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Is catching up catching on? #3

Coming back to school after the most difficult lockdown yet, many children – however glad they will be at seeing their friends again – will have become disconnected from their former patterns of learning. Even the keenest are likely to have lost their edge of concentration; others, perhaps many, will be feeling adrift and maybe…

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Is catching up catching on? #2

Picking up on the idea of students’ reactions to lockdown and how some have found them much more difficult than others…. I talked recently with an ex-colleague who works in a large, successful comprehensive school in the Midlands, and mused that students might fall into 6 broad ‘sustaining learning’ categories. During the lockdowns, some students:…

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I'm just catching up

Is catching up catching on? #1

In June last year, the Welsh Government published some wise guidance about returning to school after the first lockdown. The emphasis was on the need to focus on students’ health and well-being and getting them ready for learning, and cautions against any attempt at ‘catch up’: “Focus should be on learners becoming ‘learning fit’ rather…

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In praise of the futures-driven curriculums in Scotland and Wales

I have spent much of the past few weeks considering the issues that have faced Scottish schools for over a decade as a result of the Donaldson Report. This report spawned their Curriculum for Excellence which is built around four key purposes, sometimes referred to as key capacities. These purposes look to the longer term…

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Image credit: Annette Wamser from Elk Grove, USA (DSC_1747E2rs) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Learning to be Robots?

Two things caught my eye this week – did you see them too? The first was an ad in the TES from a school in London that is seeking a Detention Director. Do you, the ad begins, like order and discipline? Believe in children being obedient every time? When I last looked online, TES was…

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There has been much excitement on Facebook this week about setting homework for primary age pupils. The trigger was a teacher in the US who wrote to her pupils’ parents that she would no longer be setting homework as there was no evidence that it works. As is now so often the case, the social…

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New beginnings: old habits?

For many young people this week has been the start of a new phase in their lives. In my family my oldest grandson was proudly driven hundreds of miles, in a car packed to the roof, to begin his university career. My youngest grandson donned his crash helmet and scooted his way to ‘big’ school, just like many…

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The Scottish Solution?

I work in schools in all corners of the UK, but increasingly in Scotland. The first flight to Edinburgh or Glasgow, a day’s work with a school and the last flight back is just feasible with schools in the central belt. But why the interest in BLP in Scotland, when most English schools are currently…

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Sorting out Resilience, Perseverance and Grit

There seems to be a bit of a buzz around about perseverance, resilience and grit, especially since Character has gained a prominent place in the national debate. Sorting out the differences between them, if you need to, rather depends on what and who you read. But however you distinguish these three terms they all boil…

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