2014 – blogging best bits


2014pic2014 has been a good year.  I thought I would look back over the year and pick out my favourite classteaching blogs from each month.


Things that make you go hmmmmm……

The great thing about twitter and reading the many fantastic blogs out there is that it makes you think.  This post was me thinking about many of the things we have all done as teachers because somebody said that it was ‘good practice’ – actually when you think about them, most of them are a bit daft!


The Evolution of ‘The Big 4’

It’s been great to see a shift away from the ‘ticklist’ approach to teaching that has existed in schools for the last few years – an acceptance that there should not be a prescribed way of teaching.  At DHS we have a ‘tight but loose’ approach to teaching – teach your own way, but pay attention to some key pedagogical principles.  This post outlines how, with the help of some key twitter folk, my thinking around these principles evolved.


Learning with Mr Clarke – Circa 1985

This is one of my most popular posts – and it all started up in the loft!  Whilst emptying out the loft, I came across some of my wife’s old chemistry books.  Her teacher was Mr Clarke.  Whilst looking through the books and talking to Lianne about Mr Clarke, it confirmed what I had been thinking for a while – that we’ve lost our way a bit in education and that actually, there’s a great deal to be learnt from the many fantastic, masters of the craft like Mr Clarke.

I still often ask myself ‘What would Mr Clarke have done?’


Teaching with Pam

Inspired by Mr Clarke, I wanted more!  So I looked at my own school and a recently retired science teacher – Pam McCulloch.  Pam achieved amazing results, year in, year out, but always in a very understated way.  I invited Pam to have a cup of tea with me and share her secrets.  The result – masses of common sense & wisdom!


A Grand Day Out With Hattie & Waters

I wrote this blog after attending an OSIRIS conference where John Hattie and Mick Waters were both speaking.  Both talks were excellent – Hattie for the evaluative way in which he looks at teaching and Waters for his passion for education and good humour.  Both very different, but both make you think.


DHS TeachMeet 2014

This was the third of our annual teach meets.  Vic Goddard kicked us off in style, followed by some fantastic presentations.  TeachMeets demonstrate so brilliantly the spirit of collaboration and support that is so important to our profssion.


A Grand Day Out with Dweck, Syed, Hymer, Brinton, Jones & Elder

What a great day!  As a school we have been doing a great deal of work on embedding the idea of Growth Mindset across everything that we do.  So it was great to have the opportunity to hear Carol Dweck talk about her ideas at this OSIRIS conference.  Equally impressive was Matthew Syed.  But the highlight had to be meeting two of the finest people on twitter, for the first time – Dan Brinton & Pete Jones.  Two finer gentlemen you couldn’t ask for!


Sowing Seeds in September

This post outlined 10 things that we could be doing to foster a growth mindset with our students.



This post was based on a talk that I gave to our NQTs – highlighting the many myths that existed around ‘good teaching’ and what to do about it.  It proved to be mostly very popular….but also irritated a few folk!  Oh well!


#TLT14 – Feedback Matters

It was a real privilege to be asked to lead a session at TLT14.  This is a great event and I would recommend it to anyone – thanks to the brilliant Dave Fawcett & Jen Lud for organising.  My session was on feedback and this post is a summary of what I talked about.


Mindset: The things we say…

As we continue to think about fostering a growth mindset as a school, it’s becoming clearer to me that it’s the everyday things we do to students that make a lasting difference – such as the things we say to them.  This blog highlights some of the things we have all said to students, that might not be useful.  It was also the basis for a talk I gave at the TEDx Worthing event.


EduBook Club: The First Meeting

A key part of our CPD programme this year has been the EduBook Club, led by Andy Tharby – our Research & Development Leader.  Staff have picked an educational book (from a menu chosen by myself and Andy), which they have then been bought.  They then meet up in groups during INSET days, to discuss their chosen book and how it has impacted on their practice.  This post summarises some of the discussions that took place on the first meeting.

2015So, it’s been a great year – and there’s much to be looking forward to in 2015.  In particular:


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5 Responses to 2014 – blogging best bits

  1. Pingback: #Nurture 1415 posts all in one place | A Roller In The Ocean

  2. Joe says:

    Thanks for this. I especially enjoyed your post about what you’ve been doing for going beyonds levels and KS3.

    Do you have a contact email? I’d like to discuss a vacancy I’ve seen advertised at Durrington.



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