Reflections on two years of writing…..and my top five posts.

Looking Back I am still quite blown away by the amount of people who read this blog. I still continue to write to make sense of my experiences in the classroom and as a fledgling leader, it has been wonderful to hear that much of what I’ve written about still resonates with others in the… Continue reading Reflections on two years of writing…..and my top five posts.

On wasted afternoons in the primary school: why the cross-curricular approach to curriculum doesn’t work

When I first started teaching, our school curriculum was focussed on helping our pupils learn the skills that our pupils needed to develop. The rationale for this approach was that the most important thing for our pupils was to be able to think critically, problem-solve, create and develop new ideas and products, communicate effectively and… Continue reading On wasted afternoons in the primary school: why the cross-curricular approach to curriculum doesn’t work

Why is powerful knowledge essential to curriculum? Reflections on Social Mobility

Young suggests that the powerful knowledge principle can provide improvements to school curriculum decision making. His first argument is that by using it as a guiding principle, leaders can ‘return’ to one of the core purposes of schooling: ‘to enable students to acquire knowledge that takes them beyond their own experiences’. (Young, 2014, p7). What… Continue reading Why is powerful knowledge essential to curriculum? Reflections on Social Mobility

The Architecture of High Expectations

A Story After a lesson observation in my NQT year, I sat down with my Headteacher in his office to receive feedback. I thought it had gone okay. There were bits I would do better next time but on the whole I thought I’d done alright. My Headteacher at the time was a kind, positive,… Continue reading The Architecture of High Expectations

Essential Curriculum Principles: Powerful Knowledge

‘Powerful Knowledge’ is a bit of a buzz word at the moment. Yet, there has been little work done to clarify its meaning in the school context, let alone how it works in a curriculum. In this post, I’ll try and explain why I think it is a core principle for curriculum development that can… Continue reading Essential Curriculum Principles: Powerful Knowledge

Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Work-Life Balance and Curriculum Development

In my last post, I explained why I started my subject leader responsibilities with the development of curriculum in humanities. I tried to explain that great teaching, embedded in the research evidence, assumed a great curriculum. Therefore, developing ‘what will be taught’ carefully is a very important first step – and one that shouldn’t be… Continue reading Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Work-Life Balance and Curriculum Development

Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Improving curriculum for enduringly great teaching

When I first started out on my journey as a humanities subject leader, I reflected on where I should start. I was (and still am) privileged enough to work in a school with some highly experienced teachers. Two issues, though, were immediately apparent to me in my new role. First, despite the great teaching going… Continue reading Leading Change as a Subject Leader: Improving curriculum for enduringly great teaching

Five ways to ‘frame’ a question

Five ways to frame a question As you’ll know from my previous post, I’ve been on a bit of a mission to improve the questioning that goes on in my classroom. I set out to ensure what I was looking for and what I was developing in my practice wasn’t gimmicky and faddish. I wanted… Continue reading Five ways to ‘frame’ a question

Three things I’m learning about questioning

I’ve always assumed that questioning is one of those ‘things’ teachers ought to be good at. I’ve reasoned along the lines of 'if we supposedly spend a third of our time in the classroom asking questions (equating to 400 a day and 60,000 a year) that ‘third’ of teaching time ought to be made worthwhile to… Continue reading Three things I’m learning about questioning

Curriculum as Narrative

Why we should approach curriculum as a narrative  “Talk the language of narrative; let curriculum do its work across time.”  Christine Counsell  What’s the best place to start when designing a school curriculum? How should we structure lesson content? Is there a way that we can interweave the knowledge, skills and dispositions that we want… Continue reading Curriculum as Narrative