Category: teaching

Poo in the playground …

Visiting one of my favourite state schools in Edinburgh on Thursday, I came into the school reception to find the Headteacher rushing out past me. ‘With you in a minute!’, she gasped energetically, with only a hint of a sigh in her voice, ‘I’ve been told there is a poo in the playground …’. I …

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Shomie Das, a history in education, and the impact of story-telling

It was an enormous privilege to meet, talk with, and then hear speak, one of the great old Headmasters of our age, Shomie Das, at the World Leading Schools Conference in Prague recently. What a life he has led! And what lessons we can learn from it! From a highly educated family, steeped in the …

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Unleashing the power of your teaching faculty

It was a huge pleasure this past weekend to chair one of the panels at the World Leading Schools’ Association (WLSA) in Prague, and I want to say an enormous thank you to my wonderful fellow panellists: Teresa Blake (Director of Social and Emotional Learning – Positive Education at Appleby College, Canada), Michelle Quinton (School …

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Computers in schools: a scandalous waste?

Nothing replaces a great teacher: this is the premise which stands behind the recent comments by Dr John Vallance, Head of Sydney Grammar School, that computers in schools are a waste of money and have done nothing to improve grades. Teaching, he says, is about “interaction ­between people, about discussion, about conversation … If you’re …

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The value of teaching overseas: an oversupply of teachers in Australia? Teach in the UK!

Statistics released in a UK Government National Audit Office today reveal that in 2014, the recorded rate of vacancies and temporarily filled vacancies in schools in England and Wales rose to 1.2% – that means over 5,000 unfilled posts in England alone. This is because the birth rate is rising – the school population is …

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It IS rocket science – and we CAN all do it

I am very proud of my new felt bookmark. It is a visible and tangible reminder of the recent NCGS conference I attended in the U.S., and I have taken great delight in the past few days in showing it to friends, family, acquaintances and, in my enthusiasm, sometimes complete strangers. It consists of two …

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“You can’t be what you can’t see”

Richmond, Virginia, USA is beautiful at this time of the year. Warm, green, relaxed … and, currently, host to several hundred passionate educators of girls who are attending the annual conference of the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, the theme of which this year is ‘From STEM to STEAM: Girls’ Schools Leading the Way’. A …

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Recruiting great teachers: the role of ambitious school leaders

Sir Michael Wilshaw is rarely uncontroversial, and at times his talk on teacher recruitment at the Wellington College Festival of Education, true to form, ruffled more than a few feathers. However, it was hard to argue with his key message, namely that we need to recruit more great teachers, and we need to think creatively …

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So proud of our girls!

This International Day of the Girl Child has been the most amazing experience at Ascham. It was preceded by a week of awareness-raising, as we discussed the significance of 11th October – only the second ever International Day on which the girl and her latent power to change the world have sat at the heart …

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Listen out for Malala

Next week, on Friday 12 July – her 16th birthday – Malala Yousafzai will talk to the United Nations, and we should all listen. Most people know Malala’s story: it began when she started to write a blog in 2009 for the BBC Urdu channel about life in Pakistan’s Swat Valley. At the time, private …

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