Leading 21st C learning: getting my bearings for the journey ahead…

  • This guest post has kindly been contributed to Wilmslow High’s ‘Lookout for Learning’  by Tom Sherrington (@headguruteacher), who is the headteacher at King Edward VI Grammar School in Chelmsford, Essex.
  • I heard Tom speak at the SSAT National Conference in Liverpool at the start of December and his short speech is lengthened here in his thoughts on how to shape the learning direction of his school in the future.

In summary, his ideas and action points are based around:

1. Teaching and Learning:  Pedagogical enlightenment:

  • There is no formula and we need to celebrate diversity in teaching
  • It’s not a free-for-all: some learning strategies have proven impact
  • We’ve got be ambitious – every learning goal should be rich in challenge, aiming not to meet but to exceed potential

2. Leadership of Learning

  • We need teachers with the right attitude, teachers with a growth mindset (as well as students), teachers willing to learn and continually improve
  • Building Learning Power (BLP) – refer to Guy Claxton’s work for more information

3. Curriculum

  • The use of technology – it must be driven pedagogy!

I’ve been on a fantastic professional learning journey in recent weeks: listening and talking on the conference circuit (#lfe2012 #SSATNC12, #elconf); burying my head in my tweetdeck and the library of blogs and youtube clips that follow;  hosting a TeachMeet (#TMEssex); reading a couple of books and having the privilege of visiting some amazing schools.  All of this has brought me into contact with the ideas of some great educational thinkers (John Hattie, Dylan Wiliam, Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas, Eric Mazur, Carol Dweck, Tim Brighouse), the thoughts of some great practitioners (John Tomsett, Alex Quigley, David Didau, Vic Goddard, Tom Bennett, Christopher Waugh, Mark Anderson, Zoe Elder..)  and the ethos of some amazing schools: Saffron Walden, Passmores and Wellington.  Of course… there has also been the joy of working at my own school where magic happens every day.  (I would say that wouldn’t I… but it’s true!!!)

From all of this, I am now looking ahead.  What works? What matters? What do we need to embed further or chuck out? What might things be like in 10 or 20 years and are we on the right path?  This is my attempt to make some sense of it all…I’m taking stock.

Teaching and Learning:  Pedagogical enlightenment

There is no formula and we need to celebrate diversity in teaching:

It seems clear that many voices of reason and experience are saying this.  Read Tom Bennett’s ‘Teacher’, David Didau’s blog, Michael Wilshaw’s speech – or even my own ‘balanced diet’ blog.  There are plenty of ways to skin the learning cat! In fact, the hoop jumping, tick boxing, formulaic approach does not achieve its goals.  We should take account of the evidence and experience from academic and action research…but we won’t succeed unless we find our own style; one that helps us to form the relationships we need with our students, enables us to know their learning needs in detail and allows us the freedom to be creative and responsive in the classroom.

We’ve got be ambitious: every learning goal should be rich in challenge, aiming not to meet but to exceed potential (Hattie); we need to adopt a growth mindset (Dweck) and instil that in our students. We need to set ‘hairy audacious goals’ (Wiliam) and not be content with any student falling behind, building our school systems around that imperative.

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John Hattie’s superb Visible Learning Pt1&2 presentations from YouTube

It’s not a free-for-all: some learning strategies have proven impact:

