Monthly Archives: June 2014

This much I know about…how you can be involved in our EEF Research Project


I have been a teacher for 25 years, a Headteacher for 10 years and, at the age of 49, this much I know about how you can be involved in our EEF Research Project.

Research-leads Improving Students’ Education – RISE

Research-leads working through a structured school improvement process, involving external research and evaluation.

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Political consensus is notoriously difficult to achieve. Consensus in the world of education is nigh on impossible. Tentatively, I would say that the use of research evidence in education has united many warring factions in something that resembles agreement. There appears to be a rare sprig of hope emerging, namely that using evidence to improve our students’ education is a priority for the school system, and a priority which could become a reality.

Is research evidence a universal panacea for education? No, of course not. Should we be circumspect about the what, how and who

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Planning for Progress over Time – Mastery Learning

...but is it on the test?

Mastery Learning
Finding your way through the over-grown jungle that is the edublogosphere is a daunting task. As Head of Department, I am looking for practical ideas, backed up by research. One thread of research and discussion that has shone like a diamond in the rough is Mastery Learning. Mastery seems to merge the best of the research (Willingham, Bjork, Nutall, Hattie et al.) with practical suggestions for middle managers. I am particularly grateful to Joe Kirby for distilling the Mastery model into practical, bitesize chunks in his excellent blog post here.

These are the guiding principles that I am trying to embed in my department systems (my italics):

  • Distributing practice (rather than cramming):it is virtually impossible to become proficient at any mental task without extended, dedicated practice distributed over time.’

=> ‘rolling’ homework tasks repeating old material – past papers in 6th form: review, revision programmes/short tests lower down the school

  • Overlearning: keep pupils learning…

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The Pedagogy Postcard Series: All in one place.

A brilliant series of short posts from Tom Sherrington on different T&L techniques and strategies – something here for everyone to try!


A series of short posts about specific elements of teaching practice that I think are effective and make life interesting. Some are based on my own lessons and others are borrowed from lessons I’ve observed.

Here they are all in one place. Click the postcard links for each post.

Slide1Slide1Slide1ped 4Slide1Slide1Slide1Slide2Slide1Slide2Slide01Slide02Slide03Slide04Slide05Slide06Slide07Slide08Slide09Slide10

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