Friday, 29 July 2011

We can release the magic!

After yet another wonderful week, the scary thing isn’t what we have achieved, but the potential we have to achieve so much more if only we can release the magic.
"The miracle, or the power, that elevates the few 
is to be found in their industry, application, and perseverance 
under the prompting of a brave, determined spirit."
Mark Twain

Tuesday, 26 July 2011


I had a great session in Sheffield today planning some really interesting work for next term.  
"Life is 10% of what happens to me
and 90% of how I react to it."
John Maxwell

Monday, 25 July 2011

"The only real satisfaction there is, is to be growing up inwardly all the time, becoming more just, more true, more generous, more simple, more human, more kind and more active. All this we can do, by doing each day the day's work as well as we can."
James Freeman Clarke

Teacher Development!

I found this brilliant piece on Edutopia. I've cut it down to go on the blog but it is well worth reading in full.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

"A life spent in making mistakes
is not only more honourable, 
but more useful than 
a life spent doing nothing."
George Bernard Shaw


I was reading an article the other day and these are apparently the 'superfoods' we should all be eating.

A Personal Philosophy!

Working in some great places over the years I have developed an approach that helps release the extraordinary potential and magic that lies dormant in most work places.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow.
Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Mahatma Ghandi

Friday, 22 July 2011

"To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting."
e.e. cummings

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Character, Self-discipline and Grit!

Over the last thirty five years I have learnt the hard way that knowledge rarely changes people's behaviour.
We are not simply the victims of circumstances.
We have some choices to make!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Unique and Extraordinary!

You are unique and extraordinary and don't let anyone tell you that you are not bright, not clever and not full of potential.

Monday, 18 July 2011

"Education is the great engine of personal development. It is through education that the daughter of a peasant can become a doctor, that the son of a mineworker can become the head of the mine, that a child of farm workers can become the president of a great nation. It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another."
Nelson Mandela

Goals and Targets!

We all know that setting goals and personal targets is a vital tool for everyone. It gives us our long-term vision as well as helping with our short-term motivation. By setting clearly defined goals and targets we can measure and constantly and consistently celebrate our achievements and our successes and focus on the areas where we are not achieving great outcomes.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

"We don't have to be facing 
a personal tragedy to make our relationships 
our number one priority.
No project, no deadline, no clean kitchen 
is as important as the quality
of our relationships."
"Random Acts of Kindness"

Nottingham Schools and Learning Team!

I had a great day yesterday with Nottingham City's 'Schools and Learning' team at the Denewood Centre in Nottingham.

Friday, 15 July 2011

The Crazy Ones!

"The ones who are crazy enough 
to think they can change the world 
are the ones that do!"


Thursday, 14 July 2011

Hovingham Primary School and Mathletics!

I visited Hovingham Primary School this afternoon. Janet Spence, the headteacher, and Jane Fisher, who is now Assistant Headteacher and leads the work on Mathletics, have created an extraordinary culture focused on hard work and positive attitudes. These celebrations brought powerfully alive by the whole school's singing and the positive psychology that surrounds every aspect of their work including this brilliant initiative to help the children with their maths. 

Open Public Services White Paper!

"The failure to educate every child to the maximum of their abilities is not just a moral failure to accord every person equal worth, it is a piece of economic myopia which leaves us all poorer.

Classrooms Matter!

And back to our schools... we know the key to school improvement. It’s the quality of what goes on in our classrooms and everything points to the fact that passion, performance and persistence are the keys to success.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

"There is so much in the world for us all
if we only have the eyes to see it,
and the heart to love it,
and the hand to gather it ourselves."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Reading Matters!

I spent a large part of the day with the Reading Matters team at The Royal Armouries. I have become a trustee for Reading Matters, a social enterprise ,which for over 12 years has recruited, trained and supported thousands of volunteer reading mentors in schools across Yorkshire. It was great to spend the day with the small Reading Matters team which has developed, designed and delivered a range of tried and tested training programmes, providing a broad range of literacy support.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Beliefs, Values and Attitudes!

I often ask myself what are we trying to achieve together? What is our vision for provision for our children and young people? How do we continue to build brilliant learning, in brilliant learning places to serve brilliant learning communities? What is the trick to releasing the magic and unlocking the potential of each and every child, of each and every colleague and of every family and every community to be their brilliant best?

Monday, 11 July 2011

No surprises: SSAT Report on Early Academies!

The report chronicles the journey of academies, in many cases from underachievement to growing confidence among students, increasing popularity among parents, and rapidly improving examination results.

Sunday, 10 July 2011

"It is not because things are difficult
that we do not dare; 
it is because we do not dare
that they are difficult."

Eight Big Ideas!

I read this interesting article 'Eight Big Ideas Behind the Constructionist Learning Lab' by Dr. Seymour Papert over the weekend.

Friday, 8 July 2011

Character is not a fancy coat we put on for show, it’s who we really are!

“Ordinary people, even weak people, can do extraordinary things through temporary courage generated by a situation.

Let me know if you've mislaid your copy!

"The force of the waves
 is in their perseverence."
Gila Guri

I wonder sometimes why so many people are so pessimistic, so negative and so miserable and just see difficulties and obstacles preventing them from being successful.
"Only one principle will give you courage,
that is the principle that no evil last forever
nor indeed for very long."

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Remember, never lie about anything important!

We must work with positive people whenever we can; pick out the optimists and those who love life and love learning and join their teams. We must, wherever possible, avoid people who are cynical and depressing to be with. And we must never be defensive about our mistakes and failures… because the only people who don’t make mistakes are those who do nothing, say nothing and are nothing. 

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

"Happiness is not a state to arrive at, 
but a manner of travelling."
Samuel Johnson

Parklands Primary School!

I received this wonderful e-mail from my colleague Cath Hindmarch who is headteacher at Parklands Primary School in Leeds.

Never Give Up!

Spending time with colleagues going through tough times recently I was looking for some ideas when I came upon this great piece of advice about why we should press on and not be distracted from our great adventures. 

Monday, 4 July 2011

Collaborative, Co-operative Leadership!

"If you have time, you can be infinitely collaborative, but if you have to fix things in a significant way and you're in a hurry, you've got to be more directive."
We all need to recognise that we need to work together and share what works as we all strive for excellence in governance, leadership and teaching and learning. I have never yet visited the perfect school but I have seen extraordinary practice and provision in soany places. If only we can raise the bar and make this outstanding practice common place we can build a world class learning landscape where every school is a great school.

Here to Learn!

Remember that this is above all a collaborative, co-operative endeavour. We must all be in touch with what is going on in classrooms, staffrooms and schools… we must listen more, get out and about and see what is happening so that we can learn from our extraordinary, unique and powerful learning places.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Change your Thinking and Change the World!

We need to rethink and re-imagine how we develop character, grit, determination and passion for learning.

Six Rules!

It seems to me that there are six things we can do to help us on our journey from OK to good to extraordinary. We must:
Clearly identify what needs to be done?
Plan it and do it!
Take responsibility!
Communicate, communicate, communicate!
Search for opportunities not problems!
Talk 'we' not 'I'!