  • effective direct instruction is high-impact; this is timeless.  Having things explained well, (focusing on the process, not the final answer), is how we learn a lot of new things. ‘Chalk and talk’ is much derided.. but the ability to explain is a key teaching skill..and a key learning device. The KEGS experience is that for the most able students, strong subject knowledge is vital… it shapes the depth and rigour of questioning.
  • students working collaboratively: discussion of a problem, peer involvement in a task, peer assessment, peer instruction… these things improve learning to a massive degree.
  • learning aims and success criteria: when laced with challenge, if students know what it is that they are aiming at, their learning is better.(WALT and WILF.. are much derided because they become reduced to a formula;  but the concepts are still valid)
  • feedback is the key: detailed guidance on how to improve with short turnaround task repetition to act on the feedback.  Formative assessment should impact directly on subsequent work and lesson planning;
  • questioning in class should involve all students; not just taking turns. All-student response techniques are vital but this leads us to the need to do more work on asking better questions – finding questions that promote/necessitate peer discussion is the goal.
  • the idea of making learning visible (Hattie) – getting to know what and how students are thinking is powerful, linked to the Claxton/Lucas ideas of making the language of learning explicit:  ‘Going back-stage…’ – De-mystifying the whole learning process is what we should be doing; this meta-learning enhances the depth of learning in a subject.
  • ‘flipped learning’ has existed since books were invented; it’s not about technology (Eric Mazur). This is a simple idea of providing materials that enable students to pre-learn key concepts so that lessons focus on questions, feedback and peer instruction. The Mazur model demonstrates the power of peer-instruction, whereby students improve their collective understanding through discussion based on feedback to their initial responses.  This links completely to Hattie’s ‘peer involvement’ idea.Eric Mazur and his incredible learning platformEric Mazur and his incredible learning platform
  • I’m a massive advocate for homework but it needs to be re-defined and re-configured.  Pre-learning that helps ‘flipped learning’ or providing straightforward opportunities to practice are things that work. The more open-ended, unstructured or challenging a task is, the more consideration needs to be given to a student’s learning environment at home; if there is no-one to help when they get stuck… it can be counter-productive.  This suggests thinking is needed around supported self-study – providing an in-school or online environment where the inter-lesson work can be done successfully.  (See my post about what Hattie says on homework – which he commented on himself.)

I think our Teaching and Learning Statement is about right… the question is how we put it all into practice in the classroom:

The KEGS one-page Teaching and Learning jigsaw.

The KEGS one-page Teaching and Learning jigsaw.

Leadership of learning:

I like to think that I do prioritise this in my work, but I want to go further.  (John Tomsett’s recent post is superb on this.) At #LFE2012, Hattie was emphatic in stressing that we need to focus on teachers, not teaching.  We need teachers with the right attitude, teachers with a growth mindset (as well as students), teachers willing to learn and continually improve.

Dylan Wiliam and John Hattie both emphasise teacher development as the key

Dylan Wiliam and John Hattie both emphasise teacher development as the key

At #SSATNC12 Dylan Wiliam said exactly the same thing.  He suggested that recruiting ‘the brightest and the best’ is a mistake;  we need teachers who are most willing to engage in professional learning – ie those with the greatest capacity for self improvement.  I’d suggest these overlap to a large degree but the thinking is different.  Wiliam also suggested that ‘strengths and areas for development’ is a blind alley; we should be asking teachers to get better at what they are already good at. Finally, Wiiam stressed the power of teachers working collaboratively and I love this phrase: “as a team not in a team” which chimes with Hattie.  (See this excellent post exchange from Alex Quigley on Hattie’s definition of passion)

So my action points on all of this are:

  • To re-affirm my commitment to ‘rainforest’ thinking around CPD: no more one-size fits all CPD – and the importance of our Teaching and Learning Workshops.  We are on the right lines with this.
  • More time and emphasis on team planning and team review of student progress, where teams look at evidence (ie not just numerical data) on the impact of teaching and use that to inform their own practice, seeing it as a evidence of their own effectiveness.
  • To explore the idea of the role of the challenger…Wiliam bemoans ‘serial polite turn-taking’ in meetings. However if meetings have an appointed role of ‘challenger’, this legitimises challenge: Why are we doing this? What is the impact? How could we do it better? Instead of the ‘how lovely and hard-working we all are’ approach.
  • To continue to explore the balance of increasing trust and autonomy – enabling teachers to do what they choose and feel is right – with increasing challenge and accountability for making an impact – asking for evidence of impact.

Curriculum:

Is our curriculum at odds with the prevailing wisdom on pedagogy?

Is our curriculum at odds with the prevailing wisdom on pedagogy?

Guy Claxton, Bill Lucas, Tanya Byron and Tim Brighouse, make a lot of sense and should have a greater influence on current discourse on the curriculum. Away from the absurd knowledge-skills dichotomy, there is a curriculum out there that would enable students more scope for creative risk-taking, self-expression and the opportunity to carve out a path that matches their interests – and that isn’t just a bunch of bolted-on collapsed timetable days.  (No more skate-boarding lessons.. but more metaphorical skateboarding! )

My school’s curriculum meets our needs by and large, but we struggle to fit everything in.  A grand re-think is needed.  Are we too linear, too boxed in by historical timetabling structures and the idea that all students should have the same experience?  Should students have more choice at a younger age?  Some big questions.  Specific points of action:

  • I’m committed to giving language learning the time it needs: 4 hours per week in one language; it works and is one of the most exciting curriculum developments I have ever seen
  • I want to find a way for coding and computer science in general to feature more strongly
  • I will resist all pressure to diminish the status of Arts versus EBacc subjects, whatever direction DFE policy takes.
  • I will try to expand the role of co-construction where students lead the curriculum – as in our Project 9 initiative.

