Monday, February 02, 2015

Hertford Children's Book Festival 2014 OFFICIAL promo

A wonderful video of highlights from the 2014 Hertford Children's Book Festival.  Keep a look out for our children!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Moving On

I have finally decided to move my blogging over to a Edublogs which is wordpress based. We use wordpress at my school, BCPS, and I enjoy the ease-of-use and flexibility that it has.

So I hope that you, if you are a subscriber (for which I am most greatful), will take a moment to modify your feed to

Thank You & Happy Blogging

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are the media finally catching up?

The rise of teachers' blogs News crumb

Its wonderful that the Guardian have published this piece about blogging by teachers. But there is far more to teacher blogging than the "welcome to my world" approach that is discussed here.

The links at the side of this blog testify to the use to which blogging is put in the sharing of information and the spread of ideas. There is too much of the diary-style blogging around, its the sharers like Andy and Doug that need the spotlight.

Heads 'do not improve schools', but what about Roy Keane?

BBC NEWS Education Heads 'do not improve schools'

Another in the occasional series "Why On Earth Do You Want To Be A Head?" starts this time with research from the Policy Exchange think-tank - "The Leadership Effect: Can Headteachers Make A Difference?". Well an initial (and sarcastic) response to that question would be no, because even teachers can't make a difference, that would be the job of the classroom assistants!

The research has found that changing headteachers does not necessarily effect a great deal of change in poorly performing schools. Good schools remain good, poor schools, poor. What the report suggests is that only root & branch reform - changes in Senior Management & Governors - can really make improvements in school performance and therefore pupil achievement.

However, it is not the Head that makes the difference but the management style that they offer. I believe that any Head worth their salt in today's educational climate does not rule as an autocrat, but motivates pupils and staff. Provides the community with the tools that it needs to operate effectively. It can be about micro management, but the essence of successful leadership is how to best delpoy one's resources and keep a happy ship. Now if I can get my NPQH based in that soundbite...
As Martin Ward of the union ASCL points out:
In fact, the report says that the most important thing heads can do for their
pupils is to make sure that there are good teachers in their classrooms

The world of football management is rife with hirings & firings on a whim from chairmen of underperforming clubs. There are innumerable examples of how hiring a new manager because they are a "name" has backfired completely. Yet then there is Roy Keane. As agressive and antagonistic and talented on the pitch as any player could be, he had a reputation for being as hard-as-nails. Yet, in taking over at Sunderland when they were at the foot of the Championship, he has displayed a style of management that has belied what was expected from him and he has had huge success this season.

I am certainly no Sunderland fan, however, as a student of management styles his is one worth further investigation. A useful article providing some insight is from the Belfast Telegraph. And clearly his is a richer and more rounded approach than he perhaps was expected to provide. It certainly reinforces my view that sound management stems from an awareness of what the organisation requires from you not what you think the organisation ought to be.

Friday, April 06, 2007

A second look at school life | News crumb |

A second look at school life

How about this? Moodle on steriods! By using second life pupils have been taught in virtual classrooms within the ever more popular 3D online "meeting place". Reading the article it seems to be a really rather impressive application of web 2.0 combined with online gaming. Very impressive.

Now...when are they going to implant that cable into my brain?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Learning Brain Conference

Phil Whiston has sent the following information regarding the second Lerning Brain Europe conference.

The Learning Brain Europe Conference
4th – 5th June (Oxford) and 7th – 8th June 2007 (Harrogate)

The Macclesfield and Bollington EIP has sent delegates to the BrainExpo conference in the US for
several years and found it to be a major influence on our drive to develop teachers’
understanding of learning and their ability to create more effective classrooms.

They decided to re-create the BrainExpo experience in the UK, and the first conference was held
in 2005. It was attended by 1300 teachers and feedback was extremely positive. To ensure an
even better experience for 2007, they have invited back some of the most popular speakers with
new presentations, and have added a number of new names. All are renowned for their knowledge and their ability to inspire and motivate."

An important development in British Education & one which Phil is eager to promote through our blogs. So here is my bit to help.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

The Tipping Point

Although I'm not a Watford fan, an interesting feature in February's Observer Sport Monthly caught my attention. Apparently Aidy Boothroyd is an avid student of management theory and is an advocate of both The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell and Moneyball by Michael Lewis. Although it hasn't done much for Watford's fortunes it serves to emphasise the importance of applying broader principles to the management of your chosen field.

Now, I wonder what Martin Ling's (Orient manager) been reading - probably his final warning from Barry Hearn!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Ideas Hamsters

Searching for killer apps...

Peter Ford gave me Phanfare a online photo-sharing application. By registering as a school you can set up the site as it it were a section of your schools own webite or blog.

Then there is Netvibes. Like Yahoo's or Google's personalised home pages, but better.

After Doug's link there are also a couple of other online brainstorming/drawing tools: Gliffy & Freemind. Both different but worth looking at. Doug has also put a great deal of work into the world of Google and the tools that may be of use to teachers.

An interesting development from the Google universe is Google Co-Op. It is very much like Roll-Yo, which came out a while back (and I think I learned about through Doug). It allows you to create your own search engine. It is worth trying the Edublogoshpere. It could work very well for students, especially young ones like mine, who need fewer sources to wade through.

And then there are many more such as Twitter, Writely or PB Wiki
The list of tools (killer apps) is seemingly endless and is the cause of much wasted time! However the search for something that might make digital life a little easier makes the search all the more intriguing.

Here is my attempt at the use of with my year 4's. They loved it! And were particularly patient while I fiddle at the computer!