Four quality assurance traps to avoid and four useful ways of thinking

Four traps to avoid 1 | Asking 'How good is it?' 2 | Noticing too late 3 | Thinking we know the absolute truth 4 | Treating culture and climate as separate to educational outcomes Useful ways of thinking 1 | Knowledge building | Seek to understand, not just judge 2 | Collaborative, not individual... Continue Reading →

School improvement model | What is it and how might we formulate one?

How do you go about improving your school? This post provides an example school improvement model and seeks to pull out some generalisations that could inform sector wide work, as well as providing advice for school leaders on formulating their own school improvement model. Assumptions It is useful to consider the parameters that we are... Continue Reading →

A way of thinking about subject leadership

Subject leadership should not be compartmentalised into the knowledge and actions of individual leaders. Much of the way of thinking advocated in this post involves shared knowledge and collective work for a couple of reasons including workload, accountability and succession planning. Relying on individuals to lead subjects well without great systems or collaborative endeavours leaves... Continue Reading →

Choosing where to deploy teachers

How should we choose which year groups to place teachers? Most will come back to asking ‘What’s best for the children?’ But this is quite vague and needs unpacking more. What’s best for children is motivated, expert teachers who enjoy working with the colleagues that they have been thrown together with. Therefore what’s best for... Continue Reading →

More than professional development

Conditions, actions for leaders and mechanisms for learning A previous post explained Peter Senge’s concept of organisational learning disabilities; reasons why most organisations learn poorly. He argued that knowing them puts us in a better position to tackle them. The literature on schools as learning organisations throws up several authors each presenting their own model... Continue Reading →

Teaching the concept of a sentence

The sentence is a threshold concept in English; core knowledge that transforms how children think about reading and writing. Their understanding of a sentence also enables or inhibits other concepts further down the line so getting it right early is vital. Pick up any child’s book in the primary years who struggles with writing and... Continue Reading →

The stories we tell | SEND

Daniel Willingham tells us that stories are psychologically privileged and two of the reasons that it is useful for leaders to tell stories is that they are easier to understand and they are easier to remember. Daniel Coyle tells us that to establish purpose, we should ‘fill the windscreen with stories’ because this can help to build mental models which drive others’... Continue Reading →

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