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Showing posts from November, 2015

We don't care how teachers mark and give feedback, but books need to be marked by teachers.

After reading a few posts about feedback lately, I thought I'd revisit and share my own views on this important matter.  From the outset I'd state that we: 1. Don't care how teachers mark and provide feedback, as long as it is happening. 2. Know that marking and acknowledging work is a key driver to raising expectations . If it were up to me, all teachers would do is mark, plan, teach and repeat . Effective feedback is vital to moving young people on, and is part of my dream model of learning : So, marking and feedback is important but it is for middle leaders to decide how best that is done so that it is appropriate to the subject and fit for purpose.  Marking and feedback includes assessment for and of learning, opportunities for which need to be carefully crafted and planned if they are to have the desired effect.  However, as a senior leader in school (with feedback on my brief) it is not for me to micro-manage the situation.  Teachers need to be profes

Fieldwork in geography: responding to the 2016 GCSE Geography spec

I'm certain that very few people have failed to notice that GCSEs are changing.  In terms of Geography, the biggest challenge that many face is the changes to fieldwork. During the Year of Fieldwork, we see the most distinctive part of the subject reduce from 25% to 15% and from Controlled Assessment to and examination paper. Many will not be sorry to see Controlled Assessment go in terms of workload. Although I can understand this, I see it as a great loss to our ability to explore high quality geography: the fieldwork enquiry is  what geographers do.  The fear around an exam paper is that students can be drilled to pass them, and I hope that Ofqual try to ensure that this doesn't happen. Having said this, there are positives: Students will need a deeper understanding of fieldwork and therefore do more of it. The inclusion of two contrasting environments and a signed statement of fieldwork completed provides powerful leverage for more fieldwork. Geography's posi