I am making my way though Ross Young and Felicity Ferguson’s encyclopaedic new guide to the teaching of writing – Writing for Pleasure (Routledge). Each chapter ends with some reflective questions, and I am going to answer them. This kind of reflective writing always helps me to understand my practice, which is something that is […]Read more "Reflections On ‘Writing for Pleasure’: Teachers’ orientations"
I’ve been thinking about my encounters with strangers. I veer between feeling quite extroverted and stiflingly introverted. I have been the keynote speaker at a conference, and have enjoyed the moment enormously until suddenly, I feel like I am suffocating and need to escape. Within the space of five minutes I can go from feeling […]Read more "Strangers"
This post is as much about me processing things for myself, so I apologise if it comes across as self-absorbed. It is, and that’s the point. Nonetheless, I always find it interesting to read about what’s going on with other people, and I share this in this spirit. I’ve got an interesting year ahead, but […]Read more "Reflecting on this strange year, preparing for the next"
This school year has been strange. This has been well-established. I chose this academic year to start a new venture, leaving my role as a broadly-contented Assistant Head at Park Primary, to set up OtherWise Education. I regret nothing, but am gently amused at how the ebb and flow of a global pandemic nudged me […]Read more "There Are Three Spectres In My Lockdown Shed"
The children of the country are not preoccupied with the contested movements of a special advisor. Most children are currently preoccupied with boredom, home learning, fear of the virus and the loss of their own freedoms – the freedom to attend school, to socialise and to play. For many of them, they are preoccupied with […]Read more "Can we talk about anti-democracy with pupils?"
It’s all gone to pot. Edenred, despite having the slogan ‘For an easier life’, has managed to put forward a system for free school meals so blindingly unsuitable and unprepared, that many heads would have had an easier life if they themselves had individually harvested crops and raised livestock in their playgrounds. We are suffering from […]Read more "As has been made clear: onwards through the omnishambles"
The desire to make a difference motivates many teachers. This presumes two things that may or may not be true. The school system as it is is not functioning as well as it could (or else why even bother trying to do something differently?) An individual teacher can make that profound difference happen. Teaching plonks […]Read more "Finding yourself as a teacher: fixing by breaking"
How is it going, everyone? Some of you have been becoming Youtubers this last fortnight. Some of you have become sudden technophiles, issuing tasks, praise and sanctions to children in their pyjamas (whilst you sit at home in yours). Some of you have been in school teaching the children of public sector workers only. These […]Read more "So what happens when we get back to school?"
It was brilliant to engage with so many people after posting the first set of eighteen ideas for bringing poetry to life in the primary school. I got a lot of enjoyment from pulling them together, and just as much from chatting to teachers, friends and even some poets about it all. It helped me to reflect more […]Read more "” You say Garibaldi!” – 9 more ways to inject poetry into the primary school"
Here is a smattering of thoughts, ideas, links, projects, organisations and a few people who might help you to bring poetry to life in the primary school setting. No pretending here that this is anything other than my own subjective brainsludge – I am a keen and devoted amateur; a teacher who writes poetry and […]Read more "18 (mostly unexpected) ways to bring poetry to life in the primary school"