nurture 19/20

I find these year in review style posts to be quiet helpful. They fix you in time, capture what you’ve been up to and how you feel about it, and it can be interesting to look back on. I view the 2014-15 academic year as the best I’ve had, now that there is a healthy […]

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Retreating

  We ran two retreats for children aged between nine and eleven this month, and each was fascinating in its own way. The first one was able to equip the children to express themselves particularly clearly – the poetry that the children have written is amongst the most fluid, idiosyncratic and expressive we have had. […]

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Does your confidence as a teacher-writer alter children’s writing?

‘Sometimes she finds it hard, sometimes writing is.’ We all know the way we teach writing is wrong, right? We know that the diary entries, with their formulaic ‘Dear Diaries’ and logical paragraphs, and chronological recount, are nothing like the impulsive, emotional thoughtsplurges we may or may indulge in from time to time. We know […]

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Thoughts from the Relational Sandpit

I had the absolute pleasure of attending the Relationships Foundation’s Annual Conference yesterday, at Churchill College, University of Cambridge. After a rich introduction from Dr Rob Loe, there were talks from Professor Gordon Harold, Professor Colleen McLaughlin, Professor Robin Banerjee and Emeritus Professor Michael Fielding, as well as workshops which explored the practice of relational […]

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Writing as clear as muck

We can sometimes set a low bar for clarity when, in our haste to introduce children to a range of grammatical forms – some common and some less so – we create meandering, convoluted and clunky sentences which (whilst being grammatically accurate) are difficult to get our heads around, due to their excessive length, multiple […]

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‘Really?’ What do you ‘actually’ think? – Children’s authentic writing

Most of the time, children are quite savvy in their writing, and they read into the implicit expectations that sit around our explicit expectations. When we model a piece of writing for its grammatical features, or for the clear way in which the ideas are expressed, the children may also take in expectations like ‘I […]

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Leaving

I have been bringing two cloth bags full of books back to my house from school every day for the last fortnight. Post-it notes cascade out of them, each one a small review written by children across the school who borrow them whenever they want. I plan my weekly timetable and realise anything I don’t […]

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