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Showing posts from June, 2014

OCR new GCSE Teacher Advisory Group

I'm delighted to announce that OCR will be running a Teacher Advisory Group meeting next Wednesday. This is a chance to speak to the team developing the new specifications and to give feedback to the process. Details are as follows: Venue: Patcham High School, Ladies Mile Road, Brighton, BN1 8PB Time: 4:40-6:00pm Date: Wednesday 2nd July 2014 If you'd like to be involved, there are limited places available, please email me at Open to all, regardless of the specification you are involved with currently. I remember the last changes and moving exam boards as a result.

It’s not about the technology, it’s about the teaching and learning

I’m a big fan of teaching with technology but have some concerns that some feel it’s all about the technology.  The debate whether technology should be used appropriately in classrooms has long been won.  Indeed, the research evidence over the past forty years about the impact of digital technologies on learning consistently identify positive benefits.  Studies that link the provision of technology with attainment tend to find consistently positive associations with educational outcomes.  But a causal link cannot be identified from the research and it seems probable that more effective schools and teachers are more likely to use digital technologies more effectively than other schools ( source ). Many will, rightly, point out that this is nothing new.  However, the best points are worth repeating and revisiting because every year we welcome new teachers into our profession.  Myself, I can look back twelve months ago when I had a range of digital technologies available and compare m

Why Teachers’ Standard 4 rocks: #DHSTM14 talk

And it's hard to dance with a devil on your back So shake him off, oh whoa Shake it Out, Florence + The Machine I’ve written before about the need to avoid using other people as excuses for poor teaching.  People like SLT, Gove and Ofsted. Thursday saw another top TeachMeet at Durrington High School, put together by Shaun Allision (he has a book out you know). I thought I’d take the opportunity to talk about how great Teachers’ Standard 4 is.  The thing is, the current documentation ensured that we have permission to innovate and create.  Not that we ever needed that permission.  I serve at the pleasure of the young people that I work for. Sometimes it’s difficult to see past the negativity of this profession.  Tories get in. Gove appointed education bloke. New Standards. New Curriculum.  The default position? Must be bad.  Must be awful.  I can see two problems with this approach.  The first is illustrated by this video: I believe that it’s a lack of vision

The senior leadership adventure: an update

It’s been a while since I posted about my new job.  Not that it’s new anymore as it’s June (how did that happen!?!) and I’m four and a smidge weeks away from completing the first year in leadership.  I last posted 40 days in .  This blog has also been quite quiet. So why the gap?  I’ve created a graphic: Throughout my career so far, I’ve always spoken from experience.  No hypotheticals.  The number of posts will increase I’m sure and the advice I can give is useful, when I’ve made an impact and have become competent at my job.  This year has been about laying foundations, figuring out what’s going on and coming up with plans.  It’s a bit like a steam train: you have to stoke the fire for ages and ages, the locomotive struggles out of the station and then quickly gets up to speed. My feelings over the year are summed up by this: I hope you get the picture….. Leaving my last school was like stepping off a sleek bullet train.  I knew my place within the organisation.  People

Thoughts on the KS3 Geography Curriculum

As I have very little responsibility for actually implementing it, I thought I’d put my thoughts about the geography curriculum here.  I would urge you to understand my viewpoint on this from reading previous thoughts.  The danger of placing such a document out in the open is that people forget that it’s just a curriculum framework.  An idea that sets the macro picture so that the micro-scale work can be done.  I would also state that I don’t see how the development of geo-literacy and doing well in exams are different. Recently (that is to say, tonight), I revisited the core concepts and the aims for Priory Geography.  They haven’t changed in my mind. I really don’t see how the key concepts have suddenly become irrelevant, and the new curriculum content (which is very, very vague to be honest) can fit in.  Of course, we could just wait for the textbook and do what they say,  I believe that the cause of much stress stems from having a weak vision and plan.  A strong idea of what ge