On KS3 English Curriculum Design

  If students studied The Odyssey in year 7… They would learn about the incredible story of the Trojan War and understand the meaning behind a number of idiomatic phrases, such as ‘the face that launched a thousand ships’, ‘between a rock and a hard place’ and ‘beware Greeks bearing gifts.’ The names of GreekContinue reading “On KS3 English Curriculum Design”

Miltonic Vision Part I: Trivium 21C, Threshold concepts and the power of ‘powerful knowledge’

A few years ago, at my previous school, I taught Milton’s Paradise Lost for the first time. Whilst I had read some of the early books in my first year at university, I never managed to complete the poem and I certainly didn’t think I knew it. The thought of teaching such as challenging textContinue reading “Miltonic Vision Part I: Trivium 21C, Threshold concepts and the power of ‘powerful knowledge’”

Mr Benn and the Anatomy of Extended Writing

  Me and Mr Benn I was born in 1975, and the cult children’s animation Mr Benn was part of my childhood. I must have watched re-runs, since the only series made (which consisted of a paltry 13 episodes) was first aired in 1971. For the uninitiated, Mr Benn employed a recurring plot sequence. TheContinue reading “Mr Benn and the Anatomy of Extended Writing”

School Improvement – lessons from the Royal Belgian Football Association

Perhaps the most common analogy used in recent years to describe school improvement is the marginal gains approach employed by Dave Brailsford to transform British cycling. Marginal gains works on the premise that considerable rises in overall performance levels can be achieved by aggregating multiple smaller improvements. It relies heavily on sophisticated data systems toContinue reading “School Improvement – lessons from the Royal Belgian Football Association”

There is a place for multiple choice in English – Part II

In my last blog I laid out the background to my thinking around the use of multiple choice as an assessment tool in English. My focus is on its use as a formative vehicle, in particular its application to the teaching of reading. To this end I have been experimenting with setting regular multiple choiceContinue reading “There is a place for multiple choice in English – Part II”