What every teacher needs to know about… students who leave secondary school unable to read

Many thanks to the good folks at Teach Secondary magazine for publishing yet another of my incoherent rants. This time I set my sights on the lamentable and inexcusable failure of secondary schools

What I know about whether ‘no excuses’ behaviour systems work

I read John Tomsett’s account of his speech at Michaela School’s Debate on 23rd April on why ‘no excuses’ behaviour systems don’t work with great interest. As a speech it is well researched, well

Workload Challenge Part 1: Marking

This is the first of three post on the Department for Education’s response to last year’s Workload Challenge. The three areas identified by teachers’ responses to the Challenge as particularly burdensome were

A plug for Teaching & Learning Conference on 2nd July

The following is a guest post from Anne Williams wherein she promotes the Teaching & Learning conference she has organised on 2nd July in Leeds. I’ll be speaking there and so will

Walking the tightrope between cynicism and sincerity

Life is either always a tightrope or a feather bed. Give me the tightrope. Edith Wharton I wrote recently about unscrupulous optimism. Mostly this seems to have been understood as a warning against

The revolutionary wisdom of the tribe

I’ve been reading, and thoroughly enjoying,  Andrew Marr’s cracking narrative whistle-stop tour through human history, A History of the World. Sad to say, I have developed the lamentable habit of filtering everything

Proof of progress Part 2

Back in January I described the comparative judgement trial that we were undertaking at Swindon Academy in collaboration with Chris Wheadon and his shiny, new Proof of Progress system. Today, Chris met with our

7 habits of genuinely expert teachers

Science is not ‘organized common sense’; at its most exciting, it reformulates our view of the world by imposing powerful theories against the ancient, anthropocentric prejudices that we call intuition. Stephen J.

The value of testing – on the back of a postage stamp

In an effort to spread the word about some of the most robustly researched psychological effects which can be used to support learning, I’ve been having a go at creating gimmicky memes.

The rise of the unscrupulous optimist

“Optimism, n.: The doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly.” Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary Education is a project filled with hope. We stand, framed heroically against the setting

February on The Learning Spy

February was cold, dark, wet and miserable. Which probably explains why I go so much writing done. Here are all of my posts from lat month in one convenient digest. Learning about

The role of teachers is not to make managers’ lives easier

“To supervise people, you must either surpass them in their accomplishments or despise them.” Benjamin Disraeli Questions about the purpose of education divide and bedevil: there’s no real agreement about what education is