Knowledge, Skills and Whole Class Feedback

There can’t be many ideas or initiatives that have saved more teachers more time than whole class feedback. Whether using a specific pro-forma, or taking notes on the closest available piece of scrap paper, focussing on actually reading a set of exercise books and identifying misconceptions rather than writing lots of formative comments relieves much of…

Reducing Workload Part 2: Policy vs. Autonomy

Imagine your school brings in a new element of a behaviour policy to tackle student lateness. Now, students who are late to lessons receive an immediate sanction of some sorts. You do your best to uphold the policy, but the teacher next door doesn’t – they feel it’s for the best that students don’t receive…

The Problem with Plenaries

If group work was the holy grail of my teacher training, effective plenaries were definitely the pedagogical white rabbit – the element of the lesson you always felt was achievable, but nevertheless remained elusive. Running out of time for a plenary during an official observation was almost to be expected, but cramming it in for two minutes was…

The Majesty of the Markbook

‘Ergonomic Classroom Advisers’. If such a thing doesn’t already exist, I’d be surprised. An advisory group must be out there somewhere; checking teachers are looking at their PCs from the correct angle; that their chairs provide the maximal support for their aching backs; that their coffee cups contain precisely the right amount to last the…

Walking the Walk: Authentic Tests for GCSE classes

I’m writing this post in an attempt to contribute to this month’s blogsync: “What is the best place for testing in schools?” The other contributions can be found here. I write purely from personal experience. As ever, any feedback / criticisms are welcome. Authentic Tests This year our year elevens have been tested a lot. They’ve…

My day at PedagooSW

I was delighted when Pedagoo SW was announced to be coming to Bristol. Aside from a 3 year interlude at University, which is all a little bit of a blur, I’ve lived in and around Bristol my whole life and love the idea that we can welcome a group of people from around the UK…

English Intervention: The Year 9 Masterclass

At the start of the year, I found myself in the unenviable position of overseeing progress in English for our KS3 students. As well as careful tracking of each student, I also meet fortnightly with other members of the unfortunately named ‘R.A.T’ (Raising Attainment Team), to discuss the progress of our students at KS3. There’s…

What does ‘showing’ progress mean anyway?

It is little wonder that with all the regulation within the teaching profession, teachers sometimes feel they need to justify or prove the work they are doing in the classroom. Regular observations, performance management and the need to be ‘Ofsted ready’ all contribute to pressures on teachers to find ways to demonstrate their effectiveness. Now,…