News and blog
The last week of the Autumn term was manic. The kids were high as kites and needed to be kept calm and amused for a whole week. I even allowed them to use glitter, for which I apologised to the cleaner later. Our anonymous primary teacher blogger recalls the festivities at the end of last term...
As 2012 drew to a close, December saw policy announcements relating to pay reform for teachers, FE colleges enrolling 14-16 year olds, and Primary Grammar tests. Other factors that may influence policy include the findings of Timss and Pirls and the GCSE judicial review.
My school has a solid policy on setting the students work over the holidays. Plain and simple – it’ a holiday, so don’t set them work. Gopal discusses the festive break as a chance to think for thinkings sake...
Today I’ve eaten a chocolate croissant, a piece of Christmas cake, a roast and 3 mince pies, and it is only 3pm. I love Christmas. Come January though, I like many others will be considering eating less and exercising more. What on earth has this to do with education? It won’t have escaped your attention that the primary school SATs results came out this week, and that league tables were published...
An online version of an interview with Michael Gove, published on the Spectator website on 12 December 2012, included the Secretary of State for Education calling edapt a 'marvellous organisation'.
The world I have been inhabiting while visiting schools to investigate how they manage performance is a world in which teachers are increasingly taking ownership of their professional development. If I were to rely on the press and social media for my understanding, I would see a very different world being portrayed in the response to the School Teachers Review Body (STRB) recommendations. Some scaremongering myths should be addressed.
An article in the Sunday Times on 9th December featured an interview with CEO of edapt, John Roberts. The article was written in response to the proposed reforms to teachers' pay, in anticipation that they may lead to further industrial action by the teaching unions.
According to announcements today teachers’ pay is going to be de-centralised and performance based, the proposed delivery of this being through all schools being given complete flexibility to pay teachers anywhere within the current pay band and scrapping of what is often seen as automatic...
I have had two interviews for MBA admissions, and as I return to school from the second, some of my students are receiving offers of interviews at universities. They are requesting practice interviews, and I am only too happy to help. Gopal discusses preparedeness, disappointment and a sense of humour as key themes when coping with interviews.
November has seen announcements to changes in policy for both primary and secondary schools, from the use of calculators to the qualifications that will be included in league tables.
I love the Christmas term. There’s a bit less marking and a more relaxed and happy atmosphere as time is set aside each day for singing practise. This means that I get a chance to finally get over the fact I am not the favourite teacher of some of the children. Our anonymous primary teacher blogger tries not to dwell on the negatives...
It seems from Deborah Lawson’s article in the Sec Ed that there’s a danger that the teaching unions could be guilty of exactly the same ‘overstepping of their remit’ of which they have joined in accusing the government.
Like all the best festivals, the London Festival of Education, hosted by the IoE and TES on 17th November, left me feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, but with that feeling that the world is better than I had thought because of the people in it. Here is a prize giving approach to sharing what, for me, were some of the best bits.
At the London Festival of Education on Saturday, Michael Gove sparked consternation among the audience when he claimed that without assessment, education is 'just play.' Parsi Sahlberg later explained that in Finland there is strong consensus that 'play' is an important part of a child's development. This TED talk, explaining the five dangerous things children should be allowed to do, reveals some of the complexity of the relationship between play, learning and assessment.
Is legislation requiring schools to pass on information about whether a teacher has been subject to capability procedures a recognition of the need for continuous development to be supported, or an excuse for discrimination?
‘Haven’t you just had a holiday?’ ask my non-teacher friends. It’s been a nearly eight week half term - no, I have not just had a holiday. Myself and the children were very much ready for a break because they were tired and fed up of sharing a room with the same 30 people and I had a bit of marking to catch up on and parent’s evening notes to write. Our anonymous primary teacher blogger describes the build up to parents evenings...
October has seen the Labour Party and Conservative Party Conferences, an announcement on tougher tests for teachers, leaked information about the curriculum review, and Education Questions in the House of Commons.
The three main political party conferences in September and October 2012 all featured speeches on education. These wordle's highlight the similarities and differences between the parties and their priortities in education.
The 26th October 2012 edition of TES printed a letter from edapt entitled "Be king of your castle'. Here is the full text of the letter, with details of the historic context omitted from the printed version.
Assembly duty, making chairs, endangered species research day and Christmas songs, no one can say this job isn’t varied and interesting. Our anonymous primary teacher blogger describes the the variety of activities that fill her autumn term.
Truancy covers a whole manner of sins, and its measurement is a fascinating problem... It is absurd, of course, to suggest that some 50,000 students miss school every day all with good reason, but it is far worse, surely, to suggest, that there are 50,000 hooded, menacing youths waiting on the street.
As we are all aware, the teaching profession is changing faster than ever before. There are new curricula being discussed, new technologies being implemented and new philosophies being debated. It’s an exciting time to be a teacher! One phenomenon that gets less ‘air time’ is the globalisation of teaching as a profession...
This RSA Animate clip raises interesting questions about what motives us as teachers - is it autonomy, mastery or purpose? Or is it just the money?
Recent speeches by David Cameron and Michael Gove at the Conservative party conference highlighted the importance of having high expectations for all children. Research has shown that this has a major impact on how well children do. But I have two criticisms of this political focus...
I’ve always struggled with deadlines. They’re so inviting – “get on with your other work, don’t worry about me, I’ll just sit to the side while you get on with your other important duties – school work, South Korean dance phenomena, European comebacks in a sport you know nothing about.” They’re evil on a number of levels...
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