I have been a teacher for 27 years, a Headteacher for 12 years and, at the age of 51, this much I know about the #LearningFirst conference and unfettered teaching.
The Dame Alison Peacock-inspired #LearningFirst conference will, hopefully, prove to be part of the growing drive towards rebalancing the relationship between teaching and assessment, whereby assessment will once again be the servant of teaching, just like Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam intended back in 1998 when they first published Inside the Black Box. Alison Peacock is showing the kind of leadership – principled, sensible, courageous – which needs to spread like wildfire through the school system, and here’s why…
No-one is asking teachers to obsess about assessment data apart from schools’ senior leaders. Teachers need permission to teach brilliantly. School leaders need to ensure that, in John Hattie’s words, a coalition of success in the classroom drives school improvement. We need unfettered teaching. Teach brilliantly, then formatively assess what students have learnt, amend your teaching in response to what you learn from that formative assessment and then teach brilliantly some more, then assess summatively. It’s not difficult.
Cross-phase is where it’s at! Our North East York Partnership presentation yesterday was a genuine team effort, with huge thanks to my colleagues Beci McCrea and Vicky Umpleby from Huntington Primary Academy. Here are our slides and that all important Tim Oates video about why we have, thank goodness, seen the back of National Curriculum Levels.