things I notice in schools

26 Mar 2015

Mastery - some considerations

There is a great deal of discussion about what 'mastery' means. The new national curriculum which came into effect from September 2014 is underpinned by the concept of mastery. This has a number of implications for lesson planning. The draft performance descriptors for use in key stage 1 and 2 statutory teacherassessment for 2015/2016 refer to four performance descriptors: mastery, national, working towards and below national standard.

Read More

23 Jan 2015

Sensational SEN

Over a third of special schools received an outstanding grade in the Autumn term 2014. Writing in the Guardian, Laura McInerney was surprised that there hadn't been more publicity about this good news. It's a great article with insight into what it might be like for parents with a child in a special school and her observations from talking to heads of special schools. What is shameful is how little publicity this remarkable achievement received from politicians and officials.

 This is my take on why so many special schools have been rated as outstanding.

Read More

18 Jan 2015

Data discussion: behind every statistic is a child

First of all the limitations of data: The figures can't tell us everything. They are usually out of date. And sometimes they are wrong. Which is why the data always, always needs a conversation around it. The main source of information for how well students are doing are in RaiseonLine. For each school there are six sections: context, absence and exclusions, prior attainment, attainment, progress and closing the gaps. Looking at a school's RoL helps to identify some lines of enquiry - namely, where a school is getting it right and where it might need to focus additional effort and resources.

Read More

10 Dec 2014

Why box ticking British Values is a bad idea

There are three reasons why box ticking British values is a bad idea.

1 Capturing evidence for promoting British values doesn't work like this

2 It will annoy teachers, because of number 1

3 Ofsted teams don't look at tick boxes

Read More