I can remember it now. The silence. The momentary contemplation. The first time sitting in the headteacher’s chair with the door closed, on my own. The stark realisation that I was now responsible for everyone. The children. The families. The staff. The budget. The reputation. This is a moment unlike any other, because you have moved into a position where everyone is going to be reliant on the decisions ...
I began my career working as a Level 2 teaching assistant the summer after I graduated from university with a degree in Contemporary History. Fast-forward seven years: I am now in my fourth term as deputy headteacher of the same school I joined in September 2013. At 27, I’ve been told that I was most likely the youngest deputy head in the local authority of Sandwell. On paper, it looks like I’...

Confessions of a COVID NQT

As a Newly Qualified Teacher, I appreciate that there are hundreds of challenges that we NQTs face on a daily basis: New school, new students, new responsibilities, yet same old dreaded observations. Throw into the mix a global pandemic to cut short your training year, and it's much harder looking for that golden nugget of a job (but on the plus side I have mastered the art of interviewing in ...
What a year it’s been – our lives have been turned upside down and spun around. We cannot help but worry for learners around the world. With lockdowns (yes, plural), school closures (although they never really ‘closed’, did they?) and constant change, 2020 can certainly be described as challenging. But, despite this, we absolutely do not want learners’ education to suffer – and we are pretty sure you feel the same.
As teachers, a lot of us are guilty of cramming our ‘free-time’ with as many fun activities as possible. Donning our roles as partners, parents, carers and / or pet owners, we exhibit an almost misplaced guilt that maybe we’ve spent too much time on work recently, leading to a wellbeing-reducing, drastic need to overcompensate. 
Christmas is a huge part of this half-term. While preparing for it can be stressful, it contributes a great deal to the school community and wellbeing. Nativity plays, Christmas lunches, cards, pantomime visits, carol services, parties, discos, fetes, staff nights out are all difficult to do under COVID-19 restrictions, and there is a genuine fear from some staff, children and parents that Christmas could be cancelled.
What do Crystal Cities, Wonder Machines, and mysterious footprints in a garden have to do with science?
Do you want your learners to be resilient, confident mathematicians with secure conceptual understanding and a love of Maths? Well, come with me to a land of stories and watch the magic unfold.
What is education for if not to make the world a better place? What do we need to do to understand one another? The answer lies in communication and understanding, and this is why at Chulmleigh Community College in North Devon, studying a language (French, to be precise) is a core subject.
An education project which aims to bring the science of Martian exploration into the classroom is preparing for launch during National Astronomy Week (14-22 November).

Anti-bullying tips for lockdown

For anti-bullying week (Monday 16th November) the NSPCC is offering help and advice to young people who need support.
The British Army has launched new Wellness and Mental Health resources for young people aged 11-16, which schools can use free-of-charge. These digital resources for Key Stages 3 and 4 focus on four topics: Coping with Stress, Managing Change, Healthy Minds and Support Networks.

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