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Saturday, 19 December 2015

A tough term so what next?

Boy it's been a tough term! New curriculum, new methods of assessment, new Ofsted framework....
Yet still I love teaching. These are some of my own tips on how to survive the madness that is the education system under the tories.

Love teaching but don't let it define you - remember ultimately it is a job, a job you do to live not a job you live for.

Trust your own instincts - teaching is a job everyone has an opinion about. Just remain true to yourself, your pupils, your setting and your teaching style. Any other way leads to confusion and possible madness. 

Surround yourself with people who share your philosophy on education and avoid the sappers and moaners. Yes it's tough this teaching malarkey but boy it's worth it. Have a moan, a rant and a vent when the going gets tough but then dust yourself off and get back on the metophorical bike and lose yourself in teaching. Our pupils remain the perfect forget all. Who can remain down when faced with your pupils, your school family?

Collaborate with professionals in your school and cluster schools. Sharing knowledge and good practice can only improve things for everyone. 

Take your CPD seriously you deserve the best so seek it out. One great source of CPD is Twiter so set up a professional Twitter account it is full of fellow professionals, articles, blogs, resources and pearls of wisdom but do take care it can drag you down. Read my 'Plea to professional tweeters' blog for some further advice.

Have a go at blogging it is such a good way of reflecting on your teaching, advising others and sharing your views. It can be as detailed or simple as you choose. Remain professional but dont let the blogger snobs tell you how to do it just blog!

Throw open your door and like the old saying 'dance like no one is watching' but this time 'teach like no one is watching.' Teach from your gut and not from a three page lesson plan. Be honest, open and true. Don't be afraid to be observed, be confident in your craft. Let others observe you and you go and observe others you never know you may learn something new. Fear of observation has been brought about by bad management and obviously by Ofsteds continual moving of the goal posts. Take back control of your teaching and throw caution to the wind. You do a good job day after day so when observed do what you do, be confident in your abilities. I can guarantee being observed by your peers and observing your peers will help you realise that actually you are 'good' at this teaching thing. Remember it's the learning that counts not you on a unicycle juggling whilst wearing a red nose. 

Good luck and keep fighting the good fight! Only two terms to go ...

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Are you with me?

In April 2014, whilst in the grips of the reign of the now infamous Education Minister Mr Gove I wrote a blogpost 'Do We Need a Teaching Revolution.' The original post can be found here

So nearly two years on where are we? What's new in the hood that is Education? Are things better? 

Well things have changed - 
  • Gove is gone! Replaced, but sadly not history, his legacy survives in the much talked about 2014 National Curriculum. 
  • Ofsted have changed the way schools and in particular teaching is judged. The focus is not just on the lesson, it is now about the learning, pupils behaviour, books, displays and professional dialogue. 
  • Sats levels have gone replaced by a new system which is, it is said so much easier for parents to understand and relate to.
So it could seem that all is well, teachers are happy? Sadly this is not the case:
  • It has been a chaotic year with lots of ups and downs. Schools trying to manage  a completely new curriculum with no extra budget to support the changes. 
  • Devising a whole new method of reporting progress without levels has been both confusing and time consuming. 
  • Education remains under constant scrutiny and high on the political agenda.
  • Ofsted still exist and despite reassurances on their new procedures those in education know the judgment has on the whole been made via Raiseonline before the inspectors even set foot in the school. 
  • Teachers are still leaving the profession in droves for a variety of reasons ranging from being overworked and under increasing pressure. 
  • Those teachers who remain in the profession due to their passion for their job and dedication are exhausted and often demoralised. 
However, remain they do, but why? Teaching truly is a brilliant profession, a privilege. After all what could be more rewarding than a job that allows you to directly influence and have an impact upon the minds of children? 

So what happens now? How can we re energise our profession? What can we do to retain teachers? A lot of unanswered questions, non of which are easy to solve but we have to. We not only have a duty of care to our pupils but also a duty to our truly noble profession. As cheesy as it sounds we need to stand shoulder to shoulder and unite! Hands up if your with me!

