Creative Subjects

One of the highlights of this stage of the academic cycle is seeing the tangible results of a year’s worth of effort by students in the creative subjects. Dazzling exhibitions in Art …

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Grading Exams

Details about the new GCSE and A level courses continue to trickle out ( …

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Charitable Giving

Schools have many duties to their students. One obligation would be to help them understand the lives of other human beings in different places and in different cultures across the world. …

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The echoes from the UK’s rather modest performance in the PISA tests, and in Mathematics in particular, continue to reverberate. The often excellent Simon Jenkins recently produce …

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A Good Lesson

A teacher nearing the end of their career at Birkdale will have taught around forty thousand 40 minute periods (many as double lessons), and taught perhaps four thousand dif …

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Brains and Learning

It seems an obvious truism that teachers should embrace new insights from neuroscience into how their students learn. Increasingly sensitive and sophisticated scanning techniques see …

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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 »


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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