Monthly Archives: Dec 2013

100 wcgu #115 walking

The first 100 word challenge for a while. The prompt was ‘…the path ahead…’ which made me think of a picture on my wall that I took when out walking one day.


She crossed the style and put down her rucksack. It was time for a break, and the style provided a handy seat, even if it was a bit muddy from all the boots that had used it recently. The path ahead could have been drawn with a ruler on the map, but as she looked across the field, it clearly wandered off course as it went up the hill, walkers earlier in the year perhaps avoiding muddy patches.
Still, she couldn’t be worrying about how straight the way was, it was that or nothing. And with the crop in full flower, there was no choice.



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A challenge from those on twitter to find 13 good things about this year, and set 14(!) Challenges for the next. It’s been a mixed year, so here goes…

1) I gained promotion. Not once, but twice. I had the opportunity to work as AHT in my current school this term and enjoyed it so much I applied for an external promotion at the nearby MLD school and got the job From January I will be AHT in a school which ‘requires improvement’ and am looking forward to that challenge.

2) My students were successful. I have been working in an SLD school. I supported nine young people to achieve their Bronze DofE Award, which included a couple of nights in a tent and walking ‘far, far away’. Thanks J. I also helped 15 students to get their Bronze Entry Level Science, which impressed a lot of parents, and assisted two of our determined TAs to get their GCSE Science.

3) My garden looks amazing. There are plenty of pictures on this blog. The days I missed I was either away or, more recently, not at home in daylight.

4) I made successful trips to see the Eden Project, the iron men in Crosby and the Gromit statues in Bristol.

5) I fell in love. OK, so it didn’t last for ever, but it was nice, for a short while, to remember how it feels to be able to share everything with someone else, and to have someone to do things with, even if it is just watch telly at the end of a crappy day.

6) I am writing more. As well as continuing to write for the Blaze #OnFire magazine each month, I have been taking part in the weekly 100 word challenge for grown ups.

7) I have left the Science curriculum and provision at my school in a much better state than I found it. I also had a STEM ambassador visit to work with the students. More elsewhere on the blog.

8) I got my CSciTeach, despite teaching hardly any science  that will be rectified at the new place, with two days of GCSE teaching on top of the AHT role.

9) ice hockey continues to play a significant role in my life. The highlights were ‘my’ team, the one I’ve been helping manage for years, avoiding relegation, and of course the EPL playoff weekend with my MK Lightning friends.

10) despite working hard, I’ve managed to read lots again this year. So much, that I had to buy another bookshelf…

11) in my role as AHT I was privileged to observe some amazing lessons, and to learn things from them that I could put into my own practice.

12) ‘band from school’ formed one last time to play christmas tunes at my leaving assembly. I don’t play my bassoon anywhere near enough, but hockey stops me playing in the concerts…

13) I have continued baking, and try hard to expand my repertoire, but the customers want the same old…


Things I would like to achieve next year…

1) start cross stitching again. It’s been a while…

2) Be the best I can in my new role, while trying to get the best out of my staff as well. I know that’s going to be tough, and I have a steep learning curve coming up.

3) I want to write more.

4) I want to be able to continue baking

5) I need to get back into swimming each week and walking when I can. My two best forms of stress relief available at the moment.

6) looking back at last years wishes, I want to do more travelling in other countries by train. We managed bits of Denmark, but I’d been there before.

7) I am going to go to the Isle of Wight. To walk the long distance footpath, and to go to the VW festival.

8) I will continue reading, it’s important to be able to escape from the real world now and again

9) I’d like to go to more concerts and gigs. I enjoy it, but not on a school night, and hockey gets in the way sometimes.

10) I will maintain my garden, that should be easy enough!

11) for someone else – I hope man next door gets the house ready and moves in soon…it’s been nearly three years since he bought it!

12) not to only wear jeans and hoodies when I am not working

13) to see more distant friends more regularly, and get past my dislike of driving long distances on my own. The train isn’t always practical.

14) I need to make more of an effort to see nearby friends regularly too. Teaching gets in the way of that, and I think I’m going to need them in the coming 12 months!


Filed under Other than school, School, Staff

A Christmas Miracle – OFSTED Get It Right For Once

Scenes From The Battleground

Thanks to @ClerktoGovernor for being the first to point this out to me.

OFSTED published their Subsidiary guidance supporting the inspection of maintained schools and academies today. This is the section on teaching (points 64-67):

Inspectors must not give the impression that Ofsted favours a particular teaching style. Moreover, they must not inspect or report in a way that is not stipulated in the framework, handbook or guidance. For example, they should not criticise teacher talk for being overlong or bemoan a lack of opportunity for different activities in lessons unless there is unequivocal evidence that this is slowing learning over time. It is unrealistic, too, for inspectors to necessarily expect that all work in all lessons is always matched to the specific needs of each individual. Do not expect to see ‘independent learning’ in all lessons and do not make the assumption that this is always necessary or desirable. On occasions, too, pupils…

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10 Reasons to Love Teaching


1. Doing the things you love while you’re at work

It has always struck me as remarkable and fortuitous that I am paid to do a job where I get to have so much fun. In my lessons, I have the chance to explore my favourite subject – Physics. Today I was talking about space, time and gravity with my Y13s; on Monday I took my Y9s outside to make a scale model of the solar system on the field. I had as much fun as anyone. Earlier, my colleagues were getting excited that our Cosmic Ray Detector, built over several years from scratch, was sparking nicely. Teaching is full of those moments – if you create them.

But it’s not just the joy of teaching your subject specialism – you can do all kinds of other things: play in the orchestra, watch or direct a drama production, go on…

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Leadership, we’re not all bad you know.


Lately on twitter I’ve seen a recurring theme in the blogs of educators. That theme is Leadership bashing. All school SLT are grouped together and thrown in to a communal sin bin. As a member of SLT I’ve kept quiet about this for a long time. At first I thought that some schools must have some dreadful leaders and I pitied the staff and children in those schools. Then I read some more on the same topic and I thought, my word, leadership in schools must be getting worse. A couple of months down the line I’ve realised that leadership bashing has actually become a new way of venting frustration, letting off steam and generally being trendy. It’s joined the weighty themes of Ofsted and lesson observations. Well I for one am a little disheartened by this. Please remember there are real people reading these posts and while some SLT…

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