Sunday, 15 November 2015

It's Not Rocket Science

Teaching is a profession that is always in the spotlight. Everyone has an opinion about teaching and how it should be done. There are endless studies into teaching and learning and it is a constant political football kicked from party to party. 

This, I believe, has resulted in the belief that teaching is hard. Well I will let you into a secret, it isn't!

As the title of the blog says it isn't rocket science in fact to thousands and thousands of teachers teaching is simple and as natural as breathing. 

This isn't I grant you the same for all teachers but like all professions there are those that quite simply shouldn't have gone into it at all. 

Teaching is instinctive it flows and gets easier when teacher and pupil have a relationship based on trust. 

It is a wonderful job . What could be better than facilitating learning, passing on knowledge and igniting an excitement for learning! 

It's not the teaching that's the problem it's the baggage that goes with it, the incessant interference, the row after row of those that think they know better than the teacher how to teach their pupils. 

So here is my plea to teachers all around the world. Teach! Keep it simple, let it flow, be you!

And to the 'experts' and the politicians I say leave teachers to do what they do best, trust them and turn your attention to the things that need attention such as social deprivation, human rights ... 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Mastery - My top tips

As a long serving, some may say long suffering teacher, I have seen many educational theories, innovations, new practices and buzz words come and go. One of the latest ideas and 'Ofsted' buzzwords is 'Mastery.' As a Maths coordinator I was introduced to Mastery teaching via the Singapore Method.

The Mathematics Mastery programme is a whole-school approach to teaching mathematics that aims to raise attainment for all pupils and close the attainment gap between pupils from low income families and their peers. The programme aims to deepen pupils’ conceptual understanding of key mathematical concepts. Compared to traditional curricula, fewer topics are covered in more depth and greater emphasis is placed on problem solving and on encouraging mathematical thinking. Education Endowment Foundation

I was, and am intrigued by Mastery. Lots of the ideas and theories make sense to me so I embarked upon some research of my own. This consisted of lots of reading, attending training, some observations of mastery in practice and discussions with fellow professionals both locally and further afield. 

My next step was to adapt the Mastery approach to suit both my teaching style and the needs of my class and pupils in our school.  Below are some of the tips and techniques I am using to teach using a mastery approach in my own class and those shared with the teachers in our school. 

Pre teaching
As differentiation doesn't take a high profile in Mastery it is essential to ensure that the pupils who may struggle with the initial input of a lesson are pre taught to enable them to keep up with the pace of the lesson itself. I have found this an invaluable method as the pupils then go into the lesson itself bristling with confidence knowing they can join in from the outset. They are on an even footing with the rest of the class. Pre teaching generally takes place either the day before or ideally 'just before' the lesson. This may be during registration or assembly. It should only take about 20 minutes. 

Immediate feedback 
An absolute essential element of any teaching should be immediate feedback. If a pupil has got it wrong, made a mistake or totally misunderstood, to find out the next day is too late. The moment has passed. With immediate feedback the errors, mistakes, misconceptions are ironed out immediately allowing learning to take place. In my class immediate feedback takes place during the lesson. How??

Challenge Activities 
When a piece of work has been completed pupils in my class collect their challenge activity cards and choose, independently, a challenge to complete. They have 8 challenges in maths and 10 in English. The challenges are carefully chosen to allow them to 'master' key skills. In maths this includes number bonds, times tables and the four operations. In English they are SPAG related. Whilst they complete challenges I am free to give immediate feedback to groups or individuals. It takes some time to set up and to put the rules and routines into place but it works like a dream. 

Purple Perfectors
These are essential to the success of immediate feedback. When a pupil makes a mistake they immediately correct it using a purple pen. This is then brought back to me to show they have understood my feedback. The children love it because they get to write in purple pen, they see it as a positive not a negative. 

I also facilitate 'conceptual understanding' by the use of concrete resources to allow pupils to explore and play around with what they and learning. This takes place during most lessons as part of maths challenges but essentially when introducing a new concept. 

