the Dragonfly journal

Welcome back to the Autumn Term from Dragonfly!

By Dragonfly Team

With the new school year well and truly underway, we're delighted to be able to share our new look Dragonfly website with you. We hope you like it. What's new? Our courses are now split into 6 sections in our brochure and on our website, and you can see all of our courses in one place: no more hunting around the site for specific international courses, and no more confusing layouts! We also hav

Countdown to the Conference: Thomas Packer

By Dragonfly Training/Thomas Packer

With ourindependent schools' conferencefast approaching, we are delighted to give you some insight on what to expect on the day.Thomas Packer will be delivering two fantastics workshops:The Media – Friend or Foe, Good News or Bad?andProblem Parents in Independent Schools? Yes, They Can Exist.Workshop: The Media – Friend or Foe, Good News or Bad?-How an independent school can best control the media

Removing Low Level Disruption

By Steve Garnett

Many teachers will be unsurprised to see that a recent BBC article featured the headline ‘Low-level, persistent disruptive behaviour in England's schools is affecting pupils' learning and damaging their life chances’. Inspectors have even noted that it impacts on learning!!! Well quite! You don't need Sherlock Holmes to work that one out! Ofsted even say that some pupils could be losing up to

Can We Afford to Ignore the Outdoors?

By Julie Watson

Pupil A is cross, he is angry and he is out of control. This event has been building up throughout the day. It’s Friday and Pupil A knows he will not go home with mum tonight. He has therefore soiled himself and is starting to upturn tables. Pupil A is 9 years old. The room is beginning to look like it has been ransacked.Howeveron a table sits bowls of freshly picked tomatoes and 2 pumpkins. These

Theresa May's Educational Bombshell: Some Thoughts on Grammar Schools

By Peter Dawes

Of all the pet hates of most teachers, right up there must be dealing with "expert" parents, keen to tell you how you should be doing your job. Because having been to school themselves, they know, right?I'm an ex-grammar school boy myself. I'm not posing as an expert. None of what follows is scientific or evidence-based, and I'm not suggesting my experiences can be extrapolated to influence policy

Base camp marking – The pros and cons of self marking and peer marking

By Steve Chapman

In my last blog I told you about the wonders of the ‘Four-coloured Pen marking’ that I have been using for quite some time now with great success. As I said then, and will not apologise for repeating here, self/peer marking is not easy and unless managed carefully can lead to blood being spilt in your classroom…and it may not all be yours!The Four-coloured Pen method leaves room for negotiation an

Four-coloured pens for marking creative writing in KS2 & 3

By Cathy Farr

Everyone’s talking about marking at the moment: self marking, peer marking, teacher marking…hey, what about parent marking? Now that really would be opening the proverbial worm-filled can! Seriously though, marking is hard enough when you’re trying to objectively mark someone else’s work, but trying to be even-handed with your own work, or your best friend’s…can you really ask a Year 3,

Can you help with an ‘immediate’ problem?

By Steve Chapman

Something a bit weird is happening in the classroom this year and I’m wondering if anyone else has come across the same thing…or can shed some light on the root of it?Author, Cathy Farr, and I have recently started a joint presentation of The WriteKey at a local primary school. (I mention Cathy not only because we are using her book, Moon Chase (Bridge Reader version), in class this year, but also

The Task of Teaching EAL Students in the Mainstream Classroom

By Fran Jones, @CameraManFran

By Fran Jones, @CameraManFranFor many educators, the task of teaching EAL students in the mainstream classroom is one that brings a wide range of concerns. Correcting spoken and written errors, while helping to improve fluency and accuracy across the four skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking (whilst teaching the syllabus to them and a class full of able English speakers) certain

A brand new partnership with icHistroy

By Dragonfly Training

icHistorydelivers creative and engaging history teaching resources for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. The resources and activities are designed to develop understanding, literacy, teamwork, inquiry and higher order thinking skills. Differentiated and second language learner friendly. Focus on relaxing not planning this term!​​Dragonfly Training and icHistory will be working together to enable history teac

