Education Panorama (August ’15)

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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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This is my 16th edition of Education Panorama. In total, my newsletters have shared more than 800 educational blogposts from across the world! Here is a summary of what’s been going on in the education sector during the past month …

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

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

In Educational Panorama August 2015 edition – this monthly newsletter aims to capture a summary of everything from the online edu-sphere of bloggers and tweeters across the UK and afar. In my July 2015 newsletter, I shared over 15 blogs on teaching and learning which 2,000+ of you read!

This month, I have enjoyed the end of term in my new school. Since breaking up from school, I have kept my head down for the first two weeks of the summer holidays in order to finish writing my new book, due for publication next month.

August has also seen me re-brand my website here. I am now 100% self-hosted and can truly say everything is mine. I’ve also had another argument with the TES about copyright and paid-for-resources (watch this space). This has proven to be another busy month on my blog, reaching 29th on Teach 100 worldwide ranking.

This August edition features 15 articles on a range of topics from bloggers old and new. It’s all here! By the time I write my next Education Panorama, we will all be returning to school in the knowledge of examination results, hopefully all celebrating over the late bank holiday. Until then, enjoy the summer holidays (if you are reading in the UK), and spend time with your family and friends.

Magnetic Island Dodgyeye

Image: by @DodgyEye aka Ross McGill.


This month, this section of my newsletter now, no-longer features the blogs I have written during the past 30 days. Instead, I have re-selected the 3 most popular reads and the blogs I wish were more widely read by you;

  1. My Education Panorama (July ’15) newsletter gathering in over 2,000 readers.
  2. With 6,500 readers, 12 Ways to Embrace Marking and Feedback.
  3. A blog I wish I didn’t have to write; The Inconsistency of the TES still pulled in the readers! More to follow …
  4. Plus something lacking popularity; 32,500 Teachers shares new recruits insights.
  5. Finally, DeCamped which is a blog about our entire school community moving location …

During the summer term, I  attended several speaking engagements, including an invitation to speak at Goldsmiths College and The Digital Education Show.

Here are photographs shared by me throughout July 2015. You can click to expand each image.

 Images: @TeacherToolkit photographs from July 2015


Here are the blogs I’ve noticed over the past 30 days. I always say, 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. A very popular read last month: “It is the students who make the progress, not the teacher.” Read Evidence? What Evidence? by @mrhistoire
  2. “We often have lots of great ideas for lesson activities, but must consider the execution of them and the effect they will have on the desired learning.” Plan for Learning is a great read by @mrocallaghan_edu.
  3. Greig City Academy is the first inner-city school to have its own sailing team. 5 self-renovated boats, training London’s finest young sailors; read their first tour of the British Isles, Scaramouche – Ramsgate to Brighton! by @GCASailingClub.
  4. Love Periscope? This is vital reading and reminds us of a few important safeguarding points! Before We Periscope From Our Schools, Let’s Think For a Moment.
  5. @DebraKidd writes, about The Learning Gap following the latest Sugata Mitra research. She says;

“…amazing capacity of children to learn, retain and perform when they find something they’re interested in.”

CPD / Well Being:

  1. In my own remit to raise the profile of staff well being at my own school, SWB Week at Marine Academy Plymouth by @KasLangMead looks fascinating. Take a look.
  2. Built-in CPD: Our New Model by @headguruteacher shares a CPD model similar to the one I have developed at our own school. We have yet to publish staff leading sessions, but we are on the right path with weekly CPD sessions calendared. Sherrington also shares his 300th blogpost; read Leading and Learning. Reflections on my first year at Highbury Grove.
  3. At 25, @mrseniorleader describes How Being a Father has Impacted on My Life as a Teacher … and Now a Senior Leader.
  4. Free: Without Cost or Payment by

“There’s no denying it. Funds for teachers professional development are like my three year old son at the park … always on the slide!”

Leadership / OfSTED / DfE / Politics:

  1. “We found Sean open, honest and clearly a man who wanted to move [OfSTED] organisation forward” says headteacher @kalinski1970. Read A Roundtable Meeting with @HarfordSean.
  2. @DisIdealist does like to write a long blogpost, and this is no different. In fact, the comments are worth a look to; Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics is a fascinating view of examination results and accountability.
  3. The Prospect of Headship is yet another wonderful blog by soon-to-be-headteacher @ChrisHildrew. Having heard him speak recently at BELMAS Conference 2015, it is well worth a read. To watch him speak, click here.
  4. Mark My Words… Please! by @TristramShepard is a must-read blog about examinations and awarding bodies.
  5. How Ofsted Saved My School is an unusual headline for a blog. Written by @WSPTOTT, who says;

“… being in special measures is painful but you HAVE to accept it and the sooner you do, the sooner you can come together, as a community, to fight for your school – because if you don’t, you are just proving Ofsted right.”


  1. The king of bloggers, @OldAndrewUK comes up trumps again with a blog to beat all blogs; The List Of UK Education Bloggers Version 11.3 records over 2,300 blogs from all over the UK. It’s worth a look just to see how long the list is!
  2. @ThoseThatCan says goodbye to teaching for now; Reasons to Say Goodbye captures her last thoughts in school. Two days later, she writes an account of a personal theft, describing a situation all of us have had to face before reaching the school gates! Read An Open Letter to the Men Who Stole My Car Wheel!
  3. “Dear John, I had to struggle to finish your book – not because I found it hard going, but because colleagues kept ‘borrowing’ it.” A lovely review about @JohnTomsett‘s book; An Open Letter to John Tomsett by @CarolineMortlo1. This book will probably be my summer purchase/read.
  4. Finding Your Voice in the Online Edusphere by @headguruteacher shares some sound advice, and also explains how the world of self-publication is now a way to be heard in the education community.
  5. What is the Point of Parents Evening? by @DrDavidAJames  says;

“Ideally, parents’ evenings should contain no surprises and when that happens they might start to become redundant because the staff, the students, and the parents are in regular contact, and have a mutual respect and sense of trust in each other’s abilities to work in the interests of the child. “

Top Blog of the Month:

I’ve selected one blog for the August 2015 edition.

Favourite educational blogs
Favourite educational blogs

This is an old blog by @AliceHoylePSHE, but it reminds me of my (hilarious) teaching days in my role as a form tutor, teaching students about sex education. This blog features in my new book – don’t ask!

Hoyle says,

“A discussion on twitter on how to get UV sensitivity suggested laundry brightener and then just a white liquid soap or shampoo for the “semen”.

Read, How to make your own “artificial semen” or “UV sensitive fluid” for condom demonstrations!



Next Month:

We will be at the end of the summer and hopefully looking forwarding to our start to the new academic year. I’d like to wish you all a happy summer holiday and finally, good luck to all schools, teachers, students and parents in anticipation of their summer examination results. Keep calm everyone!

And if you haven’t noticed, I have a NEW book out in September 2015.


@TeacherToolkit logo new book Vitruvian man


@TeacherToolkit ‘Saving teachers time and money!’


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