Surviving as a DHOY

It was a significant surprise to me when it turned out that my first progression within the school environment was on the pastoral side. When I trained my behaviour management was awful. Awful. I just didn’t get it – no matter how often they told me to wait until the class was quiet before talking, I just didn’t do it. So I always assumed that I Read More →

What is the Chartered College of Teachers for?

A hive of uncertainty has surrounded the announcement and set-up of the new Chartered College of Teachers (CCT). Some are delighted that a new body is on the scene to represent teachers professionally, others are sceptical that it will simply end up being dominated by the same forces that sometimes disseminate bad evidence in education today. The CCT itself is trying to establish a role Read More →

The moral purpose of teaching and today’s NUT strike

Today I went on strike. Having spent a lot of time being quite a left-wing kinda person, striking has been something I’ve supported from afar. I’ve watched strikes of doctors, teachers and others but never really thought about what happens when it applies to me. I’d always assumed I’d just ‘do it’. Injustice in the workplace is there, so strike is the answer. But actually going on strike Read More →

Settling on a new A Level Religious Studies specification

A veritable flurry of posts on new Religious Studies specifications has hit blogosphere over the last few days thanks to the fact that all the different exam boards have finally received accreditation for their proposals. Much as many departments seem to have been waiting until this point to make their decisions, the department at my school reached a broadly final decision months ago – to stick Read More →

Why the new GCSE reforms are making teachers so angry

“We are being forced to run a race where the route keeps changing after having run through it. The problem is, we have to turn around and run the new route while still finishing in the same time.” As September 2016 approaches, many teachers are gearing up for the big shift. Teachers often complain about constant tinkering but the new GCSEs are a fundamental overhaul of the KS4 Read More →

Should we have single exam boards for qualifications?

The Guardian has today posted a story claiming that ministers are floating the prospect of moving to a single exam board system as a result of last year’s OCR results chaos. This entails either having a single body for all subjects, or different exam boards doing specific subjects. Although the story is not an announcement as such and more a vague suggestion that this could happen, Read More →

The fallacy of intensive marking rotas

It is an absolute imperative in any contemporary school which has an aim of achieving an ‘Outstanding’ Ofsted that ‘the books must be up-to-date’. Marking is an essential aspect of any teacher’s to-do list – if not for the kids, then at least because no-notice book scrutinies are consistent as a way of keeping track of teachers’ work. Keeping up is a difficult task – at my Read More →

Distinguishing attainment and learning

Assessment has become such a cornerstone of our educational system that asking questions of it is almost inevitably traumatic. The sheer volume of statistics with which teachers, parents and other interested parties are now faced produce an air of objectivity which is simply not matched by the authenticity of that data. Here I intend to outline a series of problems with assessment that I have Read More →

In retrospect: PGCE vs Teach First

* I suspect some of the readers of this blog will instinctively react negatively to the ‘vs’ in the title and see me as attempting to stir up the often tortured debate about these two routes into teaching. However, I don’t intend the ‘vs’ to indicate a case of ‘Which system is better?’ but simply that as a teacher trainee I could only choose one or the Read More →

Young Adult fiction, violence and childhood

I was directed by the author Patrick Ness on Twitter to a critique of his trilogy of books titled ‘Chaos Walking’. I’ve read these books and am a huge fan of their treatment of war and violence as brutal, messy realities of the world. (OK technically it’s folded into a debate about the Carnegie Medal but that’s not the part that interests me). Unfortunately, the critique Read More →