Subject Leaders – Under the Microscope

By Alan Jervis

Sir Michael Wiltshaw, her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, said ‘If England is to compete with the very best, then strong leadership is absolutely critical’. This is equally true for Head teachers as it is for subject leaders.What sort of questions are inspectors likely to ask?The inspectorate says that there are no set questions for subject leaders or any other member of staff because each school is di

Closing the Performance Gap: Engaging the Disengaged

By Dragonfly Training

GETTING CHILDREN HOOKED BACK INTO LEARNINGWhy are children disengaged from learning? What do we mean by the performance gap? It is becoming a common occurrence within lessons for children (and sometimes teachers) to become disengaged with learning, ultimately affecting the overall learning performance both within the classroom and the school. As a result, high expectations and aspirations for lear

Transforming Technology with a Single Device for Free – Plickers

By Neil Atkin

Many schools still have a no mobile phone policy for students or lack 1:1 devices, but there are a few things that can be used if the teacher has a or phone/tablet. One of the simplest of these isPlickerswhich is a way of collating multiple choice responses from students. Its free and brilliantStudents are given a unique barcode ( a paper plicker )The teacher asks a multiple choice question (these

Practical Courses for Pupils with SEN

By Dragonfly Training

Dragonfly Training and Independent Thinking, two of the UK’s leading educational training providers, have come together to provide you with some thought provoking, creative and effective CPD at extremely cost-effective rates.Nina Jackson will be representing both companies on these unmissable training days in the summer 2015:Practical Strategies for using iPads with SEN PupilsMOTIVATE, INSPIRE AND

Pedagoo

By Lisa Ashes

What is Pedagoo?Pedagoo is a growing community of teachers collaboratively supporting, encouraging and sharing innovative and effective approaches to education. We aim to improve educational outcomes for our young people through positively and professionally sharing our practice.If you’re involved in education, you’re more than welcome to join our community and share your thoughts and practice. Pe

The Disadvantages of Disadvantage

By Gordon Baillie

Author: Gordon Baillie, Follow him here:@AfLPieI have a dissertation to write. It’s not a boast, it’s more of a foreboding admission at a time when I can’t remember the last time that I published a blog. Making time for writing, amidst some more still recent, let’s say, negative experiences of the ramifications of blogging, left me less than motivated. Despite making notes regarding my ideas, the

Motivating the Lower achievers – Humanising the Education system – Ipsative Assessment

By Neil Atkin

Author: Neil Atkin, @natkinTo view the courses Neil will be delivering this term, please click on the following link:http://www.dragonfly-training.co.uk/courses-conduct-by-neil-atkin/13Think about something that you have little talent for. Now imagine that you spend your days continually assessed on that area that you lack talent in. You are constantly compared to your peers and shown how poor you

Restorative Justice – Humanising Education

By Neil Atkin, @natkin

Restorative Justice – What is it and how can it make our education systems more human?Via Neil Atkin, @natkinSchool discipline has for the most part based the criminal justice system. A compelling idea for many elements of society (and a great vote catcher) we punish wrongdoers with the aim of enforcing behaviours that are safe and non-disruptive. One of the biggest flaws with this system is that

TO GRADE OR NOT TO GRADE? A PERSONAL REFLECTION…

By Stacey Hyland-McCabe, @HylandMcCabe

Written by Stacey Hyland-McCabe – @hylandmccabeI’ve been following, this week, the furor on Twitter about OfSTED apparently changing tack on whether or not individual lessons will be graded. Mike Cladingbowl seems to have been extremely clear – they will not and if any OfSTED inspector does give individual lesson grading they will indeed be taken to task. (I say ‘seems to have been’ because by his

Triangulation?

