Blog

The Library That Blew My Mind

During the Easter break, as part of my other day job, I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Bologna Children’s Book Fair. I had a fantastic two days at the fair, met lots of wonderful people, saw loads of fantastic children’s books, and ate the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted. I […]

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The Winner Takes It All

As 2016 drew to a close, Strictly Come Dancing, X Factor and The Apprentice all crowned new champions, as the losers clapped to hide their misery in the side-lines. In PISA, the biggest education tournament of them all, Scotland recorded its ‘worst scores ever’ in reading, maths and science. The news seemed to shock many, […]

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Why Upstart is a Nonstarter

Upstart Scotland is actively campaigning to introduce a Nordic-style kindergarten system between the ages of three and seven, with learning being undertaken through ‘creative play’ rather than ‘formal’ learning. As a campaign that sits outwith Scottish education, I was shocked to see very full and positive coverage in the current issue of Teaching Scotland magazine. […]

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Tackling Inequality Through Teaching: A Letter to the Prime Minister by Dr Marlynne Grant

I am delighted to be able to post this letter from Dr Marlynne Grant, to the Prime Minister, on the subject of tackling inequality through education.   The Rt Hon Theresa May MP Prime Minister 10 Downing Street London SW1A 2AA Dear Prime Minister Tackling Inequality Through Teaching While the debate about grammar schools hits […]

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TESS article: When it comes to literacy, let’s start at page 1

Today Nicola Sturgeon officially launched the 'First Minister's Reading Challenge'. Here is an article that I wrote for TESS about the challenge. It was published in TESS on 1st April 2016. TESS article: When it comes to literacy, let's start at page 1 First Minister Nicola Sturgeon recently launched a competition aimed at nurturing a lifelong love […]

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Education Scotland and the Mystery of the Shifty Document Swap

KIA Briefing 2: Early Reading Back in February, Education Scotland published this: A Knowledge Into Action resource for practitioners and education staff Briefing 2: Early Reading. I blogged about the document and how it was a small step in the right direction. And although the document was flawed in places, the importance of phonics in […]

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My Verdict: Education Scotland’s ‘Early Reading Briefing’

Well, it has been just over a year since I started writing angry letters to the Scottish Government and campaigning about the need for proper phonics teaching in the classroom and in teacher training in Scotland. So today gave me cause for a little, tiny celebration, when Education Scotland published some new guidance on the […]

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Scotland’s Standardised Testing: How did we get here?

A simplified timeline of events: 2010: Curriculum for Excellence (forward-thinking, aspirational and inspirational) begins full implementation. 2010: Standardised testing is abolished. BUT: HMI start asking to see our standardised testing. (But, erm, we just got rid of it… ) THEN: Schools and local authorities spend ££££s on standardised testing. 2012: SSLN (Scottish Survey of Literacy and […]

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*NEW* Mog’s Christmas Calamity Task Map

Well, the Christmas spirit is strong today – because here is another super festive-themed Task Map for you to download! Today we have Barry Donaldson from Aberdeen City to thank for creating this cute and Christmassy activity-fest! The text is another advert – Mog's Christmas Calamity – inspired by Judith Kerr's book of the same name. […]

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