As you can see I have adapted the mastery approach to suit me and passionately believe that this is an essential part of being a professional. We cannot take every new initiative on board verbatim but what we can do is apply our professional judgement , make our own decisions based upon the knowledge we have of the pupils we teach every day. 

I hope you find some of my ideas helpful maybe even inspiring! Let me know what you think. 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Head of Teaching and Learning

Reading teaching job bulletins, my Twitter feed, the press, I have noticed a new TLR post has emerged ... Head of Teaching and Learning. 
It's become one of those job titles that you just accept without thinking about. Maybe it's #easterbresk madness that has allowed me the time to reflect but I wonder aren't all teachers Head of Teaching and Learning in their own class rooms, in their own departments, in their own schools? 

So what are the responsibilities of a Head of Teaching and Learning? From some job specifications I have read the following points seem pretty much to cover the main responsibilities:
Leading Teaching and Learning in the School to:

a. ensure a continuous and consistent School-wide focus on pupils’ achievement, using data and benchmarks to monitor progress

b. establish creative, responsive and effective approaches to learning and teaching
c. set high expectations and set stretching targets for the whole school community
d. monitor, evaluate and review school practice and promote improvement strategies
e. tackle under-performance at all levels
Again arent these generally what teachers across the country do anyway? 
I can't help but feel that this 'new role' seems to have emerged out of the new 'meddling in education' culture. 
Teachers, SLTs, Governors and Local Authorities are constantly bring scrutinised. This scrutiny leads to the need for action or at least to be seen to be taking action. Hence the birth of constant new initiatives amongst which is the role of Head of Teaching and Learning.
Let me be clear it is not my intention to offend any teachers either in or applying for this role. On the contrary I am a teacher and will always be on the side of teachers it is the constant meddling, being under the spotlight that I object to!

Let teachers teach and be in charge of their own teaching and learning. #election2015 Stop the meddling!!! 

Saturday, 21 March 2015

My 21st Century Teaching Slippers

(Not my slippers)

As a teacher I spend lots of my time thinking about, researching and planning for ways to improve both the teaching and learning experience for my pupils. Increasingly I rely on technology to inspire me and my teaching. However, it has become much more than just using Google search. Like all of the resources I use I have the tried and trusted, the resources I automatically default to, the warm slippers of technology in my classroom. 

Word Clouds used for:

Building pupils self esteem - I ask all of the pupils in my class to add words to a list to describe each pupil in their class. The words for some year groups come from them, for the younger children we would generate a list of words together, then they choose the word or words that they would use to best describe their classmate.  These words are then typed into the word cloud generator which produces a personalised image for each pupil which shows them what their class mates like about them the most. They can be shared with the pupils as a reward, an end of year gift (signed by the whole class, as a leaving present or when a pupil is having a rough time and needs a reminder of how many friends they have and how valued they are in the class. They also make a great gift for parent helpers at the end of the year or trainee teacher moving on to pastures new.

Character Descriptions - when trying to get children away from describing characters looks rather than personality the word cloud really helps them to look through a part of the text in a story to look for the adjectives which describe their character. These are then again added to a word cloud as a visual reminder of character words to use in their own character descriptions. Again for younger children this can be done as a group or class activity or even typed up by the teacher before a guided reading session and then handed to pupils as a 'spot the character words in the story' activity.

Topic  -  Word clouds are also great for collating topic words on the Stone Age, the Vikings, Continents and Oceans, Castles, Materials, Life Processes etc ... in a fun and interesting way either at the beginning of a topic, as research, or at the end of a topic as a review of things learned.

QR Codes - The uses for QR codes is huge! I have used them for:

Easter egg hunts, follow the clues to solve a mystery, during a Market Place activity to keep pupils on task,  a 3D shape hunt, steps for completing instructions, for encouraging children to write paragraphs. The list and possibilities are again endless .......

Picture Collage Makers - This has again been really useful for:

Descriptive writing of,  trees, plants, buildings, characters from books, each other.... The real difference from this as oppose to word clouds is the image as a stimulus, which has proven very useful for reluctant writers or those that struggle coming up with ideas. If they have taken the picture themselves the words just seem to flow!   