Technology

Digital library, social media, mobile technology: It's our new reality.

Digital library, social media, mobile technology: It’s our new reality.

The consensus on this is absolute.  Technology in education isn’t about technology at all: it is all about pedagogy and curriculum.  The possibilities are unlimited and we are on a path that leads inexorably to greater integration of interactions that are social and explicitly educational. This is modern life.  The Wellington conference confirmed ideas from Mark Anderson and Daniel Edwards that  ‘internet enabled devices’ need to become standard bits of kit  and that we need to be heading for the cloud. The culture of banning and restricting, to me, is simply backward.  It is a clip-on tie solution.. that can’t last long.

My action points:

  • Get over the discipline issues and the constraints.  I like the idea of ‘devices on the table, not in your pocket; use them, don’t hide them’. I want to get to the heart of our network restrictions on mobile devices because we may be being far too cautious.
  • I want to know more about Googledocs and cloud based workflow. I see a revolution coming.  I think I’ve glimpsed the summit but we’re in the foothills…. it is exciting but also slightly daunting.  In 10 years time, we need to be fully immersed in the cloud. Make that 5 years.
  • I want more of my staff to be engaged in the online community that Twitter supports.  Arguably, people like Martin Burrett (@ICTMagic) and Ross McGill (@TeacherToolkit) have had more direct impact on teacher CPD than any single individual before them.  However, it is the dynamic community aspect that has the greatest power.

Ethos:

Foyer installation at Passmores representing the school's ethos: the journey rather than the arrival.

Foyer installation at Passmores representing the school’s ethos: the journey rather than the arrival. Each trophy celebrates an attitude to learning.

My recent school visits to Passmores in Harlow, Saffron Walden County High School and Wellington College all cemented my belief in ‘ethos’ as the driver for success in schools.  I feel it is true in my own school.  At Passmores, the ethos is palpable amongst students and in the staffroom; every child is being pushed and nurtured at the same time with a kind of tough love and relentless focus on raising aspirations. And it works. At SWCHS, the ethos was evident in the staff CPD session: a deep and strong culture of collaborative professional learning.  At Wellington it is all about thinking on a grand scale; resources are not a problem.. but you still need the vision and we can learn from that.

For me, this affirms my commitment to ethos-enhancing activities in my school.  We do this well with students.  I want to do more with staff….so that they feel that they have an even greater stake in shaping the school’s future direction.

To round up, none of this is about the exams our students sit, or the nature of inspections, our place in the performance tables, school structures, pay scales or constraints on school finance.  It is about the things we can control regardless; the things that really matter.  An important question for the system is whether we measure what we value, or merely value what we can measure  – or whether we can accept that many of the things we value can’t be measured? This means we need courage to do what we think is right regardless.  The realities of the system we are in may or may not support our goals.. but I’m determined not to allow them to dictate our values.

My big moment, wrapping up the keynotes at SSAT National Conference from 1.00

My big moment, and a call to arms, wrapping up the keynotes at SSAT National Conference from 1.00min

David Price: why do we need innovation in education?

Although David’s post below resonates with me personally, I feel that Wilmslow High School’s teaching community is continually striving to innovate both in the classroom and structurally, where our collective aim is to become a national beacon of world class learning for both our students and teachers where we are:

  • Open to new learning possibilties for both students and teachers
  • Willing to risk short term failures in our teaching practice for long term, high quality teaching practice (Fail better!)
  • Always willing to find ways to share great practice between our local, natioinal and international teaching communities (this website being one of those ways!)

A great lesson I took away from Tim Harford’s book, ‘Adapt: why success always starts with failure’ sits neatly with why we should be innovating in education at every opportunity. Harford suggests the 3 Palchinsky Principles are shaped to encourage stronger innovation, better leadership and more effective policies:

1. Variation – seek out new ideas and try new ideas

2. Survivability – when trying something new do it on a scale where failure is survivable

3. Selection – seek out feedback and learn from mistakes as you go along, avoid an instinctive reaction of denial

(Peter Palchinsky was a Russian mining engineer who was imprisoned and executed by Stalin’s government in 1929 after many years of dissent against the human cost of the top-down command and control approach to industrialisation in Soviet Russia).

