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.”
In 2013 I was feeling frustrated as a teacher. The CPD on offer in my school didn’t come anywhere near to meeting my needs – or, as far as I could see, the needs of many of my colleagues. Continue reading “The End of Northern Rocks. The beginning of…”
Something’s up in Wales. The curriculum is being radically changed. Subjects are being grouped into areas of learning – all of which are equally important. Yes, the Arts are as important as Maths! Continue reading “Cross Curricular Planning.”
I’m running a PD session in Singapore, doing my usual “there’s more to life than tests” introduction to a sea of blank faces. I realise they don’t do tests. It’s a revelation. They’re looking at me like I’m an alien and I have to quickly adapt my session. Continue reading “A Joyful Education.”
Ok, deep breaths – this one is a little controversial. But I’m going to give it an airing.
Continue reading “Kidult Teachers”
I taught a Year 4 class yesterday with lots of teachers watching.
Continue reading “Romans and Us.”