Blakesley Hall Primary School in Birmingham has more than 600 pupils who are cared for by more than 60 teachers and support staff. Headteacher Mrs Phillips contacted Every Child Needs a Mentor (ECNAM) in the summer of 2014 with a very clear brief:
Bett, the leading global education event, will from 25th to 28th January return to ExCel London, with a fresh focus on game-changers within education. The event attracts more than 30,000 educators from across the world each year who come to see the latest and most innovative learning resources and to learn from the various seminars. The Bett Show is free to attend.
Over 50% of Secondary schools across England and Wales are planning on using SISRA Analytics to support their analysis of KS4 and KS5 exam results data this year. The service has been developed to help ease workload giving staff time to put additional support in place when appropriate. SISRA Analytics provides staff, on results days and throughout the year, with a whole range of user friendly reports at the click of a button including headline figures, trend analysis as well as faculty and qualification-level analysis.
“We can be heroes” he sang, but to me, Bowie was the Hero. Like many people around the world, I was shocked and devastated by the news of David Bowie’s death last Monday. I’ve been a massive fan of Bowie all my life, from the highs of Ziggy Stardust, Soul Man and The Thin White Duke in the 1970s, to the period in the 1980s and early 1990s where he struggled with his writing, to the great comeback of The Next Day three years ago. He was quite simply the Picasso of Pop.
An engaged student will demonstrate four traits when learning: they’ll stick with a problem, they engage fully, they experiment on their own, they return to the problem if necessary. So how do you make classrooms come alive with thriving, engaged learners? Perhaps look to the world of popular rap and icons like Jay Z, Kanye West and Pharrell Williams.
How can you be an outstanding teacher in 2014, against strikes, changing school forms and new curriculums? How can you be, and why would you want to be, outstanding all of the time? I have been graded at this level several times in my profession, but I started teaching well over a decade a go. I suppose my question is… since leaving the classroom in 2011, would I be ‘outstanding’ today and what would I change?
As a school improvement coach and consultant, my heart always goes out to teachers ‘in the field’. I know of the pressures – I have been there – but feel that there is more of an edge in 2014 than there was at the start of the Millennium. Today, there seems to be a shift in morale in schools as a result of the changes in education – politically, digitally and as a professional generally. I don’t recall ever really feeling a huge impact of outside forces, nor watched the news to find out what I would be teaching in September.
For some time now I have been toying with the idea that grading student work might just be one of the biggest barriers to improving student performance. Sound strange? Let me explain.
My theory is that we have all been programmed by society to look for a grade, result or classification on anything important we do in life. This system informs us of our level of success. What we aren't good at processing, however, is appreciating what to do to improve.
Take for example your driving test – when you heard the words 'passed', did you pay any attention to your 'minor faults' or what you weren't that good at? Or did you just want to grab the keys and get going? My point is that students rely too heavily on their grades and view these with far more importance than their comments and suggestions for improvement.