finsbury Park @ParkRun. Here’s what the email says: Your time was 00:28:53.  Congratulations on completing your 11th parkrun and your 10th at Finsbury parkrun today. You finished in 321st place and were the 246th male out of a field of 504 parkrunners and you came 20th in … Continue reading

Curriculum Thinking. Blog collection all in one place.

I’ve written a lot about curriculum in the last year or so… so here’s a one-stop-shop to access them all in place: Clarification about the idea of ‘knowledge rich’ and the wider context. What is a knowledge-rich curriculum? Principle and Practice. The great gift of knowledge and the joy of passing it on. Knowledge and … Continue reading

Designing Curriculum: Values, quality, preferences – and sofa theory.

Sofa Theory:  Ever bought a sofa? It can be a complicated process.  It might be possible to write down a list of qualities you would like: comfortable, contemporary-looking, ‘well designed’, sturdy, ‘high quality’ material, a colour coordinating with the living room, ‘stylish’, ‘good value’.  Of course this all presumes that the basic criterion to ‘be … Continue reading

Curriculum Review at KS3: Some common issues.

Over the last couple of years I have had the great privilege of working with several schools on the process of curriculum review.   It’s such an enlightening process for all concerned – asking questions about what should be taught, why things should be taught, what absolutely must be kept in, what gets squeezed out … Continue reading

A glossary of terms to help us discuss learning.

Increasingly I find that there’s a whole language that teachers would benefit from sharing so that, when we’re talking about learning, we are talking about the same things.   The list could be very long – and I’m happy to add to this over time – but how about this for a start: (*Recency and … Continue reading

How teacher behaviours during CPD echo student behaviours during lessons.

In my job I do lots of training sessions with groups of teachers.  Sometimes it’s a small group, sometimes a classroom-full; sometimes a giant hall or lecture theatre.  I’m fascinated by the ways teachers’ behaviours provide a reference point to illustrate student behaviours and responses during our lessons.   I often make the point that students … Continue reading

Great CPD. Poor CPD. What are the signs?

When I visit schools in my consultancy work or teacher-trainer role, I usually pick up on signals that indicate to me something about the school’s attitude to professional learning. Sometimes I’m blown away by the energy and commitment to it and I feel my input has a chance of feeding into something with impact; sometimes … Continue reading

From “I’ve done it” to “I’ve learned it”. Terminate the tyranny of the task.

If you go into lessons as an observer, it’s pretty standard to sit alongside a student and to engage in a short discussion about their work.  I might say ‘hello, tell me what you’re doing this lesson’.  The normal response is ‘I’m doing this sheet’ – as the student points to the worksheet task in … Continue reading

Learning Rainforest as CPD. Values + Experience + Evidence = Wisdom!

Over the last few months I’ve come across a range of schools that have used ideas and structures in The Learning Rainforest as a direct driver of their CPD.  This has happened without input from me, beyond writing the book; it’s an approach they’ve taken themselves and then told me about afterwards.   When I … Continue reading

The great gift of knowledge and the joy of passing it on.

Yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting Clare Sealy’s lovely school, St Matthias, tucked in just off Brick Lane.  I had the best time.  When I arrived, she was about to take the daily assembly, promoting one of their core values ‘awe and wonder’.  To do this Clare had chosen to celebrate the ‘awe and … Continue reading

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