Storming the Citadel: a quest for cultural capital

This blog is based on a talk I gave at 'Teaching and Learning Leeds 2019' hosted by the Grammar School at Leeds on Saturday 22nd June. Why is language vital? What is Cultural Capital? Who decides what 'culture' is? What does it mean to be 'culturally poor' How can we redress the balance? Culture, cultural … Continue reading Storming the Citadel: a quest for cultural capital

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

What I have learned as a pregnant teacher…

Pregnancy is a wonderful thing which, for us, did not come easily. As a new head of department, it has been an especially difficult time for me; balancing the stresses of exam preparation, coursework and leadership with the very profound concerns of becoming a first time parent is pretty overwhelming. I am constantly trying to … Continue reading What I have learned as a pregnant teacher…