Spend Less Time Marking (four blogs)

Perhaps because most of us are still up to our necks in mock marking, I’ve been reflecting on some of the time-effective marking practices that we have been advocating as a school over the past few years. I thought it would be a good time to gather together just some of the ideas on this topic and share them again with you. Continue Reading

HubTales: a case study from our Pitch and Challenge Hub 7 weeks in.

Enquiry question: ‘Which tools and strategies, both teacher-led and independent, effectively support and engage KS4 learners in climbing out of the “learning pit”?’

My enquiry question was built from extensive academic research that discuss the dangers of pitching lessons too low – essentially ‘spoon-feeding’ information to pupils – in the belief that this is ‘learning’. An intriguing opposition to this form of teaching is James Nottingham’s concept of the “learning pit”; in short, that pupils must be cognitively challenged, leading to confusion, but with the right tools, strategies and support, they “climb out of the learning pit”, and consequently have a fuller understanding of the concept. In my reading, I have discovered that this teaching strategy is commonly applied to primary teaching and mathematics, but there is little evidence of its application in Modern Language teaching. Could it be applied effectively to MFL teaching? Continue Reading

Why are we Testing? (includes a useful infographic)

This is an idea that I’ve been thinking about for some time, particularly following a talk by Daisy Christodoulou and subsequently reading her book ‘Making Good Progress’. The standout point from both of these was that one test can not (effectively) fulfil multiple functions. We need to decide whether we are aiming to develop learning or to measure it.  Continue Reading