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Developing Writing. Exploring the process from YR to Y6.

At the end of term I spent a fantastic day working with staff at Cirencester Primary School.  As part of the day, we ran an exercise to explore standards in writing  – a process I have now facilitated a few times; it is always absolutely fascinating. As part of my talk earlier in the day, … Continue reading

Evidence-Informed Ideas Every Teacher Should Know About.

I love the idea of ‘evidence-informed wisdom’. I honestly can’t remember where I first encountered this but, essentially, it’s the idea that, as teachers we are faced with making hundreds of decisions a day – largely about how to question, how to motivate and how to adjust explanations, feedback,  and the pace and depth of … Continue reading

The Learning Rainforest: A model for great teaching and learning.

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky                Khalil Gibran It’s a few months since I published The Learning Rainforest with John Catt.  So far sales have gone pretty well – I couldn’t be happier with that. I’m also getting invited to run lots of CPD events … Continue reading

Impact! Superb College of Teachers journal made me think – a lot!

After the establishment of the Chartered College of Teaching there was always going to be a period of waiting to see what it’s really about once actions have been taken beyond the promising vision and sound intentions.  Impact gives us a massive clue.  Evidence-informed teacher wisdom is Go! Having ceased to be an active teacher, … Continue reading

Building Great Teachers: Theory of Action

Most, if not all, of my current work is geared towards building great teachers.   It’s such a fascinating, complex and challenging process.  Even if the focus is on yourself, or on one teacher, the process of enabling that one person to become a ‘great teacher’, more effective, more confident, more successful, more able to self-manage, … Continue reading

Understanding Assessment: A blog guide

In my experience, assessment is widely misunderstood by a lot of people in education – which is a worry given how much of it we do and how high the stakes are with formal assessment issues.  There all kinds of confusions, false premises, false promises and circularities across the system.   There are too many … Continue reading

Don’t do ‘Can do’. The problems with can-do checklists and trackers.

In my recent talk at ResearchEd in Birmingham (and more recently at Blackpool) , I explored some ideas about assessment and critiqued various responses to the challenge of getting assessment right.  Sensibly enough, given all the limitations and flaws in grading systems, lots of schools are trying to make their assessment systems meaningful, rooted in … Continue reading

The Timeless Wisdom of Sitting in Rows

Some of the strangest debates or memes about education that pop up now and then are about the idea of students sitting in rows.  You don’t have to look too far to find people aligning this commonplace desk configuration along the axis of evil.  Only recently I came across a tweet that mentioned children sitting … Continue reading

The five forms of feedback I give to teachers most often…

In my work I have the privilege of being able to watch lots of teachers teach in a wide range of contexts.  I see lots of superb teachers and lots of great lessons.  Where I have constructive feedback to give, I find that there are a few common areas for improvement that come up time and … Continue reading

#FiveWays of Giving Effective Feedback as Actions

If teachers are going to have a significant impact with the feedback they give, it needs to lead to improved outcomes for students. I am increasingly convinced that feedback needs to be constituted  less in terms of a review of what has gone before and more in terms of very specific actions that students should … Continue reading

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