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Showing posts from April, 2015

#worthingteachup Thursday May 21st at the Thomas a Becket pub 7pm

A little while a go, a few teachers got together in Worthing in a pub.  There wasn’t an agenda, just chatting, some food and some beverages.  If you are a teacher in the Worthing area, it would be great to see you on Thursday 21st May at the Thomas a Becket Pub.  Let’s aim for around 7pm, have some food, a natter and generally chat.  There’s a lot going on in the area over the age of transfer, a new secondary school and all of that, so we’ll probably have something to talk about.  If you’d like to come along, please fill out the form below so we can see if a table needs to be booked. Thanks! Any questions, get in touch.Loading...

The Year of Fieldwork

From September, the Field Studies Council are running a Year of Fieldwork to help develop quality fieldwork skills.  With the shift away from extended projects toward GCSE fieldwork exams, it's even more important that students are engaged in high quality data collection from an early age.  In addition, it's going to be very important to balance the awe and wonder type trip, the residential that develops interpersonal skills and the need for young people to understand the process of fieldwork enquiry and primary data collection.Fieldwork and other out-of classroom learning experiences are increasingly being recognised across the curriculum as a highly valuable tool in raising standards and skills in participants of all ages. The ‘Year of Fieldwork’, which will run over the academic year 2015-16, brings together a range of partners to celebrate these skills and opportunities and to offer support for those that wish to develop these further. Esri UK, Field Studies Council, the …

TeachMeets–it’s the stuff that happens between the lines.

To me, TeachMeets are fantastic sources of teacher driven CPD. I’ve been involved in those that are very small (7 in a classroom or a dozen in a pub) to the huge (TMBETT).  I prefer the former as, for me, TeachMeets are about building sustainable communities of educators around a geographic area.  Smaller TeachMeets are better for this – they allow time for networking and meeting new people. It’s about what happens next whether that’s putting an idea into practice or following up on a conversation.With this in mind, there are two TeachMeets that I am helping to put together at the moment, both aimed at building sustainable events that attract teachers from the local(ish) area.  Of course, just like the #gaconf15 TeachMeet, it’s not really me doing much of the organising so many thanks to Jo and Leah for doing all of the difficult work.So, if you’re interested in an afternoon of Teacher led CPD sign up for TeachMeet Pompey(#tmpompey) on Wednesday 17th June 2015 or TeachMeet Brighton(#t…

A vintage TeachMeet: The Geographical Association’s First TeachMeet – 5 years in the making. #GACONF15 incorporating #BeerMeet 2015

For the past five or so years, I’ve been asking for a TeachMeet at the GA’s Annual Conference. So, when the awesome Lucy Oxley, the driving force behind the annual event, said yes in Guildford last year I was happy.  The aim was to have 30-40 teachers is a seminar room with a few other teachers giving presentations.  So, one Great Hall; 11 fantastic presentations from people in the classroom, including some first timers; 103 signed up lurkers; some wine and a thrown together live-feed later, it’s safe to say that we smashed it out of the room.  The geographers then took over one of the local pubs until closing – I tried to speak to everyone there so if I didn’t apologies.  The place was buzzing. The LiveFeed is embedded below:The presentations and links are below and I’ll add more when they arrive.So thank you!:Jo Debens, the First Lady, for helping with the order of presentations and timing;Richard Allaway for the live feed and T-Shirts;Discover the World Education for supporting the…

#GAConf15 Workshop slides–How inspirational Geography can help raise standards

Got back yesterday from the Geographical Association’s annual conference in Manchester.  This post is dedicated to the workshop session that I spoke about.  The slides are embedded below, and regular readers will spot nothing new here.  Although through a Geographical lens, I would expect that teachers and leaders of other subjects will find something of use also.How inspirational Geography can make an impact on resultsfrom David Rogers The main points of the talk were: Act like the professional that you are and ask for forgiveness rather than permission. A lack of vision is responsible for many of the issues found in departments, not SLT or Ofsted. It’s not about putting together amazing one-off lessons but ensuring that the mundane becomes the highest quality that it can be.  Fantastic learning right from lesson one across all year groups. Some of the activities would be of use to leaders when trying to develop a vision:Ask your team to bring along three objects that represent what they …

‘We must feed the intellectual curiosity of teachers’: Pupil Premium TeachMeet report

I sometimes look back at life and wonder how all of the little experiences and choices have all been directing me to where I find myself now.  Part of my role as a Teaching and Learning Assistant Head is to look after the Pupil Premium budget.  I can say without a doubt that I understand some of the barriers to learning that these young people experience as I myself have a ‘disadvantaged’ background – boy those RAISE people sure know how to make people happy…  This doesn’t mean though that I am any more equipped for this role and I’m always hungry for ideas.It was serendipitous then that I saw the Pupil Premium TeachMeet being held in Oxford coinciding with my journey back from an unrelated event in Birmingham.  I’ve been to many Pupil Premium events and it’s often the same – with a lack of practical ideas and access to leaders who are trying to make a difference.  The format of this TeachMeet was a little different in that it was chaired by Sir Tim Brighouse.  The first time I benefi…

By Gove, they’ve got it! Raise expectations you say? But how on Earth do we do that?

“And therefore education at the University mostly worked by the age-old method of putting a lot of young people in the vicinity of a lot of books and hoping that something would pass from one to the other, while the actual young people put themselves in the vicinity of inns and taverns for exactly the same reason.”
― Terry Pratchett, Interesting Times‘Raising expectations’ and ‘increasing challenge’ are two of my favourite Bullshit Bingo phrases.  You see and hear them everywhere, but the trouble is no bugger actually lets on what they mean.  Trouble is that they mean very different things to different people.  To me, increasing challenge means signing up for a 50 mile ultra marathon across the Lake District and raising expectations always happens when I smell baking.  In the spirit of the #challengeme cry from Staffrm, this is what these phrases mean to me. Ish:Now, remember that this view has been moulded through teaching a little bit and a bit of middle leadership and senior stuff (…

How do Middle Leaders keep the main thing the main thing? Middle Leader Training Course Notes

Keeping the main thing the main thingfrom David Rogers ‘'’I’ve been waiting for this moment all my life, but it’s not quite right’ Lazy Eye, Silverskin PumpkinsFell behind with posts recently, so expect a few to pop up!  A session that I always enjoy running was with the Brighton Middle Leaders cohort – there are a number of local schools who have pooled our leaders together.  A couple of weeks ago it was the turn of Patcham and I was asked to focus on how we keep Learning as the focus.  I have to start my stating that the Middle Leader is the key component is a school that functions well.  The slides are embedded above, and below are the highlights, a mix of theory and the practical ideas.  I always found that my own leadership training often missed out the practical aspects….I started off with this image, taken from one of Chris Hadfield’s tweets.  The aim of a middle leader is often to raise attainment, but this is often very messy and not smooth.  It’s also important to conside…