The Form of Classroom Culture: 3 Essential Strategies (Threshold, Do Now and STAR Sitting)

In my last two posts (found here and here) , I’ve tried to be clear about the essence and form of classroom culture. In this post, I will outline three key strategies (Threshold, Do Now and STAR Sitting) for developing classroom culture, why they matter and how I have led whole school change to embed… Continue reading The Form of Classroom Culture: 3 Essential Strategies (Threshold, Do Now and STAR Sitting)

The Essence of ‘Classroom Culture’: Five Elements

We can't find good answers in education unless we ask the right questions. These five elements of classroom culture have helped me ask the right questions about what makes highly effective learning environments day in day out.

The Essence of ‘Classroom Culture’

What does it feel like for students to be part of our classrooms? Is it a safe place for them to be themselves? I mean really be themselves, in a place where learning is the most important thing, not compliance; a place where rules and expectations you set make sense all the way down and… Continue reading The Essence of ‘Classroom Culture’

Developing teaching during a pandemic: a brief overview of what we’ve been doing

This blog will give you a whistle stop tour of how we have been trying to continue to develop teaching during this challenging yet fruitful time to be in education in the UK. What has been encouraging during Lockdown 2.0 (or is it 3.0?) is that, at our school, we have not changed how we… Continue reading Developing teaching during a pandemic: a brief overview of what we’ve been doing

Understanding How We Learn – Yana Weinstein, Megan Sumeracki and Oliver Caviglioli – A Review

What goes on in the mind when learning? This is one of the perennial educational questions that has bamboozled philosophers and psychologists for generations. Although I don’t think that cognitive science is even partly able to answer it, I think it is a field of research that educators ought to have some knowledge of, since… Continue reading Understanding How We Learn – Yana Weinstein, Megan Sumeracki and Oliver Caviglioli – A Review

The Research ED Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction Edited by Adam Boxer – A Review

Direct Instruction has been something I’ve been intrigued by but not had a chance to really delve into both as a teacher and a leader. I first heard about it when I read Barak Rosenshine’s principles of instruction. To be honest, at first it felt like it might just be a hyper-traditional approach to teaching… Continue reading The Research ED Guide to Explicit and Direct Instruction Edited by Adam Boxer – A Review

The Rise (and Fall?) of the Finnish Education System (2)

The Fall of Finnish Educaiton System as educational utopia: the emergent discourse in the UK Sahlgren (2014) in her report ‘Real Finnish Lessons: the true story of an education superpower’ revealed some of the recent trends that raise issues about the elevation of Finland to utopia status. There is currently very little evidence to support… Continue reading The Rise (and Fall?) of the Finnish Education System (2)

The Rise (and Fall?) of the Finnish Education System (1)

It has not been uncommon in recent years to look to Finland as an educational utopia. The main argument for this is that as a nation it has often performed very well in international rankings, known as PISA. The PISA survey began in 2001 created by the OECD in response to member countries suggesting a… Continue reading The Rise (and Fall?) of the Finnish Education System (1)

The Power of a Model (2)

*The image above is a model from an Art lesson on drawing animals using sketching techniques.  What difference do ‘models’ make to learning? First, they give them an achievable vision of excellence. Okay, they can watch the teacher model, but that’s not as achievable in an eleven-year-old’s head. You’re a teacher, they’re the pupil. You’re… Continue reading The Power of a Model (2)