Monthly Archives: May 2019

Blog of the Week: 24 May 2019 – I, We, You – A Simple Approach To Modelling

Class Teaching

By Andy Tharby

Modelling is the bit in the middle. It is the teaching stage that comes between the teacher’s explanation of a task or procedure and student practice. It is also the stage that is so often left out or not given enough attention by teachers. Modelling has a number of purposes: to lift the veil on hidden thinking; to demonstrate and break down step-by-step procedures; and to provide excellent examples for students to emulate.

Without careful modelling, many students are left feeling rudderless and all at sea. They have little conception of what the final product, the goal, should look like, and they do not understand the small steps they need to go through to achieve success. Inevitably, without models their thinking – and subsequent work – becomes patchy and filled with avoidable errors. Ultimately, modelling brings greater clarity.

What is less clear, however, is the best way to…

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Blog of the Week: 10 May 2019 – Designing a Supercurriculum


This is an old post previously published on the Wellington College Learning and Research Centre website, but I’m reposting it here in light of a recent conversation about the need to go and above and beyond what a national curriculum can offer.

This blog is based on a talk given at the Wellington MAT inset day on February 10th, 2017, at The Wellington Academy. Robin Macpherson (@robin_macp) uses the experiences of the Wellington College Peace and Conflict Institute to explain what the value of a super-curriculum is, and how to construct one.

Wellington, like many other schools, puts a lot of emphasis on extension, enrichment, societies and guest lectures. This is intended to add intellectual value, and provide additional stretch beyond the regular curriculum. The fact that most schools feel the need to provide this – thus demanding a lot of teacher time and effort – says a…

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Blog of the Week: 3 May 2019 – What the marathon teaches you about education

In my book Making Good Progress I developed an analogy between education and marathon running. Put simply, you wouldn’t train for a marathon by trying to run 26.2 miles in every training session. And in the same way, you shouldn’t prepare for an exam by doing exam-style activities in every lesson. I’d never run a marathon at that point, but I was influenced in this analogy by work by Michael Slavinsky and Daniel Lavipour, two educators and athletes who gave an incredibly thought-provoking talk about education and sport at Globe Academy in 2015.

Last September, I got a charity place in the London Marathon for Robes Project, a south London homeless charity.  The many hours of training I am doing now have given me the chance to ponder the links between marathon running and education in even …

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