Teaching Ideas

What are we reading for? A helpful list for students…

When we teach literature, what is it for? Critical reading, analysis, exploration and appreciation of the writer’s craft… In my heart I know that literature is broad and beautiful but, very often, particularly when preparing exam classes, I get too focused on the product. That is, the essay: a series of nice, tidy paragraphs which …

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Knowledge and Skill Audits: know your team

Getting started in September with Y11 is always a challenge, even if they have been your class in Y10 and they’ve had a really consistent diet. Throw in a global pandemic, months of home learning (or not-learning), uncertainty and possible trauma for some, and things become very complicated indeed. Forgive me for using an obscure …

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Zero Written Feedback: a trial

FACT: Many schools still have blanket marking and feedback policies which dictate frequency and form of marking, e.g. one mark every four lessons, with a comment on progress and two DIRT tasks (just an example) OPINION: One-size-fits-all policies prevent us from doing what matters most for students in each subject. Academic subjects are distinct disciplines …

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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 …

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