Mar

17

2017
‘Making Every Lesson Count’ informed feedback experiments.

‘Making Every Lesson Count’ informed feedback experiments.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Albert Einstein I might have been tad overly optimistic at the end of last week’s post on using strategies from Andy Tharby and Shaun Allison’s ‘Making Every Lesson Count’: “Regardless, I skipped out of school on Friday afternoon like Mr Du Beke himself.” Now don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed a week of...

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Mar

10

2017
‘Making Every Lesson Count’ informed teaching of writing

‘Making Every Lesson Count’ informed teaching of writing

“Head orders empathy lessons for screen-fixated Generation Me” Headline ‘The Sunday Times’ I had a delightful train journey to Glasgow last weekend (to take my Gran to see Anton Du Beke of Strictly Come Dancing fame, seeing as you asked. Yes, as wild as it sounds, thank you.) The journey there I spent reading and reflecting on the first three sections of Shaun Allison and Andy...

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Mar

03

2017
Revising unseen poetry

Revising unseen poetry

“Hope is being able to see there is light despite all of the darkness” Desmond Tutu. This gentleman beautifully encapsulates Year 11’s approach to unseen poetry at this stage of the term: utterly lacking in direction and blindly searching for something, anything to hold on to.  I fully empathise with them: how often can we immediately grasp the nuances of poetry on a first reading, let...

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Feb

23

2017
Blind spots: a manifesto for teaching quiet students

Blind spots: a manifesto for teaching quiet students

“People are so complicated. Every new person is a completely new role of the dice.” ‘The Giveness of Things’ Marilynne Robinson. Please forgive a rather incongruous opening. Last week I took advantage of a room exit from my wife to hastily flick away from Gary Barlow and his chums (take that indeed) to catch an excellent scene from ‘Shaun of the Dead.’ In it our hero...

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Feb

10

2017
Alice in Readerland: Year 7 and Doug Lemov’s ‘Reading Reconsidered’

Alice in Readerland: Year 7 and Doug Lemov’s ‘Reading Reconsidered’

“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” ― Lewis Carroll, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ How far to extend and challenge year Year 7? What is the balance between engagement and rigour in the Key Stage Three classroom? What do we want to secure in terms of reading habits in Year 7? As I highlighted in this post evaluating the research on...

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Feb

03

2017
Experiments with pace: slow teaching and slow marking.

Experiments with pace: slow teaching and slow marking.

“Society is all but rude, To this delicious solitude.” Andrew Marvell ‘The Garden.’ What makes effective teaching? The ultimate question and “slowness” is certainly not high up on the list of quick fire responses. In fact I think most of us would recoil in disgust if we were dubbed a “slow” teacher. I know I would: energy, drive, enthusiasm, passion are the hall marks for me...

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Jan

27

2017
Preparing Year 9 for GCSE: Teaching Shakespeare

Preparing Year 9 for GCSE: Teaching Shakespeare

“Tis a villain, sir, I do not love to look upon”. Shakespeare ‘The Tempest’ Miranda’s scathing rebuttal of Caliban is a slightly more eloquent version of the reaction of my Year 9 classes to the discovery that they would be spending seven weeks in the company of Shakespeare at the start of this term. As this post on teaching narrative last term highlights, I teach two Year...

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Jan

20

2017
Tackling Transition: lessons from the research.

Tackling Transition: lessons from the research.

  “I want to emphasise to you, Mr President-elect, that we now are going to do everything we can to help you succeed because if you succeed, then the country succeeds,” Barack Obama “Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!” Donald Trump This has been a week of...

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Jan

13

2017
Eduqas Component 2 Mock informed teaching: an action plan.

Eduqas Component 2 Mock informed teaching: an action plan.

But all the clocks in the city Began to whirr and chime: ‘O let not Time deceive you, You cannot conquer Time. W.H Auden “As I walked out one evening’ One of the pleasures of starting the  A-Z of classic Literature challenge this month has been spending some time in the company of W. H Auden (confession: much less enthusiastic about the time spent with Austen’s ‘Emma’!) The...

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