The dark art of creativity

I was recently reminded of the ‘schools are killing creativity’ trope that was so prevalent a few years ago. Tempting as it may be to nod along with Ken Robinson and his cronies,

Getting feedback right

For the sake of convenience I’ve collated and condensed my recent series of posts on getting feedback right, and they are now available as a single download. It’s not intended to be a

Does it do what it’s supposed to? Assessing the assessment

In response to a request for constructive criticism of the English assessment model I helped design, Michael Tidd got in touch to query whether it met his 7 questions you should ask about

One step beyond – assessing what we value

Hey you, don’t teach that. Teach this! Do we always teach what we value? it seems to me that when push comes to shove, we end up teaching what is assessed. The urgency

Getting feedback right Part 4: How can we increase pupils’ aspiration?

You may remember that over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to refine my thinking about how we can improve the way we give feedback. If you haven’t already read the

On dichotomies

I seem to regularly find myself embroiled in various polarised debates, and invariably, at some point in the discussion, someone butts into to dismiss the entire exchange as a ‘false dichotomy’. (And

On behaviour

Most of what makes classrooms work lies beneath the surface. The here and now of lessons and classrooms is dependent on the routines and relationships teachers have forged over time. If you’re

Getting feedback right Part 3: How can we increase pupils’ effort?

I started to explore how we might make feedback more meaningful a few weeks back but then got sidetracked. If you haven’t already looked at them, it might be worth spending a

The mystery of Oldfield School’s missing Ofsted report

Oldfield School in Bath has a long history of being graded Outstanding and throughout Headteacher Kim Sparling has been at the helm. I worked there briefly and took part in their successful 2003 inspection.

Watching the watchmen: Is Ofsted fit for purpose?

You may remember a blog I posted back in December: Get ahead of the curve: stop grading lessons written after being invited to chat to Jonathan Simons and Harriet Waldegrave, the authors of Policy

What if there was no outstanding?

The cynics are right nine times out of ten. H.L. Mencken Does the outstanding grade retard innovation or drive us towards excellence? This is just a flight of fancy; a thought experiment.

Why AfL might be wrong, and what to do about it

Some cows are so sacred that any criticism of them is fraught with the risk of bumping up against entrenched cognitive bias. We are fantastically bad at recognizing that our beliefs are