In, Out, Shake it All About. An astonishing week. Whilst it does not compare with the traumas endured by doctors and nurses in overrun hospitals, it is fair to say that those of us in education have lived several weeks in one. The whole of Sunday was spent preparing for a full opening on Monday.… Read More Lockdown 3.0
By way of suggesting some wishes, aspirations or otherwise for 2021, I thought I’d pick out some of the themes of the hundred or so blogs on this site. The majority were written before the pandemic. Reading back through them, some of these themes are even more urgent in my mind, given the danger of… Read More New Year, Old Themes.
The responsibilities taken on by schools are, to use a familiar adverb, rising exponentially. The pandemic might just be exposing how much society relies on them, particularly those serving our youngest children. Ever the optimist, I just wonder whether the penny is dropping. It’s true, as my colleague @OldPrimaryHead said in a recent blog, that… Read More The Penny Drops
Some things naturally come together to form a narrative. It happened this week. I began the week in a bad way. Like many school staff, I was just weary, physically and mentally. Half-term was arriving just in time. I was angry and knackered. The starting point. Secondly, we had scheduled Monday as a staffing day,… Read More Work and the Common Good
BACK in a time which seems decades ago, but was actually January this year, our school, All Saints Catholic Primary School, Anfield, was fortunate enough to receive a visit from HRH The Duke of Cambridge. The purpose of Prince William’s visit was to see the work of the Eco-Emeralds, a group of pupils behind a… Read More Prince William and Backyard Nature
Over the summer, I reflected on how I would describe the people that work at our school. What characterises them as a staff body? I was reading about staff groups that appeared to be so intensely brilliant. Experts on metacognition, champions of reading strategies, pioneers of direct instruction, authorities on child mental health. Would I… Read More The Virtue of Humility
It seems remarkable that, only six months ago, we were still under the impression that it was perfectly fine to shake hands and hug each other. I remember having friends over at the beginning of March. Though we remarked on this distant virus, I don’t think any of us thought it was coming our way… Read More Masks
The Educational Foundation For Organised and Focused Formation (EFFOFF) has just released a comprehensive study that reaches a staggering conclusion. English primary pupils have progressed MORE at home since March than they would otherwise have done in school. A random sample of two thousand Y6 pupils, from across the country and representing a wide range… Read More New Research Paper from EFFOFF
Throughout this perplexing time in education, ever since that surreal moment in March when we closed (but didn’t close), I’ve been knocking around a kind of theory. It goes something like this. Where schools have invested heavily in community, in relationships with parents, in creating an outward-facing culture, they have generally risen to the challenges… Read More The Purpose of Schools
Lockdown is over, and the English public draws open the curtains. Some of us – we’re now called keyworkers – have been working throughout; we have had the chance to view the society around us from different vantage points. Personally, I’ve had more time to read, listen and ponder. Whilst it has been work, it… Read More Missed Opportunities
My wife had pneumonia at the age of ten and missed three months of school. Her abuelo visited her each day during her recuperation and helped her learn how to draw, taught her equations and read her the latest news. He loved it by all accounts. For her, the illness put a hold on her… Read More Catch up!!
Whilst acknowledging all the criticisms of Dominic Cummings in regard to his recent behaviour, I’d prefer to reflect on his time at the Department for Education from 2011 – 2014 and use it as a trigger for a reflection on leadership. In this period, he and his boss Michael Gove ripped through the department, triggering… Read More Reflections on Leadership (without mentioning Dominic Cummings…well not much anyway)