Category Archives: Education

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

Posted in Education, Teaching | 7 Comments

Staying stoical in school

Some two thousand years ago, a teacher, a playwright and an emperor asked: What is the best way to live? How can we deal with the difficult situations we face? What does it take to improve our minds? Their answers … Continue reading

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Imagine working for an organisation where there are no annual performance meetings, no bureaucracy, where you do not need permission to take time off, and where the expense policy is just five words long: ‘act in our best interest’. Imagine … Continue reading

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Shakespeare’s Schooling: King’s New School

“Education made Shakespeare what he was” Soul of the Age: Life, Mind and World: Jonathan Bate ‘with his Tiger’s heart wrapped in a player’s hide … Shakes-scene’ Robert Greene, Shakespeare’s contemporary “Shakespeare’s schooling provided an excellent resource for the future … Continue reading

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Scaling Mount Improbable: King’s Wimbledon

What can we learn from a top private school? King’s College School Wimbledon is one of the most academically successful schools in the world. 96% of pupils achieve A*-A at GCSE, and 41 pupils gained A*s in every one of … Continue reading

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The Blogosphere in 2016: Roaring Tigers, Hidden Dragons

The Signal Sharpens If felt like in 2016 the signal sharpened. The education blogosphere improved its curation of quality posts. This is mainly thanks to Andrew Old’s work on the Echo Chamber. In 2015, 6,000 blogposts were published (over 100 … Continue reading

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Mnemonics: making the forgettable memorable

Remember like an elephant I’ve always loved mnemonics. One of the first ones I learned was for the points of the compass, clockwise: Naughty Elephants Squirt Water. Why does it work so well to help young children remember? I think … Continue reading

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No Excuses: High Standards, High Support

Our school, Michaela, has very, very high standards. We expect every pupil to arrive at school on time every day, and we expect 100% attendance. We expect every pupil to arrive in school fully equipped for learning. We expect every … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 18 Comments

Authority in Schools

One of the best questions from the Michaela Battle Hymn event was: ‘how would you draw the distinction between authority and authoritarian?’ It is a vital distinction, and one that must be disentangled rather than conflated.   My definition of … Continue reading

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Disruption of Teaching

“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never again say you did not know.” William Wilberforce 1791 Reading Tom Bennett’s book about behaviour, based on his many years of writing for the TES about misbehaviour in … Continue reading

Posted in Education | 3 Comments