Tom Sherrington

Tom Sherrington has written 563 posts for teacherhead

Teaching for Recall, Fluency and Understanding: Blog round-up for easy access.

Recent blogs on teacherhead.com have had a certain theme around teaching for recall, fluency and understanding.  Here is a round-up so people can access them easily all in one place: Two influential papers: Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction:  A blog exploring this key paper using four simple themes, now with a new graphic by Oliver Caviglioli. … Continue reading

10 reasons lessons can be less effective than they could be:

From my observations of lessons, when lessons appear to be less effective than they could be, there are lots of common reasons.  Previously I have written about: The five forms of feedback I give to teachers most often, Lessons that misfire.  Here, is a quick list of 10 reasons lessons might not be effective – … Continue reading

Saffron Walden County High School: An exemplary school. The Learning Rainforest made real.

Last week I spent a day visiting Saffron Walden County High School in the North-West corner of Essex.  This was the result of a conversation with Head and CEO, Caroline Derbyshire who suggested that I should consider writing a ‘Learning Rainforest in Action’ follow-up book.  Having read the original book, Caroline felt that SWCHS embodied … Continue reading

4,000,000 x Thank You. 🙏🙏❤️

This is another ritual milestone blog.  4 million views.  I’m so grateful to everyone who continues to read and engage with the ideas in the blog.  It’s a constant source of joy to me – and I’m always thrilled when someone tells me a blog post helped them or their colleagues to think something through … Continue reading

The Ideal Assessment Tracking Regime?

In various blog posts and twitter exchanges I have critiqued several widely used approaches to assessment tracking and reporting.   Reasons for my critique include the following: Forcing teachers across very different disciplines to morph their organic, authentic subject specific assessments – including wide-ranging quality and difficulty models – into a common grading system at an … Continue reading

Major Teaching Myth: “Always ask before you tell”

Short post: Having seen this going on a lot, I tweeted this yesterday and it seemed to resonate with people: A widespread ingrained teaching myth: "Always ask before you tell". This frequent exchange can be absurd and painful. Anyone know..(the secret thing I know).? Anyone…..?No….? No, not quite… No, that's not it…. Good guess…Actually it's…… … Continue reading

Edu-shaming starts with Ofsted Grading

Just reflecting on the recent debate about school shaming, it seems to me that the biggest culprit in the whole issue got away lightly: Ofsted Grading. I’ve been in a school-shaming situation at the hands of local papers several times at various different schools.  Once, one student’s dad died in tragic circumstances.  He went to … Continue reading

Three powerful steps to deeper understanding and better recall. Specify; check; apply.

This post is based on my observations of teachers over the last few months and the common areas for development that emerge in feedback discussions.  It is also informed by the ideas of Rosenshine and Shimamura around effective teaching for understanding and recall.  My aim is to try to describe highly actionable strategies for putting … Continue reading

Be A Better B!

Last weekend, after an excellent ResearchEd event in Philadelphia, where Dylan Wiliam had given a superb keynote, I wrote this tweet: Imagine teacher A is way more effective than teacher B. Tendency is to make B emulate what A does. I think this is wrong. We need to work with B to establish how B, … Continue reading

How not to misfire.. exploring the learning process with Henry VIII

Having written about lessons that mis-fire, I was asked to suggest what people should do instead. That’s a mighty big task because, what you might do depends on what exactly you want students to know and, in any specific example, there are countless possibilities.   However, given that a lot of my mis-fire examples are about gathering … Continue reading

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