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Curriculum

This tag is associated with 31 posts

Teaching and Learning Agenda 2019/20

The summer term is often a time when people gather their thoughts for the year ahead.  The work I do with schools and colleges is largely driven by a medium term improvement agenda: combining some initial support –  establishing areas to improve in current practice, setting some goals for the next 12-18 months – and … Continue reading

Setting Great Homework: The Mode A:Mode B approach.

I have explored issues with homework in various different posts.  In particular, the research into homework by John Hattie is covered in detail in this post: Homework: What does the Hattie research actually say? I’m a firm believer that homework has an important role to play in providing a great education and fostering independent learning, as … Continue reading

10 Steps for Reviewing Your KS3 Curriculum

Now that schools are getting into the swing of the new GCSEs and KS3 assessment continues to present various challenges, it’s natural that a lot more attention is being given to the curriculum content at KS3.  Of course some will say that Ofsted’s much-trailed renewed interest in curriculum is playing a part too – but I’ve … Continue reading

Curriculum Notes #2:  Big picture first: then zoom in.

#2 in a series. I’ve often found that students in lessons are wading through a foggy cloud of confusion about why they are learning what they are learning.  I’ve been in that cloud plenty of times myself.  If, as an expert in a subject, you make a selection of the elements of the curriculum for … Continue reading

Curriculum Notes #1: Start out real, concrete, authentic.

Here’s the first of some short blog posts about detailed aspects of curriculum thinking. I observed a science lesson recently where students were looking at cells and were asked to recall the differences between plant and animal cells.  A student I spoke gave me this response:  animal cells are round and plant cells are rectangles. … Continue reading

Eureka! Teaching for creativity. C = f (K, P, D)

  Over the years I’ve thought a lot about the question of teaching for creativity.  Back in 2012 I wrote this post where I made some reasonably sensible general statements: It is uncontroversial that for us to solve Humanity’s problems, to create the conditions for a sustainable future and also to maximise the cultural richness of … Continue reading

Vietnam, Ali, reading and the powerful knowledge gap.

In a recent lesson observation, I witnessed a classic teacher-dilemma unfold.   How far do I have to go to fill in the knowledge gaps? I can’t teach them everything they don’t know so where do I begin? It was in a GCSE English resit class where students were looking at a reading comprehension question.  Here’s … Continue reading

Curriculum Maps: Knowing New York; Knowing about New York.

This posts builds on the last one:  Mapping curriculum terrain: The beaten track and beyond, using  geographical metaphors to consider curriculum design issues. New York. A Case Study.  Let’s imagine, in the metaphor, that New York City represents an area of the curriculum.  Our goal is for students to learn about New York and we need … Continue reading

Mapping curriculum terrain: The beaten track and beyond.

When school leaders and teachers start reviewing their curriculum, there are so many complex considerations.  What to teach and why?  It’s a huge question. At the macro, big picture scale, there’s a need to consider overarching principles and values – because these ideas inform or dictate the decisions that are taken.  Which subjects to teach and … 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

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