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

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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: Cleverlands by Lucy Crehan

I had the privilege of meeting Lucy not too long ago at a conference we were both speaking/delivering at...by pure seredipity, I was reading her book at the time. Here's my review that is book 39 of 45 of my Reading Challenge 2018.   What is it like to stand in front of 30 Chinese… Continue reading Book Review: Cleverlands by Lucy Crehan

Summative Testing to Retrieval Practice: clarifying terms and outlining classroom benefits

The words ‘assess’, ‘test’, ‘exam’ and ‘quiz’ often have negative connotations to us as teachers and most certainly for our pupils. They can be stressful, anxiety provoking and feeljudgmental. However, in my last post, I ended with this: …Ebbinghaus (1885/1964) claimed that we can ‘interrupt’ forgetting by recalling information over time, spacing our retrieval out… Continue reading Summative Testing to Retrieval Practice: clarifying terms and outlining classroom benefits

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

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