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.

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The best education books I read in 2018

So, my Reading Challenge 2018 has come to an end. I read some great stuff. Here is my top 7 education books...in no particular order. What does this look like in the classroom? by Carl Hendrick and Robin MacPherson This book surveyed several areas of research that might be applicable to the classroom in an accessible… Continue reading The best education books I read in 2018

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

Book Review: Responsive Teaching by Harry Fletcher – Wood

This review forms part of my Reading Challenge 2018. For more reviews of books, see here. This book begins with confusions and problems with AfL that have bothered teachers for a very long time. At only 160 or so pages long, it is deceivingly weighty in its claims about how these issues could be solved.… Continue reading Book Review: Responsive Teaching by Harry Fletcher – Wood

Why do our pupils forget what we teach them?

In the classroom, as a teacher, forgetting can be particularly confusing. It’s a conundrum when pupils can vividly remember the visitor who came in Year 3 with weird Viking swords, yet three years on, they can’t remember the answer to 7 x 8 to complete a column multiplication calculation.

Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’

In this post, I suggest one strategy for dealing with defiant behaviour effectively. To explain and illustrate this, I want to go back to Mr Blake’s classroom, the first time we visited is here. This time we’re going to meet someone new from his class*. Roxy Mr Blake had just started his Year 4 Maths… Continue reading Dealing with Defiant Behaviour: ‘The Language of Choice’

One year of blogging…

I actually didn’t want anyone to find this blog when I first started writing it. To be honest, I just wanted a place to organise my thoughts about being a young teacher in England who was attempting to make sense of the complexity of the classroom.  It’s now humbling to see that my blog is… Continue reading One year of blogging…

Before the first day of school: bad dreams and butterflies

On Sunday night I had a nightmare. I was walking to the front of my classroom after bringing the children in from the yard after break. I asked them all to sit down as they came in. I turned my back to them walking to the front of the room, expecting them to do this… Continue reading Before the first day of school: bad dreams and butterflies

Book Review: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman

Daniel Goleman’s seminal work on emotional intelligence has been on my reading list for a while; this post will review what I learned from it and my particularly thoughts about what he has to say about education. His core thesis begins with the claim that the conceptual understanding of intelligence in the 20th century has… Continue reading Book Review: Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman