Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

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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…

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OFSTED: Little boxes made of ticky-tacky


There is a song that my Dad used to sing to me, the lyrics of which went something like this,
‘Little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky. Little boxes on the hillside and they all look just the same…’


I enjoyed this song as a child, but in more recent years, I have found myself humming it to myself quite often in a symbolic, secretive way.

Those lyrics have resonance that I could never have imagined or understood as a child; much like another of my favourite childhood songs, Joni Mitchell’s ‘Big Yellow Taxi’ the playful, colour-referenced lyrics obscured the grey clouds of true meaning.

‘Little boxes’ I now know, is a reference to cheaply-built, post-war United States housing stock. Comprising mostly plywood and plasterboard – they may have been cheaply built, but they looked just fine. Their lack of material substance was well-concealed, a bit like…

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I am the very model of a modern educationalist

Chrismcd53's blog

Set to the tune of The Major General’s Song:

Okay – so we are all allowed one silly project at Summer – here is mine. To write, if possible, a version of The Major General’s song – it isn’t having a go at anybody and might be total rubbish – but hey here goes – if you can add to or improve, please do so! I’d like to get another verse and a chorus….

“I’ve considered teaching approaches both progressive and traditional.
I’ve read a lot of research whose methods are empirical.
I’ve a range of views I’m proud to share academic and political.
And done so using mediums both virtual and physical. ”

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20 years a teacher

Can you imagine how amazing education and our CPD could be if we had in-built time to share excellence and knowledge? – Lynette Harte @LynetteHarte

I joined twitter in February 2009. I think I listened to something on the radio about Ashton Kutcher and how he was using twitter to beat the paps which got me interested. He was sharing details of his life with Demi in advance of the paps papping him and stopping them from posting it as a story. He removed the middle man. Over time I have also found the concept of sports stars and politicians losing their middle men and communicating with their public. I have, however, cleaned out my account a couple of times to make sure my timeline is de-cluttered of this fluff maximizing the chance of not missing the excellent resources which are shared by the teaching community.

 ed net week

In the next four and a half…

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Looking back


This post is inspired by @chrishildrew who recently posted a letter to his NQT self. It made me think…what have I learnt from a quarter of a century of teaching…and what nuggets of wisdom could I pass on to an NQT ?
My first job was in a primary school as an EAL support teacher and it was a 12 month contract. At the interview I blagged a couple of questions on ethnic minorities and later discovered that the HT was a highly respected expert in the field with several books under her belt!
Rule 1: Do not pretend you know something that you don’t. .you will quickly be found out!! ( fortunately she was very kind about it and gave me a job)
I learnt an awful lot that year and some of my preconceptions were turned on their heads! One thing forcefully hammered home was that racism is…

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