The end of a year in school

I have finished my year in school. It was an interesting experience and I have a lot to write about in future blogs. There are lots of questions in my mind:

  • What is the relationship between the curriculum and assessment?
  • Has child-centred education disappeared?
  • Why are teachers so compliant?
  • Who decides what happens in classrooms?
  • What counts as learning in classrooms today?
  • Who is accountable for learning?
  • What does progress look like?

These are just a few of the things I am going to explore over the coming months.

I have retired from full-time paid work now but next year will be doing a few things, including tutoring some trainee teachers. I am most excited though about working with Billy during the year. Billy is a six year old boy in my class who has failed to learn to read. He has had numerous interventions and support but still cannot read a text independently. He knows all the simple GPCs but cannot blend. Next year the school is adopting RWInc wholeheartedly and the whole of Key Stage 1 will be divided into ability groups for phonics. For Billy, this would mean repeated failure and I want to work with him to try other strategies for helping him to become a reader. I am going into school for 20 minutes, two or three times a week. I will report progress here each week and use my experiences to try and address some of the questions above and more.

Share the journey with me.

One thought on “The end of a year in school

  1. I am not surprised that you have decided to stop classroom work. Or that you have your list of questions.
    I have found that schools, which have formally been called beacons of excellence, have been reduced to using the same mass produced materials that caused problems with genuine learning decades ago. Could it be that learning is a very individual experience? What Billy needs to do if he is to learn to read is not the same as any other child in the class. But that, to some degree, will be true of something for every child. Jessica may need individual help with maths, David with controlling his temper, Raj with using a pencil etc. etc. Yawn, yawn … we have heard it all before. What has happened to the teaching profession? If buying, and slavishly following materials such as worksheets, had ever ‘worked’, teachers would embrace them with delight. Remember, colleagues, if your pupils fail the assessment tasks, according to the test setter, it will be your fault.
    Margaret – keep up the questions and the blogging. Your words will help many colleagues to think about what they do and take the professional responsibility needed to teach for the sake of the learners not to produce meaningless data.


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