Monthly Archives: February 2014

‘The biology of courage’

What we learned:

  • Our marking is good
  • The importance of students using green pens to highlight their responses to our feedback
  • Students need to learn something new in a lesson
  • Difficulties of accessing information for gifted and talented students
  • That observation is about the students and their history not about me
  • Praise really helps
  • The importance of showing progress
  • To relax during observations


What we are going to get better at:

  • Differentiation at post 16 – differentiation full stop
  • ‘Tough Love’
  • Enabling students to take responsibility
  • ‘Letting go’ with P16
  • Transferring good practice from JA to all classes
  • Including pastoral details when lesson planning
  • Consistency is the key – importance of embedded routines for teachers and students
  • Structures and planning around the students
  • Setting clear learning goals
  • Checking that extension tasks are challenging higher ability students

If you’re too busy – ‘stressed’ to listen to it all:

“Caring created resilience. And so we see once again that the harmful effects of stress on your health are not inevitable. How you think and how you act can transform your experience of stress. When you choose to view your stress response as helpful, you create the biology of courage. And when you choose to connect with others under stress, you can create resilience. Now I wouldn’t necessarily ask for more stressful experiences in my life, but this science has given me a whole new appreciation for stress. Stress gives us access to our hearts. The compassionate heart that finds joy and meaning in connecting with others, and yes, your pounding physical heart, working so hard to give you strength and energy, and when you choose to view stress in this way, you’re not just getting better at stress, you’re actually making a pretty profound statement. You’re saying that you can trust yourself to handle life’s challenges, and you’re remembering that you don’t have to face them alone.”

Happy Holidays!



‘Take That’

Bet that wasn’t what you were expecting!

Thank you for this week. Am proud of our True Grit.


I learned a lot this week.

I learned that you are the best team of people to work with. The only team I want to work with.  (Think I already knew this but…)

I learned that we are making progress with our marking and how essential it is that we continue to move forward on this.

I learned that our feedback is becoming more and more effective but that we still need to make sure that our students are responding and acting on that feedback. WWW and EBI should now be embedded across the team and C and I will continue to monitor this through our fortnightly work scrutinies. Please remember that you are very welcome to attend these sessions. The next one will be the first Tuesday after Half Term – Year 11 focus.

I learned that we need to practise ‘tough love’ on those students that are not making progress.

How many phone calls have we made this year?

How many emails have we sent?

How many after school sessions have students attended?

Are we insisting on excellence or are we sometimes guilty of settling for almost theres?

I understand that there are no overnight successes or quick fit fixes and that consistency across the team and school has to be the key.

We need to take a long hard look at our progress and think about how to raise achievement for all for always.

It is all about the learning and not the teaching. We know we can teach.

I have lost my fear.

P.S. English Subject Review time – ‘Go for it!’