Filed under teaching

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

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

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

FANTASTIC FRIDAY

FANTASTIC FRIDAY

FANTASTIC FRIDAY We have had a ‘bunch’ of maths revision lessons in the past 10 days as the Maths GCSEs fall at the end of the exam timetable. Since we have various students attempting either Modular, Linear (or both) to accommodate their needs we offered lots of maths preparation time. Not least because all their efforts … Continue reading

Students said…

Students said…

At A Level Revision this half term holiday (becoming a bit of a habit, I must say!) one of my lovely Year 13 came out with this gem: Madam, can you help me with these two problems please?…. – No – not those two, I’m going to ask my tutor to go through those with … Continue reading

Help! Teacher Vacancy

Help! Teacher Vacancy

Looking for a Mathematics Teaching Post? Advertised to fill a Mathematics vacancy recently? How difficult can it be to recruit the right people? Obviously… very, or I wouldn’t be writing this now. The normal adverts attract variable responses – last year 40 applications, this year 6. There was a flood of similar posts in the … Continue reading

Bottom Set Syndrome

Bottom Set Syndrome

What to do about professionals who complain about teaching ‘bottom sets’. They talk about having no patience left at the end of the week; that they feel the pace of lessons is too slow; that the subject content is too weak; they all but imply it is too demeaning for them. Here is the the … Continue reading

Digital Learning

Digital Learning

OK. Digital native or digital im/migrant? Bob Harrison has a nice little quiz to help you decide! See under teaching! Follow this up with Understanding Digital Kids and countless articles and blogs about Digital Learning and you have a real supercharged mix about what learning should look like in future classrooms. Let’s not even get … Continue reading

Call for Unis to Online all Course Content

Call for Unis to Online all Course Content

Daphne Koller – Free Education Online For All Many universities allow some of their course content to be accessible to all who browse the internet. Many Profs, Tutors, Educatinalists put their work online for our benefit. Now there is a more urgent call for this freedom to be extended globally to allow everyone the same … Continue reading