David’s post generated many questions when I first read it; how many teaching and learning experiments are currently active in your school?  Are there too few or too many? Are YOU experimenting in your classroom? If you are, do have the time, opportunity or platform to share these experiments with your fellow teachers in your school, region or country?

Here is David’s post in full – please enjoy:

Ron Canuel, CEO of the CEA (Canadian Education Association) recently asked ‘why do we need innovation in education?’ I’m on the board of the CEA,’s professional magazine, so I have to declare an interest in blogging about this. But it’s a perfectly valid, if surprising, question to ask. Surprising, because it’s hard to imagine captains of industry asking themselves ‘do we need more innovaion in (say) manufacturing? Or medicine, or technology?  But it’s valid to ask, because so few education innovations seem to stick, and scale-up. The ‘game changers’ rarely seem to change the game.

Ron, himself, gives one good reason for the comparative lack of innovation: that accountability frameworks don’t recognise innovation as a yardstick to be measured. So, education systems tend to value compliance , conformity, even complacency, above experimentation.

He’s right, of course, though just because we’re not being rewarded for innovation, is insufficient reason not to do it. Educators have a moral purpose – to strive to find the best learning for each individual in their care – and that should always trump keeping governments off our backs. That takes courage, of course, and school leaders, especially the less experienced ones, need time to build their courage. A Head Teacher of a highly innovative school in England, was taking a bunch of visitors around the school this week. He was asked ‘what progress have you made this year against the targets from the last OFSTED (our national inspections agency) visit?’ ‘None’, came the reply to a confused silence. ‘We haven’t tried to – it’s not important’. If only we had more school leaders who showed such determination not to be blown off-course by the constantly shifting winds of government. School leaders have a lot more autonomy than they often claim to have. But because it’s  such a tough job, it’s sometimes frankly easier to work to the targets and priorities someone else has set for you, and blame them when it doesn’t work.

There are, however, another couple of explanations for the lack of innovation.

First, there’s the dreaded ‘guinea-pig’ syndrome, where any attempt to try something new is met with ‘so you’re going to use these children as guinea-pigs in your experiment, are you?’  I’m baffled by this reaction (and parents and politicians are equally guilty here) for two reasons: First, how many medical breakthroughs would we have missed if people had refused to take part in clinical trials? More accurately, it’s not the patients who are refusing the clinical trial. Kids generally enjoy being part of a new initiative. It’s the guardians of their interests who resist.

Second,  there’s the ‘not-invented here-syndrome’ . Most of the truly exciting innovations in education are trialled on the ‘terminally ill’: the students for whom nothing seems to be working.  But the treatment would work just as well on other students. The CEA have recently rewarded one such initiative: The Oasis Skateboard Factory. This is an alternative school in Toronto for kids for whom mainstream schooling just doesn’t work. I urge you to take a little time to watch it. Listen to Craig, the founder of the school, and listen to the students. And then tell me, what is it about this innovation that wouldn’t work in mainstream schooling?

It’s such a compelling argument for offering some kids (if not most) a more authentic, project and enterprise-based approach to learning. My experience of showing new models of learning to educators, or policy makers, usually gets the same reaction Ron Canuel refers to: ‘that’s interesting, but it wouldn’t work in our school’. When the Musical Futures model I helped develop was drawing attention from schools in other countries, I did the politically correct thing by saying that cultural contexts would need different approaches, and that student outcomes would probably be different. But, inside I was thinking, ‘kids are not that different all over the world, so this should work just the same, wherever you are’. The reality has been just that. In seven countries the impact on kids is pretty much the same, wherever you go, for the reasons stated so elequently in the Oasis video.

I’ve been researching business models of innovation for the book I’m writing, and it’s fascinating to observe the ‘innovation gap’ which blocks change. Sometimes it’s structural/cultural – disciplinary silos, circling the waggons with’professional standards’ (most innovations come from outside), specialists viewing attempts to change their established ways as implied criticism). Sometimes it’s managerial – CEOs of innovative companies (think Steve Jobs) spend twice as much time personally involved in innovation, than their counterparts in less innovative companies. You have to model the change you wish to see.

