The task of teaching pupils how to write is not reserved solely for English teachers. You cannot teach writing devoid of content, and you cannot truly say you teach a discipline unless your pupils become proficient at explaining the ideas of your subject in prose. So, teaching writing through your subject is inevitable. Starting with … Continue reading Writing in Science: A Symposium
On Saturday 9th June, I was lucky enough to attend and speak at my first reserachED in Rugby, hosted at the stunning Rugby School, by the marvellous Jude Hunton. Here, I share my talk with some additional thoughts I didn’t have time to explain. This talk represents my vision for a curriculum. Introduction I find … Continue reading Designing a Science Curriculum: my #rEDRugby talk
On Tuesday 29th May, the second ever #cogscisci 'Meeting of Minds' event took place. It was a thought-provoking day full of discussions about the applications of cognitive science to science learning! My talk was about how procedural knowledge should be practiced differently to declarative knowledge, using the teaching of Maths in Science as an example. This … Continue reading Procedural & Declarative Knowledge: My #CogSciSci Talk
The culture of observations at Michaela is truly phenomenal. It provides a structure conducive to genuine improvement and honest reflection. Observations at Michaela are frequent, low-stakes and random. Since starting in September (around 24 teaching weeks), I have been observed around 70 times by other Michaela teachers. That's right - 70! Observers are typically in … Continue reading Observations at Michaela
It’s so easy, when we really want our pupils to answer a question correctly, that we give them cues to help them reach the answer. Sometimes we see our pupils still struggling and we become tempted to offer them a just-a-few more cues to help them get there. Finally, they give the correct answer and … Continue reading Retrieval Cues: Do Your Questions Help or Hinder?
I started teaching at Michaela Community School in September 2017. Learning about, applying to and joining Michaela has permanently transformed my view of education forever. Learning about Michaela has been like constantly learning new threshold concepts: my view of the world dramatically changes with each new embedded idea, and I acquire a new lens with … Continue reading The influence of Michaela
With limited curriculum time, it is essential to reflect on the competing time taken up by explanation, practice and feedback.
This post covers: Why biology is more than just facts; Why I write my own 'textbooks'; How I write my own Biology 'mastery' textbooks - in 6 steps; An example of one of my textbooks. 1. Why Biology is more than just facts "Biology is just lots of facts." I hate this statement - one … Continue reading Writing Biology Mastery Textbooks
Systems in schools often fail for two reasons. Firstly, the workload-to-impact ratio is unfavourable. Secondly, the culture in the school hasn't united staff to pick fruits from trees growing in the same philosophical soil. Both of these contribute to an increased workload that can be diminished; the second and third of my three Cs of eliminating … Continue reading Workload: solutions part II – why do systems in schools fail?
In my previous post of this series, I explained why high workload is not only damaging to a teacher and his pupils in a given year - for it forces him to spread his limited resources thinly - but is also damaging to his longevity in the profession. I expressed that a framework of ethical leadership … Continue reading Workload: Solutions Part I