Let’s stop talking about target grades…

Tomorrow marks the start of my second week back in school after summer with new pupils and a new timetable. It’s been great to see the energy and enthusiasm of my senior pupils this past week and I’m excited for how their learning will develop over the year ahead. But undoubtedly, over the next fewContinue reading “Let’s stop talking about target grades…”

Mobile phones. Must-have for their first day?

This blogpost has been sitting in my drafts for a while. But when I saw this image circulating the internet this weekend I felt incensed to throw in my tuppence worth. You see Tesco, I’m a teacher. And a parent. And I’d rather your marketing focused on things which really do support learning. Because actually,Continue reading “Mobile phones. Must-have for their first day?”

Strong starts

Observing other teachers is such a great form of professional learning. There are many things to be learned from being part of a lesson taught by a more experienced teacher. However, sometimes I worry that for new teachers, the complexity, nuance and skill of establishing classroom norms which facilitate learning could be missed when observingContinue reading “Strong starts”

Let’s normalise imbalance…

A few weeks ago a colleague said to me… ‘But you always look like you have it all together?!’ Now… either I’m doing a pretty good job of looking like the swan gracefully swimming above the surface, whilst furiously paddling below, or actually they don’t know me very well at all. Either way, I mostContinue reading “Let’s normalise imbalance…”

Cover lessons – this much I’ve learned…

Due to a combination of timetabling and staff absence caused by the pandemic, in the last 6 months I’ve taken more cover classes than I probably have in my whole career. Initially, I was excited by the opportunity to get out and about in the school, meeting staff and pupils. I marvelled at how muchContinue reading “Cover lessons – this much I’ve learned…”

Why I dislike differentiation… and why great learning and teaching is the best way to support ALL learners

According to Carol Tomlinson in How to Differentiate Instruction in Mixed-Ability, ‘differentiation, is a framework or philosophy for effective teaching that involves providing all students within their diverse classroom community of learners a range of different avenues for understanding new information (often in the same classroom) in terms of: acquiring content; processing, constructing, or makingContinue reading “Why I dislike differentiation… and why great learning and teaching is the best way to support ALL learners”

6 months in a new post – this much I’ve learned…

When you move to a new school, it doesn’t matter how much experience you have, you don’t have experience of that particular school. This can be both a blessing and a curse. And it’s this that has comforted me, haunted me, driven me, frustrated me and encouraged me throughout my first 6 months in postContinue reading “6 months in a new post – this much I’ve learned…”

#OneWord2021 Reflection on the year gone by

Last Hogmanay, inspired by Jill Berry I reflected on the year which had passed and looked ahead to what 2021 might bring. I tried to find positives within the challenges of a global pandemic and considered how I might use these experiences from which to grow. I attempted to choose a word for 2021 butContinue reading “#OneWord2021 Reflection on the year gone by”

Pace #MonthlyWritingChallenge

Pace Verb Definition move or develop (something) at a particular rate or speed. Often associated with sport in particular football and running, but mentioned frequently within a school context, pace is a term which is used with both negative and positive connotations. Whether it is discussing pace of lessons, pace of teacher talk or paceContinue reading “Pace #MonthlyWritingChallenge”

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