Friday, 31 August 2012


We are waiting for a new curriculum framework and Martin Seligman, Carol Dweck and Alison Duckworth all stress that resilience is a key aspect of success in learning and whether you are a parent, a teaching assistant, a teacher, a headteacher or a Director of Learning this is a critical issue!


"The principal goal of education... 
should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things... 
men and women who are creative, inventive and discoverers."

There seems to me to be a huge contradiction between the freedom and empowerment for headteachers and schools and the command and control mentality the DfE is imposing on schools and particularly primary schools.

Thursday, 30 August 2012


Behaviour, integrity and character should lie at the heart of everything we do with children and young people and should guide our provision and practice at every stage of a child's learning.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012


I was in Sheffield today with John Barber and Anna Sheard from B&E South Yorkshire working on the Cutlers' Ambassadors Programme which aims to develop 21st Century Skills as fundamental building blocks within the curriculum for target groups of young people at Bradfield School, Stocksbridge High School, Yewlands Technology College and Firth Park Community College in Sheffield.

Save the Planet!

I was reading about the melting of the polar ice caps reaching record and very worrying levels this Summer. OK, so how can we as individuals save the planet...

Tuesday, 28 August 2012


The research is deeply depressing around how happy, healthy and safe our children are...

"Good mental health isn't something you have, but something you do.
To be mentally healthy you must value and accept yourself"

Friday, 24 August 2012

"One isn't necessarily born with courage,
but one is born with potential."
Maya Angelou

Thursday, 23 August 2012


I know that we all want every child and young person to go to a great school where we release the magic and enable them to reach their potential. I was concerned therefore when a brilliant colleague was talking to me the other day about the fantastic things in her school that were stopping because the additional resources were no longer available from authorities or the Government.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012


As we sit and wait for this years GCSE results I was re-reading this wonderful piece on testing and education by Yong Zhao, Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, where he also serves as the director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE)... "I was reading Jared Diamond’s brilliant book 'Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed', I found his story of how the Easter Islanders’ race to build the most magnificent statues eventually led to their collapse chillingly similar to what is happening to American education...

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Stand back and reflect, think and learn!

It's a sad reflection that the Government has become obsessed with structures and failed to articulate in big picture terms a compelling, authentic and modern vision for learning and skills. The success at the London Olympics reminds us all about the importance of passion, persistence, discipline, focus, hard work and creating a culture of excellence. Whether we are looking at the start of the new Premier League season, the City of London, the press and media or the  education system we need to stand back and reflect, think and learn.

Monday, 20 August 2012

SOME REMINDERS: "What have I learned in life?"

I re-read this and wanted to share it again with the people I care about. Read it carefully because it's powerful stuff.

"What have I learned in life? I've learned that...

Saturday, 18 August 2012

REMEMBER: Whatever you do, you have to love it!

“If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, 
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. 
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

Friday, 17 August 2012


I was re-reading an article by Rhonda Evans about the education system in Alberta in Canada. Rhonda had been in Alberta talking to school leaders and discovered that Albertan school leaders are proud of their state education system. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

REMEMBER: "Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets"!

"So... love the people who treat you right,
forget about the ones who don’t 
and believe that everything happens for a reason. 
If you get a chance, take it. 
If it changes your life, let it. 
Nobody said that it’d be easy, 
they just promised it would be worth it." 

'Learning by Enquiring: The Key to Teacher Effectiveness'!

Everyone, all over the world of education,  is asking themselves the same set of questions. And they all focus on how can we raise the bar and improve the quality of achievement not only for some of our young people but for each and every student? I was reading an interesting paper on the bluyonder blog 'Learning by Enquiring: The Key to Teacher Effectiveness'.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

British Columbia's Education Plan!

I read the British Columbia Education Plan last night and it captures so well the challenges we face here and the need for a coherent, over-arching framework driving our learning landscape which we can all sign up to and where we all feel valued and understand the contribution we can make to building a world class school system.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

'Great Teaching, Inspired Learning'!

I was reading the New South Wales Government's discussion document 'Great Teaching, Inspired Learning' over the weekend...


I love this quote and I found it again when I visited Roel Rohner's wonderful Dalton blog recently.

Monday, 13 August 2012

AFTER THE OLYMPICS, THE LEGACY: Extraordinary, Outstanding and Brilliant… whatever it takes!

"The principal goal of education... 
should be creating men and women who are capable of doing new things... 
men and women who are creative, inventive, and discoverers."
Jean Piaget

Saturday, 11 August 2012


"All I know about the future is that it is what you make it."
Walter Mosley


We need to create organisations, enterprises, schools and families that are at the same time both passionate and compassionate.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Sporting Excellence!

Since I left Education Leeds, I have met some incredible colleagues from schools in Sheffield, Nottingham, Lincoln and Leeds and watching the Olympics and Team GB reminded me that coaching, deep practice and sheer hard work are the keys to success.

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Really Great Leaders!

Over the holidays I have been thinking about what makes a great leader, a great manager, a great headteacher...

Great Leaders!

Over the holidays I have been thinking about what makes a great leader, a great manager, a great headteacher...

Monday, 6 August 2012

“Do you wish the world were happy?
Then remember day by day
Just to scatter seeds of kindness
As you pass along the way.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunday, 5 August 2012


Flowers brighten up even the darkest day and after yesterday's Olympic successes help us all recognise and celebrate that we are at the middle of the greatest sporting show on earth! The opportunities are out there for all of us and hopefully today will bring more success and happiness!
Whatever you are doing and wherever you are have a brilliant day!

Saturday, 4 August 2012


I love the Sunscreen Song which you probably don't know came from this column by Mary Schmich, which was published by the Chicago Tribune on 01 June 1997. Make sure you read it; I know it will make you smile.

Friday, 3 August 2012

“There is no chance, no destiny, no fate,
that can circumvent or hinder or control
the firm resolve of a determined soul.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thursday, 2 August 2012

"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically... 
Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education."
Martin Luther King

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

"What lies behind us and what lies before us 
are small matters compared to what lies within us."
Ralph Waldo Emerson