By Gordon Baillie, @AfLPie

A great blog post by Gordon Baillie, @AfLPie. Enjoy the read!I worked this fact out for myself just the other day: with a Union mandated cap on lesson observation of three hours per year, school leaders across England and Wales can only observe 0.34% of what a teacher does in the classroom each year.Now I can hear the nitpicking begin, so don’t misunderstand me. I’m aware that there’s more than on

Re-imagining the Lesson Observation

By Steve Garnet, @Garnett_S

Author: Steve Garnet, @Garnett_S Judging by some of the comment on social media there is some uncertainty about the future of grading lesson observations within a formal Ofsted inspection. If this happens then it is hoped that schools will follow a similar route and stop the grading of lessons within the context of school evaluation too. The background to this growing uncertainty comes from

Differentiation

By Stacey Hyland-McCabe, @HylandMcCabe

Differentiation: One of the most important and essential aspects of any classroom, but, also the facet of teaching that causes teachers the most concern. We all want to differentiate because we all care that our lessons are pitched so that all learners achieve (or better) their potential. But, realistically we have a life, we have a million other jobs that ‘have’ to be done and we don’t have all t

Dragonfly & TIC Recruitment

By

Dragonfly Training proudly works alongside TIC Recruitment to provide recruitment advice and services to leading international schools. TIC providesa highly professional and personalised recruitment service that is tailored specifically to international schools all over the world. TIC’s small, efficient team works with clients to provide a bespoke service completely suited to the client’s

The Case for Educational Trips Abroad

By Peter Dawes, @P_Dawes

By Peter Dawes,@P_DawesAt the end of the summer term I was lucky enough to be involved with a school music tour to Austria. Due to an enforced last minute dropping out of a member of staff, I became the replacement - not wanted for my tin ear, rather for my fluent German. I naturally offered my language services. Big mistake. I got to go up on stage and translate all the introductions to songs. Fi

Using Google Forms to access student voice

By Mark Anderson, @ICTEvangelist

Insights from the great @ICTEvangelist. Sit back and enjoy the read!If I think back to ten years ago, if someone mentioned student voice to me, I have to admit I was threatened by this. The thought of student feedback impacting upon my career – heaven forbid.My point of view ten years on is somewhat different now. Certainly I don’t think that student voice should decide policy, for example, but as

The Via Negativa of SLT: What they are not

By Beth Kelly, @imisschalk

I’ve read quite a few tweets and blogs that, I think, might make the heart sink of anyone who has ever been part of an SLT. There seems to be quite a lot written about things that SLTs are getting wrong, often written by people observing those roles from outside. In response I wanted to write a description of the work of members of a Senior Leadership Team by describing what they are not.Being a m

Q&A with an NQT

By Dragonfly Training

The best form of CPD comes through the way it is communicated. Understanding everyday teacher problems and perks can help all of you develop. We’ve been catching up with teachers other the last few months in an attempt to bring together a wealth of tips, information and general teaching insights. This week, we met up with Emma (an NQT from North Yorkshire) in an attempt to find out the highs and l

What inspires your professional development?

By Dragonfly Training, @Dragonfly_Edu

Professional development is a key area within teaching and it’s something that’s always on the mind. As a teacher, you’re always striving to maximise your teaching potential to get the most out of your pupils and achieve the best standards for your school.So, how do you get inspired to want to learn and develop, and how do you fit it into your busy schedule? No doubt it is tough, and exhaustin

Dragonfly Prep School CPD Training: In association with IAPS

By Dragonfly Training, @Dragonfly_Edu

This year, Dragonfly Training will be offering all IAPS schools (The Independent Association of Prep Schools) a very special discount for their staff. As we look to expand on our Prep school training, IAPS members will receive up to a 20% discount per person for all of our hotel-based courses and a 15% reduction off standard fees for school-based training (excluding key dates). All of our cou

Is there something more important than our teaching style?

