Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

Leave a comment

Guided reading via @redgierob

Lots of people ask what I think about Guided Reading and how I do it so I am writing this blog. (for you really Mr Tidd!)

I like guided reading – I have been teaching for 10 years. For 8 of those years I hated the process, I hated the amount of time it took me to plan, I hated how long it took me to mark and I found some of the activities pointless. I used a carousel (I still do) with activities such as handwriting, write a letter to the author or character, find 10 verbs etc. All valid activities in their own right, but are they valid in a session set aside for reading? No! Now after a long time disliking it I have grown to value the process as an aid for teaching reading.

Read more…

Leave a comment

Schools shape the character of the nation


Mid – meeting Michael Cladingbowl made this powerful statement with possible attribution to Benjamin Franklin. On arriving home I attempted to clarify this but sadly it was inconclusive. I did however find this:

In the “Times of India” 31.1.2010 Dr Ved Prakash Mishra said…”the destiny of any country is shaped in the classroom”.. which is pretty close. He then went on to say

” schools are real breeding grounds for the students which shape their future and hence a teacher should try to inculcate courage, conviction and character in the students ”

Michael was talking here about the kind of future he wished for his own children ……for them to be happy and live full lives and enjoy learning. Yes there are arguments which say we have to endure boredom but he put a definite emphasis on them ‘enjoying’ their time in school. Happily this view was shared by all…

View original post 1,428 more words

Leave a comment

Meeting with @mcladingbowl, National Director, Inspection Reform, Ofsted.


On Friday 29th August I went to Manchester to meet with Mike Cladingbowl from Ofsted. Earlier this year I attended a meeting with the DfE so I was pleased to be able to attend this meeting. I feel as though I’ve managed to put my opinions across re education now. 

I was accompanied by a fabulous gang of fellow tweeters, in no particular order they were @Mishwood1, @LeadingLearner, @chrismcd53, @jordyjax, @debrakidd, @rosederbyshire and @thought_weavers. 

I can’t mention everything we discussed or the blog would be 10 pages long so I’ll pick out the parts I was the most interested in. In particular I will omit the discussion on PRUs as @jordyjax will blog about that. I bow to her expertise in that area. 

Firstly I would like to thank Mike for giving us 3 hours of his undivided attention. He made us feel that our opinions were important to him…

View original post 828 more words

Leave a comment

A Brief Encounter: My Day at Ofsted HQ (Part 1)


So here I am. Sitting in the morning sunshine, spilling coffee over the suit I had to fish out from hibernation at some ungodly hour this morning. I am off to meet THE OFSTED at their head quarters. I have two images:

Dark dusty corridors with doors carved from human bone where twisted, vaguely human, shapes acting as servants to the secret state are wringing their hands and cackling loudly in anticipation of the new dawning of the inspection season.


Cold hard white walls. Retina eye scanners. Memory wipes and grey suits. Data tracking across large screens and red lights flashing as the data eye finds an anomaly. As you stand like a rabbit in the heads lights staring at the 20ft letters spelling out POWER and in cursive script beneath… ‘We know where you work’

As I find out later neither are true. Imagine my utter disappointment.


View original post 801 more words

Leave a comment

It is Completely Normal

Freeing the Angel

It is completely normal to feel sick with fear before facing your first class.

It is completely normal to feel like you are bluffing at being a teacher, and that eventually someone will find you out.

It is completely normal to feel weirdly over excited about having your ‘own’ class and your ‘own’ classroom.

It is completely normal to pitch some lessons at completely the wrong level and only realise when you are actually teaching them.

It is completely normal to be so tired that you can barely drag yourself into school, let alone teach a great lesson.

It is completely normal, therefore, to sometimes give yourself a ‘lesson off’.

It is completely normal to shout at your class when they have really wound you up (even though you know you’re not meant to do it).

It is completely normal not to be able to keep up with your marking.

View original post 130 more words

Leave a comment

Need to Know

The Diary of a Not So Ordinary Boy

I did something yesterday that I haven’t done for a very long time.  It was stupid, really, and I knew I shouldn’t have done it the moment I clicked on the link.  I read an article about the health of people with Down’s Syndrome.  Now, you’d think, what with me being a ‘knowledge is power’ kind of person that I would be constantly reading everything I could find on the condition, but it’s not something I have done since the very early days.

Back then, when I was in the hospital awaiting the results of tests, low muscle tone was instantly obvious.  I found out that babies with Down’s Syndrome carry a 50% chance of having a heart defect.  Because this was the thing that was preventing our escape from hospital and necessitating a visit to a regional centre for a scan, I picked it up pretty quickly.  I also…

View original post 918 more words

Leave a comment

How Can I Be More Efficient?

jonny walker teaching

As the holidays grind slowly towards their bitter end, thoughts of school begin to bubble in the subconscious. At night, where once I would sleep happily with thoughts of the next day’s socialising and relaxation, I now think of how to decorate my classroom’s window and which font to write all my posters in. 

2014/15 is a big year, with lots of jazzy elements to it. If it is to be a successful year, it will require a Herculean effort on my part to improve my self-organisation. Throughout my life, I have always managed to get by and to get everything done – even when I have had lots to do – through chancing it. This year, I think my list of demands is large enough that I can no longer rely on the Northern philosophy of ‘It’ll be rate’. Instead, I have to get my things in order, get my…

View original post 546 more words

Leave a comment

guest post #3 – Tim Taylor @imagineinquiry

20 years a teacher

Silence is golden (sometimes)

If we need any more proof that ideology should play no part in directing pedagogy, it is in the matter of ‘active’ and ‘passive’ learning. What even is ‘passive’ learning anyway? If it means doing nothing, then it’s not learning. If it means not speaking or moving around, then it’s not passive. Listening is active participation, just not involving movement or sound. We do this every time we read a book, listen to the radio, or watch TV.


So let’s consign the idea of ‘passive learning’ to the dustbin.

And while we’re at it, let’s do the same to the notion that silent learning is just for traditionalists.

Few things get up my nose more than the idea that primary school kids can’t work in silence and don’t like doing it when they do. The truth is, they can, they do, and, more to the point…

View original post 1,257 more words