Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 676 posts for teacherhead

Towards an anti-racist curriculum: Step 2. “Usualise diversity”

My last post on this topic was Step 1. Reading. This wasn’t necessarily meant as the start of a series, but I’m going to continue taking steps along the path, when I feel ready to do so. It’s time for Step 2. Since posting Step 1, the debate regarding responses to the BLM protests has … Continue reading

The In Action series. Teachers putting ed-research into practice.

The WalkThrus team – of me, Oliver Caviglioli and John Catt Ltd – is very excited to see our In Action publication series taking off. After the Rosenshine’s Principles In Action proved popular, we felt that more researchers and their work could be given similar treatment to help teachers digest the ideas and apply them … Continue reading

Thinking about thinking: blog round-up

I’ve written a lot of related posts recently around the theme of thinking, schema-building and the challenges of managing a class so that everyone is thinking, learning, succeeding. Here’s a round up.

Planning for disrupted learning: Go long; provide the tools

Imagine you have embarked on an adult learning programme – perhaps a part-time degree, a masters, a professional qualification. In addition to the regular demands of the course itself, imagine you have a complicated life and need to engage in a flexible manner, attending as often as you can but knowing you will need to … Continue reading

Autonomy with accountability. Implementing change from the ground up.

Lots of schools struggle with the challenge of implementing ideas and managing change. It’s not easy to get a large group of people to shift their practice in a certain direction. Sometimes this is because the ideas emerge at the top – and it’s hard to get them delivered in a top-down style: there’s resistance, … Continue reading

Reaching into the corners: 12 ways learning can be hard – and what to do about it.

When I observe lessons I sit at the back – mainly to get out of the way. As I scan from my vantage point, I can spot students who are finding it hard to engage in the lesson. Often this is happening without the teacher noticing -because from their point of view, they see plenty … Continue reading

Is Everyone Thinking? What are they all thinking about? This is THE Key.

“Memory is the residue of thought”. As part of my work with Oldham College, this week we were revisiting the key ideas that underpin our Teaching for Distinction programme. Right at the top is Dan Willingham’s work on memory including this important and famous statement: memory is the residue of thought. It deserves repeated revisiting. … Continue reading

My favourite teacher, Mr King – and the relationships that really matter. #shortpost

At various times I’ve been asked who my favourite teacher at school was. It’s an easy selection for me. Mr King, my teacher for O Level physics 1979-1981 at Weydon School in Farnham, Surrey. I don’t have any pictures of him but I always remember him as looking like Neil Tennant from the Pet Shop … Continue reading

Can we talk sensibly about exams please. #shortpost

We live in a world where serious newspapers print nonsense articles such as this one and this one by Simon Jenkins. “Once children were birched at school. Now they are taught maths”; “… 30 years since corporal punishment was banned in British state schools. The practice was considered “degrading and humiliating”….But ministers did not give up on … Continue reading

Teaching for understanding: Schema-building and generative learning.

I’ve had the privilege of observing a lot of lessons already this term – with huge thanks to the teachers concerned for their warm welcome. As I’ve been doing this, I realise I’m applying a continually evolving mental model of the learning process to what I’m seeing – and this is what influences the dialogues … Continue reading

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St Jude Songs. And others.