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Primary Education is Extraordinary. What I learned in a day.

I recently spent a day visiting Tudor Court Primary School in Chafford Hundred, Essex, as part of a visit for a group of Chinese teachers. It’s a school I worked with last year –  led by the wonderful Phil Kyriacou.  It’s a four form entry school which allows visitors to get a sense of the … Continue reading

Teaching Fundamentals: Checking for Recall and Understanding. 

I would say that this is often one of the weakest areas of practice in teaching in relation to how important it is: checking that students know and understand what we think we have taught them. If I tell you something or explain something to you I want to be sure that you’ve understood it … Continue reading

The Learning Rainforest.

I am delighted to announce that I have finished writing my book.  The manuscript is with John Catt publishers and it should be ready to buy from October 13th.  I’ve had the pleasure of working with Oliver Caviglioli who has produced various illustrations and chapter summaries.  He also designed the front cover. The book is … Continue reading

Teaching for Distinction @OldhamCollege. FE CPD in action.

Following on from the first post outlining our Teaching for Distinction Programme, here is an update including more of the materials.  We’ve just completed the introductory day on Modules 4-6 alongside a recap of Modules 1-3.  Oliver Caviglioli produced these lovely infographics to summarise some of the key elements of each module – although it’s … Continue reading

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

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

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