By Neil Atkin, @natkin

Author: Neil Atkin, @natkin. Knowing what they know (or think they know) before teaching them. There is a huge debate, and rightly so, about pedagogical approaches – traditional vs progressive etc. We all want what is best for our young people, but why are the views so entrenched? Why is there so little consensus that there may be value in both sides of the argument? In ‘The Righteous

20 Ways to get Involved with your Schools Teaching and Learning

By David Fawcett

Url--http://www.dragonfly-training.co.uk/images/blog/blog/David's Blog.JPGAuthor: David Fawcett, @davidfawcett27One thing that I have been overwhelmed with since becoming a part of the Twitter community is the amount of amazing teachers there are who have so many fresh ideas about teaching and learning.I see myself as a very forward thinking person in this area but even I have to admit that my own

The New Computing Curriculum - Are we Ready?

By

Last year the government proposed new changes to our educational curriculum with an aim to keep up with the world’s best school systems. At the time of proposal, the curriculum was widely perceived as having targets too challenging to achieve in such a short space of time, and teachers across the UK emphasised their feelings with great effect. One of the most shocking changes, and one that ev

The New Maths Curriculum Grading System Explained

By Dragonfly Training

With the new maths curriculum coming into place, the maths GCSE grading system will be changing in the academic year of 2014/15 across England. By 2017, the traditional A* to G will be replaced with the numbers 1 – 9, with '1' being the lowest and '9' being the highest. Falling below the lowest number of 1 will result in what we now see as a 'U' grade, so under the new curriculum there will actual

Get the Most out of your IWBs

By

We’re all aware that the introduction of the iPad / tablet into education has led to a revolution in a way that teachers are able to deliver content; not only in class but when setting homework too. It has also, however, seen a large number of schools opting to remove and discard their Interactive Whiteboards (IWBs), some it would seem with barely a moment’s consideration. Having used IWBs for nea

What is Research for Learning? (RFL)

By

Author: @Alan_JervisMy chemistry students carefully mixed marble chips with hydrochloric acid, collecting the volume of carbon dioxide given off in 40 seconds. They were well aware of the importance of using the same strength of acid for each test. They ensured the acid temperature was constant and the size of each marble chip was as similar as possible.Investigating the effect of teaching strateg

Thank Goodness RE is Complicated

By Bethany Kelly - @iMissChalk

Why did I choose to teach RE? The answer was really simple, because I loved my subject. I was passionate about Theology & Philosophy of Religion, and by the time I reached the dizzy heights of 22, had been so for at least a decade. Why did I love it so? Because of complexity. It was the way in which humans encountered the divine in a number of ways, but each was beautifully complex

Is this the End for Independent Learning?

By Ian Anderson - @IanAnd64

Those of us who long ago gave up butter for margarine, swapped delicious full-fat milk for watery alternatives and consigned the deep fat fryer to the loft might be forgiven for having a wry smile reading recent pronouncements from some ‘experts’ that saturated fat wasn’t the problem after all it was salt … or sugar … or processed food … or alcohol (except red wine) … etc … etc. A simil

Digital Mafia: Taking a look at Educational Tech Training

By Peter Dawes - @P_Dawes

The Digital Mafia love technology. It has made life so much easier. It is empowering pupils. I just can’t get enough of it. If I could, I’d marry it. And bla de bla de bla de bloody bla. Because this is what you have to say now, don’t you? Questioning, however fleetingly, the central role of technology in education, is right up there with fascism, racism etc. Hold on a moment, Peter, I h

Who Is Really Listening?