Writing Instructions using a picture collage creator is so easy and yet it makes it much more engaging and exciting for the children, who thought writing instructions for making a sandwich could be so interesting!

Classifying in Science -  The children took lots of pictures of different types of leaves and berries they had found around the school grounds, in the woods on our trip and in their own back gardens. They then used a Picture Collage as a way of creating their own visual classification tool to determine the tree they came from. Great fun!

Stop Frame Animation - This is a relatively new tool for me but I am hooked already.

Retelling Events - We have used this in our class as an end of topic review of The Great Fire Of London, using Lego characters, the buildings on Baker Street that they made in D.T. (Just before we set fire to them!), and lots and lots of fire coloured paper tissue and of course team work and trial and error.

Dance - As part of our class assembly the children were dancing to Under The Sea from The Little Mermaid. Clearly some of the boys particularly were a bit reluctant to 'let go.' But with the use of a stop frame animation, which was to be added to the end of the video we were creating, they all became totally engaged.

Video - 

Dance -  As mentioned above we have used videoing and video editing as part of our class assembly this year. In fact it has become a bit of a class tradition. It all began last year with the 'Happy by Pharell Williams' craze last year. We got all of the children to create their own version like the ones we had watched together on YouTube. They worked in small groups, pairs and whole class coming up with their choreography. They took turns filming indoors and out and then they watched and assisted in a bit of the video editing (year 2 pupils.) The final piece was used in the assembly and then burnt onto DVD as an end of year gift. This year our topic of Continents and Oceans was crying out for a bit of dance and the new video was born!

Interviewing - Using video to interview each other on their favourite book, what they would like to know about a topic, what they have learned etc. has and is a regularly used tool in our classroom. 

Comic Strip and Story Book Creators 

These do  exactly what they say on the tin, they enable and engage children as writers and creators. These have been used in Literacy, topic and Science. My next task use them in maths. Mmm that has got me thinking!

Reading Eggs and Mathletics -

Up until now I have stayed away from naming my most used technology apps via branded names as their are a variety of each of them out there and each is as useful as the next. However, the following tools are so deeply embedded in the teaching and learning in our school and in my classroom that these are probably my most warn technology slippers and could not really be described without their 'brand name.'

Mathletics - as maths co-ordinator I am and have been constantly on the look out for ways of improving maths skills across the school, as a learning tool I believe Mathletics has had the biggest impact so far. I use it in a variety of ways. In class we use it at least once a week as part of our allotted time in computer suite. This has been possible as most I.C.T skills are taught in the classroom via I Pads, cameras etc. The pupils also access it at home for about half an hour a week. It is mostly self directed but they may occasionally require a bit of explanation or support. Mathletics can be accessed via IPad, Android, Kindle, Hudl etc. It also does not require internet access which means most of the pupils have access at home. The children collect points, for every hour spent on Mathletics across a seven day period they earn a bronze certificate, five bronzes become a silver and then four silvers mean a gold (much coveted) Silvers and Golds are then awarded in Headteacher award assemblies. Even in year 2 competition drives the children to use it.

Reading Eggs and Reading Eggspress - Introduced by our Literacy co-ordinator to improve reading and comprehension skills. Used in my class exactly as shown above. In place of points comes eggs, eggs then allow the children to update their avatar or buy items for their on-line playroom. This again I believe has had an impact on improving reading and comprehension skills. 

My other most used tools:

YouTube, Quiet Tube, Google, Google Earth, Literacy Shed, Numeracy Shed ..... 

Plus a whole host of teacher resource sites including Primary Resources, Hamilton Trust, UR Brainy .... 

Not forgetting Social Media of course - Twitter, Slideshare, Blogger, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest .....

Technology really is entrenched in our lives and the lives of our children. If used properly it enhances the teaching and learning experience. Exciting times!!!

What are your most worn technology slippers? Share those via the comments on this blog and please retweet if you've enjoyed reading. 

