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.

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

Working with children who ‘hurt’ inside

I was on duty at break time. Out of the corner of my eye I could see a little boy hobbling across the playground. It was Leo in Year 2. He reminded me of a footballer hobbling off the pitch to see the physio (me) for treatment. I turned to look at him. “Sir, I’ve… Continue reading Working with children who ‘hurt’ inside

Book Review: Inside I’m Hurting by Louise Bombèr

This is Book Review 19 of my Reading Challenge 2018. For a bit about my reading journey see here. For more book reviews, see here. Children are supposed to develop in a reasonably formulaic pattern in all aspects of their lives. Sometimes they’ll make giant leaps forward in some areas, while being quite slow in others.… Continue reading Book Review: Inside I’m Hurting by Louise Bombèr

(2) What makes a great teacher – pupil relationship?

In my previous post, I discussed whether teacher pupil relationships have an impact on learning outcomes. What was evident from some of the research out there is that it is essential for productive student engagement, which leads to high motivation in pupils to learn. In a nutshell, it is a fundamental component of the ‘precondition(s) for… Continue reading (2) What makes a great teacher – pupil relationship?

Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?

In my last post, I raised three issues with group seating as standard in the primary classroom. Of the three considered, only two had any sort of pedagogical value. The arguments related to group seating supporting group teaching and collaboration both at their cores assumed that the configuration of furniture should support teaching. This is… Continue reading Seating students for engagement – what does (some of) the evidence say?

3 issues with ‘group seating’ in the classroom…

      Two days ago I set up my tables and chairs for the new school year. It took me a lot longer and more thinking time than I originally planned. Two years ago I was told to always have my tables set up so that children were in groups of four or six.… Continue reading 3 issues with ‘group seating’ in the classroom…

Teaching the ‘more able’ child

To understand 'the more able' pupil, I draw on the educational experiences of Scout Finch, the daughter of Atticus Finch in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (don't worry, you don't have to have read the book to get what's going on here). I will then use a few of my own… Continue reading Teaching the ‘more able’ child