The ambition of every leader in education is to meaningfully improve our students’ outcomes. This is particularly important at a time when school budgets are under increasing pressure, meaning we often have to support teaching and learning using the resources we already have. However, the answer is deceptively simple - and most school leaders are aware of it, but may not know how to harness its power. While extra funding ...
Fostering creativity in students has dominated discussion in education since the turn of the century. The Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21) lists creativity as one of its 4Cs alongside critical thinking, collaboration, and communication. In 2016, the World Economic Forum released its top ten list of desired skills for 2020, including creativity among them. Professor Michael Fullan includes creativity as one of his 6Cs, and describes it as the need for ...
Have you ever found yourself marking the same pupil responses over and over? You asked them to be creative; you asked them to use their imagination. Instead, they regurgitate countless clichés onto their pages, leaving you wishing you hadn’t bothered. “The sky was blue.” “Really?” I thought, as I read this for the thirty-second time. Now, I get that the sky is blue, but it can be so ...
It was Warwickshire County Council that first introduced us at The Coleshill School to the Digital Schoolhouse (DSH) team. We were so impressed by what the programme had to offer, that when the council kindly agreed to fund the initiative, we applied to become a DSH school straight away. While we’re a Secondary school, a significant number of Primary school pupils have chosen to come to us specifically because ...

Should you teach spelling?

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 ...
Both cars can go 124 mph. One can get there in 7.2 seconds. And the other, if it’s lucky, can do it in 12 seconds - provided the duct tape holds. That’s pretty much the only difference between my 1991 740 Volvo station wagon and a Porsche 918 Spyder. Well, that and the Porsche only has one cup holder. We all know our students can achieve this 124 mph level of creativity (call it Csikszentmihalyi’...
Children often have it in their heads that learning Maths is dull. To challenge this notion, I created cZeus Maths Challenger: an innovative new app designed for all ages to make Maths fun. cZeus supports teaching within schools and beyond, encouraging students to engage and build a social connection through Mathematics. The result is an app that not only facilitates the practice of Maths skills like addition, times tables and ...
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 ...
The government has announced that ALL schools will, from September 2020, have to teach RSE (Secondary) and Relationships Education (Primary) and health education. This may seem quite a long way ahead, but now is the time to ensure that your school is ready to implement the key elements of the reforms. First of all, we’d like to encourage you to respond to the consultation on statutory SRE and Health Education, ...
Online and in print, there is a lot of idealising about nurturing niceness and educating ‘the whole child’. But at the sharp edge in schools, when teachers are busy and pressured to provide results (test scores that is), what can realistically happen? Values and ethics reduced to a snappy slogan on the walls of the hall? Positive characteristics and traits referred to in a school mission statement but never in ...
#EduFootyAid is a new charity football event with a twist: all the players are primary school teachers. It will raise money for Mind, the country’s leading mental health charity. #EduFootyAid is organised by the Striker Boy campaign, which was set up in memory of former primary school teacher Jonny Zucker who sadly took his own life in 2016. Mental health is a key concern for the education sector, ...
This is the year to finally sort problem paperwork within your school. You can improve safeguarding, productivity, space and compliance simply by improving the way you manage your student records, staff files and financial documents. Outdated ways of working can be transformed through a proven electronic document management system designed in collaboration with school business managers. Sound good? Here, school business manager Alison Jefferson shares how Durham Trinity School ...
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