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Teaching Gimmicks

There is a lot of Twitter talk at the moment about the pop culture of motivational posters. Society in general but perhaps teaching more specifically is littered with them, they even feature in lots of school mottos.

This debate promoted me to reflect upon the many 'gimmicks' which teaching has been subjected to over the last 10 years. Below are some of the ones that stick in my mind the most and due to my pragmatic approach the ones I subjected my various classes to at the time. 

Brain Gym - This initiative led to classes full of children all around the country staring at the point of their finger whilst they drew a figure of eight on its side or pointing and stretching across their bodies in a move reminiscent of John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever! Teachers were advised to put brain breaks into the middle of most lessons or at least during mid morning and mid afternoon when it was muted that the pupils attention was at its worse. 

Brain Breaks - mid lesson when pupils were beginning to become distracted the teacher would ask them to stand up, put on a piece of music and jiggle, shake, jump about. The memory of this makes me laugh out loud, it must have been a hilarious sight!

Peer Massage - this craze came with a series of massage techniques that pupils performed on their partners back. Permission had to be given by parents and pupils. The permission from pupils had to be given to their massage partner at the beginning of each session. Massage took place after lunch as this was seen as the part of the day that had the worst behaviour triggers and peer massage was suggested as a way of calming children down. 

SEAL Social and Emotional Aspects of Learning)- a PSHE program based around themes. Each theme very structured in its delivery and beginning with a whole school launch via a whole school assembly. 

When I reflect upon using each of these 'new initiatives' it reminds me how much teachers were and still are subject to constant pressures upon the teaching day. How much we are subjected to political agendas. The curriculum is jam packed yet not a day passes without a suggestion in the media of what teachers needs to teach. 

All of these initiatives were suggested after,  I am sure, there was lots of research and evidence at the time on their effectiveness but were all of them failed was the lack of consideration for the packed curriculum. 

What are the present day teaching gimmicks?


Monday, 16 February 2015

Reflecting on Parents Evening

For our school Parents Evening has come and gone. The decision was made a few years ago that staff would prefer to 'get it out of the way' before half term rather than have it to go back to after the break. It seems like a good idea and reality is that when we go back to school I will be glad that it is done and dusted but trust me Parents Evening on the last week of half term is exhausting!

Reflecting is such an important process in any profession and indeed in life. It allows us to think about what worked, what didn't, what we need to change, what we need to do next. Half term allows me that precious time to reflect.

Sadly for many reasons Parents Evening isn't the highlight of my termly calendar. Don't get me wrong I love meeting parents, putting faces to children and seeing where they get all of their characteristics from. Parents Evening can be informative, interesting and at times quite good fun. The flip side however, is it is tiring, repetitive (repeating the homework and P.E. mantra)  and worrying.

I have always been a huge advocate of the sandwich technique in most meetings but especially in Parents Evening. It allows you the opportunity to begin with a positive, suggest some improvements, which could be seen as negatives and end with a positive. The reality is that I always find the positives easy. I like the pupils in my class, I spend 6 hours a day, five days a week with them. I know all of their ways, can tell when they are happy, sad, mischievous, worried ... The negatives on the other hand are frustrating.

I always approach Parents Evening with the acknowledgment that firstly the pupils in my class are 6 and 7 years old and that they are adorable and mean everything to their adults. Parents/carers have the right to hear the many positives their children have. My own experiences of Parents Evenings as a parent of two girls were sadly poor. They were two adorable little girls who have grown into two successful women that I am deeply proud of but I never, felt they were appreciated, that their teachers knew or indeed even liked them. This pattern wasn't just established in high school but began in Primary school, a time when to find positives is easy!

So reflecting on my latest Parents Evening I admit total frustration at the time I allowed to be given over to discussing 'levels', progress, homework etc.. THEY ARE 6 AND 7!!!!! The important information of friendship groups,  talents such as artistic skills, P.E., the things they enjoy, the things they find a bit more difficult, their ability to work as part of a group got lost along the way.

