‘Finding my Lane’ – an imposter syndrome tale

 To steal the stand first from John Tomsett’s blog, I have been a teacher for 27 years, an associate assistant principal for 2 terms and at the age of 56, this much I know about finding my lane.  I began my teaching journey at age 30, having already had my daughter, at Leeds University, completingContinue reading “‘Finding my Lane’ – an imposter syndrome tale”

Teaching Writing: Reflections from a Head of Faculty

Leila is an English Literature graduate with no real experience in teaching writing, or, indeed, writing creatively herself. She started her teaching career with little knowledge or understanding of how to help pupils write well. In my experience, most English teachers are those who have studied English (be it linguistics or literature), rather than thoseContinue reading “Teaching Writing: Reflections from a Head of Faculty”

The Power of Simplicity: Supporting Reluctant Writers at Key Stage 4

It is the first week in December, and as I stand at the front of my classroom I can feel the rainwater in my shoes: it is a bleak day to do duty, and I realise I am still absent-mindedly carrying the bottles that I have confiscated on the yard. My Year 10 class observeContinue reading “The Power of Simplicity: Supporting Reluctant Writers at Key Stage 4”

‘Becoming a Writer’.

“If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lotand write a lot.” Stephen King The thought of reading and writing “a lot” to be a writer might dismay some students, and if you asked a student, ‘Why do you write?’ their response might be, “Because IContinue reading “‘Becoming a Writer’.”

Talk for Writing

Why is effective talk important? On attending my first Oracy Pioneers session with Voice 21 I was astounded to discover the profound impact which talk, or lack thereof, can have on students. Of course, in preparation for attending the course I had begun to reflect on this: What opportunities for talk did I provide inContinue reading “Talk for Writing”

Improving Non-Fiction Writing

“In my writing life, I seem to have navigated an odd course between fiction and its negation, always half-wishing when I’m immersed in one that I were embarked on the other. I want the free flight of story when I’m hunkered down in facts and wish for a character who could offer a statement contradictedContinue reading “Improving Non-Fiction Writing”

The Writing Revolution Resources – An Early Career Perspective

I retrained as an English teacher at the age after spending the previous 15 years in the classroom teaching horticulture. I had then had a 10 year spell doing various types of teacher training and various teaching and learning manager posts, and I decided to retrain as I had begun to feel very far awayContinue reading “The Writing Revolution Resources – An Early Career Perspective”

Teaching Writing: a Work in Progress

Teaching creative writing used to bring me out in a cold sweat. I’m not a confident writer sotrying to explicitly teach the writing process often left me flummoxed. And really, that wasthe stumbling block for me – I wasn’t explicitly teaching the writing approaches at all. I neverslowed the process down enough for my students,Continue reading “Teaching Writing: a Work in Progress”

A Writing Curriculum

How can we use KS3 to better prepare students for writing analytical essays? I am currently teaching Blood Brothers to Year 8 and they love it.  Some are passionate in their condemnation of Mrs Johnstone, others argue that she has been cruelly manipulated by Mrs Lyons.  As we read the text together, they are bubblingContinue reading “A Writing Curriculum”

Using Word Classes to Empower Struggling Writers

I walked down the corridor and then I wondered what was through the door so I looked in but there was nothing so I went downstairs and I thought I heard a noise in the living room and I felt terrified. I’m sure many of us have experienced a sinking feeling after reading descriptive writingContinue reading “Using Word Classes to Empower Struggling Writers”