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…

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…

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…

Baruch Spinoza and Defining our Principles

Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) was a rationalist philosopher, whose work Ethics, Demonstrated in Geometrical order was published posthumously in 1677. I first came across The Ethics at University, having decided to take the Spinoza module because of the cult status of the maverick Professor teaching the course. Throughout the module, what struck me as remarkable about the core text was its…

John the Reader

Like many other English teachers, I spend a lot of time thinking about what texts I should study with my classes. All English teachers, I believe, care deeply about their students’ reading, and are keen to develop a love of reading, so that students will read for pleasure throughout their school careers and beyond. So…

Influence: A pledge

The caption accompanying this image has become an important part of my school’s ethos over the past two years. It appears in assemblies, on the website, and is a consistent message given to students. What I like most about the message is that it forces students to think about their autonomy – that they are…