Back To School 2014…10 Amazing 21st Century Lessons From An Almost Analog Native

21 st Century Educational Technology and Learning


Thanks for joining me as I share my back-to-school post. While I do not have my usual listing of resource links… I believe I have something that will make you smile and remind you why you are an educator. I hope you enjoy this story and its ten timeless educational lessons. This post is a reminder that teaching truly is an amazing art. Let’s all keep up the wonderful painting and please pass these lessons on to others.  Please take a moment to subscribe by email or RSS and also give me a follow on Twitter at mjgormans.  I promise you will find some great information coming your way through out the school year …So Sign Up Now and please take a moment to share and retweet this article. Your effort is appreciated… Please enjoy! – Mike

Booking Info – Before reading the article please take some time to think about…

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Teaching History with 100 Objects

British Museum blog

Richard Woff, Head of Project, British Museum

I just attended the press launch in the Museum of Teaching History with 100 Objects, a series of online resources for teachers supported by the Department for Education. Each resource is based on a museum object which connects to the key topics of the new history curriculum for England and to wider themes for teachers across the UK and the world. The objects are drawn from the collections of the British Museum and a network of partners around Britain.

The website uses object-based learning to enable a wide understanding of British and world history to support teaching for Key Stages 1, 2 and 3. Resources feature background information, activity ideas, images to download and links to videos and other media. The project takes inspiration from our collaboration with the BBC, A History of the World in 100 Objects, but includes a…

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Just how easy is ‘high expectations for all’?

A brilliant blog on high expectations and the ‘Pygmalion effect’. A great companion piece to our thinking on developing the growth mindset in all Paddington students!

Reflecting English

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Image: @jasonramasami

As the new school year springs – or lumbers! – into life, I have been thinking about the beliefs I have about my students. Like all dedicated teachers, I would vehemently argue that I have the highest expectations for each and every student I teach. How dare you suggest otherwise!

But do I really? And more to the point: is it possible for any teacher to have genuinely high expectations of every student?

Psychologist Daniel Kahneman, in Thinking Fast and Slow, shares the following experiment. Participants were given this question:

An individual has been described by a neighbour as follows: “Steve is very shy and withdrawn, invariably helpful but with little interest in people or in the world of reality. A meek and tidy soul, he has a need for order and structure, and a passion for detail.” Is Steve more likely to be a librarian or a…

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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.

IOE-logo-400x168 eef-logo-small Huntington-School-York cem_1

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.

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Y9 Science Co-construction Continues with Space and Pressure


Following the last post on my Year 9 co-construction activities, we have been enjoying learning about Space and Pressure.  The Space Team has had a lot of interesting ideas and, between us, we have planned and delivered some interesting lessons.

The lessons on scale of distance and size in the universe and solar system were fascinating.   One of the students found this interesting conversion table on the internet and we used that as a checking mechanism after students had been asked to create a scale model in their books.

We enjoyed creating a scale model of the Solar System on the school field.

We then looked at a range of everyday phenomena, asking students to account for them in terms of the Earth’s rotation.  This included seasonal variations in day length, temperature and Sun trajectory in the sky,  the Sun rising in the East, different day lengths on planets. …

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