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Showing posts from July, 2014

Two TeachMeets coming in October

Yes, I know it’s the holidays, but I’ve got a bit of time and to stop myself getting into trouble I’ve thrown together a couple of TeachMeet pages for two events in October this year.  If you haven’t been along to a TeachMeet, these are relaxed affairs with plenty of time to natter and make contacts.  The two events (In Portsmouth and Brighton) are:TeachMeet Pompey – this started off with 7 or so people in my classroom at Priory Geography around three years ago and now enjoys the facilities at Action Stations in Portsmouth’s historic dockyard. There’s Laser Quest, will be refreshments ad more to be announced. This is on Thursday 16th October. TeachMeet PHS is new for the 2014-2015 academic year.  Based at Patcham High School in Brighton we look forward to educators from the Brighton and East Sussex area.  This will take place on Thursday 23rd October 2014. Click on either of the flyers below to sign up and for further information.  If you have any questions, would like to help out or …

Teachers as agents of change–developing a research culture in a school. First steps.

I’ve always been totally committed to the idea that teachers are the drivers of change in schools.  I took this approach when successfully establishing a cadre of dare devil coaches in a previous role (that feels like a previous life).  This is based upon the following, interlinked principles:· Teachers are a mixed ability group of learners.· Schools need to use what they have, but better.· Teachers and young people are agents of change.· If you don’t use it, it’s not CPD.· If you’re not creating trouble, you’re not creating much.In this vein, it’s good to be sewing the seeds of a research culture.  Of course, none of this is new but true innovation is often taking great ideas from elsewhere and adapting them.  I’m not going to go into too much detail here as that can wait for different voices on a more appropriate platform.  The agenda is being driven through a ‘closing the gap’ agenda.  I’m ‘Pupil Premium Champion’ for my school (amongst other things) and whilst some may criticise t…

@RGS_IBG Update Me: Creative Approaches to Inspirational Geography. Course Resources

It’s always good to receive feedback comments like this.  Over the last month I’ve run the ‘Update Me’ sessions for the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG) in London and Nottingham.  The resources used are embedded below.  Regular readers will find some classics in there as well as some updated ideas.  Whilst some say that there’s nothing new, I believe that revisiting and reinforcing simple yet effective ideas is paramount.  For example, the two sessions were attended by over fifty geography teachers, none of whom were aware of the Ordnance Survey Map layer available for free through Bing maps.  The thing is about early adopters is that they often leave everyone else behind.  Also, whilst the curriculum content may have changed, very little has changed in the way of what makes teaching and learning highly successful in classes.I’m always humbled to speak at the RGS and it’s very cool!  If you download the presentation, you’ll find various links to blog posts that outline the ideas …

Developing a common language for learning to avoid Bullshit Bingo Inset.

Some words are so prevalent in teaching that it’s easy to assume that everyone has a common understanding of them.  Try sitting down a group of teachers from within the same school, then ask them to define the following:Challenge,PaceLearning ObjectivesLearningI suppose the most extreme example is what the Ofsted Chasing culture has done to the words ‘good’ and ‘outstanding.’So what’s the problem with this?  Well, firstly, without a common understanding of key terms, it’s almost impossible to develop a way of giving meaningful feedback to teachers about their teaching.  I’m not talking about the judgemental feedback here, but the formative type that drives forward quality teaching (it’s not revolutionary in my view not to give lesson grades to do this as monitoring is an essential part of improving learning.) For example:Improve questioning.I’ve seen this given often as a development point. Indeed, I’ve been on the receiving end in the past.  The first problem is that this could mean …