Monday, 30 April 2012

Keep it Simple!

Why is there is so much negativity, criticism and unpleasantness around. Education, schools, teachers and colleagues, some of who are working in some of the most challenging contexts, are constantly criticised in the media, by OFSTED and by the DfE. We need to change the culture surrounding education and learning to create a more positive, reflective and supportive framework and critically we all need a rule book to help us live our lives. Interestingly, I re-read Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People” recently. It’s a great book, first published in 1937, and things don’t get any clearer than this:

Saturday, 28 April 2012

YOU CAN: Make people feel special!

"Think, reflect, research, analyse and learn.
Be visible, accessible and available; 
Walk the talk and constantly connect with friends and colleagues;
Tell stories; celebrate, praise and challenge;
Teach, coach and model behaviours you want to see;
Get a life... live, love and regularly escape;
Do things to make people feel special."

THIS WEEKEND: Love and Dance!

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin -real life.
But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first,
some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin.
At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
Alfred D'Souza 

Friday, 27 April 2012

Passion and Love!

We need to remember that we are all talented, brilliant, gorgeous and wonderful; all potential high achievers wherever we work; in the school kitchen, the playground or the playing field, the classroom, the laboratory, the workshop, the office...

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Lessons I've Learned!

It's true what they say! You often don't realise what you've got until it's gone and by then of course it's too late! I was in Leeds again last week and met some old friends and colleagues who talked passionately about Education Leeds and the incredible culture we created within the organisation.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012


AND DON'T FORGET: The Arts Matter!

There are so many of us who passionately believe that every child matters, and that those who are the hardest to reach and the hardest to teach matter more. Increasingly experience tells us that for young people generally, and for those harder to reach young people, the arts matter...

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

OFSTED 'Making a mark: art, craft and design 2008-2011'

An Ofsted report launched today looking at art, craft and design education in schools and colleges has found that after getting off to a confident early start, pupils’ progress slowed during primary school and was no better than satisfactory at the start of secondary school.

READ THIS BOOK: 'Brain Rules'!

"Most of us have no idea what’s really going on inside our heads. Yet brain scientists have uncovered details every business leader, parent, and teacher should know—like the need for physical activity to get your brain working its best."

Monday, 23 April 2012

SUCCESS comes in CANS not CAN'TS!

Over the last twenty years I have seen so many extraordinary places and learned so much about success and achievement. It seems to me that successful organisations, successful schools and successful teams, all have the following characteristics...

Sunday, 22 April 2012

The York Rainbow!

This incredible rainbow was sitting over the end of Coney Street in York this evening.

There were actually two rainbows there but sadly I couldn't find the pot of gold!

Brilliant Learning Places!

It was wonderful to hear about Hartsholme Academy from Sara and the interest in the story reminds us all that we must continue to tell and share our stories; success stories, learning stories, stories about developing understanding, stories about real people and real places. And perhaps strangely these are not the stories of a group of superheroes but the actions of thousands of ordinary people whose combined passion, energy and hard work day in and day out has made that difference. I expect your stories are very similar...

Have a Wonderful Sunday!

The only things that really matter are faith, family and friends.

Saturday, 21 April 2012

"Why is it so easy to acquire the solutions of past problems
and so difficult to solve current ones?" 
Marshall McLuhan

"Hold hands and stick together!"

Everyone should have this pinned up at work and at home to remind them about the things that really matter and the importance of teamwork!

Friday, 20 April 2012

"Twelve outstanding secondary schools"

I have visited some great secondary schools in Sheffield this year. Schools like Bradfield, Firth Park, Stocksbridge and Yewlands, who I am working with on the Cutlers "Made in Sheffield' Initiative. And I know that there are loads of great schools in Leeds. Schools like Carr Manor, Cockburn, Roundhay, John Smeaton, Morley High and David Young to name just six.

The official launch of the Cutlers 'Made in Sheffield' Initiative!

I attended the official launch of the Cutlers 'Made in Sheffield' Initiative at the Cutlers Hall this morning!

Thursday, 19 April 2012

RELEASING THE MAGIC: Hartsholme Academy!

