Sharing joy and knowledge from an ordinary life

#LearningFirst Creating workload within limits

Assessment has its roots in Latin, namely ‘assessus ‘ meaning ‘a sitting by’, where the past participle means ‘to sit beside.’

This has implications for how we view assessment, but what are they? Perhaps that assessment should sit beside learning? Perhaps that we should sit beside a student during assessment and listen to them; providing more immediate feedback? Perhaps that students should sit beside us in the assessment process? Whatever the interpretation you wish to make, it certainly doesn’t mean anything ‘done to.’

Assidere,  Agency, Trust and Principles are to be the focus of this workshop with @eduCardtion


Image available from here


Make one change. Make it principles.

Change is the architect of workload but if it’s managed within clear, agreed and invested principles then it can work!

Change is usually a cluster fuck. (According to @LeadingLearner) When everything goes wrong at once; usually due to incompetence. We often blame others. Don’t.

Find the spaces and the gaps- they exist for our professionalism to grow.

Parkour-ers see the buildings and the architecture, they see the gaps they can make leaps across.

The change has to be principled and managed. It has to have heart.


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Combined or joint agency. But what’s agency?

Saracens – Edwards Griffiths (click here to read the full interview)

How would you describe your leadership philosophy in regards to building a positive culture for the club?

Basically, we gather talented people together. We treat them unbelievably well and in return they try unbelievably hard — that’s the process we follow. We focus all of our efforts on the process, and we’re content with the outcomes.

Our process, which is key, is looking after people. We just believe that you get more out of people by treating them well, by looking after them as opposed to scaring them. In a lot of professional sports the mantra is to “treat them mean to keep them keen.” We’re at the other end of the spectrum. We want them to feel unbelievably comfortable, unconditionally loved, and supported in everything they do.

Invest in the change process and provide everyone with a voice. Ensure that everyone (from the dinner lady, through the teaching assistant and governor to the student) have a genuine say in the direction being taken.

Ask the students- what does progress look, sound and feel like to you? Their student council have selected one student as a case study- they will be gathering evidence throughout the year to evidence the progress that student makes- photos/ videos/ interviews/ examples of work… The students build up portfolios of work for one another. Can we reach a position where the students show us they’re making progress rather than us telling them they are?


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Seize this moment to do what is in our heart and not what others tell us to do

This isn’t about bravery. We’re professionals

We are not brave, we are… inspirational, just doing our job, principled.

Some recommended reads:

book-cover and leadership

Intended curriculum versus enacted curriculum. Intended principles versus enacted principles. Doing nothing other than the principles of our school. Management is doing things right but leadership is doing the right things. Our principles will protect us and @HarfordSean alluded to that also.

Leaders need to put their shit umbrella up- no, they don’t. We need to be a shit filter so that it doesn’t get blasted elsewhere- we filter the parts out until what we’re left with fits with our principles.

Don’t buy learning ladders, get learning climbing walls instead. Since when was assessment linear?

What are your school/college’s assessment principles?

These are the assessment principles at Lee Card’s school:

The objective of our assessment system is to improve pupils’ development
Assessment is:

  • a picture of personal development and academic progress.
  • an ongoing, diagnostic process involving children and informing teachers’ practice

Assessment identifies what children can do and what their next steps are.

Once you have your principles then we can hold ourselves to account for anything that doesn’t match that. Until then, we’ll struggle…

Read my full reflections on the day here

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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