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SSAT’s 10 most popular blogs of January 2016

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A roundup of our most popular blogs of January 2016


GUEST: Do you know your students’ hopes and dreams?

When we interview kids who drop out, when we interview kids who haven’t done anything with their lives 2/3 years after school, I can tell you this: it’s because they have no purpose. So what can you do tomorrow to help improve their sense of purpose?… Read more.

SSAT: A period of calm and stability… and the EBacc

And should you be in any way uncertain about the impact of a focus on the Ebacc on other subjects, perhaps the following illustration might clarify the big issues – cuts to other subjects; staffing; and cost inefficiency. Let’s assume a KS4 cohort of 200 students following a 25-period week (5 periods per day in a 5 day week). Some subjects are compulsory and some are optional, as is always the case… Read more.

SSAT: Co-headship: sharing the pressure and building system leadership

The potential additional costs of co-headship may be worth paying, when the alternative might be appointing a head who won’t be able to sustain themselves over the long-term; or having to go through many rounds of recruitment to find someone of the quality and breadth to steer the whole ship… Read more.

GUEST: Teaching Assistants; Unsung heroes of the classroom

Historically in education we have accepted the velcro TA as a way to take care of certain students whilst the teacher can concentrate on teaching the rest of the class. I fear that could be something that still exists in some schools and for the record something I disagree with immensely… Read more.

SSAT: A period of calm and stability – latest update

In this May 19 email, the SoS committed the DfE to a period of calm and stability in schools. I am sure that many welcomed and applauded this commitment, but few will have experienced much calm and stability since that time. And there are two reasons for that: new initiatives have continued to come through the letterbox; but also, we are now in a period when the reforms of the last five years must be implemented in schools… Read more.

GUEST: In trying to do so much we do too little

With good planning and more imaginative and stretching questions, our more-able students might well benefit more from this approach than any other. The beauty of this way of thinking is that we might achieve more success by doing less work than we already do. By stepping back, by deciding on what is most important (and then going home a little earlier)… Read more.

SSAT: Mental health: how to stop schools worrying about it

The Maltby Learning Trust (MLT) is a multi-academy trust of five local schools (one secondary and four primary) in an area of Rotherham with some districts among the most 5-10% deprived nationally. It has a long tradition of working proactively with the wider school community, so given shrinking public resources nationally, the trust created an in-house service, Rotherham Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST), to take a borough-wide approach to whole-school mental health interventions… Read more.

SSAT: Growth mindset – teachers first

I am now beginning to understand that my mindset changes depending on the situation I am in, how tired I feel and who is around me at the time. My mindset self-awareness is increasing and I’m beginning to make changes to my behaviour. Household and classroom catastrophes are now greeted with the question ‘how can I fix this?’ However, don’t get me wrong, if I am tired, there still needs to be a DEFCON alert at the ready, but not in front of my son… Read more.

SSAT: Bill Watkin at SSAT NC15: Making sense of change

The proposed new requirement for pupils failing to achieve the expected standard in their Y6 SATs to resit them in Y7 also came in for some stick. Bill pointed out all the ways in which this could present problems and concluded by saying that the Sutton Trust’s thorough analysis had shown that, from a wide range of interventions, repeating a school year was the most costly and the least effective… Read more.

GUEST: Changing lives through learning

Vanessa was a fantastic role model for us. Her trust in our capacity to improve the team and the outcomes for our students helped us to believe we could achieve our vision of every child fulfilling their potential. One key barrier we faced in realising our vision was recruitment. In rural Cumbria this is not easy: at WLA half of our catchment area is sea! We knew that we needed to think differently if we were to overcome this obstacle… Read more.


Read our first blog of February – Student voice: education is killing students’ curiosity.

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Student voice: Education is killing students’ curiosity

1 February 2016

Student voice: We must do more to empower teachers

2 February 2016