Eleven blog posts which have inspired us 2014-15

Published on 19 July 2015

It's nearly the end of the academic year for us - though some other schools have finished already. Below I've identified ten blog posts (or collections in some cases) which have influenced our thoughts and actions over the last year. I haven't put the posts in a particular order or hierarchy. They're all great.

This first collection of twenty posts has been produced by David Didau, who we're very much looking forward to welcoming into our team properly in September. This sequence of posts provides us with David's thoughts on a recent report produced by the Coalition for Psychology for Schools and Education.

The second post, A Lesson is the Wrong Unit of Time,  comes from Bodil Isaksen and points out that the lesson, as a construct, can restrict the impact teachers have because they plan for a particular unit of time. She suggests it is a false unit of learning.

Post number three was written by Andy Tharby back in January. Here, Andy poses the question "Can we teach students to make inferences?" He explores what inference is and the act of inferring requires students to be able to recall knowledge. Although the examples given are from the English curriculum, this is applicable across a wide range of subjects.

Similarly, although in parts one and two of his posts about Milton's Paradise Lost Phil Stock focuses on English content, the process of thinking through the complexities of the threshold concepts in a subject area are useful across the curriculum.

In the next post, Tom Sherrington discusses a method of clarifying work expectations for students through assignment briefs. This is something we'll be looking to develop next academic year. 

Alongside the assignment briefs, we'll also be trialing knowledge organizers. These are both a useful planning tool for teachers and a great revision device for students - identifying the core knowledge for a given unit or module. The idea is not an entirely new one, but the concept was rebranded by Joe Kirby earlier this year.

Here, John Tomsett takes you through a process he and some of his colleagues are using with students to model the process of meta cognitive thinking during examinations. This is similar to the processes which we've used in classes this year to demonstrate to students how to successfully decode exam questions.

This next one is a bit of a cheat as it's actually five posts in which Daisy Christodoulou outlines some common problems with assessment, a range of assessment principles - highlighting how questions can be used instead of criteria, the limitations of prose criteria here and here and arguing for more effective use of exemplar materials.

Linked to the topic of Daisy's posts, here, Carl Hendrick identifies a range of issues with the ways in which many schools currently use testing.

Again, somewhat of a cheat, but it would just be wrong not to include this brilliant synthesis of reading about approaches to stretch more able students

The final post made it at the last minute, though it actually links to a number of other posts by Katie Ashford, any one of which could have been added to this list. It outlines Michaela Schools approach to ensuring their students become fluent readers of challenging texts. 

Categories: Blog, Teaching and Learning Model

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