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Inspiration

Inspiration (56)

Since taking on a head of department role four years ago I have had the same flashback every time I sit down at my desk on the first morning back. I was up on the bleak wilds of Dartmoor in October with the daylight fading and rain coming down fast and furious. I wasn’t sure where I was or where I was going. Panic rose in my throat. I ...
For the new year, I wanted to share some simple techniques for getting to know your new students (and maybe some old ones a little better!) by establishing and continuing to build lasting positive relationships which will reap cumulative dividends in the classroom.
What is it that makes a school special? Is it the location, resources, perhaps a particular specialism? While there could be many things, most schools would say the teachers and pupils that make up the core community of the school; they are the living embodiment of a school’s ethos. So, naturally, schools will want to shout about their achievements, and the internet is a fantastic resource for spreading the ...
By the time children finish at Primary school they will have written stories, poems, factual accounts, autobiographies essays and plays. But their own song? Hmm, possibly not. It just seems too difficult, too personal and, for many years, way beyond my comfort zone! And yet I’m aware children know hundreds and hundreds of songs. Their whole lives are wrapped in sound, from early nursery rhymes to the latest chart ...
In my work I get to hear children discuss subjects like gender identity, vegetarianism, doping in sport and free speech. On the one hand, controversial topics like these can stir up, provoke, and engage. On the other hand, they can trigger a defensiveness in students that stifles thoughtful inquiry. Is there a way to keep the benefits without the downsides? Is there a way to support honest inquiry where children ...
Box set binging, is it a good thing? Some people would argue for and an equal amount against. When you are watching a full series you get to know the characters, not forget what happened in the previous episode and understand the plot of the series. I realise at this point you’re probably thinking that you were going to read an article on a speed lesson taught using zombies, ...
A kind act is one of the most valuable human transactions that doesn’t cost anything. It cultivates an environment of care, nurture and warmth. The optimum environment for any learner.
Let me begin by firstly explaining that this is a somewhat bizarre article to write, in the sense that it is not an ‘against all the odds’ battle to succeed in the style of Nativity (you’ve seen that film, right?) or Leicester City’s Premier League success of 2016. It’s more the story of a young student with very rare natural capabilities to shine and achieve, with or without ...
I wasn’t always going to be a teacher. In 1988, I was at Jesus College, Oxford researching the iconography of landscape in British film. In the late eighties, it was a topic right on the edge of Geography. My thesis supervisor was the razor sharp Professor David Harvey; probably the most famous geographer in the world at that time. But a postcard note in my college pigeonhole changed the direction ...
Literacy in the choral music classroom is demonstrated when students are able to read pitch notation, manipulate rhythmic symbols, and execute dynamic and technical markings in the written score. Students are simultaneously singing correct pitches, changing the pitch durations according to the rhythmic structure, carefully raising or lowering the volume, and increasing or decreasing tempo of the notes based on the technical instructions notated in the score.
“No pain, no gain…”“Practice makes perfect…”“You have to practice 10,000 hours before you’ll be an expert…”“How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice…”
Education is a field ripe for change. A confluence of influences has altered both our purposes and methods. New technologies have altered what is possible, shifted our interactions with knowledge and allowed for new models of connectedness. The forces of globalisation, and with that the movement of both manufacturing workforces and increasingly routine cognitive labour away from Western nations, is altering the face of work in these nations. Our children ...
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