By Alan Jervis - @Alan_Jervis

I believe that listening can have the biggest impact of all the communication skills. I have been lucky enough to hear some very inspirational speakers who make the hairs on my neck stand on end, although it does lose impact if we fail to listen properly. Many people find listening difficult and have to exercise great restraint to avoid interrupting to give their opinions. Many conversati

Feedback Strategies and How To use them Effectively

By Neil Atkin @Natkin

Feedback is outlined in Hattie’s Visible Learning as the single biggest factor in improving. But what is feedback? “Feedback is a process in which information about the past or the present influences the same phenomenon in the present or future. As part of a chain of cause-and-effect that forms a circuit or loop, the event is said to “feed back” into itself.” So give our students lots of

Piagetian Programs, Metacognition and Solo Taxonomy

By Steve Garnett - @Garnett_S

Dragonfly-Training RfL Course:http://bit.ly/1fdsLUr When delivering a recent Research for Learning (RfL) focused CPD session I was asked by a delegate, ‘Steve, what on earth is a Piagetian Program all about?’. The reason for the question was clear. This delegate had done her reading and knew in Professor John Hattie’s book ‘Visible Learning for Teachers‘ that ‘Piagetian Programs’ was seco

Reading, where do you do it?

By Stacey Hyland-McCabe - @HylandMcCabe

Where do you do it? On the toilet? In the bath? In bed? Reading, I meant reading, what did you think I meant? ‘Dear Eric, Why can’t I skip my 20 minutes of reading tonight? From David*.’ Eric doesn’t exist, or does he? In fact, Eric is entirely fictional, but, he represents so much that he is everywhere. Eric stands for ‘Everybody Reading In Class’ (or ‘Dear; Drop Everything And Read’).

Research for Learning (RfL): Evidence-based Practice

By Steve Garnett - @Garnett_S

Over the last two to three years there seems to have been a huge increase in interest in the role that educational research has to play in informing schools of the teaching approaches that have greatest impact in the classroom. Evidence has now been gathered identifying what strategies work best or to put it into statistical terms – have the biggest ‘effect size’ So that this knowledge

An evidence-based approach to science teaching: A vomit free teaching zone

By Alan Jervis - @Alan_Jervis

I believe that we should teach for understanding and not deliver chunks of information to be memorised and carry out experiments from predetermined menus. I call the latter technique ‘vomit teaching’, requiring the student to bring up the correct chunk of information during an examination. Vomit teaching will give limited success but will fail to teach the essence of the scientific proce

Silent Reading: Is it a wise investment?

By Tony Dickens - @TonyDickensCPD

Surely, we have all used silent reading with our students at some point? We might be in a classroom, inviting them to dip in for the first ten minutes in order to create a calm atmosphere, or we might be in a library (old school) or a learning resource centre (new school) for half an hour, once a fortnight, so they can experience the delight of ‘free choice’. Perhaps we are in a library

Not Everything is Fantastic: How NOT to Praise Students!

By Steve Chapman - @SteveChapmanDFT

As mentioned already in one of my earlier blogs on Subject Knowledge, one of the biggest obstacles to good teaching in my opinion is the continued use of ‘over praise’ in so many lessons. The words “brilliant“, “fantastic” and “excellent” are sometimes thrown around like confetti. To this list must be added a new word: “outstanding”. Only last week I heard the word “outstanding” used to desc

Teachers can be too darn nice – let’s play Top Trumps! Getting more from lesson observation

By Bethany Kelly - @iMissChalk

I know that one of the ways in which I have been really lucky in my career so far, is that I have been able to go into many, many different classrooms and observe teachers. It is something I love to do, not least because youalwayslearn so much from observing others. Being observed, however, is quite a daunting thing at times. I know that at the start of my career I used to be incredibly

Infographics: An Answer for Numeracy?

By Steve Garnett - @Garnett_S

I love infographics…but why? I first came across the phrase when watching a short environmental film featuring American politician Al Gore. In the film, he mentioned the phrase ‘infographic’, and it has had me intrigued ever since. I began researching the nature of infographics and initially came across the work of a Swedish academic called Hans Rosling. (http://www.ted.com/speakers/hans

Developing Post-16 Thinking Skills with ‘FlipSnack’

By Stacey Hyland-McCabe - @HylandMcCabe

Yes, Thinking Skills – it wasn’t/isn’t a gimmick, it’s a set of SKILLS that support life long learning and there is plenty of evidence (Geoff Petty’s ‘Evidence-Based Teaching’ for one) to show how effective they are in improving outcomes for students. Here are a few quick ideas (some mine and some fully credited with hyperlinks to their websites) to get you developing Thinking Skills with

What is a good question?

