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Showing posts from April, 2019

Hello from the other side: on being a parent of a Year 11 pupil pre-exams

I thought I would write a quick, somewhat self indulgent blog post to say, firstly, oh my...where has that time gone?!  However, cliches and mournful, mum reflection aside, I thought I would just note down for posterity a little about how it feels to sit on the other side of the fence from my usual teacher position.



My eldest child is in Year 11 and is about two weeks away from his first formal GCSE exam: Spanish speaking.  Before the May half term he will also sit others in biology, English literature,  geography, physics, maths and more Spanish.  In four school weeks it will all be over.  He will have sat a total of twenty three exams.  

At this point I am feeling the stress rising. Not in my son - I am sure he is feeling it to a healthy degree but as teenagers go, touch wood, we are very lucky and he is relatively easy going and low maintenance. Nevertheless, I can feel the end approaching and something about that makes me feel uneasy and unsettled.  On the one hand it is exciting an…

Teaching across subjects: because, but, so ..... and disciplinary literacy

I teach across three subject disciplines because as a teacher I am deployed to meet the needs of the school and, although I am primarily a teacher of English, I have qualifications and experience in English, Media Studies and History.As such it could be said that I actually teach 4 subjects as I teach English Language and English Literature firstly but also A Level Media Studies and some KS3 History….
         I teach across three subject disciplines but although I enjoy each of them (English, History and Media Studies) it is English Literature that is closest to my heart.  Reading was always passion of mine: I remember reading from a young age but especially fond are my memories as a teenager of keeping my lamp on as late as I could to devour the rest of Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights whilst my parents thought I was sound asleep…..
        I teach across three subject disciplines so it means that I am constantly having to switch my focus across domains and build my knowledge so that I …

All aboard the magical mystery tour: keeping them on the bus.

Differentiation: a dangerous word.

This is my first blog post.  I have wanted to write one for a long time but I have struggled with a lack of confidence in terms of putting myself out there for scrutiny and also with a nagging doubt that I don't have anything new to say.  I still have these feelings.  However, lately I have been thinking a lot about expectations and challenge, both as a parent and as a teacher, and I decided now was the time to challenge myself and to say what I think - for what it's worth.
I am lucky to work in a school that is doing well in the game of educational Jenga that we partake in - pupils do well both for achievement and progress and as such we are in a position that allows us to take time to reflect and make choices without the constant barrage of pressure to move up the league tables (a situation I have experienced many times before and which can create a push for short sighted, quick fix strategies.) In the past though we have been part of this ga…