PISA – Could Do Better

The end of term has brought me a little more time and with it the opportunity to write some brief comments about the PISA tests (Programme for International Student Assessment) …

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Predicting Grades

A recent examination board survey found that ‘most A level predicted grades were wrong’ with ‘only’ 48% (pretty much half?) being accurate. Read more »

Transition

Twice a week I have lunch with a small group of pupils. One pupil is chosen, largely at random, and is invited to bring some friends to offer support and help sustain conversatio …

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Climbing Trees

Last week I had the dubious pleasure of being part of a group of Head Teachers addressed by the formidable Sir Michael Wilshaw, Chief Inspector of Schools and Head of Ofsted. …

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Learning

The annual educational cycle has begun once more with the ritual first assembly of the new academic year safely completed. The first assembly affords the Head Master the opportunity to …

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Holidays

The long school summer holiday is under scrutiny again with renewed interest in reform sparked by the news that individual maintained sector schools will be free to set their own te …

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Pass or Fail

The debate over how to overhaul the GCSE examination has produced a marvellously large number of new proposals. The outline seems clear enough with harder tests sat at the end of the c …

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Subsidiaries and Supplements

Until 2001 most Sixth Form students took 3 or 4 (for the ambitious or brilliant) A levels. Advanced Supplementary (AS) levels were available in most subjects but were largely ignored b …

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School Trips

For most adults, school trips to museums, theatres or outdoor camps make up a positive and important part of their school memories. Nationally, however, school trips appear still to …

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Birthdays, Examinations and Fairness

‘The year was 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren’t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was b …

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