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Lessons for Ed-Research from Quantum Gravity via @carlorovelli

I recently read this fabulous book by Carlo Rovelli. The book works on many levels.  It is an attempt to explain the emerging theory of quantum gravity.  This has numerous mind-blowing conceptual elements – such as the idea that spacetime is quantized, that time isn’t really a fundamental thing that ticks forward – it’s just … Continue reading

Towards an Assessment Paradigm Shift

Despite my reservations about some of the big data measures that are used to judge schools, I am hopeful that our discourse is shifting the debate on assessment in a very positive direction.  If this continues it will represent an important paradigm shift with positive consequences for students’ learning and their overall school experience. The … 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

Schools should be more teacher-centred.

The idea that schools should be more teacher centred has been gathering momentum in my thinking.   In fact, the whole education system should be more teacher centred.  Ridiculously, to some folk, that will sound regressive  – because we’re supposed to say that everything we do is for the children.  Well, of course.  Schools are set … Continue reading

SEND IS Mainstream. But it’s complicated.

Lately I’ve been thinking a great deal about SEND provision in my school – for several reasons. a) It is at the forefront of our thinking as we plan our staffing and curriculum within the real-world context of declining financial resources – how best to deploy finite resources to meet the needs of every student? … Continue reading

Mental models, memory and misconceptions.

  I’ve had an interesting time in the classroom recently, discovering more about the extent to which students can struggle with mathematical models. I was dismayed to discover how many of my students got the answer wrong to: Simplify t2 + t2.  Most of them had written t2 + t2 = t4    instead of  t2 + … Continue reading

The people who’ve influenced me in 2015

In my day-to-day working life, there are several key people who I look to for solutions, for inspiration and for wisdom.  I’m lucky that my immediate team now comprises people who I respect enormously; people who will tell me what they think and offer alternatives; people whose perspectives matter to me a great deal.  There … Continue reading

Improving the basics: Inspired by Austin

Here’s a very short post to report on some fabulous work my Year 8s did this week.   I marked their first few pieces of work and then devoted a double lesson this week to redrafting: a slice of Directed Improvement and Reflection Time. We started the lesson by watching the Ron Berger Austin’s Butterfly video: … Continue reading

Contemporary educational ideas all teachers should know about

As I was looking ahead to starting a new job as Headteacher, I was thinking about all the conversations we were going to have about learning.  To a large degree I wanted my teachers to be as up-to-date as possible within their own subject domains. They should know the latest OfSTED position ( eg with … Continue reading

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