I have been asking colleagues to share their stories of success and shout about those brilliant learning places where colleagues are 'releasing the magic'. I was therefore delighted to receive this e-mail from Sara Pearson who is a curriculum leader at Hartsholme Academy in Lincoln. Hartsholme Academy was  graded ‘outstanding’ by OFSTED in 2011, having ‘taken up the pursuit of excellence!’ The ethos of the school is built around three words; Respect, Empowerment and Belief and they have just moved into a new 4.5 million pound state-of–the-art school building.

"Dear Chris Edwards
I have been following you on twitter now for the past few months and am really delighted to see someone as passionate about education as we are here at Hartsholme Academy. I saw recently that you asked for people to email you regarding your “releasing the magic” blog looking at exciting ventures happening in schools and I thought I would take the time to email you regarding the school I work in as we are a futures thinking school that “releases the magic” on a weekly basis. I will begin by giving you some information regarding the school.

Miracles and Magic are Commonplace!

"If I were absolutely certain about all things, I would spend my life in anxious misery,
fearful of losing my way. But since everything and anything are always possible, 
the miraculous is always nearby and wonders shall never, ever cease."
Robert Fulghum

People constantly tell me what they can't do but as Robert Fulgham reminds us 'everything and anything are always possible'! So we have to make our colleagues understand that they have enormous potential; that they can do anything if they work at it and believe, and that the miracles and the magic are commonplace. 

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things!

I was in Leeds again last week and met some old friends and colleagues who talked passionately about Education Leeds and the incredible culture we created within the organisation. A unique and special culture which won awards and recognition locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.
A unique and special culture based on high expectations, self-esteem, efficacy, trust, openness and honesty. A unique and special culture based on a relentless and uncompromising search for excellence.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cutlers 'Made in Sheffield' Initiative!

I had another great day today at Bradfield School in North Sheffield with the four schools who are working together on the Cutlers 'Made in Sheffield' Initiative!

Monday, 16 April 2012

How to Make a Real Difference!

Gregg Thompson, president of Bluepoint Leadership Development, has identified seven things that will make a real difference in your school, your team, or your organisation. Do all seven, and you will release real magic!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Faith, Family and Friends!

We should all remember that when it comes down to what really matters... it's faith, family and friends that make life worth living!

Anyone for Coffee!

This great story reminds us all about the things that really matter...

Happy Sunday!

Always remember that 
"one day is worth a thousand tomorrows."

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Don't let it get you down!

Don't let it get you down! 
Stay true to your beliefs! 
Stay true to your friends! 
Stay true to the things that matter!

Friday, 13 April 2012

Coaching Matters!

Whether we like it or not children, young people, colleagues and friends live up to, or down to, our expectations of them...

Thursday, 12 April 2012


We all need to create opportunities where young people are inspired by mathematics, science, technology and engineering and provided with opportunities to work more closely with industry and the world of work. STEMNET does brilliant work in this area and receives funding from the Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS), the Department for Education and The Gatsby Charitable Foundation.

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Impossible is nothing!

"Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing." John Maxwell

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Attitude is more important that facts!

It strange but true that those who believe they can, can and those who believe they can’t, can’t...

Thursday, 5 April 2012


"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass;
it's about learning to dance in the rain."

Evidence-based Policymaking!

It's strange how often we asked ourselves this question at Education Leeds because what every great organization, every great school and every great teacher asks themselves constantly... is what we are doing working?

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

The ARTS Matter!

“At-risk teenagers or young adults with a history of intensive arts experiences show achievement levels closer to, and in some cases exceeding, the levels shown by the general population studied,” a team of scholars writes in a new National Endowment for the Arts Research Report. “These findings suggest that in-school or extracurricular programs offering deep arts involvement may help to narrow the gap in achievement levels among youth.”

Futurelab Enquiring Schools!

"We can argue over the detail but one thing is clear, we need to create a generation of school leavers better equipped to create and innovate and technology is a powerful tool we can use to develop these skills."

Tuesday, 3 April 2012


"If your actions inspire others to dream more, 
learn more, do more and become more,
you are a leader."
John Quincy Adams

SAD NEWS: Lou Tice

I received this sad message from my friend and colleague Neil Straker, who heads up The Pacific Institute here in the UK...

"Dear colleagues,
It is with deep sadness and regret that I have to inform you that Lou Tice passed away a few hours ago.

Monday, 2 April 2012


Genius is a myth! Talent is everywhere! It's not difficult, we can learn to release the magic! Just ask!