May

04

2018
Last minute Year 11 lessons: a collection.

Last minute Year 11 lessons: a collection.

“I don’t want to know about evil Only want to know about love I don’t want to know about evil Only want to know about love” John Martyn ‘Don’t want to know’ Our lovely wee boy, Christopher,  entered the world last Monday. While he has fully embraced his literary nickname of ‘Christopher Robin’, one thing he has well and truly refused to even recognise is...

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Apr

13

2018
Non-fiction Writing Revision

Non-fiction Writing Revision

“You don’t write because you want to say something, you write because you have something to say.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald Now I’m confident Mr Fitzgerald has some sage (perhaps even ‘Great’) guidance to pass on about the writing process. But just how often did he tackle the challenge of helping thirty adolescents find ‘something to say’, when faced with non-fiction writing tasks? I have...

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Apr

06

2018
Slow English Teaching: from superficial to skilled English Teaching

Slow English Teaching: from superficial to skilled English Teaching

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” Albert Einstein. With our first wee one on the way in the next two weeks, (my wife is not appreciating my attempts to cajole he/she to hold out and share a birthday with Shakespeare on the 23rd of April), it will be a very quiet couple of months on here. When...

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Mar

30

2018
Reflect and Refine: Growing Passionate Teachers

Reflect and Refine: Growing Passionate Teachers

“If we create a culture where every teacher believes they need to improve, not because they are not good enough, but because we can be even better, there is no limit to what we can achieve” Dylan William. What keeps us energised, motivated and enthusiastic in our classrooms? When faced with a new academic year, what inspires us to become better versions of ourselves for...

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Mar

02

2018
A Slow Teaching Collection

A Slow Teaching Collection

After reading ‘In Praise of Slow’ by Carl Honore in February of last year I set off on a mission: an examination of applying slowness to the world of education. Over a year later the book is published by John Catt Educational today and and available to buy from Amazon here. It certainly doesn’t advocate a “tortoise teaching” approach, rather it encourages teachers to take more control...

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Feb

22

2018
‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ in the Classroom.

‘The Tortoise and The Hare’ in the Classroom.

In this age, which believes there is a short cut to everything, the greatest lesson to be learned is that the most difficult way is, in the long run, the easiest. Henry Miller. Rather terrifyingly, after almost a year of writing, ‘Slow Teaching: on finding calm, clarity and impact in the classroom’ will be published next week by John Catt Educational (Friday 2nd March). The...

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Jan

26

2018
‘Teaching to the Top’: A challenge collection.

‘Teaching to the Top’: A challenge collection.

“The struggle you’re in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” Robert Tew. Outside of the every daily variety of life in the classroom, one of the things I have particularly enjoyed about this academic year is setting up a CPD group called ‘Teacher Advocates’ with Zoe Taylor (who runs this excellent blog for English teachers) in our school. The idea is that...

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Jan

18

2018
Developing English Language confidence with ‘127 Hours’

Developing English Language confidence with ‘127 Hours’

“When I look up, the backlit stone falling toward my head consumes the sky.” ‘127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place’ by Aron Ralston (2004).  I teach one lesson a week with a Year 9 group of thirteen students. There are twelve boys and one female student. The lesson is called ‘Secure’, with the idea that it boosts the English skills of nominated...

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Jan

12

2018
Developing critical and careful readers of non-fiction texts in Year 11.

Developing critical and careful readers of non-fiction texts in Year 11.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it.” Henry Ford Having had a number of what should have been post gluttony hibernation days ruthlessly stolen by mock examination marking over the holidays, I am determined that this investment will lead to tangible improvements for my Year 11 group. Mocks can often fuel workload frustrations, particularly...

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Dec

14

2017
A Year of Educational Reading

A Year of Educational Reading

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” Mahatma Gandhi When I started this blog in August of last year, I penned this rather cringe worthy, clearly too much sun inspired, rationale: “The blog is merely offered as an attempt to crystalise and share thinking about teaching and learning. It will also be a place to prioritise reflection...

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