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

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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

Teaching with a Knowledge Organiser: retrieving knowledge, making connections, applying it in practice

Last week I put down the ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a knowledge organiser (hereafter KO). This week, I wanted to dedicate a full post to the ‘how’…after a tiny bit more ‘why’. If you're not bothered about the 'why' bit and want to see the resources, skip to the next two sections. It’s probably… Continue reading Teaching with a Knowledge Organiser: retrieving knowledge, making connections, applying it in practice

The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a Knowledge Organiser: A Brief Summary and Example

I’ve been reading about Knowledge Organisers for over a year now. I have always been intrigued as to how they might be properly embedded in the everyday practice of primary teachers. In this post, I want to outline what a knowledge organiser is and why they are worth using...there's a link to one of my… Continue reading The ‘what’ and the ‘why’ of a Knowledge Organiser: A Brief Summary and Example

Problematic Approaches to School Curriculum – Part 2: Curriculum as ‘product’.

After last week’s instalment discussing the problems with the syllabus model, this week I’ll look at curriculum as product. This is another popular way of viewing curriculum: to see it as a way of helping achieve certain qualities in students. Objectives are set, plans are drawn up, outcomes measured and the cycle then begins again.… Continue reading Problematic Approaches to School Curriculum – Part 2: Curriculum as ‘product’.

Problematic approaches to School Curriculum – Part 1: The ‘syllabus’ model.

Just dubbing a curriculum as ‘knowledge-led’, making knowledge organisers and teaching in a particular way won’t improve attainment. Curriculum is far more nuanced and complex than that. I want to focus in on a way of beginning curriculum development (in certain subjects) that I think will lead to pupils remembering what they learn and understanding… Continue reading Problematic approaches to School Curriculum – Part 1: The ‘syllabus’ model.

Not putting pressure on our Year 6 pupils.

SATs. It’s a dreaded acronym that generates anxiety for senior leaders, teachers, children and parents alike. I could discuss how I dislike them (which is true but I do think they’re probably essential) and ramble on about how it’s too much too soon (which isn’t true; I think they’re pitched right for most) but I… Continue reading Not putting pressure on our Year 6 pupils.

Ofsted and the Curriculum: what you need to know

There has been a paradigm shift in curriculum thinking at Ofsted. It began on the 23rd of June 2017 at the Wellington Festival of Education. In a speech entitled ‘enriching the fabric of education’, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector Amanda Speilman delivered these words: “One of the areas I think we sometimes lose sight of is… Continue reading Ofsted and the Curriculum: what you need to know

6 retrieval practice strategies to use everyday

My last post showed the research base for the benefits of the testing effect, more appropriately referred to as ‘retrieval practice’. There is a vast wealth of resources now available to teachers that can aid their use of retrieval practice in the classroom. Building on a recent paper by Firth et al (2017), here are… Continue reading 6 retrieval practice strategies to use everyday