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

Quotation Revision and Confidence!

I am a big proponent of learning quotations by rote. If students can memorise albums full of song lyrics, they can learn quotations! My students have been explicitly learning quotations throughout their GCSE course, but they still suffer from a lack of confidence when it comes to feeling like they really know their texts. I … Continue reading Quotation Revision and Confidence!

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…

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