I allowed myself to buy into Ofsted and Government agendas of driving forward a system totally focused upon seeing pupils solely as results who are either on or off track rather than as the wonderful complicated little individuals they are. What the pupils in my class learn is obviously vastly important to me, I strive every day to engage and excite them, to develop a love of learning, curiosity and determination to succeed. But their are so many other things that make a child, teenager and adult than results. They are not statistics they are children whose childhood will go by in the blink of an eye. As a teacher I believe it is my duty to teach them, to help them navigate their way through their leaning journey but it is also my job to make that experience a pleasurable, memorable and positive one.

So on reflecting on this Parents Evening I have come to a few decisions:

Firstly at least 85% of the parent of the pupils in my class found getting their child to complete homework a constant battle. I do not want to start the debate here about the pros and cons of homework, that's for another blog post but I can simplify the homework for the parents and pupils in my class straight away in order to prevent totally unnecessary battles at home. Parents/Carers have enough battles to contend with from getting their children to get themselves dressed, eating their fruit and veg, tidying their own rooms, getting on with their siblings etc. So if I can take a bit of the strain I will.  

Secondly I will ensure that more time is given over in the next Parents Evening to the things that matter, the children! Results can be given on a piece of paper, discussions about children cannot.  

Thirdly I will keep being the teacher I wish my children had had (this is actually one of the reasons I went into teaching.) Learning will be a fun and exciting journey of discovery with some problems bumps along the way (learning from mistakes being an essential part of the learning process as well as being challenged.)

What was your Parents Evening like? What will you change next time?

Sunday, 8 February 2015

The Rollercoaster of Teaching

We have all heard the expression and I am sure the song 'Life is a Roller coaster.' We can all relate to it because life is full of its ups and downs, its triumphs and its tragedies.

Whilst the ups and downs of life can be exciting, challenging and keep us on our toes it is often the straight in the road, the periods of time when things are just ticking along, that we take for granted and what we actually, when the road is rocky,  yearn for the most.

Our working lives are part of this roller coaster that is life, we spend approximately 46 years of
our life at work as a rough estimate: 

Taking the average UK Life Expectancy - 80,
               Then minus years spent at school, including degree  - 21
                                               Then minus retirement years, from 67 - 13
                                               We get a total number of years of working = 46.

The way you interpret and see these figures will most definitely depend upon your present mindset but whichever way you look at it we are at work for a lot of our lives. So ..... what does this have to do with teaching? Absolutely everything if you are a teacher because if ever there was a metaphorical roller coaster it is teaching.

Those of you poor soles familiar with my blog will know that I have been teaching a long time....
you will also know that for me teaching is a vocation, something that I am passionate about. However, that does not mean that it is not and has not been one long and winding roller coaster full of twists and turns, triumphs and tragedies.

I have had amazing experiences, worked with and alongside amazing pupils, parents and fellow professionals. I have had the privilege of being a positive influence on the lives of many of those children and adults. My mind is full of memories that I will treasure for ever, moments that have melted my heart, made me laugh and cry with sheer joy. OK, OK I will stop now... but I cling to these memories and moments, the memories from the top of the roller coaster because they keep me going when the ride reaches the precipice and goes over the edge careering for the bottom at speed.   

And boy oh boy does that teaching roller coaster career over that edge fast!! In life we often see and hear the chug, chug, chug of the ride reaching the top before it goes over the edge and if we don't hear it we perch there at  the top contemplating the drop. We get that time to prepare. With teaching we don't, the ride is fast and furious with very, very, few times to catch your breath. The image below demonstrates how the the first year of teaching is like a roller coaster, but actually this pattern is repeated for every teacher year, after year, after year...


Can it be helped? Avoided? Or as the expression goes do we just have to 'suck it up?'  

Somethings can't be changed, teachers will always experience the worry and anticipation of the new class, we will always have the stress of planning, parents evenings, targets... However, some things can and should change. Teaching needs a break from the political agenda, it needs to stop being a political football kicked between parties whose only aim is to get votes. It needs to stop being seen as a cure for all of societies ills. 

