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Alex Gazi Writes – First Term at Michaela

08 Nov 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

First term at Michaela In September, I started teaching at Michaela Community School. This last term has been a brilliant introduction to a warm and happy school that has learning at its very core. I started at Michaela after completing the Teach First LDP, where…

Cheng Reaction – Practicals in Science

08 Nov 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Practicals in Science Now that I’ve been at Michaela for over a year, I have come to see that one of the most enjoyable aspects of teaching science are our practical lessons. Whilst in the past this might have filled me with dread, the systems…

JLMFL – Teach French à Michaela

19 Sep 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Teach French à Michaela We’re looking for an amazing French teacher. Here’s some of what we do: The highest expectations of what pupils can – and do – achieve. The highest expectations of ourselves as teachers. Beautiful accents, exceptional pronunciation, fantastic range of knowledge. Lots…

Tabula Rasa – Yes He Can!

11 Jul 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Yes he can! In my career as SENCO so far, I’ve often found myself at loggerheads with people who tell me that pupils with Special Needs can’t do things. Whether we’re talking about learning to read, writing for extended periods, or retaining focus in class,…

Reading all the Books – What Makes Us Happy

11 Jul 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

What Makes Us Happy At Michaela, we aren’t only focused on our kids working hard, learning loads and achieving great grades. We also want them to be happy. We think long and hard about how we can foster our kids’ happiness, and, having read wisdom literature,…

Pragmatic Reform – Three Assessment Butterflies

03 Jul 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Three Assessment Butterflies Winston Churchill once said ‘success is stumbling from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm.’ Looking back now on assessment in our first year at Michaela, I can now see what I was blind to then: we stumbled and blundered. What mistakes did we…

Until I Know Better – Maths Muddle

03 Jul 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Maths Muddle: alternate segment, same segment, alternate angles I had an insight into Y9 minds this week, realising that two (maybe three) things I thought were obviously different look really similar to them. It came about with similarity proofs, and realising that, to them, it is…

Reading all the Books – Teach Knowledge

26 Jun 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Teach Knowledge What can you do when you inherit a clueless year 10 or 11 class? Teach them the test. It’s something that teachers who join struggling schools know well. Principals who are drafted in to turn around failing schools are not fools to throw…

Until I Know Better – Never Let Me Go

05 Jun 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Never Let Me Go At which stage in a topic do you stop modelling examples? I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest the answer is probably….too soon. I’m going to go further and suggest that the rationale you have for doing so is probably wrong….

Aien Aristeuein – Year 7 History at Michaela

15 May 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Year 7 History at Michaela MAY 14, 2017 / MIKE TAYLOR One of the great things about working at Michaela is watching the rapid transformation of our Year 7 pupils. From their baptism of fire induction in the first week, through to the end of the…

Conception of the Good – Arithmetic Average 2

15 May 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Arithmetic Average: Reflecting on Property 5 In my last post, I discussed whether an instructional programme could be created to teach a deeper concept of mean. I mentioned five different properties. After a conversation with Kris Boulton about the blog post, he spotted something interesting…

Conception of the Good – Arithmetic Average

08 May 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Arithmetic Average: developing conceptual understanding Many pupils are taught how to calculate the arithmetic average (the mean.)  They are also taught a shallow understanding of the concept: it goes along the lines of “the mean is a calculated ‘central’ value of a set of numbers.”…

Reading all the Books – Warm Strict

08 May 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

  Warm – strict I have written previously about Teach Like a Champion, a book I feel to be the most important contribution to pedagogy advice I have read. Although it is nearly impossible to pick which of the important techniques are the most vital,…

Cheng Reaction – Lesson Observations at Michaela

08 May 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Lesson Observations at Michaela At Michaela, lessons are not graded. Like many schools, we have moved away from the old paradigm of observing teachers once per half term in a high stakes, pre-planned, pay-determining observation, towards a new one. We have a truly open door policy…

JLMFL – The Summer Project (#French)

03 May 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

The Summer Project (#French) may 3, 2017 jlmfl In the past, my hands-down-favourite thing about teaching was being in the classroom, with the kids, bouncing off their energy and enthusiasm and teaching them French, and seeing them grow in knowledge and confidence and ability. That feeling…

Until I Know Better – Drill and Thrill

16 Mar 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Drill and Thrill This is a summary of the presentation from Maths Conf 9, held in Bristol on 11/3/2017. Thanks to everyone who came and who asked questions! What is a drill? A drill is narrow. It should be focused on a single thing, such…

Until I Know Better – Holier than thou

16 Mar 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Holier than thou  I try to avoid polemics, or being divisive. The topic below is one where, I suspect, opinion is already sharply divided and each side views the other with suspicion and some incredulity. 1) It really gets my goat when a teacher reserves…

Michaela Art Blog – Mastery in Art

16 Mar 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Mastery in Art At Michaela, we receive hundreds of visitors each year. As Head of Art, I find that the most common questions visitors ask me fall into two camps: first, people often ask something along the lines of “when are the pupils allowed to…

Cheng Reaction – Six Months In

08 Mar 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Six Months In Six months ago, I started working at Michaela. As a Wembley native, growing up just around the corner and attending a local state school, it has been an experience and a pleasure to teach pupils in the community and to see them…

Pragmatic Education – Netflix

06 Mar 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Netflix Posted on March 4, 2017by Joe Kirby Imagine working for an organisation where there are no annual performance meetings, no bureaucracy, where you do not need permission to take time off, and where the expense policy is just five words long: ‘act in our…

Cheng Reaction – Making the Most of Every Minute

18 Jan 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Making the Most of Every Minute January 15, 2017 by chengreaction Since starting at Michaela in September, I’ve learnt that every second counts. I’m still shocked at the speed of routines, and how they enable us to squeeze every last second of learning in every lesson….

Until I Know Better – Under Pressure

18 Jan 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Under Pressure I’ve had two interesting conversations this year with some of our weakest pupils. Fadekah is in Year 8. For all of Year 7 we despaired if she would even be able to pick and microwave her own meals, or complete routine tasks to…

To learn is to follow – Vertical vocabulary

09 Jan 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Vertical vocabulary January 8, 2017 / jhcporter One of the great things about working at Michaela is the symbiosis that happens between colleagues. Inevitably for me, this exchange of ideas is most keenly felt between the Humanities and English Departments and, specifically, between the essays…

Reading all the Books – Top reads of 2016

03 Jan 2017, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Top reads of 2016 Posted on December 31, 2016 by Jo Facer Education reads: Doug Lemov: Reading Reconsidered I wrote at length about Lemov’s book – safe to say, it will revolutionise your teaching. Everyone should read this – not just English teachers. Lemov deeply considers…

Pragmatic Education 3.12.16 Authority in Schools

05 Dec 2016, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

One of the best questions from the Michaela Battle Hymn event was: ‘how would you draw the distinction between authority and authoritarian?’ It is a vital distinction, and one that must be disentangled rather than conflated.   My definition of an authoritarian state is one…