Is love the most important thing? – David Didau: The Learning Spy

Yesterday, I wrote a post explaining that important as the quality of teaching in a school is, there are other, more important things on which to concentrate. In response, Katharine Birbalsingh, head…

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“Do now”

Reading all the Books

I recently finished Glass Ceilings, which is my favourite education book of 2018 – so far, that is. Amongst the many, many take-aways from this book was a reminder to me of a simple but effective practice I had all but stopped. The ‘do now.’

In Glass Ceilings, Hall describes the powerful simplicity of a small number of repetitive teaching activities observed in US Charter Schools that had a dramatic impact on learning, and one was the omnipresence of a ‘do now’ so children entered a classroom and were immediately working. Hall called this ‘bell to bell working,’ which I loved.

I raved about ‘do nows’ in my early years of teaching, adopting the name after devouring Doug Lemov’s seminal Teach Like a Champion. You wouldn’t walk into my classroom without finding a slide on the board of some kind of ‘starter’ or ‘warm-up’. The idea is…

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Teaching matters, but there are more important things to get right – David Didau: The Learning Spy

As John Tomsett says in his latest blog, “It is generally accepted that the quality of teaching is the most influential factor in determining the rate at which pupils make progress in their…

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Evidence Based EFL: Arguments by other means

Evidence Based EFL: Arguments by other means: A few weeks ago a  post by  Carol Black  defending the  use of learning styles   was making the  rounds on twitter . I say defending but in…

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Informing governors about Ofsted inspection matters

Governing Matters

Education, like other fields, has its fair share of myths. One of the persistent myths concerns the role of governors during an Ofsted inspection. Shena Lewington had first raised the matter of governors meeting inspectors, being able to attend the feedback meeting and seeing the draft report.Sean Harford, Ofsted’s National Director, Education, to his credit, has tried to bust the myth that not all governors can meet inspectors, attend the feedback or see the draft report again and again. This myth, however, refuses to die! This is why I am very happy to see this addressed again in the July edition of the School Inspection Update (Issue 14). I am copying the relevant passage below.

Informing governors about an inspection

It has been brought to our attention that some schools have not informed all of their governors/trustees about the inspection of their school, nor invited them to…

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Governance matters at Festival of Education Part 1

Governing Matters

I attended the Festival of Education held at Wellington College on 21st and 22nd June 2018. The fact that there were sessions related to governance was greatly appreciated by everyone who has an interest in school governance. We even got a mention when Julian Thomas, Master of Wellington College addressed the speakers at the end of day one!

Below are the notes I made during the governance related sessions. In order to keep the blog to a reasonable length, the blog will be in two parts. I hope they will be of some use and you will think of putting in a proposal yourself next year or just come along to listen to the various speakers.

Handling public difficulties – essentials for school leaders and governors (Ben Verinder;
Managing Director of Chalkstream).

This was an informative session. As governors/trustees there may be times when we are facing a…

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The Progressive Narrative on Behaviour. Part 1

Scenes From The Battleground

There are two basic reasons why schools need discipline.

The first is the practical point. Schools need to be safe and effective. If children and teachers live in fear, or if it becomes impractical to actually teach, then a school is not fit for purpose. Discipline is necessary to prevent disruption and danger. To deny this, is to deny human nature and declare children to be natural saints, who will behave perfectly without the need for boundaries and consequences.

The second is the moral point. We are responsible for our actions. While there must be exceptions to this principle, they are exceptional. Schools are not psychiatric hospitals; children are not insane and discipline is not therapy. Refusing to hold children responsible for their actions can only stunt their moral development. We all need to know we can make the right choices, and we all need the structures that encourage those…

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