By Alan Jervis @Alan_Jervis

A recent survey suggests that 60% of the questions teachers ask require students to simply remember a fact. 20% of the questions are procedural and that leaves 20% that demand students to think. The average teacher asks 400 questions a day. So 240 of those questions are factual recall.Why? Questions for recall are easy for the teacher to frame ‘off the cuff’, whereas questions requiring

Good teachers have nothing to fear from pupil feedback forms.

By Dragonfly Training

The Customers Should Have Their Say Author: @CoyneDrS Brighton College has set the cat amongst the pigeons apparently by including pupils in their teacher appraisal system, according to The Times. The newspaper reports that, every three years, the students are asked about a teacher’s performance using a simple questionnaire and a 1 to 5 scale of responses. I have not actually used this s

And the winner is… German! How are we faring as a nation of linguists?

By Peter Dawes @P_Dawes

How are we faring as a nation of linguists? A 2009 survey had us tied with Hungary and Ireland at the bottom of a European table, for number of languages studied at school. Ever wondered how many pupils achieve “the level of an independent user” in at least one other language upon leaving school? 82% in Sweden, apparently. But fear not, we’re close behind with 9%. Depressingly familiar s

Rambling In My Old Curiosity Shop: Pace, Literature, Motivation and Creative Writing in the Classroom

By Tony Dickens - @TonyDickensCPD

This blog will offer some random thoughts and pieces from the bric-a-brac in my cerebellum. I will reflect on pace, Literature, motivation, writing in the classroom and offer some creative mediocrity of my own in the form of verse, last attempted over a decade ago when I broadcast ‘Knocked for Six’ on Radio Berkshire. Here goes… PACE Usain Bolt has it. In the 1980s Hale had a mate called

Getting your students to really think independently

By Dragonfly Training

What are the answers to these three questions? Try to solve them before reading further: 1.(1) A bat and a ball cost $1.10 in total. The bat costs $1.00 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost? _____ cents 2.(2) If it takes 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets? _____ minutes 3.(3) In a lake, there is a patch of lily pads. Every

When Early Can be Too Early: Does early entry favour bright pupils?

By Dr Stephen Coyne - @CoyneDrS

There was a lot of controversy over this year’s GCSE results, particularly about the fall in the percentage of A/A* grades, down by 1.1 percentage points on the previous year. Some of this was attributed to a 39 per cent increase in the number of entries from 15 year-olds. There was significant press speculation that schools were using early entry as a way of securing league table positi

What is a Learning Objective really?

By Steve Garnett - @Garnett_S

Although every teacher would be able to offer a definition of this term the frustrating reality is that it is unlikely that there would be universal agreement amongst the profession – how do I know this? I have delivered CPD in one form or another to over 10,000 colleagues over the last 10 years for Dragonfly Training predominantly – these range from small workshops, whole staff Inset for

Emotional Intelligence in Schools: EQ or IQ?

By Alison Goodwin - @Goodwina1

In my career I have come across many people who are sceptical about Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and its possible benefits. Needless to say I am not one of those and indeed have had the benefit of access to much EQ research. However, before I understood what EQ was and it’s crucial importance, I must admit that I, too, thought it was either something you had or didn’t have, it was all a b

Primary vs Secondary: The Not So Seamless Transition?

By Steve Chapman - @SteveChapmanDFT

Over my years in education, I’ve been asked about all the different experiences I have had and the variations I have seen. I’ve taught both here in the UK and abroad; I’ve taught in the state system and also in the independent system. However, the one area I feel has the biggest discrepancy between two systems and arouses the strongest emotions is the difference between primary and secon

I'm a good teacher, therefore I can teach anything!

