Leaders – what does your mental model of great teaching look like?

Quality first teaching is a strange phrase. I may be wrong but I think its origin can be traced back to the SEND code of practice. Its most recent iteration is 'high quality teaching' as a catch all for all the great things that should be under universal provision. Regardless of origin, it is certainly... Continue Reading →

CPD that aims to change teachers’ behaviour is fundamentally flawed

Often, leaders are focused on improving the outcomes for the least advantaged children, seeking to ultimately raise attainment in whatever measures are relevant to the age range. Ideas about a mastery approach have been talked about for a few years now, with strategies in the name of mastery including all sorts: Having mastery as an... Continue Reading →

Curriculum checklists

Whether a senior leader in charge of the curriculum or a subject leader in charge of one or a number of individual subjects, the challenge is the same. A high quality education provided at scale by multiple colleagues. To do this well, leaders need good systems and checklists help systems to become established run smoothly.... Continue Reading →

Poor proxies for leadership expertise

Learning involves a lasting change in pupils’ capabilities or understanding.NPQ Frameworks (2020) Figuring out what children have learned is vital for adapting planning but it is tricky because learning is invisible. Proxies for learning are tempting because there is a strong human need to make sense and in this case to measure. Perhaps stronger is... Continue Reading →

How can senior leaders support subject leaders?

Subject leaders do an incredible job. In the average primary school, most get minimal additional non contact time and often lead more than one subject. They contribute to curriculum design, champion their subject and support colleagues with subject knowledge, Subject leaders are the engine room of school improvement and the support that senior leaders provide... Continue Reading →

6 questions for leaders about assessment

The time is right to challenge assessment practices and there are several questions that leaders need to think about and discuss. Question 1What is progress? If leaders want to know whether children are making progress, the concept needs defining. For years the dominant model of progress has been numerical - a neat number that compares... Continue Reading →

A model for school improvement

David Carter's book Leading Academy Trusts is packed full of wisdom. Carter identifies 5 things that MATs must be good at to build a sustainable culture of improvement and one of those things is that the trust's improvement model is responsive to the needs of each individual school. This got me thinking about how to... Continue Reading →

Scaffolding, culture and theories of action

Scaffolding has come to be the fashionable term for how teachers ensure that children can access the curriculum. Often, the term is used to describe supporting children who might need more help and it is commonly used synonymously with differentiation. It is tempting to consider whether they are the same thing but I’m not sure... Continue Reading →

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