Reclaiming Learning Objectives

I’ve been wanting to write a blog about learning objectives for some time.  Whilst I think they can be a useful tool for teachers and students, they can easily be done badly. Certainly within English, they are prone to the type of genericism that undermines any shred of usefulness. There’s also no doubt that learning objectives have been complicit in…

What do we want from the KS3 Curriculum?

Around two and a half years ago, Head teacher Tom Sherrington posted this tweet. It left a lasting impression on me, and I suspect many others: If there was no OfSTED, no league tables, no SLT… just you and your class..what would you choose to do to make it GREAT? Do that anyway… At a time where…

How do you teach a novel you’ve never taught before?

When the new specifications changed, and texts like To Kill a Mockingbird and Of Mice and Men were removed from the GCSE syllabus, I was pretty upset. Not because I felt that these texts were somehow ‘better’ than the ones set to replace them, not because I have a particular love for American literature, not because I thought…

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…