This much I know about…developing Alternative Provision in mainstream schools
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
1M ago
In my last post, I reflected upon the sheer number of pupils who have a registered place in Alternative Provision (AP) (67,600) or are being home-educated (close to 100,000). I argued that mainstream schools will need to review how they tailor their offer for increasing numbers of pupils for whom standard, mainstream provision does not meet their specific needs. As I pointed out, 167,000 pupils is equivalent to more than 167 average sized secondary schools in the UK. While new providers are joining the alternative provision market by the day, a combination of increasing demand, limited places ..read more
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This much I know about…how our school system is on the verge of fracturing irrevocably
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
1M ago
Mary Myatt and I have just signed off the proofs for our final book in the Huh curriculum series – Alternative Provision Huh. Interviewing so many disparate educationalists working in AP reminded me of Charlie Leadbeater and his book We-Think (2009). Fifteen years ago, Leadbeater wrote about the impact the internet was having on the mainstream media. He saw the BBC and other huge media “boulders” being undermined and, ultimately, changed forever by the world wide web, where “pebble” platforms like YouTube were encouraging “mass creativity and innovation”. No-one had to pitch their ideas to a ..read more
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This much I know about…Alternative Provision
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
2M ago
Just over three years ago I sent this email to Mary Myatt. It resulted in five books about the curriculum in which we gave a platform to brilliant practitioners who were shaping curricula across the primary, secondary, special and alternative provision sectors. The series is called Huh, because, when we interviewed colleagues for the first book, they said, repeatedly, that designing the curriculum was a never ending process; Huh is the Egyptian god of endlessness, creativity, fertility and regeneration, in our view a perfect deity for the curriculum. As you can see from the DMs below, we nea ..read more
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This much I know about…losing one of my best mates, Anthony Christopher Knowles
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
2M ago
I wrote this post early yesterday morning, in anticipation of the day ahead. Anthony Christopher Knowles 25 May 1973 – 9 March 2024 Later today, I will help carry the coffin containing our dear friend Ant into the crematorium. It was approaching 9 pm on Saturday 9 March when Ant’s heart stopped beating without warning. He was 50 years old. I knew just one corner of Ant’s life, but this is what I knew. Ant was one of the kindest, gentlest people I’ve ever known. As my son Olly said, he was the ‘epitome of loveliness.’ I first met him twenty or more years back at interminably boring Learning ..read more
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This much I know about…being reunited with sonnets about my dad I thought were long lost
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
3M ago
I’m a fan of a good sonnet, as was Seamus Heaney, who differentiated between poetic form and shape: ‘There is a mistaken equivalence being made nowadays in this kind of talk about a return to form. A lot of people mean they are using shapes. I think that a sonnet, for example, isn’t fourteen lines that rhyme. A sonnet is a system of muscles and enjambments and eight and six – it’s got a waist in the middle. It is a form. [In a shaped sonnet] there are indeed fourteen lines and there are indeed rhyme words at the end, but the actual move, or the movement, of the stanza isn’t there. So, I would ..read more
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This much I know about…how a learning model can help you plan and teach adaptively
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
6M ago
Earlier this year I catalogued the many insights gleaned from educational experts which have been most influential in my curriculum thinking, in a post entitled, This much I know about… the principles of curriculum planning in action. In a series of short essays I am exemplifying in more detail ten of those influential insights, and explaining why I think they are so important to progressing pupils’ learning. This post explores Dr Anita Devi’s suggestion that a learning model can help you plan and teach adaptively. I trained to teach in 1987-88 at the University of Sussex. Not once durin ..read more
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This much I know about…Dylan Wiliam’s concept of the NEED/NEAT to know
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
6M ago
Earlier this year I catalogued the many insights gleaned from educational experts which have been most influential in my curriculum thinking, in a post entitled, This much I know about… the principles of curriculum planning in action. In a series of short essays I am exemplifying in more detail ten of those influential insights, and explaining why I think they are so important to progressing pupils’ learning. This post explores the importance of Dylan Wiliam’s concept of the NEED to know and the NEAT to know when planning units of work. “How do you respond to colleagues who say that there ..read more
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This much I know about…why it is the “enacted” curriculum that matters most.
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
6M ago
Earlier this year I catalogued the many insights gleaned from educational experts which have been most influential in my curriculum thinking, in a post entitled, This much I know about… the principles of curriculum planning in action. In a series of short essays I am exemplifying in more detail ten of those influential insights, and explaining why I think they are so important to progressing pupils’ learning. This post explores Dylan Wiliam’s insight that it is the enacted curriculum that matters most. If curriculum development concerns the complex, dynamic interplay between content, adaptive ..read more
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This much I know about…what happens when the three pillars of the curriculum are out of kilter
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
6M ago
Earlier this year I catalogued the many insights gleaned from educational experts which have been most influential in my curriculum thinking, in a post entitled, This much I know about… the principles of curriculum planning in action. In a series of short essays I am exemplifying in more detail ten of those influential insights, and explaining why I think they are so important to progressing pupils’ learning. This post explores Becky Allen’s insight that curriculum is the complex, dynamic interplay between content, adaptive teaching and assessment, and if any one of these three curriculum pill ..read more
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This much I know about… “opportunity cost” and how we teach to maximise pupils’ learning
John Tomsett
by johntomsett
6M ago
Earlier this year I catalogued the many insights gleaned from educational experts which have been most influential in my curriculum thinking, in a post entitled, This much I know about… the principles of curriculum planning in action. In a series of short essays I am exemplifying in more detail ten of those influential insights, and explaining why I think they are so important to progressing pupils’ learning. This post explores Dylan Wiliam’s insight that “Opportunity cost” is one of the most important principles for people working and learning in schools. I am not obsessed with making every ..read more
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