Pub quiz or published? What are the aims of a knowledge-rich curriculum?
Part One I have been an advocate of a knowledge-rich curriculum since around 2013, which is relatively recently and in that time I have experienced several iterations of this approach … Continue reading
What makes a great curriculum?
At the recent PTE Campaign conference on ‘What makes great schools great?’ I was asked to speak on a panel in response to the question ‘What makes a great curriculum?’ … Continue reading
Thinking Harder: Why Research Matters
There is a big argument about whether teaching is an art or a science, and much of the criticism of research or evidence in education is that it is reductive … Continue reading
Forget Jeremy Corbyn at Glastonbury, the real headliner of this year’s summer festivals was Ofsted’s Amanda Spielman at Wellington College. In a seismic moment, the chief inspector united the crowd … Continue reading
Book Review: ‘Rules for Mavericks: A Manifesto for Creative Dissidents’
In his book ‘Rules for Mavericks: A Manifesto for Creative Dissidents’, Beadle argues from the position of a system-breaker and does so with a rage which can only suggest he … Continue reading
GESF Conference Day Two – celebrating education
After a night of excitable education discussion (and some less salubrious rugby watching) with the UK education crowd, and a majestic breakfast at my hotel, I was ready for another … Continue reading
GESF Conference: Day One – elephants and sharks.
In Jonathan Haidt’s books ‘A Righteous Mind’ he explores how despite the fact that many of us believe we are rational beings, we are mostly guided by our intuitions and … Continue reading
Should the curriculum be prescribed or should teachers have autonomy?
This is a slightly lengthier version of my introduction to answering this question as part of a panel at the #ChoosingKnowledge event on Saturday 11th February 2017. I think this … Continue reading
Audaces fortuna iuvat- making the move to the Inspiration Trust
In many ways this blog is evidence of the journey I have taken in my thinking about education. It has been, both the means for and the evidence of, my … Continue reading
Like many fellow Twitter users, I’ve become fairly bored with the knowledge vs. skills debate; not because I think it’s a false dichotomy or not worthy of discussion but because … Continue reading
‘Secondary Curriculum and Assessment Design’ – the reviews.
Writing and publishing a book is a daunting experience, but sending it out for a review (especially when you are sending it to colleagues who have inspired your writing) is … Continue reading
Knowledge Organisers – facts not fads
There’s been an interesting set of discussions recently on the blogosphere about the use of knowledge organisers in schools. I don’t think there is a magic bullet which is the … Continue reading
Leadership – finding the perfect note
A write up of my presentation at #TMExcel #Leadership According to LinkedIn (!) it’s my third year anniversary of being a leader. It’s an interesting time to try to work … Continue reading
Curriculum matters – a strategic plan
My slides from the Harris Academy October Conference. In this presentation, I gave an overview of the way a school/subject leader could begin thinking about the process of curriculum design. … Continue reading
That’s how the light gets in
My presentation at #TMEastLondon entitled: ‘Adding SPARKLE to Curriculum and Assessment Design’ ‘Curriculum and Assessment Design’ isn’t the sexiest title – as many of my family and friends were quick … Continue reading
Chasing magic: WomenEd
One holiday during my childhood, we stayed in a old English country cottage. I had, if memory serves me right, just reached the age where I could be trusted to … Continue reading
Radically Academic: a new approach to CPD
My slides from ResearchEd 2016 – 10/9/16. Book available for pre-order here: http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/bloomsbury-cpd-library-secondary-curriculum-and-assessment-design-9781472928504/
Becoming an expert – Curriculum and Assessment Design.
At ResearchEd Rugby and ResearchEd York this year, I presented on curriculum and assessment design. In the sessions I explored the idea of the missing expertise in curriculum and assessment … Continue reading
The Burden of Care
First posted on the Labour Teachers Blog. During my childhood, I was once given the responsibility of supervising my much younger cousin as we walked down to the flat sand … Continue reading
Don’t tell me there’s no joy.
At my school, It is exam season once again (half-termly tests are our norm and now end of year exams are near) and the library is full of pupils pouring … Continue reading
I love curriculum. Talking about it, playing with it, designing it, implementing it, enacting it, assessing it. (So much so that I often find myself singing ‘Curricula, Curricular’ to the … Continue reading
A Dystopian Education
First posted on the Labour Teachers Blog. I don’t really get BETT. Every time I go there, I feel like I just am missing out on a secret that everyone … Continue reading
Becoming a Writer
I recently finished writing a first draft of a book for Bloomsbury on Curriculum and Assessment Design. It is probably the best thing I have ever done, but it was … Continue reading
Changing the Leadership Narrative
On Saturday 16th January 2016, a group of educators gathered in the almost deserted offices of Microsoft HQ to talk about women leaders in education: the ones already there and … Continue reading
‘When Are They Going to Find me Out?’
In the run up to this event it has been interesting to see how many speakers have expressed a nervousness about the prospect of presenting today. Much of this has … Continue reading
The Tyranny of Testing?
Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending an Intelligence Squared education debate. The motion was: ‘LET’S END THE TYRANNY OF THE TEST. RELENTLESS SCHOOL TESTING DEMEANS EDUCATION’. It was a battle … Continue reading
The Old Boys’ Train
My immediate reaction to the Labour leadership result – blog post originally published on Labour Teachers. Jeremy Corbyn reminds me of the kind of university lecturer that I would have fallen … Continue reading
I Have a Feeling
Women, Leadership and Emotions. My StaffRm Post for @WomenEd DigiMeet September 2015 http://staffrm.io/@summer/8RtGvEmVSk I feel a lot. All the time. I like to think of it as, you know, living. … Continue reading
Positive activism is something that I have become convinced of as a way to understand how we can improve education. For me it means an engagement in fighting for the … Continue reading
Where the Sun Shines – Pedagoo London 2015
A write-up of my keynote at Pedagoo 2015. I am really honoured to be the final speaker today. Much like many of the people who have spoken today, I have … Continue reading
The Emptiness of Labour’s Education Policy
A blog I posted on the Labour Teachers blog. The post prompted some to suggest I was arguing against Labour as a party – I don’t accept this. I was criticising … Continue reading
To my form
For my first and only form (who I was honoured to tutor for three years) on their Year 11 Leavers Day. With thanks to Ms Pinto who put in all the hard … Continue reading
‘Character vs Knowledge?’ Are we creating a false dichotomy?
Keynote speech from East London Science School and Education Foundation Event: ‘Character vs Knowledge? What is the purpose of education?’ Saturday 25th April 2015. The moment that this event was … Continue reading
‘Miss? Is it true you’re a feminist?’
Sexism and education is something I have thought about a lot over the years, yet I have avoided speaking or writing publicly about it in length before now.¹ It was … Continue reading
One of the most exciting parts of being a Subject Lead of English, has been the opportunity to design our curriculum. I think there has been a danger of overlooking … Continue reading
Becoming a Leader
Last year, I became a member of SLT. It has been an experience unlike any other – full of unexpected challenges and rewards. Nothing quite prepares you for what it … Continue reading
Giving Teachers a Seat at the Table.
An edited write up of my speech from the #PolicyMeet hosted by @EdnFoundation and @labourteachers at the Labour Conference in Manchester. Professionalism and CPD. I was really nervous about speaking at this event. It’s pretty … Continue reading
I love a good debate; it’s often where I come closest to finding answers to the complexities of education. I find it invigorating to have your ideas challenged and to … Continue reading
I love the start of a new academic year. You arrive to it like a traveller post night flight, sleepless from the Sunday insomnia, slightly dazed and confused and anxious. … Continue reading
Books – A Love Story
Sometimes I ache with the pain of knowing I will never be able to read all the books that I would like to. I have been known to become near … Continue reading
Testing seems to be one of the most loaded terms in education. It comes with many a negative connotation and a whole raft of satirical cartoons. Indeed, I’ve seen first-hand … Continue reading
High Impact | My Post from Pedagoo.org
‘Impact’ is a word which has become increasingly popular in pedagogy. Teachers and leaders in education – increasingly skeptical of an implied focus on school data which comes with the … Continue reading
The Courage of Conviction
Learning Lessons from Great Schools and Great People. My Grandpa died this Easter and despite it having been expected, I was shocked by the weight of grief. When someone impacts … Continue reading
‘Learning Lessons’ from great schools – my trip to KEGS.
I love my job. I am irritatingly smug about it and feel – on a daily basis – insanely lucky to be a teacher. One of the many aspects that … Continue reading
Grammar For Writing
There has been a lot of Twitter discussion recently about the explicit teaching of grammar. As someone who was initially concerned about the implications of grammar teaching, I have come … Continue reading
Read All About It
Five weeks ago in the early hours of a Saturday morning on a cold grey day, I got a coach to Southampton. A COACH. Why? Well I had been asked … Continue reading
Curriculum Design – taking the leap.
In my last week at my previous school, I went to an outdoors activity centre with my form to celebrate their success in the inter-form merit system. The ‘Leap of … Continue reading
This week I started as Head of English at the East London Science School. The school holds many attractions for me – not least the chance to create and run … Continue reading
A musical farewell
Some of the lovely and talented students from my form wrote and performed this song as a goodbye present. Too wonderful not to share.
‘Thinking Outside the Books’
‘For many teachers, the current climate of education, with its stress on academic attainment at the expense of a commitment to the development of the whole child, is a cause … Continue reading
TeachMeet LNS: Presentation on ‘Co-Construction: a learning journey’.
On Tuesday 22nd January 2013, @Edutronic_Net and I ran an internal TeachMeet at our school. This is my presentation. Many thanks to Tom Sherrington @headguruteacher who introduced me to this … Continue reading
All right stop, Collaborate and listen.
In our classes we constantly advocate collaboration. We preach about the values of working together, the sharing of ideas, the scaffolding of knowledge and the joys of group work. Mostly … Continue reading
‘A Call to Charms’
Like any true product of the British system, my personal instinct is to be cynical, pessimistic and critical. Luckily (for my students) the classroom version of me is someone so … Continue reading