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Leadership Issues

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Solutions and reality checks in the exclusion/inclusion debate. #pinballkids

The RSA Pinball Kids Initiative. There has been a lot of discussion in recent weeks about exclusions from schools with a string of newspaper articles exploring the theme: The news of rising fixed-term and permanent exclusions is covered by The Guardian here. https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jul/19/sharp-rise-in-pupil-exclusions-from-english-state-schools This report describes some responses – the ‘Wild West system of exclusion … Continue reading

Know my name! A basic entitlement.

When I was in Jakarta at the British International School, the EAL department supported a group of Korean students to stage a protest. They made some placards and, during lesson time, they walked around one of the central areas chanting ‘Know My Name! Know My Name!’  It was a powerful moment for them -and for … Continue reading

10 essential discussions to have in any teacher team.

Towards the end of last academic year, I wrote a post outlining what might be in a typical school’s development plan:  Here’s your school development plan – no, really, don’t thank me.  All of those ideas are still relevant for next year.  But what about at a departmental level or a year level in primary? Here … Continue reading

Get Into Teaching. The best job going.

One of the great joys of my current work as a travelling education consultant and teacher trainer is that I get to meet teachers everywhere; all over the UK; all over the world.  Everywhere I go I encounter wonderful teams of people doing incredible work, full of energy, enthusiasm, a sense of mission; bursting with … Continue reading

The inspirational story of Cardiff’s Eastern High School.

This week I had the pleasure of hearing a presentation from Armando and Innes, Head and Deputy Head at Eastern High School in Cardiff at a Headteachers’ conference run by the school improvement team GwE in North Wales.  The story of how they have turned this school around is truly inspirational. Joining the school (Armando … Continue reading

Art-Science and other positive tensions that fuel great teaching.

One of the key ideas that I’ve tried to capture in this blog and in my book, The Learning Rainforest, is that great teaching can emerge from the numerous tensions and contradictions that surround us.  Not by dismissing them or by seeking to resolve them and not by picking a side – but by recognising … Continue reading

How can we measure and report progress meaningfully?

As we continue to develop our system-wide thinking about assessment, it’s important that teachers and leaders understand the underlying concepts we’re dealing with.  In order to motivate and challenge all students, it makes good sense to try to distinguish between attainment and progress.  This allows us to give value to students making strides with their … Continue reading

GCSE Exams: Keeping a proportionate positive perspective.

Despite the fact that we’ve been running Y11 exams in one form or another for decades, there is always a fairly strong undercurrent in the discourse around the annual exam season characterised by a sense of injustice and unreasonableness.  In relation to GCSEs, the following arguments are rehearsed fairly often: Exams don’t measure everything that … Continue reading

What is a knowledge-rich curriculum? Principle and Practice.

I have found recent discussions and debates about the concept of a ‘knowledge-rich curriculum’  – or knowledge-led; knowledge-based – fascinating.   Some of this has been explored brilliantly in various blogs.  Here is a selection: Summer Turner https://ragazzainglese.wordpress.com/2018/02/14/pub-quiz-or-published-what-are-the-aims-of-a-knowledge-rich-curriculum/ Jon Brunskill  I’m bringing knowledge back. | Pedfed   which is worth reading along with his school’s website info on … Continue reading

The Value of Experience. #respect

It’s inevitable that, over the course of a career in teaching, perspectives change.  If I  could go back and have a word with my young teacher self, aged 22, I’d certainly be telling myself to show a bit more respect to the guys who had been working at it for a few decades.  Listen to … Continue reading

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