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Teaching and Learning

This category contains 131 posts

Teaching to the Top: Attitudes and strategies for delivering real challenge.

Teaching to top has been a long-standing principle of effective teaching from my perspective.  One of my early blogs was ‘Gifted and Talented Provision: A Total Philosophy‘ and it remains one of the topics I am asked to talk about most often in CPD sessions.  I no longer think that Gifted and Talented is a … Continue reading

You’re doing it all wrong: context and complexity in Ed-research and debate.

It’s continually frustrating to me that so much of the discourse in our debates and in the reading of education research reduces teaching and learning effects to crude averages and sweeping assumptions, ignoring complexity and context   At the same time, it’s equally frustrating that some people’s response to this complexity is to reinforce a … Continue reading

Presentation: potentially a powerful proxy for progress. #shortblog

One of my frustrations with my last inspection experience was the high-speed book flick-throughs that were passed off as valid scrutinies of standards.  Essentially, in the time given to each book, in some cases, it could only really have been presentation that was being evaluated.  It was annoying when a teacher of a KS3 class was … Continue reading

Ten teaching techniques to practise – deliberately.

It’s a well-established idea that, to develop expertise in a particular skill or technique, you need to practise. The more you practise, the better you get.  As outlined by the excellent people at Deans for Impact in their Practice with Purpose document, it helps to identify a specific element of your teaching to practise on and … Continue reading

Sweet Algebra. A model.

I’ve spent the last two years teaching maths – to Year 7 & and Year 10.  Finding a good model to help students grapple with algebra has often been a sticking point, especially once we started performing operations on letters beyond collecting like terms; for some students this level of abstraction is incredibly difficult.   … Continue reading

Too Much Teaching is Wasted

Let me give you some information: (Try to imagine that you’re going to learn it.) The Earth-Sun distance is used as unit of distance called the Astronomical Unit. 1 AU.  The Earth-Moon distance is 0.0026 AU to 2 significant figures.  The nearest Star is Proxima Centauri (part of the Alpha Centauri system. Pronounced ‘Sen-TOR-eye’). The … Continue reading

Teaching and assessment for top-end success in new GCSEs

I’ve been looking at the specimen papers for GCSEs in English, Maths and Science to get a feel for the expectations at the top-end.  Although, in theory, schools should have been engaging with these materials for a while, with Year 11s ready to go this May and Year 10s already on the road with Science, … Continue reading

10 Must-Read Books for Better Teaching

This selection is my current top ten book recommendations for teachers. Continue reading

My lesson observation feedback.

On Friday the Head of Maths observed my Year 7 lesson.  Today I had the feedback. It was incredibly useful; the whole process has been extremely positive.  The context is that, although I’ve taught A Level and GCSE maths several times, I’ve never taught Set 3 in Year 7 before.  I’m a novice in this … Continue reading

The Big Questions.

I am thinking of starting a series of blogs about the key issues, the big questions,  that we wrestle with in our school – and probably in every school.  So far, I have just sketched out what some of the big questions are. This will then become the homepage for this series -when I get … Continue reading

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