This much I know about…accurate terminology to describe students’ effort


I have been a teacher for 25 years, a Headteacher for 10 years and, at the age of 49, this much I know about accurate terminology to describe students’ effort.

young girl student lying on the table tired sleeping books

Words matter. And in a school, words which describe student performance matter more than most.

Life for students is getting tougher. Success in public examinations over the next few years will require concentrated, dedicated study of a nature unrequired for at least one if not two generations of students. We are living in a non-coursework, terminal examination world but too many students are still learning with modular-assessment brains. Committing huge amounts of learning across ten or more subjects to long term memory requires deliberate, sustained effort.


Effort is the key to success. Anyone who has attempted to become good at anything knows the veracity of this maxim.

How do you break the news to students that they are not making enough effort? We are moving…

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