Education Panorama (March ’15) 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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It’s been a tough week! Here is a summary of what’s being going on in the education sector during the past month …


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

  • Education: all the links to my @TeacherToolkit articles I have shared over the past 30 days,
  • Panorama: plus the blogs that have caught @TeacherToolkit‘s eye online, plus any interesting events in the real world of education.

In The Educational Panorama March 2015 edition – this monthly newsletter aims to capture a summary of everything from the online edu-sphere of bloggers and tweeters across the UK. In my February 2015 newsletter I shared over 40 blogs on teaching and learning which 5,000+ of you chose to read.

This month, I share 15 of my own blogs, mainly on CPD and resources, plus my long-awaited trip to Canada, where I discover that teachers share the exact, same concerns we have; workload. Teaching and Learning dominates the newsletter this month, with a fabulous blog from Andy Knill in the Top Blog feature! We are approaching Easter and I’ve just noticed the first daffodils sprouting through the muddy-soil.

This March edition features some blogs from me – as usual – on range of topics, plus many more from other bloggers new and old. It’s all here! By the time I write my next Education Panorama, we’ll be into exam season and I’ll be back from my trip to Scotland, having spoken at the STEP (Scottish Teachers for Enhancing Practice) conference at the University of Stirling. Until then, enjoy the last batch of serious classroom teaching before revision season kicks in to swing …


  1. My Education Panorama (February’15) newsletter gathering in over 5,000 readers.
  2. At the start of the month, I had a feature in Schools Week newspaper.
  3. Having met @DigitalSisters at the BETT show, we blogged 10 Ways to Protect your School from a Social-Media Crisis.
  4. And a follow-up, Social Media Failure from the Classroom, great advice for all teachers.
  5. I took time to read the Workload Challenge report and blogged a summary for busy classroom teachers. The DfE recognised this; The Workload Challenge Report by @EducationGovUK.
  6. Blindingly Brilliant Behaviour by @PivotalPaul captures our long-term goal to create self-regulated behaviour in all of our students.
  7. An alternative blog from me; The Battle of Waterloo by @Waterloo200Org celebrating the 200th year since this historic moment in time.
  8. Notes From The Front Line by @DebraKidd is my book review of this brilliant book.
  9. As I headed off to Canada to speak at a conference, The Vitruvian Teacher is a prelude to my new book.
  10. Quick Wins versus Hard Graft by @CelebYouthUK is a retort to a blog written by headteacher Lynne Moore.
  11. I then share my CPD resources from my time in Canada; 5 Time-Saving Ideas for Teachers.
  12. Oh Canada reveals my entire experience of my trip overseas. Minus 17C and all!
  13. Deputy headteacher Tim Jefferis interviews me for his EdD; Social Media Leadership.
  14. Kick-starting @IRIS_Connect is my own expereicne of how to get this started in your school.
  15. My first article for @SchoolsWeek is published; The Answer is Simple.
  16. And finally, The #5MinWorkloadPlan by @TeacherToolkit and @LeadingLearner is my 30th version of the series!

 Image: my first article in @SchoolsWeek and a few conference photographs.


Here are the blogs I’ve noticed over the past 30 days. As ever, it’s difficult to keep up with so many wonderful blogs as more teachers blog 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-education.

Teaching and Learning:

  1. TakeAwayHmk, students are given the flexibility to design their own project assignment by @RusselTarr.
  2. A refreshing, whole-school approach to Marking and Feedback by @MuchAdoALJ.
  3. Marking, Feedback and “Closing the Gap” Policy is a wide collection of assessment ideas by @BenneyPenyrheol
  4. Life without Lesson Observation Grades by @Shaun_Allison; an update on what has been noticed.
  5. “Group work in the classroom and elsewhere commonly goes wrong because the participants are following inappropriate ground rules.” In Defence of Group Work by @pedagog_machine
  6. TakeAway Homework and how it works by @RGS_Learning.
  7. Workload Planning for Peak Times, tackling workload issues in schools, so teachers can focus on the most effective activities; by @rhcaseby

CPD / WellBeing:

  1. No Laughing Matter by @ThePrimaryHead is a fascinating and timely blog about workload.
  2. A fabulous blog about the life and work; Prince of Teacher Trainers called Paul Ginnis.
  3. Should we support the College of Teaching? by @LearningSpy.
  4. Teacher Turnover and High Performing School Systems by @PhilipRolt
  5. What can Teachers Learn from Musicals? by @Ep3577
  6. A TakeAway Homewok menu, written in the style for CPD sessions for teachers. Sharing is Caring by @gary_s_king. Well worth a look.

Leadership / OfSTED / DfE / Politics:

  1. Double Standards? An insight into Ofsted’s approach to policy making: the grading of individual lessons in England’s colleges by @DrMattOLeary.
  2. Nicky Morgan said; “Children who chose Arts or Humanities subjects are making choices that would ‘hold them back for the rest of their lives’.” The Dangerous Game of Subject Hierarchy by @DebraKidd
  3. A satirical blog about the courses replacing the current GCSE in Food Technology. Read The Corden Blues by @TristramShepard
  4. How to Complain Effectively by @DisIdealist. “As a Disappointed Idealist piece without a Gove insult is like mash without sausage. Here, he has reproduced the original unedited version of a Guardian article for those people who want a Gove-bashing fix.

Twitter / Blogging:

  1. Very useful advice for the avid teacher-blogger and tweeter. Read How To Be A Social Media Simpleton by .
  2. Landmark: A Million Visits (on his blog) by @LearningSpy.

Top-blogs of the month:

I’ve selected one blog for this March 2015 edition.

Favourite educational blogs
Favourite educational blogs

. A wonderful and compelling blog by Geography teacher @aknill, in which he says;

“… So, as you lie, sit, stand in your latest accommodation take some consideration for your own future. Our advice falls on deaf ears; we can only hope that sooner rather than later, you will emerge again …”

A heartfelt letter, written to his son. Read; The Gift that Keeps on Giving … Present Gift Wrapping

Image: Western City

  It’s just less than 40 school-days until the first GCSE exam … Logo@TeacherToolkit ‘Saving teachers time and money!’ Tweet – @TeacherToolkit – The most followed teacher on Twitter in the UK. Web – – Ranked the no. 1 educational blog in the UK. . .

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