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  • MODERATION UNDER THE NEW CURRICULUM

    The end of ‘best fit’ assessment will fundamentally change the nature of moderation. This article asks what form of internal and cross-school moderation is called for under the new curriculum. Assessment under the new curriculum Everyone agrees on the value of calibrating judgements with other people, both in school and between schools. Ofsted comments positively […]


  • ASSESSMENT OF SPOKEN LANGUAGE

    Where did it go? Initial references to teacher assessment of spoken language from 2016 have been quietly dropped by the DfE, and no performance descriptors have been produced. Unless they appear in the substantial revision of Performance Descriptors that is now underway, we must assume that spoken language has been stripped from the reporting regime […]


  • CLASSICAL POEMS FOR KEY STAGE 2

    A list of undisputed English classical poets and selected poems for Key Stage 2.   William Blake Tyger, Tyger The Lamb A Poison Tree   Robert Browning How they brought the good news from Aix to Ghent The Pied Piper of Hamelin   Lewis Carroll Jabberwocky The Walrus and the Carpenter He Thought he Saw […]


  • POOR PARTICIPATION

    Why some children don’t participate and what can be done All of us spend short periods when we cannot concentrate and do not participate. Overcome by tiredness, boredom, irritation or distraction from more important events, we find it difficult to give our full attention. This article concerns sustained disengagement. Why do some children not participate? […]


  • CLIMBING FRAMES

    A complete set of assessment ladders for all subjects in the new curriculum from Years 1 – 9, including pre-levels and an additional set of ladders for thinking and learning skills. What now? Levels have gone and the both government and Ofsted are saying clearly that internal assessment is a matter for the school.  In […]


  • TWELVE CLASSROOM SKILLS EVERY TEACHER SHOULD HAVE

    Teaching standards are cumbersome and open to interpretation.  Here is a handy list of ‘must have’ classroom teaching skills for every teacher: Every teacher should be able to: Settle the class and achieve silence quickly when necessary Manage a question-and-answer session that leads to new learning Chair open-ended class discussion that draws in more than […]


  • THERE’S MORE TO EXTENDED WRITING THAN LENGTH

    A substantial minority of schools receive an action point from Ofsted to improve the amount of extended writing undertaken in school.  Inspectors say that teachers provide too few opportunities for extended writing and that this is true across the curriculum. Ofsted are right, of course, that pupils need to write at length, but more than […]


  • CLASSICAL LITERATURE FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS

    The word ‘classic’ covers a range of well-established texts that have stood the test of time and are well written.  The National Curriculum is nudging us towards heritage literature and the big names of Shakespeare, Dickens and Austen, etc.  Yet the definition is left open to allow us to include modern classics and children’s classics. […]


  • CLASSICAL POETRY FOR PRIMARY SCHOOLS

    Here is my list of undisputed, bona fide thoroughly English classical poets and no riff-raff.  Under each name you will find the titles of suitable poems for primary schools. They will be old hat for you, but remember it’s the first time for them. You can tackle the following poets in KS1: Belloc, Blake, Carroll, […]


  • QUIET CHILDREN

    Some years ago, I visited The Blue School in Wells, Somerset where quiet children had made a team to promote better understanding of their situation, and make the school a good place for them. Members, meetings, plans and activities are determined entirely by pupils.  Together, they produced the following guidance for teachers about the experience […]