As we regularly visit schools, we find ourselves in contact with the local police quite often, to discover crime in the area that we are visiting and the main problems with relation to bullying. A recurring theme in all regions is that ‘Cyber bullying’ as well as ‘underage drinking’ is a major problem. In every school I visit, I observe students raising their hands to say that they’ve been ...
I get this question often - and it pops up frequently on my IT teacher forums and Nings. IT teachers as a group are struggling to understand their future role: are computer skills to be taught in dedicated computer-room-based IT lessons, or should the teaching of these skills be integrated into standard classroom lessons? Here are a few points to consider.

Effective commissioning in schools

How can we commission services better in our school? This article explains the commissioning cycle, passes on tips on effective commissioning, and links to the Commissioning Support Programme and DfE guidance. What is commissioning? The Commissioning Support Programme (CSP) defines strategic commissioning as follows: Commissioning is the process for deciding how to use the total resource available for children, young people, parents and carers in order to improve outcomes in ...
Laptops are fantastic learning tools, but it is no secret that mobile devices can pose issues for schools when it comes to managing and deploying equipment. Although laptop trolleys were created to resolve these problems, it is still important to have an action plan in place to get the most from your mobile ICT. To make organising your school’s ICT equipment that little bit easier, I’ve put together ...
The London 2012 Olympic Games provide an ideal incentive for each of us to shine and enjoy the rewards from raising our personal development bar and supporting one another and children as we go for gold in all that we do and in every aspect of our lives. How can we achieve this heightened state? Let’s start by considering what we VALUE, what we treasure, because this is where much ...
Do you have a policy on how teaching staff should present themselves online? This article includes an ICT code of conduct with rules about online communication for school staff. It also refers to official guidance and a clause in the GTCE code of conduct which covers teachers’ behaviour. ICT and online communication code of conduct for staff Hellingly Community Primary School in East Sussex has an ICT code of conduct ...
I know that we were one of the lucky ones who avoided the cull of Building Schools for the Future because our building work had started and contracts signed. The next wave of Liverpool schools, who had worked so hard on their plans and buildings, were left bereft and cast covetous glances at we five schools who continued their build. They joined with the LA and local business men to ...
When is a sign not just a sign? All of the time is the true answer. In the worst case, it can be a missed opportunity to attract new pupils or can make the school appear less than it is. The first thing that visitors, pupils, staff and local people see is the school frontage. An integral part of that is the signs which instantly create an image and perception ...
In part 1 of 'The Lost Art of Listening’, I looked at how we have become somewhat conditioned to accept music as ambient sound. I suggested that you and your students take some time to really listen to some music. We didn’t stipulate what kind of music and I’m not interested in discussing genre or the subjective value of different kinds of music here. What I’d like to ...

Best value statements

Are there any sample 'best value' statements? We link to examples of school best value statements. We also refer to local authority guidance on writing your best value statement.
Many people think that drama is just about improvisation, or performing, but it is actually a powerful teaching tool that can inspire learning across the curriculum. Drama and literacy have always been cosy bedfellows – theatre and plays are the performance arm of drama and are often a natural progression to its processes. Many drama lessons use literary texts – poems, letters, quotations – as a stimulus and writing in role is a ...
How would inhabitants of Kepler-22b rate Planet Earth beings? If inhabitants of the newly discovered Kepler-22b planet were to quietly visit Earth’s atmosphere and observe the activity on Planet Earth, how would they rate the way we live and how we are looking after our planet?  Would they be surprised to see widespread, unsustainable modes of operation that appear to be posing a very serious threat to ...
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