So, there are some long-standing reasons why innovation gets blocked, or fails to transfer. But these aren’t as insurmountable as we often proclaim, and we can’t let them get in the way. As to the orginal question being posed, here are my five top reasons why we need innovation in education:

1. Because student outcomes are flatlining in countries where the ‘do more, work harder’ dictat,  combined with market-driven approaches from governments, drove innovation out of the sector and replaced it with fear. We need some new ideas.

2. Because, as educators, we’re in direct competition with the learning young people access socially, informally – and, right now, we’re coming off second best.

3. Because we need to constantly engage in respectful, challenging, professional discourse about our practice (and we need to spend rather less time providing pointless information to satisfy demands for accountability)

4. Because children, far from considering themselves ‘guinea pigs’ actually enjoy being part of something new. They well understand that being part of an innovation that doesn’t ultimately work isn’t going to have a critical effect on their education – not least because of (2) above. But the critical point is ‘being part of’, being active co-designers of learning innovations.

5. Because the one-size model of schooling never did fit all students, and it certainly won’t now. The school of the future needs to be an amalgamation of many different learning models, which students and teachers can try out to find what works best for them.

But what are yours? Please let me know your reasons for demanding more innovation in eudcation, and let CEA know here.

David Price tweets from @DavidPriceOBE

You can find his fascianting blog here: http://davidpriceblog.posterous.com/

  • David is an experienced education consultant, project manager, strategic adviser and public speaker. After working in the music industry, he became involved in education in 1991, lecturing in adult, further, and higher education. In 1994 he helped establish Sir Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, where he was Director of Learning for 7 years
  • Since then, he has led national projects in arts and education in the UK (most notably the innovative Musical Futures and Learning Futures projects for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation) and advised companies, third-sector organisations and government departments internationally. His public speaking work has taken him all over the UK and Europe, Australia, New Zealand, USA and China

Helen Birchill’s review of “Oops! Helping Children to Learn by Accident”

Review of  “Oops! Helping children to learn accidentally” by Hywel Roberts and Ian Gilbert

If you are one of those teachers who likes to be creative in the classroom but sometimes worries that you might be considered a little eccentric by your colleagues, or you are just trying to break out of the mould or extend your repertoire to avoid ‘death by power-point’, then this is the book for you.  An inspirational (and short!) read, this encourages you to seize opportunities and embrace radical ideas. The book is full of anecdotes and practical suggestions. It has very useful appendices (eg ‘ 10 sites to inspire you to hook into stuff’)

In particular, Roberts and Gilbert turn their RAVE curriculum (Relevant, Academic, Vocational and Educational) into the BRAVE (Buzzin!)  They promote the idea of making lessons relevant as a key to success.  This is something we can all learn from.  Also, sharing our experiences with students is rewarding and promotes effective engagement.

I took this on recently in my own lessons in the following way:

  • Why did it take so long to abolish slavery in the 18th/19th Centuries?

I ‘hooked’ students in by asking them to think of stories they were aware of in the news. How were they aware? How could they have been made aware? (BBM; Twitter; Facebook; The News at Ten! (admitted by one student only because he was waiting for Match of the Day!); etc ) This led to a discussion of how different the channels of communication were in the 1800s and enabled us to begin to understand how the Abolitionists campaigned to end the slave trade.

  • How far was corruption within the monasteries and convents a factor in why Henry VIII closed them down?

Students could better understand why Henry used this as an excuse by considering  a local feature of the landscape which is of value to them.  They chose The Carrs, a local outdoor area in Wilmslow. We were able to discuss how they would feel if it was taken away by the local council in the interests of saving money.  How could the local council  ‘soften the blow’ so as not to upset so many of the local people?  By suggesting it was a health hazard? Suggesting it was no longer utilised? etc

Both lessons worked really well and the students remarked on how they went really quickly. Time flies when…

In terms of sharing experiences, what better way than telling them about some of your own?  In Geography, that climb up Mount Etna or being caught up in an earthquake, or the fish you saw with a ring pull around its neck…

Go on! Get  thinking of how you can make your lessons relevant to the students. Share some of your own experiences/ memories  with them and see how you get on. It’s good for the students to know that we are all human…

Helen Birchilll

 

David Didau’s ‘Perfect’ Lesson Checklist

In this guest post, adapted from his book, ‘The Perfect Ofsted English Lesson’, David provides some little question prompts for when you are designing an outstanding learning experience for our students.

