A year ago we changed the way we offered staff development by launching an Enquiry Hub model. The thinking behind this project was to open up the thinking in our school beyond the questions that we usually pose our teachers and let them set the agenda for their learning. This was the most exciting thing about the whole venture: unlike traditional CPD, we weren’t sure what the answers would be, or even what questions would be asked.
Yesterday Heads of Department and SLT spent a day looking at exercise books across our school. Here is what we learnt. Continue Reading
At our Head of Department meeting this week we considered the intent behind our curriculum and tested how well we were able to answer the questions that underpin the curriculum decisions we have made. Continue Reading
Anxiety is a hot topic in schools for good reason. Here is a post from the leader of our Wellbeing Hub about what anxiety means and how we can help each other to cope with it.
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
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
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
At Thursday’s SSC meeting we discussed Year 11 and 13 interventions: identifying the right pupils, designing effective assessments and implementing strategic interventions. Here is a brief overview of the meeting content. At the bottom is a list of questions, which should act as a checklist for HODs in making sure they are working strategically. Continue Reading