By Dragonfly Training

I was having a conversation with a group of teachers the other day when I happened to extol the virtues of another member of the profession. Knowing what I do for a living, they asked me why I thought this teacher was so good. I explained that I thought they had an excellent rapport with their pupils, used assessment for learning extremely well, made work challenging yet achievable and

Walking, talking mock: Are mock exams the way forward?

By Martin Jones - Dragonfly Trainer

From a number of conversations I have had over the past six months or so it became clear that a new phenomenon was sweeping the world of year 11 GCSE Mathematics – the walking, talking mock. Upon investigation, it soon dawned on me just how good an idea this was and I was left wondering why I hadn’t thought of it myself! I have never really seen the point of students, especially the cruc

Teaching Drama: Theatre Reviews for GCSE and A Level

By Pete Talman

My ‘Stand and Deliver’ drama course set to run this summer focuses partly on theatre reviews which the AS course demands from your students. This is a fundamental part of the Key Stage 5 drama curriculum and whilst I will give guidance on how to promote students’ writing, the benefits of them experiencing an exciting theatre performance are unmatchable. Hand-in-hand with the advice I o

Solo Taxonomy & The Art of Passing Exams

By Neil Atkin @Natkin

I will start with a confession. I was far from being a model student , but I never failed any test. I passed most of my exams including my degree in physics by getting hold of as many past papers as I could with the mark schemes and working out how to get the right answer. This served me well until I started teaching physics and maths when I realised that despite being highly qualified,

The Revised National Curriculum: Friend or Foe?

By Alan Jervis - @Alan_Jervis

A teacher on the way to a briefing on the new National Curriculum bumped into a woman reading it outside the conference room. “What do you think of it?” he asked. Acknowledging the man, she replied: “Before I answer, can I ask what you thought of the last revision of the curriculum?” “Well, the last revision was a real dog’s dinner,” replied the man. “It was too prescriptive, too narrow, focu

Finnish Education: What Can We Learn?

By Dragonfly Training

It has become a perceived truth that Finnish education is the best in the world. Over the past 40 years, the Finns have developed an unconventional system regularly ranked top internationally in examination results related to maths, science and reading among others. Its system, in which children don’t attend school until seven years old and exams aren’t taken until the mid-teens, is inhe

Isn’t £150m for School Sport a good thing?

By Alan Jervis - @Alan_Jervis

The government’s £150 million investment in primary school sport is certainly a welcome addition. It will embed a real impetus for sport on the back of the success of last summer’s Olympic Games. Primary schools must carefully think through an effective strategy for investing this money which will continue to reap benefits once its funding has run out. Appointing extra staff for a fixed

#Teachmeet: We support you!

By Dragonfly Training

#Teachmeet Dragonfly Training has sponsored various teachmeets in the past and support has always been well received by the organisers and attendees. Dragonfly makes the following commitments when supporting any given teachmeets. If asked, Dragonfly WILL continue to: •Give away free CPD courses •Give away free books •Give away free resources •Provide post-meet blogs highlighting the prese

Is teaching, teaching? Regardless of how, where and why?

By Billy Waters @NomadicBilly - member of the @Dragonfly_Edu HQ team

Good Morning Vietnam! So I have arrived in Hai Phong, Vietnam, 2 hours South East of the feverish capital Hanoi to embark on a 3-month stint in teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). I can hear many of you saying, ‘oh well, that’s just TEFL, it’s not really teaching’ but when you’re standing in front of 30 enthusiastic students from the age of 3 to 35, I can ensure you… IT IS TEA

To Tech or not to Tech: Is our Education fit for purpose?

