Since Michael Gove introduced the concept of ‘British Values’ in June 2014 it’s always been a contentious concept in our schools – why do values have to have a nationality? Is it the duty of schools to define the values of their communities? New values are emerging, values that seem to represent who we are as a society. The sense of connection and empathy is growing, and I’d like to propose a new list of core Values that British people have rallied around, values that have not always been obvious or fully acknowledged in our society, but have come to the fore in recent weeks.
All articles are the original work of education practitioners, based on their own experience research and observation of practice.
Will the cancellation of the summer 2020 GCSEs make any substantial difference to where the nation’s 16-year-olds find themselves 6 months later?
GCSEs made sense in a time when age 16 signalled the end of formal education for a huge proportion of the school population. In the modern world, it’s just another point at which young people pick a particular route, in the same way they do when they choose options at the end of Year 9.
What would we lose if GCSEs just didn’t happen?
The year 10 science mock exams in 2018 showed our pupils often made simple mistakes and struggled structuring some of their extended answers. This article looks at two approaches to help improve our pupils' exam technique as they moved into year 11.
Schools and school leaders face ethical dilemmas regularly, and there has been a growing movement to define what ethical behaviour looks like in schools and then commit to this as our way of working. The Ethical Leadership Commission has produced the Framework for Ethical Leadership in Education, setting out the key commitments that define ethical educational leadership.
The introduction of the new Ofsted framework promises to have a far reaching impact on schools. At the moment, opinion is divided on whether it will be beneficial or not - on the whole I'm glass half full.
The way that the development of the Multi Academy Trust has transformed the educational landscape has been rapid and unpredictable. It has provided innovation and energy and led to notable successes, but it has also brought controversy as a result of actions that have thrown all MATs into disrepute. This article argues that MAT leaders have a duty to uphold the highest ethical standards if the sector is to thrive.
Schools are at the sharp end when it comes to dealing with vulnerable families and young people in crisis, with so many services stretched to breaking point. How has it come to this, and how can we mobilise all those people who want to help, but find barriers in their way? It’s time for some radical suggestions.
A point-counterpoint argument on whether teachers should support pupils who wish to take part in School Strikes for Climate. Arguments for and against supporting a pupil strike are presented.
The recent workload advisory report highlighted the problem of teacher workload and identified some practical steps to address it. This article argues that the link between wellbeing and workload is not simple and the strategy of simply identifying unnecessary tasks and responsibilities is doomed to failure.
Action Research into learning gains, modelling knowledge, and pupil opinion. A summary of an action research project investigating whether modelling activities improve pupils’ subject knowledge, scientific modelling knowledge, and their opinions on modelling activities. It uses pre and post test data and questionnaires, along with a focus group to investigate pupils’ understanding. An overview of research carried out for an MA dissertation submitted in May 2017.
Submitted as part of an NPQSL report, this article looks at how the school library, the expertise of support staff, and Accelerated Reader were successful in rapidly closing the reading comprehension gap with Year7 catch-up students.
Questioning is one of the fundamental skills a teacher possesses. Whole class questioning is useful tool to assess learning and to challenge misconceptions. A Lesson Study model was used to plan – deliver – observe – reflect on strategies to make whole class questioning effective. An exit ticket was used to allow the pupils to feedback on the thinking time before answering questions and their confidence in answering questions.
Recent publicity about the prevalence and impact of smartphones, and the potential damage caused by unmonitored use of social media, has raised the profile of this topic. In this article, Audrey discusses the research evidence in this area, alongside her own extensive experience, and gives some recommendations for building 'digital resilience'.
We are living in an era of unprecedented accountability in public services, and nowhere is this more evident than in the field of education. Ofsted judgements, performance tables, parent view, social media - all place the performance of schools and school leaders under the microscope, and the consequences of perceived failure are increasingly high. We are seeing the impact of this clearly in raised stress levels, recruitment difficulties and very high rates of attrition for those in the most challenging roles. In this article, I examine the problem and suggestions ways that a system of high accountability does not have to take this toll on those who work in it.
The curriculum is the framework on which sits everything we do in school. It combines everything that is planned and delivered in lessons with other learning opportunities in school. Through the curriculum we develop students’ knowledge, skills and understanding, ensure that we have a coherent structure, and prepare our students for their lives beyond school.