Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education


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Director’s Commentary

the primary head's blog

Well. There’s always a fear that what you chuck up on a blog will upset and offend. I personally do not do this intentionally but in a particular post on partnerships I appear to have done just that. What with Wilshaw spitting blood and a group of Heads spitting feathers over my thoughts on partnerships, all I need to do is start spitting beaks and we’ll have ourselves a whole chicken.

I never like to go to bed on an argument so I thought I would revisit my post and hopefully offer some clear insights into its content with the sole intention of reassuring my fellow Heads that no offense or particular focus on any one partnership was intended. What follows is a Director’s commentary: I hope it is read in the spirit it is intended.

Partnerships

This friendly sounding word is fast becoming a synonym for ‘quality assured school…

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Gove and Ofsted. A plague on both their houses.

jessedwardsnut

Recent media stories have claimed that Gove and Wilshaw have fallen out with each other after a series attacks on OFSTED by ‘Gove allies’ in right wing think tanks such as a Civitas and the Policy Exchange.

Most teachers were probably delighted to see Wilshaw threatening to resign. And to be honest some of the points raised about problems with OFSTED are absolutely true. OFSTED is not fit for purpose. Its judgements are often suspect and the cadre of mainly privatised inspectors have a vested interest – £1000 a day fees for a start – in perpetuating the ‘discourse of failure’ that lies at the heart of the whole OFSTED project.

Ever since the first Chief Inspector, Chris Woodhead, claimed there were 20,000 failing teachers, OFSTED has been used as a tool to undermine the profession. In contrast to the previous HMI inspectors who acted as critical friends, OFSTED has…

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Ofsted Inspections: Fairly without fear or favour…who the F are you kidding?

the primary head's blog

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It is hard trying to run an organisation whilst simultaneously trying to improve it: this is made doubly hard when you are doing so in an open environment. When you are constantly made aware of the unpopularity  of your decisions  by the very people whom you are trying to improve or trying to make improvements for. It really doesn’t help then, when the people above you behave in a way that makes you wish you could put them on the naughty step until they’re sorry – voicing their opinions which seem to contradict previous agreements, or putting pressure on you to change course. So no wonder that Wilshaw is ‘spitting blood’ over some of Gove’s alleged words and actions against Ofsted.

Poor Wilshaw, I thought, that really has the potential to ruin your weekend. Then I read another quote from Wilshaw about Ofsted: ‘As long as we exist we will…

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Magnificent Minecrafting

Reach For The Moon

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In Year 6 we create our own topic plans based on curriculum coverage. This term we are looking at environmental aspects of the world including geographical planning and being Eco-friendly. One of the chosen activities by the children was to create Eco schools on Minecraft – the ‘in’ gaming sensation of the moment. We talked about the Biomes available and how these would affect our building of an Eco-school, as well as different ways to create renewable and sustainable living. The children put themselves into groups of four, surprisingly they chose to work with very different peer groups to their normal friendship groups. With two iPads per group they were encouraged to collaborate, share and swap. They made notes on the choices of buildings they made which will be written up in the near future when their sites are more detailed.
We have begun using the 3d printer to create…

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Secret Teacher: help, I’m drowning in admin

I absolutely loathe admin. Utterly and completely. If someone gives me a piece of paper, it gets thrown on a pile. I ignore it until I realise I have a deadline the very next day, and then I deal with it.

I’ve been that way my whole life – I’ve even put off learning to drive for years and years because I can’t bear the thought of filling in the application form. Hideous.

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