Teaching Shakespeare: Romeo is Dead! Now Juliet has nothing to live for?

Is Shakespeare relevant to students today? I shout an adament yes (usually to my year 11s as I bounce around my classroom trying to rap "calm, dishonourable, vile submission!" and demonstrate an effective "I bite my thumb at you" insult. When I moved here six years ago, I taught a bottom set year 11 class. … Continue reading Teaching Shakespeare: Romeo is Dead! Now Juliet has nothing to live for?

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Using Success Criteria to Refine Writing

The other day I gave my students a transactional writing task to complete. Below is the task: I had just finished doing a holistic book check, template found here, and as such I was acutely aware and depressingly reminded of how many wasted sentences students spent earning themselves no marks; they wrote mostly banal sentences … Continue reading Using Success Criteria to Refine Writing

Cuts to Education Funding: does it really spell doom? A response to TES

I just finished reading TES' recent article "Think budgets are tight now?" which articulates that the UK is spending millions more on its pensioners than its children. The article correlates a lack of future funding to a struggle in the education sector: how will we educate our youth appropriately when we are only spending 3.8% … Continue reading Cuts to Education Funding: does it really spell doom? A response to TES

Knowledge, Antiknowledge and Knowing (myself as a teacher)

"Know your learners" is a catch phrase that's consumed my school this year. We must make a dedicated effort to probe into every aspect of a student's learning and life that will help us understand why they aren't meeting their targets. Interesting that the word "know" is there, when much of the reason the student … Continue reading Knowledge, Antiknowledge and Knowing (myself as a teacher)

Romeo and Juliet: What do I want the kids to KNOW?

The "knowledge-thirsty youngsters" need to get "solid knowledge in a coherent way" says ED Hirsh The Schools We Need (13). This month's TES published Jon Brunskill and Mark Enser's article on Knowledge Organisers in the classroom. Instead of considering skills first, what should they know, he asked. Good plan. So instead of starting with learning … Continue reading Romeo and Juliet: What do I want the kids to KNOW?