Strategies to support children with transition | admin

This week in school involves a transition morning or day for many children.  I posted this article a year ago about transition and have added some new strategies for you to try this week.

Some children find any change extremely difficult as it can evoke feelings of loss, anxiety and uncertainty. It is useful therefore that children’s transitions to new classes are managed with patience and understanding. For a child who has experienced many changes and uncertainty in their life outside of school, the transition to a new class and new teacher can be overwhelming. Children have to adapt to a…

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Do we really need the Chartered College of Teaching? | admin

My edu-Twitter feed is currently a hive of posts about the forthcoming elections to the Chartered College of Teaching, which was set up to be a teacher-led organisation but now looks like it will be anything but teacher-led. The discussion has been spearheaded by Andrew Old’s recent blog (entitled “I was wrong about the Chartered College Of Teaching. It’s worse than I thought it would be”), as well as this blog from Greg Ashman and this thread from Michael Fordham.

From the looks of it, influential and already powerful people within the education establishment will have their voices…

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Charter Diaries: Mr Gabr’s Strong Start to the lesson | admin

My first impression of Mr Gabr’s start to the lesson can be summarised into three words: purposeful, warm and knowledge-rich.


Image: Mr Gabr teaching. This is from a different lesson. Not the lesson mentioned in the blog.

Mr Gabr’s million dollar smile greets children whilst he stands at the threshold of the Classroom.  This is a Teach Like a Champion (TLACI) technique referred to as ‘Threshold’. One foot in the corridor to keep track of children walking towards the teacher. One foot in the classroom to ensure that pupils know that when they enter the room they are to be silent and…

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The nature and nurture of education | admin

(Environmental and genetic causes of individual differences in educational achievement)

Blog written by Professor Michael Thomas

The nature-nurture issue is well-known amongst teachers: children differ, and some of these differences are due to the children’s nature, some due to the environment they are raised in, and some a combination of children’s different natural reactions to the environments they are raised in.

Gaps in educational achievement between children are a key issue for society, and their causes have been a focus for research in the social sciences. These gaps have…

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The opening of John Taylor Free School | admin

Friday, July 13, 2018

John Taylor Free School is the first secondary school to be opened in Staffordshire for 25 years. In partnership with the Local Authority, ESFA, DfE, architects Glancy Nicols and construction company Seddon the building started to take shape in 2017.

This project is part of the long term strategic plan for the Branston Locks area of Burton on Trent.  With increased housing and a changing demographic, it became apparent that additional secondary places would be required to meet demand.  In April 2017, John Taylor Multi Academy Trust was…

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Bunsen Blue – Designing a Science Curriculum | admin

Designing a Science Curriculum: my #rEDRugby talk

On Saturday 9th June, I was lucky enough to attend and speak at my first reserachED in Rugby, hosted at the stunning Rugby School, by the marvellous Jude Hunton. Here, I share my talk with some additional thoughts I didn’t have time to explain. This talk represents my vision for a curriculum.


I find it incredibly exciting thinking and talking about curriculum design! Why? The curriculum is the medium through which we expose our pupils to the incredible narrative of our subject; we take them on a journey where we stop and…

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Early Years Literacy Games and Activities | admin

It’s never too early to start fostering literacy skills and support children in building strong foundations for when they start primary school. While teaching them how to read and write is not in your remit, you should be helping to prepare them so that they are ready to learn. There are many ways in which you can support them in developing a confident and enthusiastic approach to literacy.
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Literacy is a key competency that enables us to make sense of – and make our way in – the world. There are several aspects to consider; as well as reading and writing, literacy…

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