Academies, Free Schools and Maintained Schools | cherrylkd

Yesterday Damian Hinds MP, our Secretary of State for Education put this statement on Twitter:

‘And this week we celebrated a big milestone on school autonomy

A majority of state school children are now attending academies and free schools’

I was immediately stirred by this tweet and my response was:

‘Even if that’s a true statement I’m not sure it’s something to celebrate. Lack of NC, lack of accountability and the list goes on. Please don’t kid yourself this is a good thing in all cases. It often isn’t’.

I thought I’d finished there, Twitter’s 240 limit told me I had said enough….

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Mentoring the Newcomers | cherrylkd

September usually brings new staff into our schools, some may be new to education while others may have moved from one educational establishment to another. Whichever is the case, all staff need a mentor. The purpose of a mentor is to help the person quickly learn the rules, culture and the role of their new position. The idea is to help the person feel at home, understand what is and what is not acceptable and this will result in them becoming an effective member of staff in a much faster timescale.

A good mentor should be a good listener and also a good communicator. They should be…

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Doodles Earns his own Certificate | cherrylkd

Doodles, our school dog has been in school since he was 11 weeks old. I wanted him to be in with the children right from his early puppy days. This was so that they would see him grow and mature into a sensible, dependable working school dog. He’s not quite reached that stage yet even though he’s now 17 months old. He’s still very set in his puppy ways and is incredibly playful and exceptionally cheeky. As a result of this early in June the headteacher and I decided it was time to enrol Doodles into some accredited school dog training to see how that would affect his behaviour. He is…

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In Defence of Attendance Awards | cherrylkd

This is one of those posts that could be seen as slightly controversial but I’ll say it anyway. Lately on twitter I’ve been reading lots of tweets and threads from people who are very upset about giving attendance awards to children at the end of the year. The main reason cited is that it’s unfair to children who have medical problems and will never be able to win this award. Well as harsh as it sounds, life is actually very unfair. It’s a lesson we have to learn in life. We can’t remove the reward for all children because some can’t participate.

I am an Assistant Head at a special school…

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Using the new Pre Key Stage Standards | cherrylkd

Last Monday a perfectly lovely lady from the LA came to eat biscuits, drink tea and most importantly moderate our writing standards. While we were initially worried about this event as the Pre Key Stage Standards (PKS) are brand spanking new, we learned so much during that session and we realised we shouldn’t have been fearful at all.

Prior to the moderation  session our Key stage 2 leader and I took the decision that the PKS 2 standard for writing was far too high for our children who are working completely within the P Levels. We decided to level against the PKS 1 standard . Our rationale…

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Lesson Planning and TAs | cherrylkd

As a Specialist Leader of Education (SLE) I am allied to the Fylde Coast Teaching School Alliance. Being an SLE is a status I thoroughly enjoy as it gives me an opportunity to help train other teachers and senior leaders and sometimes TAs. It also means I have to do my utmost to keep myself up to date with new developments in education in order to be able to share the latest ideas. This week I have been fortunate enough to be working with a group of very knowledgable Teaching Assistants. My remit is to update their skills to Level 3 standard and to ensure that they are the best TA that they…

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#rEDBlackpool My Day at the Research Conference | cherrylkd

I would like to share with you my thoughts on Blackpool’s first #ResearchEd Conference, more of these conferences to come I hope.

My friend Carolyn O’Connor and I arrived promptly by 9 am and were greeted by some incredibly polite and helpful students from St Mary’s Academy. They are a credit to their school and Stephen Tierney as Executive Head and Simon Eccles as head teacher should be very proud of their students.

After signing in we moved down to the hall for refreshments then stopped and chatted to a number of people including in no particular order, Stephen Tierney, Simon Cox, Tom…

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