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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

Knowledge and skills: Explicit; sequenced and, ultimately, interwoven.

It has been fascinating engaging in the debate around knowledge and skills over the last few years; I’ve made various attempts to make sense of it.  Here are some related posts: Some knowledge-skills interplay The progressive-traditional pedagogy tree Drills, skills and being match fit.  I’m a natural third-way person, uncomfortable with polarised positions.  I often … Continue reading

Team Culture is King. And that’s not necessarily good.

  Recently I read a fascinating blog by Harry Fletcher-Wood on some research into the impact of CPD – or, actually, the lack of impact. One of the issues Harry raises is the suggestion that ‘no matter how good your external training is, culture is stronger’. The answer, in CPD terms, appears to be to locate CPD much more at … 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

The cause-effect illusion-confusion

If we knew the precise things that make the most difference in terms of school improvement in order to secure the specific outputs we want, then everyone would be laughing.  We would simply do more of those things and the outputs would improve. Voila! Bob’s your uncle! However, of course we don’t actually have a precise … Continue reading

Ofsted Reliability Trials. Some suggestions.

It’s very welcome news that Amanda Spielman is going to support an Ofsted ‘research push’ as reported here in Schools Week.  The publication of results of an initial trial is a step in the right direction. In my ‘Gimme some truth‘ blog at the end of 2014,  I complained about the lack of any validity … Continue reading

Curriculum Models 2017: Let’s share.

A few years ago I compiled a set of curriculum models from 70 grammar schools – each one was unique, albeit with lots of common features. It was fascinating to see all the subtle differences.  I repeated this in 2014 collecting 18 models for schools of different kinds  – available through the link above. With … Continue reading

Reinventing the Wheel. Again.

An army of teachers writing (the same) schemes of work across the nation: pic.twitter.com/yMEQh1NcH8 — Tom Sherrington (@teacherhead) February 27, 2017 In a previous post, How much teacher autonomy is healthy?, I explored the good reasons for collaboration and coherence in curriculum planning from the perspective of a novice teacher:  I want to be part … Continue reading

The Michaela Way

Last week,  I joined the growing number of people who have visited Michaela Community School to see it action.   I’ve read Battle Hymn of the Tiger Teachers and numerous blogs and articles about the school from its teachers and visitors – so it was great to see what it is really like to put … Continue reading

10 Must-Read Books for Better Teaching

This selection is my current top ten book recommendations for teachers.  I’ve chosen books that have influenced or challenged my thinking significantly, contain really useful, practical ideas for excellent teaching rooted in sound principles and/or cover important theoretical fundamentals about learning, curriculum and assessment.  There are others I could have included… but here’s the ten … Continue reading

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