2013 – A year of blogging….

2013As the year draws to a close, it seems only right to have a bit of a think back…and a look forward.  It’s been a great year for this blog – with over 85 000 hits!  This wouldn’t have been possible without the brilliant staff of Durrington High School who give up their time every Thursday to share their ideas with their colleagues, during our 15 minute forums.

qficAs the year has progressed, as a school we have distilled what we think makes great teaching into four key aspects – questioning, feedback, independence and challenge.  The 15 minute forums are then a way of staff sharing successful strategies they have implemented in their own classrooms, around these 4 aspects, once a week in bitesize chunks.  I then blog about them on here – as well as any other developing themes that are moving on our thinking about teaching as a school.

We are lucky as a school to have a team of such great teachers, who are willing to share and collaborate in this way – it makes me very proud and reminds me of this from Taylor Mali:

So, the most popular posts over the past 12 months have been as follows:

1. Developing a growth mindset

2. Using SOLO taxonomy to develop student learning and thinking

3. Developing Independent Learners

4. Developing oracy skills

5. Why coaching works

More recently, within the past month, there have been a number of popular articles, that have summarised some key pedagogical thinking that is influencing our development as teachers:

1. Feedback matters

2. Being gritty about getting our kids grittier

3. Modelling for excellence

4. Developing Independence

It’s been a great year for educational bloggers generally.  Many fine examples can be seen in the blog of the week archives, and in the last couple of months it has been fantastic to see the rise of our very own Andy Tharby’s blog ‘Reflecting English’. I may be a bit biased, but I think that this is becoming one of the finest blogs out there.


The following 4 bloggers are, in my opinion, the most influential.  They have certainly shaped my thinking as a teacher and a leader.  In no particular order:

There are many other brilliant bloggers out there, but  these are the ones that have made me stop and think.


2014 is shaping up to be another fantastic year for us at DHS.  We already have a great programme of 15 minute forums lined up for the spring term, each of which will be blogged about on here. Make some notes in your diary:

  • 9th January – Closing the learning gap with feedbackDavid Brading
  • 16th January – Developing writing and learning through modellingAndy Tharby
  • 23rd January – Talk for writingJack Tyler
  • 30th January – Layered Writing – Gav McCusker
  • 6th February – Developing literacy in all subjectsSam Down
  • 13th February – Alternatives to powerpointJames Gardner
  • 27th February – Ensuring challenge and success for allSteph Holt
  • 6th March – Using video effectively Jack Tyler
  • 13th March – Questioning techniquesLucy Darling
  • 20th March – What really works in teaching – based on research evidence?Shaun Allison
  • 27th March – What AfL strategies really make a difference? – Stuart Axten
  • 3rd April – How can flipped learning be used to deepen learning?Jody Chan


So to all those DHS staff who have led and contributed to the 15 minute forums this year, as well as the many tweeters and bloggers who have also influenced my thinking and the articles on this site, I would like to say……


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3 Responses to 2013 – A year of blogging….

  1. David Didau says:

    You’re doing a great job Shaun and your list of upcoming topics is a great mix; t’s very flattering to know that I have some influence on these areas. Thanks, David

    The bloggers who currently influence me most are @Joe__Kirby, @DougLemov, @oldandrewUK. @HFletcherWood, @webofsubstance and @miss_mcinerney.

  2. Marooney, Sue says:

    Great work s

    Sent from my iPad

  3. Pingback: I can see clearly now…. | Class Teaching

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