Goodbye Mr Gove!

Goodbye Mr Gove!

A sigh of relief was felt across the UK today as Michael Gove, Education Secretary, become Chief Whip for the Conservative Party. His reign as Education Secretary was felt by all teachers and students, some in a good way but for many not so. Michael Gove said he had made it his “personal crusade” to close the gap between the educational attainment of rich and poor pupils. The impact he had will be felt for many years to come and the changes he made will also be debated for years to come. We won’t really know the full impact his changes have made for a few years.

What was Michael Gove’s impact?

- Almost 60% of secondary schools are now academies. There are more than 300 free schools open or approved.

- GCSE were scrapped and then reinstated.

- The qualifications system in England has been re-drawn, moving back to a much more traditional, exam-based model.

- A new curriculum has been rewritten with much controversy.

- The re-invention of school league tables

- The English education system, already separate from Scotland, is now fundamentally different from Wales and Northern Ireland.

- Creating a divide between teachers and the government.

The BBC have called Michael Gove a radical, controversial and divisive. He has certainly made his mark on education. For the last eighteen months, I have been actively involved in co-organising TeachMeet Dorset and Michael Gove was invited to five events. He was sadly busy on each occasion (even informing me 3 months after one event!) Hopefully, the new Education Secretary Nicky Morgan will be slightly more interested in teachers and education.

Goodbye Mr Gove! Anyone for champagne?

TeachMeet Dorset is back!

TeachMeet Dorset is back! On Thursday 19th June TeachMeet Dorset is returning to the Badger Brewery for an evening of pedagogic fun-filled frolics. The evening is already filling up fast and all teachers from Dorset and the surrounding area are all invited to attend as enthusiastic lurkers or presenters! The evening is actually taking place in the world-famous Badger Brewery in the bar area, so you can sample some rather tasty beer whilst listening to some top innovative ideas! The evening is running from 6-8.30pm. The great thing about a TeachMeet is that it is free – please click here to sign up or contact me via email mtidd@gillingham-dorset.co.uk

Learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about teaching and learning. Anyone during the evening can share great ideas they’ve trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations. Education professionals from all sectors are welcome to take part.

TeachMeet Dorset

The main part of TeachMeet is hearing stories about learning, from teachers. This is not an event to present about a product or theory – this is a chance for teachers from all types of establishments to hear ideas from each other. Real narratives of practice that make a difference. It is about being engaged and inspired by our immediate colleagues and a whole bucket load of networking to boot!

The event is being organised by myself, Gary Spracklen (@Nelkcarps) Director of Digital Learning and Innovation and South West Digital Educator of the Year (2012) at IPACA and Alan Frame (@HeadDownEyesUp) Headteacher of Downlands School.

A twitter wall will be up during the night so everyone from all over the world can get involved and interact with you all via #TMDorset.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or wish to help sponsor the event. Thank you to Hall & Woodhouse for hosting us at the Badger Brewery and to twinkl and Toshiba for sponsoring the evening.

#TMDorset

#TMDorset

The Badger Brewery in Blandford is hosting and sponsoring #TMDorset for the first time! This will be a fantastic and exciting event for all teachers, educators and those interested in improving innovation and technology within schools! The event will be taking place on Thursday 6th March 2014 6-8pm.

The event is being organised by myself, Gary Spracklen (@Nelkcarps) Director of Digital Learning and Innovation and South West Digital Educator of the Year (2012) at IPACA and Alan Frame (@HeadDownEyesUp) Headteacher of Downlands School.

This brilliant will be rounded off sampling some fine Badger ales and eating at the famous Dorset Badger Brewery -if you would like to take part in BeerMeet/EatMeet please sign up here.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions or wish to help sponsor the event. Thank you to Hall & Woodhouse for hosting us at the Badger Brewery : )

Spread the word within your schools – TeachMeet Dorset is here!

If you are having trouble editing the wiki page then just email me at mtidd@gillingham-dorset.co.uk or via twitter we’ll add you to the list.

What is TeachMeet Dorset?

Learn something new, be amazed, amused and enthused. This is an informal gathering of those curious about teaching and learning. Anyone can share great ideas they’ve trialled in their classrooms, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations. Education professionals from all sectors are welcome to take part.

The main part of TeachMeet is hearing stories about learning, from teachers. This is not an event to present about a product or theory – this is a chance for teachers from all types of establishments to hear ideas from each other. Real narratives of practice that make a difference. It is about being engaged and inspired by our immediate colleagues and a whole bucket load of networking to boot!

So why not sign up now and attend TeachMeet Dorset! Hope to see you there : )

No ‘i’ in Team

No 'i' in Team

No 'i' in Team

TeachMeet Dorset had another successful evening on Thursday 10th October. This time it was hosted by Alan Frame (@HeadDownEyesUp), Headteacher at Downlands School in Blandford.

