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Bunsen Blue – Designing a Science Curriculum

09 Jul 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Designing a Science Curriculum: my #rEDRugby talk On Saturday 9th June, I was lucky enough to attend and speak at my first reserachED in Rugby, hosted at the stunning Rugby School, by the marvellous Jude Hunton. Here, I share my talk with some additional thoughts I…

Bunsen Blue – Observations at Michaela

17 Apr 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Observations at Michaela APRIL 10, 2018 / BUNSENBLUE The culture of observations at Michaela is truly phenomenal. It provides a structure conducive to genuine improvement and honest reflection. Observations at Michaela are frequent, low-stakes and random. Since starting in September (around 24 teaching weeks), I…

The Sites of Memory – History at Michaela

07 Mar 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

History at Michaela  MARCH 6, 2018 / MIKE TAYLOR The weekend before last, I spoke at the West London Free School History Conference. The event was a superb gathering of history teachers and it was a real privilege to be able to share some of…

Bunsen Blue – The Influence of Michaela

27 Feb 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

The Influence of Michaela FEBRUARY 26, 2018 / BUNSENBLUE I started teaching at Michaela Community School in September 2017. Learning about, applying to and joining Michaela has permanently transformed my view of education forever. Learning about Michaela has been like constantly learning new threshold concepts:…

Bunsen Blue – Explanation, Feedback and Practice

19 Feb 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Explanation, Feedback & Practice FEBRUARY 9, 2018 / BUNSENBLUE Recently, I was observed by a member of my SLT (the wonderful @BrettWYale), and he gave me some feedback that sparked a brilliantly clarifying conversation. In this post, I want to share my reflections on this…

Precise Practice

05 Feb 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Precise Practice Posted on February 3, 2018 by Katie Ashford As I explained in my last post, practising the final skill over and over again does little to develop the final skill. Experts in any field won’t simply have practised the final skill in isolation:…

Tabula Rasa – Is all practice effective?

22 Jan 2018, Posted by admin in Michaela's Blog

Is all practice effective? Posted on January 20, 2018 by Katie Ashford Back in my early years of teaching- in the high-pressure ‘Special Measures’ school where I cut my teeth- I spent hours planning lessons that aimed to get kids through the GCSE as quickly as…

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,…

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…

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 Posted by Dani Quinn 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…

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…