Speaking School: It’s Like Learning Another Language

Ofsted have an unerring knack of making us feel inadequate. My introduction to this came earlier than most. It came before I was a teacher. Before I’d even thought about becoming a teacher. Fresh out of university, it turned out I didn’t have the world at my feet. Instead, to supplement my limited workplace experience of checkout scanning and pint-pulling, I registered with a temping agency who sent me on a number of instructive assignments. The first was performing admin duties at the Serious Fraud Office where, perhaps unsurprisingly, temp staff weren’t included in briefings. Next came a stint at … Continue reading Speaking School: It’s Like Learning Another Language

Sneak Some Literacy Into Your Lessons

Teaching Standard 3 includes the following: ‘Demonstrate an understanding of and take responsibility for promoting high standards of literacy, articulacy and the correct use of Standard English, whatever their specialist subject.’ Is this really fair? With everything else you have to include in your own subject lessons, how can you be expected to include literacy standards and a focus on Standard English too? Surely that’s the job of the English department? Actually, this standard is really important. You need to be able to demonstrate your own understanding and accurate use of Standard English in a range of different ways: report … Continue reading Sneak Some Literacy Into Your Lessons

The Unicorn Teacher

They’re very rare and special. There won’t be more than one or two in a school. Sometimes there won’t be any at all. They hold distinctive and exceptional qualities that are breathtaking to behold, many want to emulate and few can achieve. They are the unicorn teachers and if you meet one, you should look after them very, very carefully. Unicorn Teachers deliver in many ways like so many teachers: they work hard and go the extra mile for their students, being friendly, positive and genuinely interested. You’ll find them at extra-curricular clubs and meetings, being helpful to new staff … Continue reading The Unicorn Teacher

Have Schools Always Been Broke?

Stories of overstretched schools relying on goodwill from the public are becoming the norm but has it always been this way? Have schools always been counting the pennies or were they flush with cash back in the good old days? As a Teacher… My HOD kept the supplies under lock-and-key, protected them from the geography team upstairs and maths team just down the way. At the beginning of every half term, my colleagues and I would approach her classroom sheepishly and ask for the meagre rations of equipment we’d need to see us through the next few weeks. When essential … Continue reading Have Schools Always Been Broke?

A Vote for Political Engagement

The personal is political was a rallying slogan of the student and feminist movements of the late 1960s, but it perhaps rings even more true in 2019. Social media serves to amplify beliefs and viewpoints: everything is political, it pervades every corner of life. Except, so the corridors of power would have it, the classroom. Our National Curriculum prioritises Shakespeare and quadratic equations over Walpole and proportional representation. While there is merit to be found in every subject, it’s impossible not to sympathise with the multitudes who protest that they’ll never need know about x+y post-sixteen but are then packed … Continue reading A Vote for Political Engagement

How Can You Tackle Lesson Observation Anxiety?

I always hated lesson observations – not because I wasn’t a confident teacher, far from it in fact. I simply couldn’t stomach the nerves that came before them, even when I felt ready, prepared and everything was in order. So, what can you do to beat observation nerves? Don’t Overthink It! In my early teaching days, I often made mistake of securing the tablet trolley, printing QR codes, planning oodles of group work and hoping to dazzle the observer with a song and dance of a lesson. It should come as no surprise that this stuff often went wrong. The … Continue reading How Can You Tackle Lesson Observation Anxiety?

Maths Resources: Favourites This Week

Siobhan Lawrence, Content Writer for Secondary Maths, discusses her go-to maths resources from the site. Browse through her list at the top of the page and click the images to link through to the resources on the Twinkl website. For a fuller explanation on the thought process behind them scroll further down this page. Escape the Room: Arithmetic Exit Tickets These Escape the Room Challenge Cards are a brilliant way to keep students focused right up until they leave the classroom and provide such a great assessment for learning tool for teachers. They are also fantastic for encouraging students to … Continue reading Maths Resources: Favourites This Week

Twinkl Debate: Back, Grown up and in a New Suit

Twinkl Debate resources are among some of the most popular resources for Twinkl Secondary users and despite the old adage that reminds us not to fix what isn’t broken, we felt we could inject some life into the debate packs and improve them along the way. So without further ado… our new Debate Pack can be found here!  It’s also free until the end of Monday 7th January 2019 – so sign up for a free account if you haven’t already! If you’re unfamiliar with our debate resources, allow me to explain! Our writers take a relevant and divisive topic … Continue reading Twinkl Debate: Back, Grown up and in a New Suit

Worried About Santa’s Diet?

Fiona Sutcliffe has written a resource to deal with a concern that many of us have shared. Christmas is getting nearer and I’m sure by now most people are feeling festive! Christmas is that time of year that I love, and like most people, it means spending time with family and friends, and eating and drinking a lot more than usual! I mean seriously, if you can’t eat chocolate for breakfast at Christmas, when can you? So, it might seem odd that I am discussing a resource I made which looks at Father Christmas’ New Year’s resolution. His resolution for … Continue reading Worried About Santa’s Diet?