Unseen Poetry Without the Stress…

Unseen poetry is stressful. We feel that it is never given enough time (because there are fifteen anthology poems to teach) and students struggle with confidence because the texts will be unfamilar to them. Coupled with this, the independent reading of poetry requires students to posess a certain degree of cultural capital; literature is filled … Continue reading Unseen Poetry Without the Stress…

Wellbeing: the subtle art of saying “no”; saying “not yet”, and asking the right questions…

Reading time: 5 minutes As the dark winter months close in around us, I am seeing a lot more in my Twitter feed about wellbeing and people who are seriously struggling with very challenging work environments. I have been a teacher for 10 years. My first 5 years were spent working in the wrong way; … Continue reading Wellbeing: the subtle art of saying “no”; saying “not yet”, and asking the right questions…

Words of the Week: what we do…

Reading time: 5 mins All the resources for the year 2018-19 are below. The resources for 2019-20 are at this website: https://mysparkwords.com/work  We've all seen 'Word of the Week' used in schools. On the surface, they can seem a little superficial; how can one word per week really make a dent in the vocabulary deficit … Continue reading Words of the Week: what we do…

Challenge for All: #PracPed18

This is a write up of my talk from Practical Pedagogies in Cologne, November 2018. 'Unapologetically ambitious, unashamedly academic' This is the mantra I share with my students at the start of every academic year, and it's something we return to when we need a boost. I am currently teaching in the same community where … Continue reading Challenge for All: #PracPed18

Seven ways I’ve kicked my homework habit…

In ten years of teaching, I am embarrassed to say, I have never managed to do homework right. It has always felt like an extra thing; to plan, to remember, to take in, to mark and to cause friction between myself and my students. Growing up, I also remember some homework tasks at school which … Continue reading Seven ways I’ve kicked my homework habit…

Memory and Recall: Practical Strategies for a Linear World

This post is based on my talk at 'Teaching and Learning Leeds: Encouraging the Leader Within' on 23rd June 2018. Teaching is fundamentally about making the best possible use of the human brain and helping students to use theirs to their fullest potential. Why then, is there so little focus on how the brain works in … Continue reading Memory and Recall: Practical Strategies for a Linear World

differentiation (with a small ‘d’)

This post is based on workshops I have led this summer at both the Leeds Trinity University NQT Conference, and at Teaching and Learning Leeds 2017 (hosted by The Grammar School at Leeds). If you attended either of these sessions and have questions, suggestions or comments, I would love to hear them @funkypedagogy, or write … Continue reading differentiation (with a small ‘d’)

Bird’s-eye View: GCSE top grade statements and evaluation…

This is a resource I have developed for my Y11 class. It is meant to support them in making evaluative comments about texts (looking at them from a bird's-eye view), and exploring overall text structure. The idea is that it allows students to construct strong opening statements, and also gives them prompts to consider the … Continue reading Bird’s-eye View: GCSE top grade statements and evaluation…