A Chemical Orthodoxy

Schools, Science and Education



Parents’ tears

Danny had been causing Ms P issues for a little while. We'd tried a lot of different interventions, but the time came to bring Danny C's parents in for a meeting. We sat with him and his mum in a... Continue Reading →

Observing better: The Hypothesis Model

The culture around lesson observations is, generally, not great. To put it mildly. For a long time, teachers were observed one to three times a year as part of a high stakes performance management cycle, where non-specialists dipped into a... Continue Reading →

Just 4 minutes of teaching

We had a visitor in the department today, so I took him on a learning walk. I go on a learning walk at least twice a half term and try to see as many teachers as I can. Giving teachers... Continue Reading →

Why I don’t use PowerPoint (any more)

Three years ago, all of my lessons featured a PowerPoint slide deck. Since September 2019, I haven't used PowerPoint in a lesson once. Delivering a concise explanation as to why is difficult. Not using PowerPoint is just one part of... Continue Reading →

Keeping the one, losing the many

Andy is teaching a lesson about energy changes in chemical reactions. He puts some information about a reaction on the board; that the temperature at the start is 21 °C and at the end is 34°C. "ok, so can anyone... Continue Reading →

The four planks of an effective homework policy

There are lots of blogs on retrieval practice. There are lots blogs on cognitive load, student behaviour, assessment, marking, curriculum, philosophy...the list goes on. There are lots of blogs on pretty much all aspects of teaching. There are not lots... Continue Reading →

Inside our department

I tweeted yesterday that our department doesn't do any book marking: A lot of people asked what we do do, so I posted a snip from our Teaching and Learning policy. At our school, departments have the autonomy to... Continue Reading →

Busy Tricking

At the start of her lesson, Flo has a Do Now on the board as students are coming into the room. She’s using a Carousel Whiteboard quiz with three questions on content from a few weeks ago, and three questions... Continue Reading →


The email: you are on cover period 3. The response: FFS. I already had more things to do that day than I had time for, and the last thing I needed was to be put on cover. It wasn't even... Continue Reading →

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