Being a role model

Considering that any person who serves as an example and whose behaviour is emulated by others is a role model, the big ask is: What kind of attitudes are young people learning from us? Which skills are they developing from us? What knowledge are they gaining from us? With a new academic year just over the horizon, the summer holidays could be a particularly good time for personal reflection and ...
In December 2008, Hayward School - our school - was at the point of being closed down. Poor attendance and years of underachievement had cemented a culture of low expectations. Failure was often seen as inevitable. In each of the previous four years, the proportion of students getting five A*-C grades including maths and English at GCSE was below 30%. Students lacked aspiration and staff lacked inspiration. Our use of technology ...
After taking part in the online #pechat on Twitter this week - about the use of social media within physical education - it got me thinking about the use of it generally in education. There are pockets of good practice springing up all over the place, creating fast and effective communication with students, but in my opinion it is largely being held back by a stigma that social media is ...
Kids love graffiti, nowadays known as ‘urban art’. I am pretty useful at lettering and often my students ask me to teach them how to do it. Graffiti has always been fashionable but has never been mainstream - there is something subversive and anarchistic about graffiti and some of the websites I will show you represent this side of urban art extremely well. Here are some of the websites I ...
When a small, free-standing prep school merges with a much larger school or group, the greatest challenge is winning over the “hearts and minds” of the key interest groups. Governors The Governors of a small, free-standing prep school (or the owners in the case of a proprietorial school) are in all likelihood all too aware of their predicament. Governors often feel the weight of history. They are bound by the ...
The government’s vision is to improve social mobility so that no-one is prevented from fulfilling their potential. As part of their Strategy for Social Mobility, new destination measures are being introduced for Key Stage 4 and 5 students which will focus on their progress after leaving school, college or a training provider. The new destination measures will ensure that all students: Achieve qualifications which provide them with the best opportunities for ...
For many years the teaching profession has been familiar with the term ‘best practice’; sharing what is working well in one setting so that it might be implemented in another. It is happening within schools, between schools at conferences and TeachMeets, and online through both ‘top-down’ websites and ‘bottom up’ blogs from teachers. Even the recent review of the English National Curriculum has been influenced by a comprehensive review of ‘...
The internet and modern transport offer unprecedented opportunities for pupils to learn about - and even experience - faraway countries, their peoples and different cultures. As part of a study in global community cohesion, we heard from the international co-ordinator at George Abbot School, a state secondary in Guilford, about the benefits of its partnerships with schools in different parts of the world. George Abbot, which has held the International ...
Parents have a very different perspective. Whilst educators wax lyrical about the potential of the iPad for learning, there are concerns from parents about its impact on their child. Or so we thought. All parents of iPad trial students were asked to complete a questionnaire, attend a focus group meeting and email any further thoughts to inform the decision making progress for future iPad use. A great deal of time ...
During my visit to the Association for Physical Education's national conference, I was inspired by Keynote speakers Iwan Thomas and Richard McCann talking about how 'attitude is everything', and that it's all about saying 'I can'. Both of these speakers were absolutely right, but it got me thinking about one essential ingredient that all of our kids need before they can be confident enough to say 'I can': poker chips. ...

Learning from games

The use of computer games in schools has received much attention in the last few years, and stirred up some controversy. However, games have been a part of learning for a long time, and there is much interesting research to support this. Some time ago I attempted a survey of the use of computer games in education for my third year BEd module on cross curricular uses of ICT. From ...
Stage 1 Students need to be motivated to learn by engaging their interest and setting an appropriate challenge. Use images, video clips, pieces of writing etc etc to hook them in to the learning. Whet their appetites by explaining how they will present their findings in a novel and interesting way. Stage 2 Students should then collect the information before they start to process it. The ideal here is to spend less ...
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