Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 713 posts for teacherhead

‘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

Some thoughts on exams and grade inflation.

When results from public exams and assessments are published, the first response should, of course, be to congratulate students on their achievements. Every student deserves to enjoy their success; they worked hard; their teachers worked hard. Celebrations are due! Even though the circumstances in the last two years have been radically different to any other … Continue reading

What does it mean to be ‘evidence-informed’ in teaching?

With the publication of the Education Endowment Foundation report on Cognitive Science Approaches in the Classroom, there’s been a flurry of discussion about what it says and what the implications are for teachers. This is great to see – (once you filter the inevitable over-simplifications and weird misplaced triumphalism. You see – I told you). … Continue reading

Poor Proxies for Learning. Powerful insights from Prof Coe:

One of the very best pieces of work in communicating education research is the What Makes Great Teaching report from 2014. Around this time Professor Rob Coe (@ProfCoe), one of the report’s central authors, was doing fabulous work sharing the key ideas from the report in various presentations. Here is one example: As I shared … Continue reading

What is the purpose of assessment in education?

This post is one taken from a webinar I took part in with Century Learning as featured here. I’ve pasted the text below. If there were no public exams and no accountability system, teachers would still assess students and they would still want to assess themselves. Why? Because assessment isn’t really for other people, it’s … Continue reading

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