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Showing posts from January, 2016

If Heineken made assemblies? Getting grit across.

GRIT assembly Jan 2016 from David Rogers I love giving assemblies.  It's a real privilege. At Patcham, we believe that grit is an important area to talk about and develop if our students are to do well.  We've distilled character down to this one trait. We have research evidence that is showing signs that we are doing the right thing too, but that's for another time.  Although Carlsburg may make the best stuff, only Heineken reaches the parts that others can't. What follows is my assembly, the slides are above. Our assemblies at Patcham are very special. Each one has three features: A piece of music, dance or theatrical performance by our students The Patcham News - our way of ensuring that our messages get across: A reading from a book to support our culture of reading for pleasure and our aspiration to have every student reading at their chronological reading age. This week, I had the pleasure of speaking to my House - a quarter of our s

Mind fudge: my problem with the traditional v progressive thing

Now, I have to admit that I don't spend very much time reading a lot of theory, nor with engaging with the traditional versus progressive debate.  I'm simply a teacher and school leader who tries to do the best for young people.  I'm all for debate, as a geographer, the subject I adore comes under constant attack and us colourer-inners love nothing more than to gaze at our navels whilst enjoying a post pebble counting pint.  As a geographer though, I am aware of the many paradigm shifts that have occurred and shaped our discipline. Such shifts are not restricted to geography.  The subject has looked at the same phenomenon thought different lenses for ages and it is foolish to believe that anything is done independent of values or philosophy. It's what makes life interesting, wriggling through the different levels of debate. From what I can see, much of the debate stems from the differences in pedagogy.  I have to admit that, although I was encouraged to use such th

Computers won't revolutionise teaching, but....

A few months ago, I wrote this  Staffrm story  about the use of technology in education.  The final paragraph read: Great teachers who are articulate, passionate and use whatever means needed to inspire and promote the acquisition of new knowledge and skills? Teachers making hundreds of professional decisions every day? In order to provide a little background, over the years I have used technology widely and successfully both in my teaching practice and in school leadership roles.  I've been lucky enough to become a Google Certified Educator and Microsoft Innovative Educator and have guided a number of technology projects through, including BYOD and those designed and implemented by children.  However I wouldn't consider myself to be innovative or even cutting edge. The world of technology often moves on too quickly for ideas to be fully embedded.  I simply use what works.  Having said that, technology has undoubtedly been an essential ingredient that has help drive

Make a difference in 2016: Come along to TeachMeet Solutions

In 2016, a team of us will be putting together a gathering of like minded professionals: TeachMeet Solutions. It's going to be a bit different from the usual, with no presentations. Instead, we will be going back to when TeachMeets were conversations around a table.  There are many unconferences that aren't, this isn't one of them. We have modest aspirations; half a dozen people in a room would be great. More would be a bonus. This isn't a new breed of TeachMeet, rather a return to the original concept: teachers meeting together to talk about teaching.  Leave the ego at the door, there won't be a keynote and there won't be presentations.  Instead participants will all be contributors.   Each person who signs up will be asked to nominate an issue they'd like to either discuss or share ideas around. Staffrm  will be used in the run up to the event to spark thinking and discussion ahead of the day.   On the day, there'll be lots of inform