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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Dec

01

2017
Teaching ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

Teaching ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time’

“Prime numbers are what is left when you have taken all the patterns away. I think prime numbers are like life. They are very logical but you could never work out the rules, even if you spent all your time thinking about them.” (Christopher Boone, Chapter 19, p. 12) At the start of this term I was a bit perplexed about how to approach Mark...

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Nov

24

2017
Experiments with strategies from ‘What Does This Look Like In The Classroom?’

Experiments with strategies from ‘What Does This Look Like In The Classroom?’

“Teaching is the best profession in the world and has given us a huge amount of satisfaction. This book is, we hope, a useful contribution to the work of our fellow travellers” Carl Hendrick and Robin Macpherson ‘What Does This Look Like In The Classroom’ There is, let’s be clear, not a huge amount of time for dipping into the murky depths of educational research...

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Nov

17

2017
How do writers create effect? Year 11 and ‘Enduring Love’

How do writers create effect? Year 11 and ‘Enduring Love’

“I’ve never seen such a terrible thing as that falling man” Ian McEwan ‘Enduring Love’ In the spirit of ‘Enduring November,’ a month that for us hard working teacher folk feels like a never ending marathon, a post on using Ian McEwan’s wonderful ‘Enduring Love’ with my Year 11 group. Today saw the the beginning of the mock exam preparations, which this year will see my group...

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Nov

11

2017
Slow Teaching: ‘Serene and Stoical Behaviour Management’

Slow Teaching: ‘Serene and Stoical Behaviour Management’

“We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” Epictetus A short journey through the remarkable life of the philosopher Epictetus can begin to justify why his words open a chapter on the mystery that is effective behaviour management. Born around 50 A.D he arrived in Rome without family as the property of the rich and powerful Epaphroditus, a man...

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Nov

03

2017
An action plan for teaching ‘A Christmas Carol’

An action plan for teaching ‘A Christmas Carol’

“Foggier yet, and colder! Piercing, searching, biting cold.” Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’ There is always an element of “Bah, humbug” about this week. Back to work blues is combined with the unwelcome clock rewind, and the apparent colour of choice being an encompassing and rather depressing black. Ahead lies a long half term:  who needs day light any more? Nevertheless, as Marley would quip: “It is required...

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Oct

15

2017
Tackling teacher insomnia: the sleep-easy teacher.

Tackling teacher insomnia: the sleep-easy teacher.

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on and our little life is rounded with a sleep” William Shakespeare ‘The Tempest’ In our relentlessly fast modern culture, there is one thing that is left tragically ignored. It is a spurred outsider, certainly not embracing our twenty four hour ‘always on’ lifestyle. Carl Honore in ‘In praise of Slow’ describes this incessant need for activity, pace...

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