On food

I still think there’s an important place for a few grazing animals. On the other hand, industrial (also known as ‘cheap’) farming of animals is just unconscionable. Still deciding how this all fits together though…

I’ve been educating myself more and more about the production of food, with the aim of making the invisible visible. I’ve never seen an abattoir, I’ve never seen a dairy cow artificially inseminated, and I’ve never seen an industrial chicken/pork/beef/lamb operation in the flesh. Yet. So I’ve been gathering info and reading, listening to and watching what others have revealed behind the scenes of food production. I’m in the process of researching global stats on food production – more to follow on that front.

Bottom line: I want to talk FOOD and discuss, debate and learn all about it.

Watch this space.

 

My educational values

  1. Everyone has the right to their own ambitions
  2. Nobody has the right to define anyone else’s level of ability
  3. Everyone deserves dignity, respect and space to express themselves
  4. A teacher’s job is to teach as effectively as they can
  5. A student’s job is to learn as much as they can
  6. Hard work and grit are to be celebrated
  7. No one should be lazy or rude
  8. Language is powerful and creates our world
  9. There is only one Earth, and we all live on it. Respect it
  10. Think for yourself

If I am to maintain my integrity in my work life, my actions need to match my values.


This is a first attempt at putting those values into language and I hope to refine them and most importantly to act in line with them, without worrying about who might be upset!

What is the EU?

See below for Professor Dougan’s comments on immigration, which he emailed me today.

A friend shared a video of a talk given by Professor Michael Dougan of the University of Liverpool’s Law School. As he explains, he’s spent a lifetime studying and practising EU law, and as such has been a go-to consultant for various news outlets during the buildup to the referendum.

Continue reading “What is the EU?”

How does the mind affect health?

It is clear that we need our lives to have a purpose, to feel that our actions form part of something bigger than ourselves.

When Julia, a passionate and committed teacher, was forced to take extended leave from work, she had to find activities to fill the gap and to provide meaning to her day to day existence. Going from such an intrinsically fulfilling and gregarious job to a quieter, slower, less social existence would have come as a severe shock. It would have been easy for Julia to slip into a cycle of anxiety and stress leading to isolation and depression.

Continue reading “How does the mind affect health?”

Assessment without levels – prologue

My school has produced a first draft proposal for a new assessment framework relating to the new GCSE grades, and looking to move to a system without levels.

The gist of it is: a student comes into school, and based on their prior attainment they’re set a ‘projected grade’. This is the minimum expected GCSE grade (e.g. grade 5).

Teachers will use this to set a professional target.

In each year, the same grading system will be used, so a student should in theory progress from grade 5 in Year 7 to grade 5 in Year 11, with each subject setting the standards against which these judgements will be made.

As I spent some time on my response to this first draft proposal, I thought it would be worth sharing more widely. Below is my response. I’d be interested to know what you think.

Continue reading “Assessment without levels – prologue”

GCSE science revision – ideas

As those exams begin to loom large, here are some ideas on how to support students to develop the skill of active revision.

Ian, a science teacher (in a mystery location!) has shared his ideas for all to see; I particularly like his mneumonic “MORSE” and his ideas on how to get best use out of past papers (see below)

  • M neumonics
  • O rganisation
  • R ehearsal / Repetition
  • S implification / Summarising
  • E xtension

For all of the AQA GCSE science units, there are learning checklists saved in the cloud – on Dropbox (No log in required – you can share these links with students for home access. Note that Dropbox is often filtered by school servers, but I can assure you these are accessible from home or on mobile devices)

is.gd/AQAchecklists

Ian’s blog about revision is here: GCSE Science Revision – Teaching of Science, and the page where he described some different ways of using exam papers is here.

He and others have also put together some excellent revision booklets, for students to complete. These can also be found via the link above, or directly via is.gd/AQAsciencerevision

And if that wasn’t enough, he’s also made a lesson activity to support students’ skill in answering 6 mark questions. He has blogged a lesson plan, and this is the PowerPoint he uses for it, which can be adapted with different questions.

What a generous fellow he is.

Replacing national curriculum levels

Very useful summary of, and links to, various ideas on how to grasp the opportunity offered by the disappearance of ‘levels’ from the National Curriculum

The Wing to Heaven

Life beyond levels? Life after levels? Life without levels?  Lots of teachers, senior leaders and academics have come up with some interesting ideas for what should replace national curriculum levels. Here’s a summary of some of those ideas.

  • Michael Fordham is a former history teacher and now works at Cambridge’s education department. He has written three articles which put forward a possible system for assessing history – one, two, three.
  • Alison Peacock is the head of Wroxham Primary School, who moved away from levels a while ago. In this post she expresses a worry that any list of aims she writes up will become APP under another name.
  • Alison Peacock was also a part of the NAHT commission who recently released a report on this.
  • The NAHT report attracted quite a few comments.  I’m in broad agreement with David Thomas’s post here, particularly the point he…

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