#TLAB15: A flash of light

Those that can...

At the risk of sounding slightly unhinged, there were at least three moments during #TLAB15 when I had to physically restrain myself from leaping out of my seat to hug the speakers, such was the sheer exhilaration and freedom of being able to really THINK about relevant, fascinating and oh-so-important issues, and the freedom to ask questions with the humility to know we don’t have all the answers.

I’m writing this whilst listening to Radio 4’s Sick of School. And I’m sad to say that much of what it’s saying chimes with experiences of those I’ve known, over the years. But I’m not here to write about that. I’m here to write about yesterday.

Yesterday, I could have actually sobbed when my alarm went off at 7. It had seemed like a good idea, a few months ago, to sign up to #TLAB15, a Teachers’ Conference in Berkhamsted. Frankly, I…

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What does it mean for a headteacher to have high expectations?

Key insights

guest-postDam Sally CoatesDame Sally Coates has spent more than 40 years working in challenging schools, including a decade of leading some of the toughest schools in London. She has just published Headstrong: 11 Lessons of School Leadership. Here she expands on one of those lessons: being courageous and having high expectations for all.


quote-start All headteachers would claim to have high expectations, but their actions don’t always live up to these claims. Some headteachers lower their expectations by denying an academic curriculum to the majority of their students. Others do so by tolerating low-level disruption in class, or by making excuses for their students based on their ‘difficult background’. Perhaps it’s not until you’ve personally seen students shatter the glass ceilings imposed on them by society that you can truly believe that all students can be successful, even in the toughest academic courses.

In my first headship at Sacred Heart in…

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Education – the first word is FUN.

Opher's World

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The first word in any curriculum should be FUN. the first thing in any syllabus and the aim of every lesson should be FUN.

Forget your learning targets; the first task of any teacher is to connect with their students, inspire them, fill them with awe, wonder and excitement. A teacher needs to communicate their own love of their subject. A lesson is not a success because we have demonstrated the students have learnt something; it is only successful if the students leave the room buzzing with excitement.

I wanted my students to look forward to coming to my lesson and to approach my subject with anticipation.

The things we remember from our own schooling are not the boring, run-of-the-mill lessons, they are the eccentric teachers who captured our imagination, the fun trips, the exciting things.

Human beings love learning. Education should be fun.

This three part lesson, one-size-fits-all, teaching…

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Schools – Streaming is an abomination!

How refreshing! A Headteacher who tells it like it is! Looking forward to reading the book!

Opher's World

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I really could not give a damn if it did raise standards – which it doesn’t!!! – Streaming is an abomination and banding is almost as bad.

The social outcomes and lack of self-esteem are a disaster.

It is self-prophecy. Tell a student he is useless and he will give up trying and become useless. Put them in a second set and they see themselves as thick.

The top sets become arrogant and complacent. The bottom sets depressed, give up and become disruptive and anti.

I do not care if you can aim levels at the kids. The social effects over-ride everything else.

Setting is a social calamity that breeds failure, despondency and destroys self-confidence and self-esteem!

Read what a highly successful ex-Secondary Headteacher has to say. I’m the only one making sense!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/passion-Education-story-Headteacher/dp/1502984687/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427012644&sr=1-7&keywords=opher+goodwin

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Person, Social, Health and Sex Education is the heart of a school!

Reminding us all… At the heart of every school… The children!

Opher's World

PublicSchools

If a school does not have a thriving PSHE programme with circle time, caring programmes, Student Voice and Pastoral Care at its heart it is a resounding failure.

Forget your learning outcomes, teaching for careers and results; it is caring for students that is the most important thing of all.

If schools do not care and nurture children we end up with a heartless, cut-throat society where the weak go under, the strong claw their way to the top and it is dog-eat-dog.

I believe every child is important.

There’s more to education than force-feeding facts for results!

Read what a highly successful ex Secondary Head has to say. I’m the only one making sense!

http://www.amazon.co.uk/passion-Education-story-Headteacher/dp/1502984687/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1427012644&sr=1-7&keywords=opher+goodwin

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Ofsted’s Dead: Long Live Peer Review

Can effective peer support/review/evaluation help us reclaim our profession from the clutches of Ofsted? It’s a no brainer (in my humble opinion) and could free us from the constant turbulence, caused through interference, from an ever changing political landscape.

@LeadingLearner

Over the past month I’ve been blogging out thoughts about Beyond Inspection.  Essentially, what we need to do next, in terms of accountability, if we are going to produce more effective schools.

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On the subject of Anonymity. 

We have a right to freedom of expression, but do we have a right to anonymity? I’d love to know the answer. However, have to agree with the sentiment of this blog. I have followed @webofsubstance and respect the wishes of those educators that wish to remain anonymous online – as long as they are not malicious.

cherrylkd

Last week I was quite distressed to read that Harry Webb, otherwise known as @webofsubstance had deleted his entire Twitter account and blog. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not a close friend of Harry. I didn’t follow him and he didn’t follow me. However, I read all his posts and agreed with some of his views, not so much with others. What Harry did was make me think. He opened my mind to other solutions. He challenged the norm and widened the debate. The dictionary definition of anonymity is

‘an·o·nym·i·ty 1. The quality or state of being unknown or unacknowledged.’

In Harry’s case he wanted to be anonymous. He caused no trouble, only sought to widen the debate on education and make us all think.

In the past there have been anonymous accounts which have been vindictive, trouble making and often not in the best interests of education. These accounts…

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