Classroom

Classroom (326)

This article is brought to you by the letter C. As I started drafting out how I would tackle writing about 21st Century Learning Skills (often referred to as the ‘5 Cs’ or ‘soft skills’), at the same time I am starting my summer holidays, (my last day of teaching was June 28th), Sesame Street popped into my head. I noticed that my summer mode was significantly different than my teaching ...
Music education often doesn’t reflect the reality of how young people are engaging with music in their spare time. 97% of young people listen to music every week; and two-thirds say they’re regularly making music. Despite this, around 93% of students in KS3 don’t choose music as a GCSE. These statistics say that classroom music isn’t resonating with many young musical people. We need to look for new ...
It is curious that with all the talk about teacher workload and the recruitment & retention crisis, taking place at the same time is a new phenomenon; the grassroots CPD movement. In towns and cities across the country, teachers are giving up their Saturdays to attend Teachmeets, ResearchEd, and BrewEd events. This is heartening because it confirms that it isn’t hard work that teachers are complaining about, but unnecessary ...
Was there ever a time where teachers worked 35-hour weeks? I doubt it. Whether you’re working 40, 50 or 60 hours a week, we all know, it needs to be reduced, as teachers deserve a positive work-life balance.
Ofsted is currently consulting on its proposed new inspection framework – the draft was published on 16th January with the consultation running until 5th April. The draft framework includes some strong indications that music and creativity will be firmly back on the radar of Ofsted inspectors from September this year. If schools want to achieve Good or Outstanding ratings, they are going to have to teach the full curriculum, right ...
I used to teach French and German at secondary level. Then I had children of my own. When I went back to teaching, my career had morphed into a version of itself where the people I taught had runny noses, could not stay on their seats for an entire lesson because they had too many important things to say to you/show you/sing about and because they expected to ...
I’ve been teaching one to one literacy for years now. I recall saying to parents (and I inwardly cringe at this memory) that spelling isn’t really that important and skills like reading, planning and understanding exam and essay questions should take priority. Spelling is something which can be overcome by spell check and predictive text. It is a waste of time learning how to spell, as it is ...
Another school year is upon us, with GCSE season a recent memory: a period in the school calendar that, as ever, brought stress, anxiety and a lot of prayers. Year on year, the same patterns emerge in a relentless bid to ensure that the pupils are the best that they can be, leaving schools in ‘stuck record’ syndrome. You can picture the scene: frantic teachers throw everything possible at pupils ...
Every September, when greeting my new class, I would follow the same pattern for the first two weeks to settle them in. I don’t think there is anything magical or mysterious about how I settle children and classes, so I am going to share it now, so that anyone can pick up the bits they think they would find useful. I should also give props to my mum here, ...
A couple of years ago I led a study which provided the evidence, for the first time, that the physical characteristics of the classroom not only affect the learning progress of Primary school pupils, but impact very significantly. Taking everything together, the measured impact of the classroom design factors explained 16% of the variation in learning of the 3766 pupils - in the 153 classrooms - assessed.
When today’s young people leave education, they are likely to face stiff competition to get to that first rung on the career ladder. The quality, rounded education that schools deliver is key to preparing their students for a world beyond the classroom. But for a high-achieving school, it can be difficult to continue to raise the bar of achievement. That’s why I was so interested in the novel ...
It is a beautiful March day: slight breeze, sun’s out, chilly with the feeling that spring is nearly there. I am sitting at the back of a 2nd floor classroom facing a newly-qualified teacher as part of his mentoring support, observing a lesson. His target: pupil engagement. He is at the front of a twitchy, but generally well-behaved Year 5 class standing at the interactive whiteboard. The activity seems engaging ...
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