Friday, 31 July 2015

CHARACTER, SELF-DISCIPLINE AND GRIT MATTER!

Over the last thirty five years I have learnt the hard way that knowledge rarely changes people's behaviour or their lives...

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

LEADERSHIP, GREAT TEACHING AND TEAMWORK MATTER!

I have visited some great schools over the last few years and each visit makes me realise that leadership, teaching and teamwork are what matters.

21st CENTURY SKILLS!

We need to persuade the powers that be that the future is only going to be secured if we develop a 21st Century Learning Framework to drive our learning landscape. A framework built on 21st Century skills as well as subjects.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

HOW TO BE HAPPY!

Action for Happiness recognise in their ‘Ten Keys to Happier Living’– synthesised from all the happiness research - that being happy requires action...

Monday, 27 July 2015

BE POSITIVE AND THINK POSITIVE!

We all want success and happiness in our lives; and many of us think it will only come through winning the lottery or finding our way onto the X-Factor!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

ANYONE FOR COFFEE?

Where do the weeks go? I can't believe that it's Saturday again...another week has flown by and I am constantly reminded that I don't do enough to stay in touch with friends and family and this great story reminds me about the things that really matter...
"A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was...

Friday, 24 July 2015

SOME OTHER THINGS REALLY MATTER!

DISCIPLINE MATTERS!

We have been working on the Cutlers' 'Made in Sheffield' programme for over three years and we are clearer now than ever, that these are the skills you need to be successful and that at the heart of success is discipline and particularly self-discipline.

Thursday, 23 July 2015

MINDSET MATTERS!

There is a great difference between failing to achieve a result and the conclusion you draw about yourself. In Carol Dweck's book 'Mindset' she explains that those who stay down after a setback make a judgment that they have failed, not just that their attempt failed. Moreover, people with a 'fixed mindset' often generalize from their “failures” to conclusions such as, “I am a loser,” and “I will probably always fail. Therefore, they assume, there is no point in getting up and working at problems and issues. So they quit, they give up and they seek a more comfortable option such as eating, drinking, shopping whatever to avoid facing what they consider to be their personal failure.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

RESILIENCE MATTERS!

Martin Seligman, Carol Dweck and Alison Duckworth all stress that resilience is a key aspect of success in learning and whether you are a student, a parent, a teaching assistant, a teacher, an engineer, a director or a  headteacher this is a critical issue!

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

CHARACTER MATTERS!

We need to develop skills, character and knowledge to enable our children and young people to compete and succeed. These are the NEW Mr Men and Little Miss characters (with apologies to Roger Hargreaves)

BE A DOER NOT A CRITIC!

“You can program yourself to be positive. Being positive is a discipline … 
and the more adversity you face, the more positive you have to be. 
Being positive helps build confidence and self-esteem”

Rick Pitino, University of Louisville Head Basketball Coach

Whatever the critics and the sceptics say education and learning has been transformed over the last 15 years and our successes are everywhere; not just the GCSE/Level 2/Key Stage results but the attendance and exclusion figures, the latest OFSTED analysis, work on healthy schools, work on developing the arts and music, work developing PE and school sport, work on tackling racism, work on inclusion and equity and much, much more. So many colleagues in so many schools have done a simply brilliant job... and always remember when it comes to judging our successes and failures "It is not the critic who counts...

Monday, 20 July 2015

CONFIDENCE MATTERS!

I have been a learner all my life and the older I get the more I realise that while knowledge and facts are important, it's the skills and ability to use what you know that really matters.

EVERYONE IS A GENIUS!

Saturday, 18 July 2015

HOWEVER TOUGH IT GETS, NEVER QUIT!

I know things have been tough year for many colleagues and friends as yet another school year grinds to a halt; new challenges, new pressures, greater expectations and lots of hard work ahead. So, if you don't know this poem it is worth a read as we all try to stay positive and manage the challenges life throws at us.

NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE!

At the end of yet another academic year it is important to reflect on the fact that we are challenged all the time to do better, and to do it faster and more efficiently and more effectively... challenged to do what many people would say was the impossible....

Friday, 10 July 2015

PHILOSOPHY FOR CHILDREN

The Education Endowment Foundation has just completed an evaluation of Philosophy for Children (P4C). This is an approach to teaching in which students participate in group dialogues focused on philosophical issues. Dialogues are prompted by a stimulus (for example, a story or a video) and are based around a concept such as ‘truth’, ‘fairness’ or ‘bullying’. The aim of P4C is to help children become more willing and able to ask questions, construct arguments, and engage in reasoned discussion.

IMPORTANT STUFF: READ THE 'LONDON AMBITIONS' REPORT!


"When it comes to recruiting young people, most London employers – particularly smaller businesses – value experience above all other criteria.  But too few young people are gaining adequate experience of work while still at school, college or university. This is contributing to fewer employers recruiting young people and finding that many of those are not adequately prepared for the world of work. We also have to confront the reality that careers support for young people is not working as well as it could."

Thursday, 9 July 2015

OUTWOOD CITY ACADEMY!

I visited Outwood City Academy this afternoon to discuss their possible involvement in the Cutlers' "Made in Sheffield' programme.

CUTLERS 'MADE IN SHEFFIELD' SCHOOLS/COLLEGES BREAKFAST MEETING

I was in Sheffield yesterday for a breakfast meeting with headteachers, principals and colleagues from the schools and colleges involved in the Cutlers' Made in Sheffield scheme. We are meeting twice a year to review the progress we are making and to look at how we can continue to develop the work we have been doing. The Cutlers’ ‘Made in Sheffield’ programme delivers high quality training and enrichment activities, which over two years help young people develop the skills, behaviours and character traits required for success at work and in life after school. The framework aims to develop and recognise in students those personal attributes essential for employability and life.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

THE CUTLERS 'MADE IN SHEFFIELD' EMPLOYERS BREAKFAST MEETING

I was in Sheffield today for a breakfast meeting with employers and colleagues from the various sectors involved in the Cutlers' Made in Sheffield scheme. We are meeting twice a year to review the progress we are making and to look at how we can continue to develop the work we have been doing. 

Monday, 6 July 2015

THE 80-20 RULE!

How do we create great schools for every child, every young person and every community? Personally, I passionately believe that the answers lie in developing collaborative and creative learning organisations built on beautiful systems, deep research, intelligent accountability and the importance of discipline and character. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

THIS SUNDAY EAT CHOCOLATE!

I have been talking about the benefits of eating chocolate for a long time and some people simply wouldn't believe that is makes you cleverer and asked me where is the research evidence.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

OFSTED WAS NEVER THE ANSWER!

I suppose I have been a critical, reflective learner all my life. All the best colleagues I know, reflect on the quality of their work. They do this as professionals who are responsible for the quality of their work and for the achievements and the personal and social development of the young people they teach, and as members of a team, which is responsible for the overall quality of educational provision.

Friday, 3 July 2015

LEADERSHIP MATTERS!

John Hattie suggests that we should develop a collaborative and cooperative approach to school improvement where we share, network and learn together. 

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

WE MUST COLLABORATE AND THINK TEAM!

Research clearly shows that the leadership of schools can have a hugely positive impact on the educational outcomes of young people... but success is all about collaborative approaches and thinking team!