Curriculum, English, Literacy, Teaching and Learning

The humble post it note

The less time spent making lots of worksheets and single use resources, the more time can be spent on planning, assessment and feedback. I also realised that tidying my office at home that I'm the proud owner of an extensive collection of sticky notes: index markers, A5, square, plastic markers, different colours, different shapes.  These are all… Continue reading The humble post it note

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Assessment, Curriculum, English, Progress, Reflection

Preventative intervention strategies

Having already blogged on why I don't think 'whatever it takes' is always the best way to view intervention, I presented on preventative intervention strategies at Red House School TeachMeet earlier this week. We're in the middle of exam season and there's a lot of last minute pushes, final revision sessions, drop ins and other inteventions. But it's… Continue reading Preventative intervention strategies

Leadership, Reflection, Staff Development

Pass it on: top time-saving tips

I'm a big fan of the #teacher5aday hashtags and discussion of work-life balance on Twitter that I'm always talking about things I've seen online or great little 'tweaks' that make life just that little bit easier. I'm going to attempt to recap some the great advice I've been given for work-life balance (both in person and online).… Continue reading Pass it on: top time-saving tips

Curriculum

Rethinking differentiation: getting the most out of questions

"Inspectors reported concerns about Key Stage 3 in one in five of the routine inspections analysed, particularly in relation to the slow progress made in English and mathematics and the lack of challenge for the most able pupils." (Ofsted, KS3 'The Wasted Years', 2015) When I trained, the common approach to differentiation was to teach to… Continue reading Rethinking differentiation: getting the most out of questions

Assessment, Curriculum, English, Literacy, Literature, Progress

Reclaiming KS3: Driving questions for rapid progress

When looking at examiners' reports at KS5, there's been a welcome move in recent years warning staff not to send students into exams with pre-prepared essay frames, writing templates and other formulaic crutches designed to get students through exams with the minimum of independent thought. Aside from my personal feelings about endless writing frames, they send the message to students… Continue reading Reclaiming KS3: Driving questions for rapid progress

Curriculum, English, Progress

Rethinking KS3: Early Intervention

In earlier blog posts I've been exploring the ways that KS3 can be reclaimed to have a positive impact on student achievement over time. Ofsted's document KS3: The Wasted Years explores the issues affecting KS3 at the moment and, to me, gives very clear guidance to schools about what is required for them to be successful. Firstly, Ofsted… Continue reading Rethinking KS3: Early Intervention

Curriculum, English, Literacy, Literature, Progress

Reclaiming KS3: Engagement

In this series of blogposts I'm exploring ways that KS3 can be reclaimed rather than being viewed as a second priority behind KS4/5. To go further, what I'm suggesting is that if schools want to ensure maximum progress gains at KS4, then targeted investment in KS3 is essential. The three ways that this can be achieved are: Challenge… Continue reading Reclaiming KS3: Engagement

Curriculum, English, Progress

Reclaiming KS3: Challenge

There's been a lot of focus on KS3 and the role it plays in achievement at KS4. Sometimes I wonder if due to pressures in the upper school, KS3 risks becoming the neglected sibling of KS4/5. It shouldn't be. If KS3 is purposeful, challenging and engaging, the chances of having the progress gaps to be filled… Continue reading Reclaiming KS3: Challenge

Digital literacy, EdTech, English, iPad, Literacy, Literature, Research Skills

Approaching research skills in a digitally literate classroom

An area I'm currently exploring is how to promote digital literacy across the curriculum. One of the ways that this can be done is through explicitly teaching research skills and guiding students through the process. The result is that students gain transferable skills and a set of useful notes at the end of the process (and we don't… Continue reading Approaching research skills in a digitally literate classroom