Are you confident in the quality of Ofsted inspectors?

The summer term is a time for public examinations, sports days, and self-evaluation. Teachers and senior leaders across the country are evaluating their progress and plotting out a better future for their students. But as the evening sun of the academic year shines, so a long shadow is cast. And lurking in this shadow, deep in the collective unconscious of the education community, is the amorphous figure of the Ofsted inspector. Some teachers speak publicly about the Ofsted inspector, invoking the ‘O’ word like an amulet to ward off harm. Other suspiciously avoid mentioning the word, believing its recitation can be a summons. Others still profess to have no fear or respect of the supposed powers of Ofsted. But their voices ring hollow, and are rarely heeded by the cautious.

Source: Are you confident in the quality of Ofsted inspectors?

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The push back against teacher bloggers has begun

Let me share with you a bit of my personal story to explain why I am going into teaching. It’s a long and meandering tale, but bear with me. Many moons ago, 29 years to be precise, I applied to study history at university. My sister before me had, heeding parental advice, studied economics and thoroughly hated the experience. Her advice to me was, choose a subject you enjoy above all else and don’t worry about what career you will have afterwards. My parents and uncles were predictably dismayed by my choice. “What are you going to do with a history degree, become a teacher?” they asked in disapproving tones. I hate to say it but teaching was not seen as a prestigious enough profession.

Source: The push back against teacher bloggers has begun

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Long-term disadvantage, part two: How do Pipworth Primary and Sheffield Park Academy do so well for their disadvantaged pupils? – Education Datalab blog

This is part two in a series of blogposts exploring long-term disadvantage. The first post can be found here, while a link to the third post will be added once it is live. The first post in this…

Continued here:

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Long-term disadvantage, part one: Challenges and successes – Education Datalab blog

This is part one in a series of blogposts exploring long-term disadvantage. A link will be added to the other posts in the series once they are live. Pupil Premium pupils are defined as those…

Continued here:

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Truth or Truthiness

Paul A. Kirschner & Mirjam Neelen

Is a study really trustworthy or does it only seem to be? This is an exploration of truth versus the beautiful word that Stephen Colbert – American comedian – came up with: ‘truthiness’ (funny short video on restoring truthiness here), which means roughly: something that sounds plausible and therefore people prefer to believe it and to hold on to it, without taking facts, logic, or any contradictory evidence into consideration. Truthiness shouldn’t be confused with trustworthiness because the latter means that you can actually rely on something as being honest or truthful (i.e., you can trust it).

truthiness 1

This blog is about, unfortunately, an almost daily experience that the conclusions that scientists draw from their findings – and sometimes even the study itself – are actually based on truthiness and not on truth or trustworthiness. And even worse, the conclusions that are…

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#mathsconf10 – the revolution begins


So it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on here. For anyone interested in my educational life between mathsconfs 6 and 10, my Twitter feed covers it fairly comprehensively.

After trips to Kettering, Birmingham, Sheffield, Peterborough and Kettering for previous mathsconfs, we’d finally made it to London for round 10 – two of us from Ninestiles were on the train just after 6am for our adventure, and this blog post summarises the highlights of the day.

Session 1: How to Teach Problem Solving – Kris Boulton

Kris kicked off his session with a couple of interesting problems for us to solve – some fun with isosceles triangles, and some more fun with circles inside a square. I managed to solve them both eventually, which was mildly pleasing.

If we want to help our pupils to effectively solve problems using something more than Polya’s ‘be ingenious’ strategy, we should probably…

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Before and after our behaviour policy 

The Fruits Are Sweet

A quick blog to answer a query I’ve had about my experience of the changes in behaviour in my school since we’ve had our behaviour system. Just the first things that come to mind, there are lots more I’m sure.

Some teachers cry regularly

Sunday night fear

Timetable a source of grief: ” we get year 9 period 5 every day!”

A problem with the printer or computer was absolutely awful, as you needed that resource for your lesson, the lesson must keep moving otherwise you’ll lose them and not get them back all lesson…

Lessons after break and lunch were shit

Often hear swear words

Often experience overt rudeness eg “WHAT?! GOD!” when you asked a pupil to do something

Often experienced refusal e.g to pick up dropped litter

Seating plans for behaviour

Lesson plans for behaviour

Very often experienced “low profile rudeness” eg smirks, slow movements carrying…

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