2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 55 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the … Continue reading

Isn’t Life Funny (Ha Ha)

A year ago I was discussing career opportunities and thinking about forward planning for retirement (at 90). I was hoping that the third year into our new building would bring stronger commitment from the team in the development of a better and enhanced mathematical education and learning experience for our students. In particular for our … Continue reading

Misconceptions

There seems to be a lack of understanding about GCSE attainment and their FFTD targets. 77% of pupils gaining A*-C sounds great this year versus 70% last year. However, our FFTD was 82% for this year and 72% for last year. We gloss over this last part to make ourselves appear more successful this year. … Continue reading

The Worst of Weeks

The Worst of Weeks

We returned back to school on Monday after the Easter break fired up and excited to face the GCSE and A Level exams. And while we were exchanging holiday stories, there was a pause and someone in my form asked about another who had been taken unexpectedly ill. We were all stunned to find out … Continue reading

Maxine Powell – obituary from The Telegraph

Maxine Powell – obituary from The Telegraph

Hugely influential, and inspirational – Maxine Powell enabled her protégés to make the transition from A lister (with raw talent), to brilliant star (with that magical something extra). The extra was a combination of manners, grace, self-confidence and ease in social situations and performances which transformed a person’s social mobility.  This is the type of … Continue reading

SKU – uniquely biased towards understanding

SKU – uniquely biased towards understanding

Depending on your particular take, SKU might refer to ‘stock keeping unit’, the unique identifier enabling tracking of an item for stock-taking purposes; or if you are an educator trained towards the end of the National Curriculum it might mean skills, knowledge and understanding. Of course, you might just be dreadful at spelling or good … Continue reading

Nanomath – Proof

Nanomath – Proof

Bite-size chunks of incredibly important mathematics Proof Some basics: If n is an integer, consecutive integers could be either side i.e. n-1, n, n+1, n+2 etc. Regardless of whether n is even or odd, 2n will be even, and 2n-1, and 2n+1 will be odd  Multiples of 2, 3 and 5 are written 2n, 3n, 5n respectively … Continue reading

What are random walks?

Originally posted on Mocha Mathematics:
A shorter version of this post was published on The Conversation on 19th December 2013. His walk home might comprise random steps, but mathematics says he’ll find his way eventually. (David Blackwell) The sun as captured by NASA’s SDO mission – each particle of sunlight has undergone a remarkable journey.…

Enduring Excellence, Equity, Empowerment

Enduring Excellence, Equity, Empowerment

“Excellence is never an accident. It is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, and intelligent execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives, choice not chance determines your destiny.” Aristotle It’s the wrong time of year to be talking about Epiphany, but this is about an epiphany of the ‘wake-up call’ kind.  I … Continue reading

Winchester Cathedral

Winchester Cathedral

Saint Swithun is the saint most associated with Winchester. http://winchester-cathedral.org.uk/history-treasures/famous-people/st-swithun-the-cathedral%e2%80%99s-patron-saint/ This beautiful cathedral, even on a dull cloudy November day has a light the shines within that is more than the sum of its treasures. There are many stories, tales and interesting facts illuminated by the many experienced guides who share their knowledge with fascinating … Continue reading

Marking… and even more marking (yawn)

Marking… and even more marking (yawn)

The Ofsted report on St Marylebone’s marking strategy begins: “We’ve all seen students glow with pride on receiving a top-grade piece of work back from a  teacher and we’ve also seen the dreadful shrug of disappointment swiftly followed by disengagement when a student feels demoralized by marked work. The way that work is marked can … Continue reading

New School – One Year On

New School – One Year On

It’s been a year soon since our re-organisation and packing away in preparation for the move into our new school building. The emphasis was on the building changing, but the essence of the school as a community would remain the same. Well. one thing can have profound effects on another, and changing your surroundings, especially … Continue reading

Heriot Watt

Heriot Watt

We attended the Congregation for the Conferment of Degrees at Heriot Watt for Son #1, and like every parent, friend and Graduate present, we were in turn grateful, relieved and emotional. Heriot Watt has for the second consecutive year, been voted by students as the best University experience in Scotland, and the 4th in the UK … Continue reading