Teachers and all of those in education should be trusted to get on with the job in hand, teaching the next generation, the people who we will all need, the doctors and nurses, politicians, bricklayers, electricians, hairdressers, shop workers, leaders, followers with the rich and colourful rainbow of skills that make we need to make a prosperous and successful society.

This is not, and cannot, be achieved whilst teachers, pupils and parents suffer at the hands of political agendas. The present level of pressure cannot be sustained... It is not good for the present and future of our society...

Stop, or at least slow down the roller coaster before we all jump off! 


Sunday, 11 January 2015

The Road to Outstanding Parts 1-4


It would be fair to say that I am not a fan of Ofsted. I don't think many people in education are, from education authorities to SLTs you would be hard pushed to find advocates of Ofsted. It would be fair to say though it is those on the chalk face who dislike and distrust them the most.

So why did I produce a series blogpost supporting that very body? The answer to this is two fold, firstly I was fortunate to attend an excellent conference at the Early Excellence Cebtre in Huddersfied from where lots of the information comes. And secondly and sadly Ofsted are here to stay it seems so whilst they are to remain all of those in education have to play the Ofsted game and dance the Ofsted jig. 

In addition I am passionate about teaching! It is and has been my vocation for nearly 17 years and lots of the suggestions in my blogpost may help teachers to improve their performance or at the very least reflect upon it. 

So if Ofsted are looming or you and your fellow members of staff need a reminder about what is required under the new Ofsted framework then hopefully these posts will help.

Good luck and keep the faith!

Part 1 Know Your Cohort -

Part 2  The Learning Environment -

Part 3  Behaviour for Learning -

Part 4  Teaching and Learning-

If you like the ideas shared here please make a comment or retweet. 

Thursday, 8 January 2015

My top 10 blog posts

I began my blogging journey back in August 2013.The  main idea behind this was that it would allow me time to reflect upon my teaching. Although this was something I already did I hadn't ever written these thoughts, or should I say ramblings down before. 

From very humble and nervous beginnings I found that my reflections on teaching then also led me to the realisation that perhaps I had a bit more to offer. Perhaps I could share some of my ideas with my fellow teachers that may be of use to them in their classrooms. And here I am over 20,400 views later. 

I am not a big one for formal New Year resolutions but I have, thanks to this blog, got in the habit of reflecting. So I thought, which of my posts have been my most successful post? Hence the following top 10. Perhaps more importantly though, why are they my top ten out of 120 posts? Maybe you could help me with that one?

My all time Top 10 Blog posts In reverse order:

10. The 3 Rs Respect, Resilience, Responsibility 
Originally posted in October 2013, 191 views - A blog reflecting upon the teaching of social skills in a primary classroom.

9. Do we need a Teaching Revolution?
Posted on 5 Apr 2014, 193 views - This blog came at a point in the year when I really was fed up of the constant pressures placed upon teachers.

8. Teaching Maths the Singapore Way
Posted on 6 Oct 2014, 216 views - A blog based upon a staff inset I delivered in my role as Maths Co-Ordinator at my school.

7. The disintegration of the teacher/parent relationships
Posted on 8 Mar 2014, 248 views - A blog about the importance of good professional relationships with parents.

6. Teaching Without Limits
Originally 14 Apr 2014, 287 views - A reflection about my desire and determination to break free from the constraints of Ofsted.

5. Boxing Clever with year 2
Posted on 3rd February 2014, 288 views - A blog based upon a wonderful tool for helping children with story structure called Boxing Clever by Alan Peat.

4. Sats a necessary evil?
Posted on 11 May 2014, 348 views - A heartfelt reflection on Sats tests.
3. Do you teach like Yoda?
Posted on 10th April 2014, 545 views - A tongue in cheek lighthearted look at teaching styles.

2. Are We Overthinking Teaching?
Posted on 7 Nov 2014, 741 views - My second most popular post comes from a personal plea to keep it simple!

1. A plea to all professional tweeters
Posted on12 Apr 2014, 811 views - My most popular post, so far!! This post was born out of sheer frustration when using my own professional Twitter account, read on for more ......

What will be my top 10 next year? Watch this space .......