A Fine Balance – Weighing the Costs of Assessment

Most of us recognise the need to make effective use of assessment when students return in September, whether in establishing starting points, promoting learning through retrieval or in identifying potential gaps. What’s not so clear is how we should assess and – mindful of the need to focus on integrating students after so long awayContinue reading “A Fine Balance – Weighing the Costs of Assessment”

99 stories – the power of retelling

Have I got a great story for you: A male narrator on a crowded bus witnesses a disagreement between a man with a long neck and a funny hat and a fellow passenger. The narrator then sees the same man a couple of hours later, this time getting some advice from a friend on howContinue reading “99 stories – the power of retelling”

We Murder to Dissect – How to Approach a Poem Without Killing It

I don’t know whether it’s a by-product of the way we teachpoetry – where there’s always so much to do and so little time – or whether it ‘twas ever thus. Either way, many students seem to approach poetry like they are trying to solve a puzzle. To them, a poem is more like aContinue reading “We Murder to Dissect – How to Approach a Poem Without Killing It”

Teacher Choices – helping teachers make better decisions in the classroom

Last week the EEF introduced a new initiative called Teacher Choices. It aims to generate the kinds of evidence that teachers can put to practical use in their classrooms with their students. These short teacher-led research studies should be able to help provide teachers with answers to some of the questions they want to ask,Continue reading “Teacher Choices – helping teachers make better decisions in the classroom”

I didn’t see that coming – how critical friends can help us improve

The critical friend is a recognised feature of school improvement. Someone knowledgeable who is not blinded by institutional bias can point out weaknesses in plans and identify ingredients likely to increase chances of success. The same rationale applies to individuals too – teachers can improve by asking each other challenging questions and by challenging eachContinue reading “I didn’t see that coming – how critical friends can help us improve”