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A Bluffer’s Guide to School Leadership

Miss B's Learning Journey

As I start my first SLT role, I’ve been reflecting upon some of the leadership teams I’ve worked under and have come up with my ‘Bluffer’s Guide to School Leadership’. This post reflects the things I’ve learned that some school leaders do and things that I won’t be doing in my new role. I hope you enjoy this, my first post on my brand new blog. 

Leadership is one of those jobs where, when you’re not a member of the ‘team’ you wonder why and how some of them actually made it on to that team. On a bad day it can often feel as though ‘they’ (and yes we rarely talk about them as though they are on the same team as ‘us’) are weak, ineffective, have the emotional intelligence of a Nazi warlord and spend all their days in their offices with the door closed. Sound familiar?


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The Education Food Fight: Save A Level Food Tech – by Megan Owen

We need to stop this from happening. I didn’t do A Level food tech, but I really wish I had.

The Nutrition Program Blog

This blog page has been written by Megan Owen, Head of Food Technology in response to the Government’s decision (16/7/2015) to stop teaching food at A level. @TeachFoodTech


Food Technology was always my favourite subject in secondary school. Being able to work creatively each week with a varying array of ingredients to skilfully make a range of products that I could proudly take home to impress my family with was both motivating and rewarding. Food lessons were my form of escapism; somewhere I could go to explore a growing passion, somewhere I could thrive and be myself, and somewhere I could clearly see the progress I was making through my increasing level of confidence, competence and independence within the kitchen.

When I chose my A Level options at 16, I, like many, was unsure of my future career path. I therefore opted for subjects that I enjoyed and had a…

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Speech at the Future of Education Inspection launch – Speeches – GOV.UK



What will Progress 8 do for the creative subjects?

What will Progress 8 do for the creative subjects?

What will Progress 8 do for the creative subjects?

26.03.2015 by Dave Thomson

The changes made by the coalition government to secondary school accountability, such as the EBACC, the Wolf Review and Progress 8, have tended to be met by concern that ‘creative’ subjects will become marginalised as a result of schools placing greater emphasis on ‘academic’ subjects. In recent weeks, for example, the TES questioned whether creative subjects, such as art, design & technology and music, would be affected by the introduction of Progress 8.

There is no doubt that recent changes to the accountability regime have led to increases in entry rates in GCSEs in the EBACC subjects. Particularly since 2012, the first cohort to begin Key Stage 4 (year 10) under the coalition government, the percentage of pupils entering at least one full GCSE [1] (2 in science) in the EBACC subjects of geography, history, science and languages has risen. Nonetheless, entry rates in languages and science remain below 2005 levels.

Click here to read on on education datalab.
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Ofsted Inspection… by @ASTSupportAAli

interesting blog post


Wednesday the 28th and Thursday the 29th of January 2015. Two important days in my Senior Leadership career. These two days saw my school receive a full Section 5 Ofsted Inspection. In this short blog I would like to share some tips/observations and reflections about the inspection and its process both as a school and a member of SLT.

The call:

Tuesday, around 13.30pm, I was summoned by a frantic looking member of support staff to go to meet other SLT in our meeting room.

‘Where were you? I have been looking everywhere for you!’

My response’s tone couldn’t have been more opposite,

‘Hi, I have been running an annual review, as per my calendar. Why what’s the panic!?’

I replied with a beaming smile.

Usually what would have happened if somebody was searching for me is they would radio for me. If no luck, they would call my…

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A single GCSE for D&T – will it fly?

David and Torben for D&T

Design & technology (D&T) is a relative newcomer to the curriculum. Its roots which go back to the late 1800s can be found in the teaching of a variety of crafts very much on a gender biased basis – cooking and needlework for girls, metalwork and woodwork for boys. These roots are still having a deleterious effect on the subject in that they skew the way the subject is conceptualized to give a pre-eminence to the materials that students might use and the making skills required to manipulate these materials. It is not that materials and making are unimportant (quite the reverse) but rather that they need to be seen as part of the essential concepts (so called BIG ideas) that underpin and define the subject. It was this inappropriate focus on materials/skills and the lack of BIG ideas amongst other factors that led the National Curriculum Expert Panel…

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Assessment – a bit nearer…

Interesting views on life without levels and new assessment models.

Love Life, Love Learning

In common with all schools we have been going through the process of devising an assessment system following the decision to discontinue levels at Key Stage 3. In the beginning we lamented the loss of levels mostly, it turned out, because we were in a sort of collective haze of disbelief and worry about how we could deal with this enormous task but we soon got over ourselves. When something big and new is required, I have a tried and tested process: outwardly ignore; meanwhile think about the issue at hand – turn it over as I go about my daily routine, chew it over when I swim causing me to lose count of the lengths I have done; talk to colleagues; research (of course, my go-to place for research is now the generous cyber space that is Twitter) – find out as much as I can about the issue…

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The MLG Repertoire Card

Brilliant post from Zoe Elder…Really enjoying your blog.

Marginal Learning Gains

Screen Shot 2013-05-11 at 18.27.46

The MLG repertoire card is an ACTIVE-LESSON PROMPT

As MLG is all about holding a sustained focus on a specific element of pedagogy, the trick is to maintain a focus on your identified MLG throughout a lesson or series of lessons. The MLG Repertoire Card is designed so that you have a visual prompt to keep the MLG uppermost in your mind as the lesson progresses. You can also create a space on the card to record observations and reflections during the lessons, thereby building up a living document of responses, reactions and impact on learning of the MLG you are developing.

By keeping your MLG at the forefront of your mind, you can refer to it during the lesson and share your focus for the lesson with your learners. In this way, you are inviting them into the ‘secret garden’ of the curriculum so that they begin to develop…

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Hurrah for @OfstedNews! #NoMoreGrades by @TeacherToolkit

About time Ofsted started thinking more progressively! Great blog post from @TeacherToolkit.