Ofsted Grading IS On The Table. | Tom Sherrington

I was about to write a blog called Ofsted: Good Cop, Bad Cop, RoboCop  – exploring various aspects of engaging with Ofsted: the immense power and impact of the organisation, its tendency to make itself bullet proof against criticism (it’s what parents want, no system will ever be totally reliable, that’s the DFE – nothing to do with us, etc) all set against the general all-round disarming niceness and reasonableness of all the actual people.  But that blog can wait…..

As someone who is fiercely committed to the idea that Ofsted grading is a negative force in our education system, I am…

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🙏 @teacherhead Blog 500 🙏 | Tom Sherrington

Wow! I’ve checked the blog stats and I’m astonished to see that I have notched up 500 blog posts.  This is Blog 500 – which is a bit meta because it’s a not much more than a blog about being the 500th blog post.

Except, it gives me a chance to reflect on the whole thing – of having a blog; of being a blogger – and to say a few thank yous.

A reminder of where it started:  May 2012; an Essex Heads’ event where Alan November was talking about getting students involved with social media and blogging.  I was sitting with Vic Goddard. He was dead famous after Educating Essex with a zillion…

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Evidence-Informed Ideas Every Teacher Should Know About. | Tom Sherrington

I love the idea of ‘evidence-informed wisdom’. I honestly can’t remember where I first encountered this but, essentially, it’s the idea that, as teachers we are faced with making hundreds of decisions a day – largely about how to question, how to motivate and how to adjust explanations, feedback,  and the pace and depth of learning sequences.  To do this well, our best hope is that our decisions are well-informed by wisdom – the wisdom gained over years of experience combined with ideas from our training and from our engagement with the body of knowledge that is out there about learning…

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The Learning Rainforest: A model for great teaching and learning. | Tom Sherrington

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky                Khalil Gibran

It’s a few months since I published The Learning Rainforest with John Catt.  So far sales have gone pretty well – I couldn’t be happier with that. I’m also getting invited to run lots of CPD events and engage in longer term consultancy work based on the ideas in the book.  If that might be of interest for the next academic year, contact me here.

Order your copy here.


If you haven’t got a copy yet, here are some extracts to give you a feel for the content of the book:

From Chapter 1: My Rainforest…

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Five Reasons to Ditch Ofsted Grades | Tom Sherrington

Some recent conversations have made me want to return to this theme.  I really hope we can build some momentum around this issue. Here goes:

I reckon that in 50 years time, we will look back at the current Ofsted-grading era as one of the big educational blackspots of history.  Serious educationalists and policy makers will laugh in knowing horror (much as they do now about VAK) learning styles)  at the extraordinary folly of a defunct inspection regime that involved sending a tiny team of people to schools they’d never been to before for a day or two to evaluate them against a massively…

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Impact! Superb College of Teachers journal made me think – a lot! | Tom Sherrington

After the establishment of the Chartered College of Teaching there was always going to be a period of waiting to see what it’s really about once actions have been taken beyond the promising vision and sound intentions.  Impact gives us a massive clue.  Evidence-informed teacher wisdom is Go!

Having ceased to be an active teacher, albeit working with teachers every day, I was (selfishly) delighted to learn that I could still register as an associate member.  This led to the magnificent Impact journal being delivered to my house last week.   As a tangible indicator of what the CoT is and…

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From Research to Practice – changing teachers’ habits through research engagement. #rEDHan | Tom Sherrington

This post contains the slides and key ideas I presented at ResearchEd in Haninge – #rEDHan on March 10th.

I started off by suggesting that my rainforest metaphor for students’ learning might also apply to teachers – we need to strengthen our knowledge structure in order to have the capacity to explore the possibilities of teaching.

As discussed so some degree in this post – increasingly I think that, in order to move teacher development forward, it is necessary to explore all the various influences on teachers’ ideas about teaching – and, in particular to explore their ‘theory of…

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