Education Panorama (August ’14) by @TeacherToolkit

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Education Panorama Newsletter by @TeacherToolkit


Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
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Here is a summary of what’s being going on in the education sector during the past month …

In The Educational Panorama – August 2014 edition – this monthly newsletter aims to capture a summary of everything from the online edu-sphere of bloggers and tweeters across the UK from my own little bubble.

Education Panorama

As the academic year closes, in my July newsletter I reported that teachers were beginning to see their stacks of marking diminish. Wellbeing, curriculum change and assessment, as well as England’s teacher-strike in July to improve working conditions, continued to dominate the press. Now, we are in the midst of our well-deserved summer break. Germany are the champions of football and we now have a new Secretary of State for Education here in England!

It’s all change for 2014!

If you are new to this monthly newsletter, you can expect to find the following:

  • Education: all the links to all the articles @TeacherToolkit has shared over the past 30 days,
  • Panorama: plus the blogs that have caught @TeacherToolkit‘s eye online on Twitter, and any interesting events in the real edu-sphere.

By the time I write my next edition of Education Panorama, we’ll all be going back to school. Until that happens, enjoy the read!


  1. My very last blog in May, was how to Get your #AssemblyMojo working; with over 3,000 views on its first day. If you are looking for assembly ideas, then this post may be for you.
  2. My first blog in July has proven to be very popular with readers; A 5-point plan for teacher wellbeing. with over 7,000 reads this month.
  3. When I’m 66 was one of the most honourable moments I had at my last school, interviewing maths teacher, Eddie Addai before his retirement.
  4. The importance of handwriting and spelling was co-authored with Julie P. which raises awareness about dyslexia.
  5. A popular resource, #FormativeLessonObs as a framework for observations without judgement, by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner.
  6. Francis Gilbert interviews me. I am flattered by his article, The Profession’s Great #FreedomFighter! by @WonderFrancis and with full video.
  7. Leaving Greig City Academy, this was my leaving speech: The Last Lecture Revisited.
  8. July 2014 was an incredibly busy month. Here is my Education Tour of duty across England. The @BELMASConf in Stratford Upon Avon also took place. In this blog, you will find 10 Powerpoints. Bridging the gap between academic research and classroom practice by @SLTeachMeet.
  9. I almost fell off my chair when Gove was demoted. A 5-point plan to incoming DfE Secretary of State, @NickyMorgan01.
  10. Great teaching isn’t complicated, it’s about getting the simple things right. Growing Excellence in Teaching and Learning.
  11. For summer recess, 1/2 Corked lists all my blogs since January 2014.
  12. Finally, my curfew didn’t last long when this letter from The TES lured me back to the keyboard! Dear @TESResources: Better later than never!
August Deckchair Sea Pier Reading
Photo Credit: Bev Goodwin via Compfight cc


Here are plenty – and I mean plenty – of blogs I’ve noticed over the past 30 days. As ever, it’s difficult to keep up with so many wonderful blogs, and as more and more are writing online, I’ve read as much as I can to represent the blogs that have ‘pricked the ears’ of all those who talk about all-things-teaching.

  1. Well, I cannot start off without this letter from @TESResources who are overhauling their terms and conditions yet again to move with grass-roots practice. Are they in fear that they may be losing their tight grip on resource sharing? My response is here.
  2. New to blogging? Or even an old hat? Then double-check this on attribution: Images, copyright, and Creative Commons by Edublogs.
  3. And with blogging in mind, some Quick Tips for New Education Bloggers written by qualified, @OldAndrewUK
  4. An impartial view of Gove’s Real Legacy – A British Education Reform Movement by @IanFordham and @Ty_Goddard.
  5. @headguruteacher always seems to feature in my monthly newsletters. Why? Because his blog are always ‘on the money!’ Here, Tom sums up The Education Reform Summit: Unleashing Greatness? Education Reform in Action. I also noted his fantastic blog on Barriers to Effective CPD.
  6. A blog that stirred a debate on Twitter, was written by @TotallyWired77: Tait Coles writes Gove, The Great Reformer.
  7. A great blog by @SurrealAnarchy is worth a read, The Hunt For An Education Policy: Do We Need Less Creativity?
  8. This much I know about … Michael Gove’s departure by @JohnTomsett and how Gove could’ve convinced John with his ideology.
  9. And regarding the cabinet reshuffle in education, @DavidMcQueen asks: Does it matter what school you went to?
  10. @HeadsRoundTable had a meeting with Tristram Hunt July 2014, which shows a willingness in relation to how things would work in practice.
  11. Ex DfE Dominic Cummings Open Policy Experiment on School Direct and Initial Teacher Training. He is willing to read your comments on ITT.
  12. Carter Review: Quality and effectiveness of initial teacher training courses. I’m concerned there are no teachers on the committee.
  13. @Sue_Cowley shares her own schooling with Back to the Future. She says when we hark back to the ‘good old days’, that for some of us they didn’t feel that ‘good’ at all. She also blogged here in Save Tom, as a response to the vile headline in the Daily Mail (written by Toby Young) to sack Barrowford Primary headteacher. (I’m not even going to reference the article). We know education is more than ‘just about levels’.
  14. @MrJDexter also discusses levels and says ‘schools are not simple places’ with Friday Period 1 – Simple? Not really.
  15. Lollipop Moments blog by @LeadingLearner which discussed the unknown and unseen moments in school.
  16. A one-to-one meeting with Ofsted Director, @MCladingbowl and @5N_Afzal: My visit to Ofsted; engagement matters.
  17. A nice addition to the 5-Minute family, @IanMcDaid shares his 5-Minute Plan for science investigations. He also expresses his concerns about the New advisory group to review ITT.
  18. Plus, another version shared on @NotYourAverageZoe who shares a 5 minute lesson plan for Primary Schools.
  19. Coaching Teacher (handle unknown) shares what it was like to be An honorary member of SMT for the day.
  20. Education, EDUCATION, execution shares a very interesting take on freedom of speech by Dan Conquest.
  21. I have an interview feature called Great teaching isn’t complicated, it’s about getting the simple things right by @OptimusEd.
  22. CashForGrades via @Pedagoo by @SeahamRE is a review of a chapter from my 100 Ideas book for Outstanding Lessons.
  23. @SRCav also blogs about TakeAwayHmk from a math teacher’s perspective.
  24. Slightly off-piste, Visiting international schools in Portugal, Germany and Romania, Iraq and Azerbaijan, by @Teacherhorizons.
  25. Even more off-piste and keeping in tune with the summer holidays, 9 Kinds of dads by the pool by @NoStrikeThat
  26. Finally, please welcome @beazeley, a primary headteacher new to blogging: Towards a school vision

Top-blog of the month:

Favourite educational blogs
Favourite educational blogs

A wonderful article by Chris Husbands: Nicky Morgan: time to read and reflect, consolidate and build consensus. In this blog, Husbands says Morgan has two huge advantages. The first is that almost whatever the secretary of state does, children arrive at school and teachers teach them: the system goes on working irrespective of government changes. The second is that for someone starting a new job, she has arrived just as most of the workers and clients disappear for their summer break, so she has time to read, talk and think before the new school year. Chris says, “we all will be watching come September.”

Enjoy the summer!



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