Category Archives: Teaching and learning

Seeking refuge in poetry

I am So I have left everything But I am something. I have left everyone But I am someone. I have left there But I am here. Something, someone, here, now. September 2015   Links to poems about the refugee … Continue reading

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Enrolment: where aspiration meets reality

It’s a crazy way to start the year; enrolling all our students over a few days in late August before we can start teaching them. Enrolment is a major cross-college team effort which requires every member of staff to do something different … Continue reading

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Results Day: best of days, worst of days.

It’s a love / hate thing. On the one hand results day is a wonderful moment of celebration when all the hard work put in by students and staff is publicly celebrated, a moment when young people can reflect on … Continue reading

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Embracing the canon, resisting the canon

The BBC’s Ten pieces is a brilliant music education resource for primary schools based on a selection of 10 pieces which introduce children to classical music with a range of associated materials for schools to use. Although there is nothing specifically ‘primary’ about … Continue reading

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Reading dystopias

Reading dystopias Utopia: an imagined society or state of things in which everything is perfect or close to perfect. Dystopia: an imagined society or state of things in which things are very far from perfect to a frightening extent. An … Continue reading

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20 questions to ask about a book you’ve read

A starting point for discussion in reading groups or for students doing reading assignments (fiction). Explain the title. What category or genre do you think it fits into? What do you think the author’s purpose was? Something you liked about … Continue reading

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The skilled learner DOES

Our mission at Newham Sixth Form College is ‘to create a successful learning community’. Each of the three ideas; success, learning and community are important to us and we make sure we define what each one means for all our … Continue reading

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Science in Society: what you need to know.

  AS Science in Society (AQA) A very condensed list of the key science concepts you need to understand well.         Infectious disease, medicines and the germ theory of disease: All living things (organisms) are composed of … Continue reading

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Roberto Unger on school as the ‘voice of the future’

In his excellent book ‘The Left Alternative’ the Brazilian philosopher and politician Roberto Unger proposes a new way for progressives to think about the future and start creating the good society. Unger suggests we should not give up on the central promise … Continue reading

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The multilingual citizen in a multicultural society

I want to speak about the experience of being bilingual and bicultural and its educational benefits. I am not an expert or an academic and I have no research findings to share. I have worked in diverse communities for over … Continue reading

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Valuing student research

The continuing growth of the Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) in England’s sixth forms is a sign that students, teachers, universities and employers value what it offers. However, less than 10% of advanced level sixth formers have the opportunity to achieve … Continue reading

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Your college interview

How should you approach your sixth form college interview and get the most from the experience? Following my previous posts How to choose a sixth form and How to make a strong college application, here is some advice about getting … Continue reading

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How to make a strong college application

How can students make sure that their sixth form application is as strong as possible and does justice to their achievements, interests and aspirations? If you are in Year 11, you need to be thinking about where you want to … Continue reading

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The keyboard and the music

We spend much of our time in front of keyboards. Our computer keyboard is an essential interface with the world as it appears to us on our screen. We use keys to input letters, form our words and meanings on a virtual page which … Continue reading

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A few things we know about the universe. Science in Society 7

The scale, origin and future of the universe The Earth is one of the 9 known planets which orbit the Sun. It takes one year to make a complete orbit. The planets are very small compared with the distances between … Continue reading

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