Year 5 are sitting on the carpet looking up politely at the stranger in their classroom who seems to have turned up to teach them today. They don’t usually sit on the carpet – that’s for infants isn’t it? But I want them close to me and to be able to get up and down without having to navigate furniture. You have to be nimble when you’re going to Mars, but they don’t know that yet.
Continue reading “Co-Constructing Curriculum – A Mission to Mars.”
I’ve been developing curriculum with schools in primary and KS3 since the early 2000s but I don’t remember a time when the word curriculum has had as much currency as it seems to have now. The stark fact that it has risen to prominence because Ofsted happened to mention it is quite depressing. But if it means that schools are now thinking much more carefully about the child’s experience, the coherence of that experience and how it holds together for both meaning and effect, then I suppose we should be glad. Continue reading “A Curriculum for Compassion”
Because there’s something in the air
We’ve got to get together sooner or later
Because the revolution’s here
And you know it’s right…
Continue reading “Call Out The Instigators…”
We’ve been working in Wales on KS3 curriculum, Hywel Roberts and I, and it’s making our hearts soar. Maths rubbing shoulders with PE; Languages and English hanging out together; Humanities peering over the shoulders of the Arts…everyone is uniting and it’s lovely. Continue reading “A KS3 Curriculum With Heart.”
Rumours are leaking out of Ofsted Towers of a shift in focus towards ‘Knowledge Rich Curriculum.’ There is consternation among some inspectors about ideological infiltration from the DfE and what this might look like in terms of an inspection framework. But I’d urge caution before we jump to conclusions – this could be a positive thing. Could be. Continue reading “Ofsted: Should we be Scared?”
So results are in and, surprise, surprise, there’s not much change. A slight 0.5% improvement on ‘pass’ rates, but given that the new 4 was supposed to be equivalent to a C/D borderline grade, that’s to be expected. But wait… ‘pass’ rate? Aren’t there three other grades to consider here? Aren’t grades 1-3 passes too? It would seem not since government have firmly labelled not only 4s as ‘standard passes’ but also 5s as ‘strong passes.’ Who cares about the rest? The 33.9%? Meh. May they proceed onto endless resits, doomed to groundhog day repeats of failure for the next few years, their confidence dwindling to the point that they feel worthless. Who cares? Passes is what we’re after. Because, standards. Continue reading “Winners and Losers: GCSEs 2018”
Back in 2014 I heard about the idea for a College of Teaching and I wrote this blogpost outlining why I, as an ordinary classroom teacher, was so excited at the prospect of what this organisation could do for me and why I was so desperate for it to get off the ground. Four years later, it exists and I’m not a member – not even at affiliate level.
Continue reading “Let’s get behind the Chartered College of Teaching.”
In The Times this morning, a sharp increase in the prescriptions of Ritalin to control ADHD has reportedly drawn the response from Amanda Spielman, Chief Inspector for Schools at Ofsted, that “parents are medicating away their children’s bad behaviour.” Continue reading “ADHD and Ofsted”
Back in 1991, Martin Haberman, as part of his life long work into how education could tackle disadvantage, wrote “The Pedagogy of Poverty” in which he explores how the accepted norms and routines of teaching life act to hold down the very children we seek to lift up. In our work, Hywel Roberts and I refer to this idea of a Pedagogy of Poverty widely, but we need to explore how it fits in with current ideas about ‘rich’ knowledge and core knowledge curriculum models. Continue reading “A Rich Curriculum”
I’ve been grumpy today with people berating Group Work. But I’m a teacher, so instead of giving them detention or lines, I thought “why not teach them how to do decent group work?” Continue reading “Making Group Work Work.”