things I notice in schools

12 Apr 2017

Why it’s unhelpful to put limits on children’s learning

‘It’s very easy not to see the intelligence which is there’

Christopher Bryan

This is a sensitive topic. In every classroom there are children with different levels of prior attainment and with differing capacities to engage with the work. However, the labelling of children through setting might be putting limits on their learning.

What happens in many classrooms is that pupils are placed in groups which determine the level of work which they are expected to do. However these tables are labelled and however carefully the adults believe they have disguised the fact that they are given work of different challenge, children are remarkably astute at knowing what these mean. Whether they are on a table called leopards or lizards, they know what these signify. Whether they are number ones or number fours they know that this involves different levels of challenge and expectation.

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03 Mar 2017

The ethic of everybody

‘Inclusive, good-quality education is a foundation for dynamic and equitable societies.’ Desmond Tutu

Dame Alison Peacock used this phrase when she was speaking at ResearchEd in September 2016. In talking about the work she had done over the years with Cambridge University and others, they identified that one of the strands of her work was an ‘ethic of everybody’. What might be meant by this and how might it relate to being hopeful, not helpless?

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30 Dec 2016

You never know the good you do...

‘I believe that every human mind feels pleasure in doing good to another.’ Thomas Jefferson

There’s an assumption that we need to have hard evidence that something has ‘worked’ and that we have had an impact. We usually expect this to be in fairly short order. But it might be helpful to think about impact over the longer term. When we think back to those who have had an impact on us, it is not just those who we interacted with today, but also those in the past who have given us encouragement and hope.

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11 Dec 2016

'Hopeful Schools' what people are saying

'Hopeful Schools is a breath of fresh air and reminds you 'why' we do 'what' we do, whilst making you think 'how' we go about it. Mary encourages us to consider what soulful schools; heart-based education and courageous leadership could and should look like. This book will nourish you and restore your faith in the future of our education system. It will reassure you that by being hopeful we can affect change. 'Hopeful Schools' will inspire you as it will remind you that through resilience, courage and hope we can create school cultures underpinned with trust and integrity.'

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04 Dec 2016

Hopeful schools

Wow! This is an amazing book. I read this from cover to cover in one sitting and I loved it. Mary Myatt’s gentle wisdom and humour shines through every page to remind the reader of the positive action and affirmation that emerges when we experience feelings of hope instead of helplessness.

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