The benefits of bunking

21 November 2013

I used to think a bit of bunking could be romantic. Cavalier even. No more. Not in these Roundhead times. John Lennon would have failed all ends up today. Too much talent, flair and imagination – like Rosie.

Can you still feed their hunger?

21 November 2013

As the pressure for exam success mounts, the freedom to truly engage and inspire pupils with brilliant literature is diminishing. Alex Wood asks whether we can still feed pupils' hunger for great stories.

A challenging classroom for observation week

21 November 2013

As leadership descend for NQT observation week, our NQT diarist faces the return to her classroom of a particularly challenging student. Will she cope when the pressure is on?

Lessons from Shanghai

21 November 2013

SecEd columnist Phil Parker is currently working with Chinese schools who are keen to move from rote-learning to a skills-led approach. He discusses what he found on a recent visit to a Shanghai school.

Maslow turns in his grave

21 November 2013

The importance of empathy in education cannot be overstated, says our headteacher diarist, but it doesn't go hand in hand with soft and unchallenging, as our educational leaders seem to think.

Stress – let’s talk about it

21 November 2013

The myriad of stress awareness campaigns seem to have little impact on levels of stress – but they must continue says Julian Stanley.

Breaking the link between poverty and poor health outcomes

14 November 2013

The work schools undertake to promote the health and wellbeing of students is far-reaching, the whole system must work harder to break the link between disadvantaged children and poor health outcomes. Dr Hilary Emery explains.

Reflections on outstanding

14 November 2013

After contributing a chapter on his school’s improvement journey to an important new book, Chris Holmwood reflects on the inspirations that drive him and his colleagues to achieve outstanding.

The tail wags the dog – again

14 November 2013

Rather than structures and qualifications, should not the national conversation be driven by a discussion about the purposes that education should serve, asks Marion Gibbs.

When is your real ‘holiday time’?

14 November 2013

As teachers we are often derided for having 13 weeks of holiday a year, but how much actual holiday time do you take? Our headteacher diarist reflects on just how much of her 13 weeks she spends working.

A fond farewell to GCSE coursework

14 November 2013

The GCSE reforms will spell the end of most coursework as part of GCSE examination. Hilary Moriarty can understand why the government and Ofqual have made the move, but wonders what will now cater for students with different talents.

NQTs – we’re in it together!

14 November 2013

After a challenging and arduous first half-term, our NQT diarist meets up with her PGCE colleagues to share horror stories and take stock...

The bad old days...

14 November 2013

I was that teacher. That was my class. 3-7! A merry crew! Room West 206! 1987. Just before the National Curriculum – a time, which modern gurus are pleased to lament as having “the intentioned idealism” of the bad old days. Well, you could have fooled me.

The key questions facing mathematics education

7 November 2013

Ahead of a major international mathematics conference, David Martin sets out some key questions that must be tackled to ensure the subject remains relevant and engaging in the future.

Inequality: The elephant in the room

7 November 2013

Inequality remains the elephant in the room of Scottish education, warns Alex Wood. Rather than playing their part in tackling the issue, he accuses the bulk of Scotland's private schools of reinforcing these inequalities.

What’s the point of predicted grades?

7 November 2013

Karen Sullivan cannot understand why we still use the predicted grades system for applying to university. She considers some of the negative implications of this age-old approach.

We're obviously doing something right

7 November 2013

Despite the manic end to her first half-term, our NQT diarist is buoyed that among all the stress and drama, they are obviously doing something right...

The Corporate Kids

18 October 2013

I have seen the future of education and it’s corporate. It’s a 7th year pupil in a silly suit, incurious, industrious, obsequious and going on 37. The Corporate Kid, a grim mix of Dickens’ Bitzer and the Leadership Group.

Facing Requiring Improvement

17 October 2013

After being visited by inspectors barely a week into term with 23 new members of staff trying to settle in, our headteacher diarist now faces a Requiring Improvement judgement. She says enough is enough.

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