Dressing for my own identity

Reading Time: 5 minutes Clothes are so important, aren’t they? With teachers returning to schools this week, my Twitter timeline has been full of teachers with their ‘back to school wardrobes’. There’s a lot of the Harkel rainbow pencil skirts, the Popsy maths dresses and the Popsy crayon dress, among others. Clothes make us feel comfortable, or safe, or more professional. Everyone has their own quirks and preferences. An outfit that makes us feel powerful. Most men also can’t fathom the glee that comes from discovering your dress actually has pockets!!

Why are predicted grades so hard to give, and can we change it?

Reading Time: 13 minutes It’s been a difficult old year when it comes to predictions (and so many things, but let’s stay focused!). I’m not going to specifically explore my own statistics here – it isn’t fair to any individuals involved – but I’m interested in the reasons that predictions are often so inaccurate when compared with exam results. This year in particular, it’s especially important: today’s announement that Scotland have regraded everyone in line with centre assessment may or may not affect Thursday, but we should consider this for our own good in the future. Predictions are important. With them, we know who …

Poetry writing: A walk-through lesson

Reading Time: 7 minutes In the lesson before this, I’d read On the Sidewalk Bleeding with my Year 8 class, as part of a narrative/short-story unit (some EXCELLENT black lives matters and identity conversation came from it too). The standard has been a couple of analytical lessons followed by creative writing. It’s been an AGE since I taught poetry, and I’ve recently read @funkypedagogy‘s book which reminded me of how much I enjoy it – and I was heartened to see her methods basically mirrored my own. (Always lovely when someone you respect can reaffirm you’re doing the right thing!) Some of the below …

Oracy is a feminist act – it’s the way we teach our girls to take their place in the world and speak up for themselves and others. How can we structure talk more effectively?

Reading Time: 5 minutes In any list of people’s fears and phobias, public speaking is usually in the top three – and often first. Even among teachers, who arguably spend most of their day presenting in one style or other, there’s a common, if rueful, admittance that teaching is one thing but delivering a CPD presentation to our peers is something else entirely. Speaking has been critically undervalued in the secondary curriculum, especially since the English GCSE presentation was reduced to an NEA. Even before then, it rarely held the prestige of writing and reading. It fares better at primary school, I think, although …

Performing the good girl

Reading Time: 6 minutes Chris Curtis’s latest blogpost – https://learningfrommymistakesenglish.blogspot.com/ – chimes with some things I’ve been writing / thinking about for a while now, about the ways that girls adopt different personas depending, in large part, on the expectations they experience in different places. I’ve had conversations at parents’ evenings that reveal the dilemma he describes, that “The home persona will say something and challenge things when the school persona will not, because they are worried they’ll get told off. Life for them is the battle between these two versions of themselves.” Working at a girls’ school for a decade, I’ve had lots of …