The Educator's PLN

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22nd December 2011

This week having broken up from school for the Christmas break, I asked my Twitter Learning Community what it was that they felt most contributed to raising standards in their schools.

The following summarises their contributions for which I'm very grateful personally as we try to raise standards along with every school in the country.


@KingEdVIsport use Year 12 literacy leaders to work with younger students using the sport education model.


@Christymesa mentioned that professional training is key. What we call CPD and she mentioned that there are too many teachers in Australian schools teaching to old standards and certainly when I was there, there was no national curriculum (a state curriculum), no governing body and no OFSTED although I believe things have changed or are changing.


@CreativeHaswell has a website full of ideas at


@reallara makes a point which most teachers would agree with and which the politicians who effectively run our schools just don't seem to hear and that is that they (politicians) need to concentrate on teaching and learning and children rather than control, measuring and accountability.


@MrParkin tweeted that they have had considerable success in raising standards through their work with storytelling and writing with Pie Corbett. 


@Redsra feels that due to their geographical isolation that Skyping and getting the children connecting with the wider world is critical to raising aspiration and standards. @joanne_rich agrees with being based in the Isle of Wight but also remembers working with kids in Bermondsey who had never been up west.


@Resdsra also believes that parental engagement with school and the learning process is key along with catch up programmes for literacy and reading projects.


@joanne_rich also has had inspiring speakers and aspirational visits which have helped.


@amazingict suggests that you bookmark as he will be working on a project after Christmas which have videos to support learning.


@1969wright rates the formative AfL work that Dylan William has carried out is amongst other things critical in raising standards in school. I would agree and found this video which you might not have seen. They also believe that quality teaching is critical.


@heighwaygateway couldn't put their finger on one thing but felt that it was a range of things which changed the culture of the school and raised standards and aspiration that way.


@jonathan6671 and @StMarysCE01562 feel that the right curriculum and developing understanding of pedagogy is the most critical factor in raising standards. 


@StMattAcad believe in creating experiences which engender a "Yes we can" attitude and included a link to their video gallery to exemplify this.

@bmckenna also feels that the single most important factor in their school has been staff development.

@geochrisbill has experience of seeing how a creative curriculum can impact hugely on standards on writing citing a "massive impact."

@ConsultantHead having worked in a special school gave the children 1-1 reading support and utilising every adult.

@draper_tony cites the emotional bond that great teachers create with the children, an emotional engagement, almost pact, which rebuilds their self esteem and allows them to engage with learning. This seems to be something that the Government and Mr Gove seems to think children have no problem with but if the children have other issues to deal with then learning gets pushed down their emotional agenda.

@MsBeenz said that blogging had had a huge impact on standards at her school, something I know @deputymitchell would agree with.

@ConsultantHead also mentioned attendance and we have done apiece of work at school which links those children with the worst attendance as those who are most at risk of not reaching nationally expected levels at the end of KS2.

It is clear that a number of schools have used a range of strategies to address the standards agenda and I guess it is what works for you for your school in your context with your community and needs. Can I thank everyone for contributing and ask that if you'd like to comment below on anything that has been said or if you feel what I've written based on your 140 characters needs fuller explanation then please leave a comment. I'd love to know more about what you did to raise standards more explicitly.

Happy Christmas and thanks once again!






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