Welcome to The Learning Spy
During the day I am an associate member of SLT and Director of English and Literacy at Clevedon School in North Somerset.
I am also an associate of Independent Thinking Ltd and specialise in training on Literacy, AfL, Outstanding T&L and English. If you’d like to book me to deliver training or speak at a conference, please Email Me or contact me via Twitter @LearningSpy. For specific events at which I will be speaking, click here.
My book, The Perfect (Ofsted) English Lesson, is available to buy now.
In an age when there`s a tendency to clutch after ready-made gimmicks for every lesson, there’s something hugely invigorating about David Didau’s book. He reminds us that great English lessons are about relationships as well as content, but that they need to demonstrate our students’ progress. He provides a range of ideas and approaches which can be customised to our own personalities and style to help us to teach lessons that aren’t just outstanding against some Ofsted tick list, but genuinely outstanding. Recommended.
Geoff Barton, Headteacher, King Edward VI School
Many of my presentations are available on Slideshare – please feel free to download and adapt as you see fit.
Here’s an article I wrote for Teach Secondary magazine:
Here are a selection of my most popular blog posts:
From planning to delivery, this post tries to distill my latest thinking on what constitutes “outstanding” teaching and learning.
With the publication of the 2012 English subject report, Moving English Forward, it became clear that a lot of what teachers have been told about what Ofsted look for in the classroom is simply wrong.
An attempt to apply the approach that lead to Olympic and Tour de France success for Dave Brailsford’s Team Sky to teaching.
Spend less time planning to free up more time for marking & feedback. A stripped down approach to ensuring that lessons are designed with students’ progress in the forefront of our minds.
All about the new spoken language controlled assessment for AQA on how text messaging is similar to speech. The Guardian Teacher Network also published it. It remains my most viewed post by a considerable margin.
Ever wondered why the last education fad failed?,You know the one that promised so much yet delivered so little? This post discusses the dangers of simply telling teachers how to do something without bothering to explain why.
Schools have a big responsibility to tackles students’ literacy and not just because Ofsted say so. This is a manifesto statement on how we can make small changes which will make a big difference.
Being allowed to make mistakes and get things wrong is crucially important to learning. This post explores the thinking behind Samuel Beckett’s famous line, “Every tried? Ever failed? No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
This post has generated more discussion and site traffic than anything else I’ve written and is still getting several hits every week. There was even a #UkEdChat devoted to it.
I’m absolutely entrenched in the view that hard work can accomplish almost anything and am frustrated beyond reason that hard work is viewed as something to almost be ashamed of. Communicating this message to my students is starting to make a dent in their stolid belief that trying hard is for losers.
Ever thought that there must be more to learning objectives than just having kids copy them down while everyone tuts at the slowest writer? I wrote this post of the beginning of the week when I was still really excited about all the amazing new things I was going to try. By the end of the week I remember how shattered I felt at all the thinking I’d had to do. It was such a useful thing to do though, and it’s still resonating in my lessons months later.