Middle Leadership

Blog of the week 2019-20

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Every week I email out briefing notes to my team and I always include a link to a blog post I think is relevant, interesting, inspiring or challenging. Here’s what I’ve been sending out to my team so far this year:

Week 1: Rules are not temporary by Ben Newmark @bennewmark

I think we’re really lucky to work in a school with such a clear behaviour policy and a leadership team that supports/encourages us to follow it. I know there’s a temptation to relax the rules (especially tempting when you really like a student/class) but, in his blog post, Ben shares experiences that you can probably empathise with and argues for not relaxing our high standards.

Week 2: Marks of weakness, marks of woe by Sarah Barker @mssfax

Marks of weakness, marks of woe by Sarah Barker. A fantastic blog post for us to read ahead of teaching ‘London’ to year 11 with some great contextual details and links to further reading.

Week 3: ‘Specifically’ – Respondong to the Language Questions by Sarah Barker @mssfax

In this post, Barker includes a transcript of a part of a lesson where students are using a particular method to write about the effect of the language used by the writer: because – specifically – it is almost as though. It’s a really useful strategy for students to develop their comments especially those who are struggling to really write about the effect/impact.

Week 4: We Murder to Dissect – How to Approach a Poem Without Killing It by Phil Stock @joeybagstock

I think this is a great SHORT blog on the importance of developing students’ skills of being able to notice. Phil describes how, ‘KS3 is fertile ground to inculcate aesthetic apprenticeship’ and I think that’s a great way to think of the purpose of poetry study at KS3.

Week 5: The 6 Skills part 4: Multiple Interpretations by Tom Needham @tom_needham_

Tom’s next instalment in the six skill series is out. This approach is something I want to weave into the new curriculum – explicitly building up analytical skills rather than expecting full essays from year 7. Watch this space…

Week 6: Curriculum Leadership 1: The indirect manifestation of knowledge: (A) curriculum as narrative by Chrstine Counsell @counsell_c

I’m not sure anybody can beat Counsell’s blogs on curriculum. If you felt inspired by her talk on Friday then this is the blog for you (well… all of her blogs on curriculum). I have been hugely inspired by Christine in the design of our new KS3 curriculum.

Week 7: Powerful Knowledge: What it is, why it’s important, and how to make it happen in your school by Ruth Walker @rosalindphys

Ruth is an AHT Curriculum Lead in Telford and one of the most intelligent women I’ve ever met. I’ve seen her speak about Powerful Knowledge (something I’ve referred to in relation to our new curriculum) and this is a great blog explaining it.


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