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Yes, I have Eaten Guinea Pig!

Apologies from the outset to vegetarians and furry pet lovers! I was discussing with Mr Derrett on Monday about the idea of having more animals in the science labs, and I asked the science team to put a paper together with some ideas, costings, health and safety implications, and plans for holiday care in place....

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Why individual subjects matter in school

One of my earliest recollections of learning history was looking around the cemeteries of northern France and Belgium to search for the grave of my father’s great uncle. Like many of his generation, he had died in the trenches in the First World War, and his body had never been recovered. In those days, the...

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Changing Times

I was discussing the referendum with an American, and we were debating the relative merits of both processes of change. For those that don’t know, the US Constitution (and its amendments) cannot be changed on a simple majority, there are various checks and balances built in. However, the curiosity here is that it can lead...

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A Single Act of Human Kindness

This week has been tiring and stressful in school for the students and staff alike; the exams week is excellent preparation for the future pressures of examinations, but the concentration and intensity of the experience has left many in our community shattered. I was sat in the canteen on Wednesday and I watched a student...

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Student Interviews

Yesterday represented the culmination of the recruitment process for the Head Boy and Girl of the school, and it was an absolute pleasure to hear 12 varied, contrasting, and articulate views about Marshalls Park. The students had already been through several stages of a recruitment process – all helping build their skills towards their future...

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To ‘Bee’ Or Not To ‘Bee’?

I know interview candidates might not agree with this, but it can be quite stressful being an interviewer on occasions: you have the pressure in that moment of making the right choice between many good colleagues, but trying to work out which person best fits the jigsaw at the school. Obviously, the pressure goes with my...

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More Testing Times

As you would expect, I regularly ask my children what they have being doing at school, and I am often greeted with the response “literacy” or “numeracy”. I actually don’t mind the idea that they have a secure grounding in the basics that underpin the other subjects, but where should the line be drawn?  Ofsted...

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“Are You Going To Make Us Wear Pointy Shoes?”

The title question gave me a lovely moment this week for three reasons: firstly, because it completely flummoxed me for about 30 seconds; secondly, because I have no idea where that rumour had started from; and finally, because it was nice to have that moment of laughter with the students. The context of the question...

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Balancing Technology and Textbooks

There is a line in one of the Smurf films, when the Smurf says “ooooo google” as the human character looks something up on the internet, and we do have that availability of information readily accessible to us in the modern world. This week there has been a debate in education circles about the value...

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Carpe Diem

I want to think that spring is here at the moment, but the British weather seems quite determined to ruin another Bank Holiday weekend. However, for our Year 11 students I am sure their focus this weekend will be on the English exam on Tuesday. I have always felt a sense of pride in schools when...