Author Archives: Joe Kirby

About Joe Kirby

English teacher, Deputy Headteacher, education writer

What was asked at ResearchEd Surrey?

ResearchEd is one of the most exciting developments in teaching in the last ten years. Teachers and school leaders are now asking questions that cut to the core of how we can improve education. The sharing, passion, generosity and collegiality … Continue reading

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Taking feedback well

As school leaders, we need feedback from staff on how things are going; we can’t be present in that many hotspots, CPD sessions, lessons or conversations. But it’s hard for staff to be fully honest when their jobs, livelihoods and … Continue reading

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Honest upward feedback

Staff don’t often tell school leaders what they truly think about what matters most.. Why does seeking honest upward feedback from staff matter? Being ignored is demotivating. We want staff to be able to share their struggles and mistakes without … Continue reading

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How can school leaders create great staff culture? 

‘I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else in the world. This culture, this staff, this school… being part of a team like this is what keeps me going’. What is staff culture in a school?  Staff culture is the mass … Continue reading

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Knowledge-led strategy

How can we think better about school improvement?  Schools are prone to overstretch.  We need a way forward that doesn’t overload us as school leaders.  But we should also beware of oversimplifying and boxing ourselves in to templates.  The history … Continue reading

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Strategy: a 2,500 year-old history

In 10 years in schools, I’ve always been prone to frazzling overstretch. I think we as school leaders often are: it’s tough to know what and how to prioritise. I reckon the history of strategy can help us out.  I’ll … Continue reading

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Overstretch: how and why to say no

   Every September I’ve taught in schools, I have to admit I’ve felt a bit frazzled! School staff are beset by a dizzying dazzle of pressing decisions, concerns, dilemmas, and requests; cudgelled with urgent demands, requirements, conflicts, pressures and pickles.  … Continue reading

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Teachers lead the scientific revolution in education: 44+ seminal articles

‘The scientific approach to identifying best practices is the best long-term bet.’ Prof Rob Coe The scientific revolution dramatically improved medicine.  Doctors applied scientific research evidence to vastly improve healthcare over time. Infant, maternal and preventable mortality fell worldwide; longevity … Continue reading

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Articles

I focus on how to improve the culture, curriculum and teaching in schools.   What can we learn from cognitive and behavioural science? Teachers lead the scientific revolution in education Cognitive psychology Why students forget Long-term memory Science of learning … Continue reading

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Three Assessment Butterflies

Winston Churchill once said ‘success is stumbling from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.’ Looking back now on assessment in our first year at Michaela, I can now see what I was blind to then: we stumbled and blundered. What mistakes … Continue reading

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