A few years ago, I began to use Twitter to develop my pedagogy. Looking back, I believe it was one of most significant decisions I have made as an educator. We should not feel confined in our classrooms or institutes. Once I started using Twitter, it proved to be a big game-changer.
A typically time-pressed Secondary school teacher, Rob spends most evenings planning lessons, marking work, grappling with new specifications, deciphering mark schemes and pondering issues of behaviour management. In his third year of teaching English, he enjoys his work, but increasingly feels there’s just not enough hours in the day. Oh, and he’s just learnt he’ll be picking up a GCSE Drama class in September…
It was just over a year ago that Innovate My School published an article about a school in Brighton that had brought in some goats to support their pastoral provision. That was us. Two weeks after Innovate My School made us famous, we were getting up at 4am for our first live TV appearance, on Good Morning Britain, after the TES ran a story on us which was picked up by the national media. Since then it's all gone a bit bonkers, and our hairy resources are now superstars in their own right.
In a recent assembly at Felsted School here in Essex, I spoke to pupils about the significance of ‘active good behaviour’. It felt like an idea that must have belonged to someone else, an initiative that I was borrowing from elsewhere, but something that was obvious and really important at the same time.
The benefits of physical exercise on academic learning have long been documented, yet three years after Public Health England issued a report detailing the positive link between pupil health and wellbeing and academic attainment, young people’s participation rate in physical exercise is still falling.
The influence of a community is key to helping schools inform a child’s education. Schools often look to outside influences, such as parents and local organisations, to help stimulate new ways of thinking for a pupil. Many organisations and businesses develop an educational outreach programme in order to ensure that key issues, such as nutrition and healthy eating education, are established as an important part of a child’s education, with learnings that will benefit them later in life.
Saturday 17th March saw Primary teachers from across the UK head to the beautiful Medlock Primary School in Manchester for one of world’s finest education events: Primary Rocks Live. The sold-out (in under five minutes!) gathering’s attendees enjoyed 24 workshops, two keynotes, a live-streamed performance from the Teachers Rock Youth Choir, and ice cream.
It’s both rare and refreshing to hear the words “intersectionality”, “systemic change”, “call to arms” and “rockets up asses” within the first half an hour of an educational training event. But at headteacher Hannah Wilson’s Flexible Working event at Aureus School on 10th March, we learnt that the education sector must become open to new ways of working if we are to recruit and retain the best staff.