I was recently asked to comment upon the Department for Education’s consultation regarding proposed changes to allow schools to employ industry experts to work as instructors in schools more easily. This consultation is geared towards secondary schools and is designed to address the current quality of vocational training, as recommended in the Wolf Report. This proposal follows recent moves to elevate the status of QTLS and allow qualified teachers ...
Ah the ‘Flipped’ Class. Yet another educational concept based on previous practice and rebranded to suit modern vernacular? ‘Can you get the lesson recorded a bit earlier sir so we can see it?’ (student A) ‘Not sure about that but it seems you are happier about this way of learning now’ (teacher) ‘It’s alright’ (student A) I think that’s progress and certainly a step ahead of where we ...
For the price of a 4GB memory stick you can turn most old netbooks and laptops into a Google Chromebook! Just download Vanilla - a portable Google Chrome operating system called Chromium OS. Most schools I know have many old laptops and netbooks that are not used because they are too slow or clogged up with old programs. This fantastic program will revitalise that old hardware and upcycle them into ...
With the spectre of OFSTED hanging over schools and the new framework unsettling leadership teams across the land, it seems pertinent to link the ‘Quality of Teaching’ grid to my technology filled ‘flipped’ lessons. The ‘flipped class’ is best summed up by Jon Bergmann, Jerry Overmyer and Brett Wilie in The Flipped Class: Myths vs. Reality (2012).
Online generators have been on the web for donkey's years - often infringing copyright rules but always giving the ordinary online mortal a chance to imagine. To pretend that their name is up in lights on a movie billboard, that their own band is playing on their iPod or that they can have a snazzy animated logo without a sniff of programming knowledge. Having explored and used them in the ...
There’s no way of avoiding them.  The times tables are a necessity if one is to progress along the mathematics learning journey. So, like them or not, knowing your times tables is important. They are the building blocks for further maths study later on – division, long division (urgh!), long multiplication, fractions, calculating area and so on. Not only that, but knowing the times tables is important for tasks in ...
Is Moodle a 'doable' alternative to expensive primary VLEs? Yes, in my opinion. Moodle is a free source e-learning platform, which allows users to access all kinds of resources (courses), interact with each other, complete tasks that have been set for them and feedback to tutors.  In principle is sounds very good.
Why the iPad for Education? This question has become a hot topic for a lot of blogs and news outlets that I follow. Some tout how much more students learn with the device and others warn against the overuse of the device. In the end, I’m pretty sure that this leaves wary school administrators and technology decision makers apprehensive about investing in the device. All of this noise distracts ...

SEN provision map

How can we audit special needs provision and create a provision map? This article describes provision maps and the stages and tools for auditing SEN provision. What is a provision map? A provision map is a management tool providing an 'at a glance' way of documenting and showing the range of provision, additional staffing and support that a school makes available to its pupils. Provision maps enable schools to look ...
What do we mean by character building and why is there ever greater emphasis on it as a necessary part of a child’s development and education?
Finding new ways for schools to save money seems to be the ‘hot potato’ at the moment, and quite understandably so. There is another option though: find new ways to make money. With all that intellectual property, skills and knowledge floating through the corridors, are there any opportunities for new business ventures to emerge from your school? There has always been a contribution culture amongst teachers: 'We can get hold ...
Yesterday Priory Geography got back from the FSC’s Juniper Hall, a residential field centre near Dorking. The Ernest Cook Trust supported this year’s venture, allowing us to provide bursaries for students. The Eco Challenge (as it’s become known) is all about getting urban children out into rural areas, using traditional skills and exploring conservation techniques that can be used back home. Part of the project involved live ...

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