Halloween Secondary Resources from Beyond the Grave

Trick or treat? It’s that time of year again when things go bump in the night! Whatever happens by jack-o-lantern light this Halloween, make sure to prize open our crypt-full of Halloween secondary resources and add a terrifying twist to your Maths, English, and Science lessons… Continue reading Halloween Secondary Resources from Beyond the Grave

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

What’s Your Achilles’ Heel?

Though secondary school teachers are of course experts in their chosen fields, it’s probably fair to state that most of us have an Achilles heel. Mine is poetry. Fellow English teachers extol the emotional connection that they had with a poem, while the emotional connection I typically experience is deep confusion. The Cox Report (1989), which helped to establish the national curriculum as we know it, brilliantly described poetry as ‘language made strange’, though chances are its author foresaw the students finding it alien rather than those charged with teaching it. Remarkably, the poetry essays I wrote at university all … Continue reading What’s Your Achilles’ Heel?

How Do You Deal with Lesson Observation Feedback?

If you’ve happened to read my blog post titled ‘Seven Top Tips for NQTs’ you’ll have no doubt read point five which was summarised as ‘Sometimes, Feedback Isn’t Pleasant’. No one enjoys criticism and even if the observer is as nice as pie, sometimes you can come away feeling defeated and demoralised. This got me thinking. How can you handle lesson observation feedback in a positive and constructive way? Organise a Time and Place If given the option, avoid immediate feedback but organise a meeting immediately.  This is for two reasons. First of all, you’re likely to want some time … Continue reading How Do You Deal with Lesson Observation Feedback?

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?

Teacher Stories – Is This Lesson Every Teacher’s Worst Nightmare?

Everyone loves good teacher stories, whether anecdotal or otherwise! Penny SK’s teacher story however, sets a new benchmark! It might just be every teachers’ worst nightmare… Continue reading Teacher Stories – Is This Lesson Every Teacher’s Worst Nightmare?

Quick Behaviour Management Tips for the Classroom

Content writer Debi, a former pastoral manager, maths teacher and head of year for over 20 years shares some quick tips for managing the classroom. Returning to school in January tends to go one of two ways – the students are either so worn out from the excitement or they’re bouncing off the walls. Both apathy and boundless energy present a challenge to the new and seasoned teacher alike and if the festive holidays have left your memory a little hazy, here are a few quick bullet-point reminders to get the behaviour back on track. Be fair and consistent. Do … Continue reading Quick Behaviour Management Tips for the Classroom