No 'i' in Team

It was extremely pleasing to see new faces and familiar ones too at the event. This was now my third TeachMeet within Dorset and I always come away inspired and invigorated for teaching.

No 'i' in Team

The good thing about TeachMeets I find, is that it is about teachers sharing and working together. I do find sometimes that I am like the Lone Ranger in my classroom, working with the students to, ultimately, progress. TeachMeets are a great or hearing new ideas, good practice, meet other teachers of all Key Stages, share experiences and to network. Alan was a superb host and I am very much looking forward to the next one! A wide range of speakers once again came from all over Dorset – some video presentations too for those who couldn’t attend plus the twitter follows at #TMDorset during the evening.

No 'i' in Team

My talk that evening was based around improving group work within lessons – No ‘i’ in Team. I intially looked at the work of David Brailsford, the Peformance Director for British Cycling and applied it to teaching. Brailsford joined the British Cycling Team in 1996 as an adviser. Cycling success didn’t come immediately and took a whole team of people to help create a winning culture. Success took time and Brailsford focused on the marginal gains – the little things or one percenters to slowly improve the team. These little changes could be used in the classroom. Learning command words, case studies and keywords can slowly start to make a difference but it is a gradually process. For anything to work it will take time and you have to learn from your mistakes.

No 'i' in Team

I then looked at the idea that teachers shouldn’t be afraid for the students to get stuck – and find their own way out without having to ask for help from the teacher. This can be difficult for the teacher as you are trained to help – but watch. The students will slowly piece together information and will work it out for themselves.

No 'i' in Team

From this point I looked at a variety of different techniques to use for group work from market place activities, revision speed dating, modelling answers using play dough, random name generators to create groups and ‘giant’ card sorting for 30 students.

No 'i' in Team

There are a few ideas being put together for the location/theme for the next TeachMeet Dorset in the spring term. From the ideas mooted it sounds very exciting! See you there or via #TMDorset

Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee

For those that know me, I do like my coffee – especially on a lazy weekend catching up with friends and family. I recently got contacted by Costa Coffee regarding their Costa for Schools resources. I am a big fan of their coffee but had never looked or knew about their school resources.

Costa for Schools is a comprehensive human and physical Geography resource for students aged 11-14. It explores coffee-growing communities around the world and how the coffee trade affects their lives. These are great education resources and they are free – great for those magpie geographers out there!

Currently, there are three lesson plans that can be used flexibly over an individual lesson or over three lessons to build on previous knowledge. No doubt Costa for Schools will be expanding these resources over time.

They cover key aspects of the Geography curriculum at KS3, including:
•Space
•Interdependence
•Cultural understanding and diversity
•Graphicacy

For my school, they would add a great resource to our Year 9 unit; ‘Why is Africa Disconnected?’ Along with these lesson plans there are a wide range of case studies (Costa Rica, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Colombia, Uganda, Vietnam, Honduras and Peru) that could be incorporated in your lessons. For more information please follow this link to the Costa for Schools website.

#TMDorset Blandford

#TMDorset Blandford

#TMDorset Blandford

TeachMeet Dorset is being hosted at Downlands School, Blandford on Thursday 10th October by Headteacher Alan Frame. This is a must for any teacher in Dorset to attend if they fancy being inspired, want to share good practice or just to network with fellow teachers. It is open to all Key Stages and everyone is welcome to present.

I have had the pleasure to have meet Alan at the last two TeachMeet Dorsets – he is a very enthusiastic and forward thinking teacher and I am very much looking forward to the event. If you are interested please follow the link here to sign up! If there are any problems signing up please contact myself (@tiddtalk) or Alan (@HeadDownEyesUp).

For those of you who can’t attend you can follow the evenings events via twitter using the hashtag #TMDorset. You can always send in a video presentation if unable to attend.

TeachMeets are a free event to attend and is the best CPD out there! Innovation, new technology and teaching experiences are high on the agenda this year. I hope to see some of you there!

Good Luck Ben Dunne!

Good Luck Ben Dunne!

Good Luck Ben Dunne!

My old collegue from my Cove School days, Ben Dunne has started his new role as Head Teacher at Penketh High School in Warrington this month. Ben was a great role model to me when I first joined Cove School back in 2004, giving brilliant advice and support during his three years there as Assistant Headteacher. Ben gave me many opportunities and ideas to improve my teaching. He even got me to share good practice in a couple of INSET Days with our work alongside the Hampshire Inspection Advisory Service.

Since 2007, Ben moved to the Stockport Academy as Principle, where the Academy became the most improved school in the North West under his leadership. No doubt Ben will be a success at Penketh High School and I am looking forward to hearing about his adventures ‘up north’. Good luck Ben!