Thursday, 30 April 2015

Innovation Speed Date

This week I attended an Innovation Speed Date.

The ideas is that a number of suppliers (in our case, nine) present to delegates in a close format of just a few people at a time. I really liked this as I felt that the sales people were more honest. The experience was more 'intimate' and involving as you could ask questions and really engage with the supplier.

I saw nine suppliers. As I was planning to find out a bit more about a few of them I thought I'd list them here.

Thinking with Marbles
Physical apparatus to develop programming skills

An easy way to organise and communicate school trips

A self-awareness program for teachers and pupils

Robotics equipment and software

VII Networks
Audio/visual equipment

A school management information system

Show My Homework
A way to share homework with parents and carers

Playground equipment suppliers

ICT solutions

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Train pupils to hand out papers

A well-argued point that I found on Twitter.

Monday, 30 March 2015


I love the look of CodeBug on Kickstarter. Why don't you take a look!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Outstanding school?

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Make your writing more colourful!

I love this display idea from @abicassidy8.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Bitesize Lesson Planner

This looks great:

Sunday, 8 February 2015

Success Diary

I saw this tweet and thought - brilliant! It was intended for NQTs, but I'm inspired. I'm definitely going to do this.

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Finding a passion for the subject

I came across this tweet recently. It's one I completely agree with. I don't know the context of the statement and maybe it's directed at secondary teachers.

But how could it relate to primary teachers? How can they show a passion for all of the subjects which they teach?
"Our very best teachers are those who have a real passion and enthusiasm for the
subject they teach. They are also deeply committed to the learning of their students
and use their enthusiasm for their subject to motivate them, to bring their subject
alive and make learning an exciting, vivid and enjoyable experience." Subject Specialism Consultatation, DfES, 2003
It's not easy, but it comes down to acquiring subject knowledge and using it to engage with pupils. You'll need to develop great subject knowledge. There is no excuse for poor subject knowledge. You'd be found out, not only by anyone observing you, but, more importantly, by the children. If you've got to teach it then you've got to make sure you know your stuff.

This is a great book for acquiring maths subject knowledge.

Use Twitter, Facebook and the internet in general to find ideas that inspire you. I know a lot of teachers use published schemes and sites like Hamilton Trust and that's fine; I'm not knocking them at all. But you've got to be inspired in order to inspire the children. Find the most engaging way to ensure the children learn. This means you may have to pick and choose from the schemes. It means that you might have to adapt resources. But if you aren't gripped by it then how can you expect the children to be.

Use technology - how can it enhance your lesson to make it more involving? How can it make the learning stick?

Work with your subject leader. What might they recommend?

Organise a educational visit. These don't half inspire the children and make the learning memorable. Would it inspire and excite you?

Find the passion for teaching the subject and you might just ignite the passion for learning in the children.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Baby George

Our baby George is now seven days old. He's gorgeous. His older sister loves him to pieces and his mummy and daddy love him very much.

But I can't tell you what a shock to the system it is having a baby in the house again! It's hard work. I'll be returning to work later this week - it's going to be a challenge but one I'm looking forward to!

Saturday, 3 January 2015

'Customer' Experience

I recently read 'The Unforgettable Customer Experience' by Richard Kimber.

This is quite obviously a business book (I really enjoy reading books about business for some reason). But there are lots of parallels between the customer experience for businesses and the customer experience for users of schools.

Customer experience needs to be: "Not just good, but great. Memorable, and definitely not forgettable'. This relates to teaching. The challenge for teachers is to make learning memorable and definitely not forgettable.

The book suggests that businesses should have a strategy for customer experience - this is different to a business plan, but similar in principle.
"Building a great customer experience is no different to building a great business. To be able to create and deliver this, you first need to:
  • Create your customer experience vision
  • Plan how you'll deliver it
  • Map the customer journey
  • Measure the outcome and use the feedback to improve."
I wonder how many schools have a vision for the experience of parents?

The six steps to designing and creating great customer experiences are:

  1. Plan it
  2. Map it
  3. Mend it
  4. Measure it
  5. Anticipate it
  6. Manage it
Sounds similar to a school improvement plan. I think that adding customer experience to a school improvement plan seems like a good idea.