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 filledContinue 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 deficitContinue 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 whereContinue 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 whichContinue 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 inContinue 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 writeContinue 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 theContinue reading “Bird’s-eye View: GCSE top grade statements and evaluation…”

27 English reading and analysis resources which work!

The creativity and generosity of the online teaching community never ceases to amaze me. I have spent a couple of weeks collating resources for my department from my Twitter back catalogue, and was blown away by how long the list was. Years of communication with fellow educators has given me a huge collection of ideas and resources, someContinue reading “27 English reading and analysis resources which work!”

The Dyslexic English Teacher

It was only after I had got through GCSEs, A Levels, an English Degree and my PGCE year that I discovered I am dyslexic. My particular brand of dyslexia manifests itself in letter, number and colour recognition. In other words, I misread words, struggle to recognise spelling errors (including my own), read more slowly thanContinue reading “The Dyslexic English Teacher”