By Neil Atkin @Natkin

What are we educating our children for? “Just in the past couple years, we’ve seen digital tools display skills and abilities that … eat deeply into what we human beings do for a living.” (Andrew McAfee) “Are droids taking our jobs?” Is a very powerful presentation byAndrew McAfeewhich looks at the great changes in civilisation, one trumps them all: the technological advances that led to

Teachmeet: Standby and Learn

By Dragonfly Training

On the 7th of February, the underground revolution that is the Teachmeet made it’s way to the Hereford Academy (@THA_info) for TM Standby & Learn with over 70 ‘enthusiastic lurkers’ in attendance. A TeachMeetis an informal gathering for those of us who are enthusiastic about teaching and who are keen to share ideas. Everyone is invited to share approaches they have trialled in their class

EAL Bangkok at Harrow International School with AIS Education

By Peter Dawes - @P_Dawes

One Friday in January I spent the day in the snow sledging with my kids down the slope behind the village primary school. The following Sunday morning I was exiting the arrivals area at Bangkok Airport, welcomed by 33 degrees of heat. Such is the life of an itinerant Dragonfly trainer… For the week beginning 24th January I ran a series of EAL themed courses at Harrow International School,

The Subject Leader: An introduction to Leadership and Management

By Steve Chapman @Dragonfly_Edu via Steve Garnett @Garnett_S

One of Dragonfly Training’s best-attended courses over the last three or four years has been ‘Developing your role as a Highly Effective Subject Leader’, delivered by Steve Garnett. It’s ideal for any teacher about to take their first tentative steps into a leadership and management role. The sheer number of colleagues who have attended this course (around 700 and counting) has allowed Stev

Obesity in Schools: To Dictate or Educate?

By Alan Jervis - @Alan_Jervis

Schools are rightly concerned with the diet of their students. In 2012, statistics compiled by the World Cancer Research Fund found that 31% of 2-15 year olds in the UK are overweight or obese. In addition, a 2009 study conducted by systematic reviewers EPPI-Centre found some correlation between child obesity and poor performance in school. In response to these staggering statistics, some

Training in Kenya: Creating a connected World on a level playing field

By Neil Atkin @Natkin

It was fascinating returning to Kenya after 24 years away. Much has changed, but the stunning warm smiling people and chaotic transport system remain the same. The computer revolution largely bypassed Kenya in schools, but with the massive adoption of mobile technology there is a chance for real revolution. It is not that unusual to see a Masai in full tribal dress, pull out a mobile ph

Twitter: Is it really CPD?

By Dragonfly Training

Right, So I know what you’re thinking… Dragonfly Training, a provider of Continued Professional Development (CPD) are about to rubbish the possibilities of finding effective, worthwhile advice and teaching techniques on a social media site. If so, then you’d be wrong. Initially, you would be right, we were afraid of social media and especially twitter because of the all the negative press

iPads – The silver bullet that will kill all other technology and lead to an educational nirvana?

By Neil Atkin @Natkin

Are iPads the latest big thing that will transform education, or yet another over-hyped technology that will be misused until the next big thing comes along. Computers in the late 80s were going to change everything, but then we realised they couldn’t do very much that was really different. In the 90s CDs with encyclopedias such as Encarta appeared which were going to kill the textbook,

AIS Education: Neil Atkin @ Harrow International School

By Neil Atkin

Bangkok & Kuala LumpurNeil Atkin had a very successful trip with AIS at Harrow International School in Bangkok. Courses included Creating Independent Learners, Teaching the Lower Achievers, Stretching the most Able, Flipping Lessons (a practical guide) iPad Integration and Cutting Edge ICT., The venue was superb, the delegates a delight and the feedback outstanding. The snake that jumped out o

NAPD: Le Cheile Journal Sept 2012

By Dragonfly Training

St. Colmcille’s Community School invited Dragonfly Training to facilitate a Staff Development Day in early November 2011 & a Staff Development Day in March 2012.Self evaluation has emerged as one of our school strengths and through these self evaluative processes the theme of ‘Creating Independent Learners’ had emerged as a priority focus for us for the academic year. In our commitment to purs

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