I visited David a few months ago way back in June at his new school, Clevedon Community School.  Upon leaving it was clear that he left an impressionable mark on my teaching and learning philosophies and practises, including upskilling me in the ways of SOLO taxonomy, the Learning Loop and Triple Impact Marking.

David’s approach when working with teachers is that they not only leave with an armful of exciting new ideas to try out in their classrooms combined with an understanding of what underpins those ideas but also a sound understanding of why they should use them.

David is also an Independent Thinking associate, where he is described as a ‘Thinking Teacher’s Teacher’.  Here is his perfect lesson checklist…

The Perfect Lesson Checklist

  • Does the lesson plan relate to the sequence of teaching?
  • Does the planning demonstrate high expectations and challenge?
  • Is the plan appropriate for the learning needs of all groups of students?
  • Is there a safe learning environment?

Start of the lesson:

  • Does the lesson get off to a flying start?
  • Is there a recap of previous learning
  • Are the learning objectives (LO) clear and appropriate in number?
  • Are the LO shared?
  • Are the success criteria clear?
  • Is the learning real?

During the lesson:

  • Is the teaching well paced?
  • Does the teaching hold the learner’s interests?
  • Does the teaching meet a range of learning styles?
  • Does the teaching meet a range of abilities?
  • Does the teaching actively engage learners in the learning process?
  • Are the learners given clear information and guidance throughout?
  • Is there paired or collaborative work?
  • Is questioning used effectively?
  • Are all learners actively involved?
  • Is ther clear feedback given on progress?
  • Is student knowledge and understanding increased?
  • Is there an opportunity for students to demonstrate increased knowledge and understanding?
  • Are reading and writing skills developed?

End of lesson:

  • Are the LO reviewed?
  • Are questions used to check what learning has taken place?
  • Is there feedback? 1. teacher to students, 2. Self assessment, 3. peer assessment
  • Is the next lesson previewed?
  • Is the lesson brought to a clear close?

High Performers: Going ‘beyond outstanding’

Alistair Smith’s ‘High Performers‘ book is a must read for any classroom teacher, middle leader or senior leadership team member looking to take their pedagogy, team or school to ‘beyond outstanding’.  It is firmly based in current practice and is based on Smith’s visits to 20 top performing state schools in the UK.

The book shares cutting edge practice that will make you think, and think hard, about your school’s current environment and culture and it emphasises a great motto:

‘Be curious and question everything’

A personal highlight for me was Chapter 18, ‘Challenging: ask the right questions’.  This chapter starts by suggesting ‘hard questions’ to ask about your school in order to avoid coasting and promote positive progression in your school environment.  Here is the list of questions in full:

  1. Are our lessons actually worth behaving for?
  2. Why does our timetable never change? How many different timetables are worth considering in an academic year?
  3. Why does school start at the same time for everyone?
  4. Should specialists take all exam groups?
  5. Would gap year students be a better option than teachers to help with A level support?
  6. Can we create supergroups by combining sets and giving them high quality lectures with follow up support?
  7. What do we do on a regular basis that does not contribute to improving learning? How soon will we abandon such practices?
  8. What’s wrong with mobiles in lessons? Why not introduce them in Year 10?
  9. Should the department have a Facebook or Twitter account?
  10. Should we all be on Twitter?
  11. Can we put revision tips on YouTube? What about lesson starters?
  12. Do we allow coursework to be submitted that is less than the target grade?
  13. What proportion of PE lessons need a gym? What proportion of science lessons need a lab?
  14. Have we provided parents with a booklet of work  for each subject for when their child says there is no homework?
  15. How useful to a parent is a raw grade or score for effort?
  16. In what ways does a grade for behaviour reflect the students capacity and willingness to learn?
  17. Many schools spend 100 hours per year on registration.  How do we use it?
  18. Why do we do so few lesson observations? 10 observations per year is still only 1% of anyone’s teaching.  Most people can turn it on for an observation but it’s what happens day in day out that counts.
  19. How productive are our assemblies? Why not have learning assemblies or motivational assemblies for different groups in Year 10 and 11?

Smith goes onto conclude that:

‘As a matter of course we should be reflecting on our professional practice.  The opportunity to question some of our most cherished practices needs to be positioned as a positive collegiate activity otherwise it becomes sniper training for cynics’

Wilmslow High School has a copy of this book in our Learning Resource Centre

Matt Bebbington

Twitter: @BebbPEteach