What’s the Point of English?

What follows is a conversation between me and two year 11 students at school. It happened during a weekly lunchtime intervention session, where we feed the students tea, toast, and sandwiches. We also talk about their progress and help them plan their revision and study time. This conversation was about the ‘point’ of English. I’ve…

Old books, New Surprises.

I had a marvellous moment in class last week. I discovered something new about a book that I thought I knew inside out, a book that I’d taught many times and read cover to cover on many, many occasions. We were revising Of Mice and Men, in preparation for the prose exam next week. Our focus…

Is Matt Damon right about creativity?

On Sunday, the traffic on the M4 was horrible. I was on my way home from Wembley, having watched my team win a cup competition not important enough to dwell on. After around 2 hours of struggling out of London, I found myself desperately clinging to the last few percent of my phone’s battery. And, as…

Things I wish they’d told me.

I graduated with a PGCE from The University of Bristol  in 2011. Here’s five things I wish they’d told me. 1. Just because things are shiny and new, it doesn’t mean the kids learn more. OK. Maybe I’m slightly exaggerating here. I was never explicitly told that just by making things appear sparkly and laced with a ‘new’ piece of technology…

Blogworms

earworm ˈɪəwəːm/ noun  a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone’s mind. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the sensation of the ‘earworm’. It’s that one song, or usually fragment of a song that replays through your mind over the course of a day, or perhaps even longer. And, no matter where you…

Dwelling on the Positive

One thing I hadn’t anticipated when I trained as a teacher was quite how much of a battering my social life would take. Having spent the best part of two years working not very hard in a not very glamorous office job, I became very accustomed to leaving work behind at 4pm, and spending my evenings…

One Year On – Why I Still Blog.

One year ago today I published my first post. I remember it quite distinctively. Hours and hours sat slaving away in front of the laptop. I must have read that post , half a dozen times before finally taking the plunge and pressing the intimidating ‘publish’ button. A year later, I feel like I’ve nearly found my…

Is education in England too easy?

The title for this blog comes from a discussion I had with two girls (twins) who I teach in year 11. Despite being on track to achieve brilliantly in their English GCSEs, they don’t consider themselves to be fluent speakers of English. They are, however, fluent speakers of Italian and Portuguese. They joined the school about midway through…