A Chemical Orthodoxy

Schools, Science and Education

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 →

Shifting your focus: a class-eye view

Mr D was going over a Do Now quiz. One of the questions related to an advantage of wind turbines. After reviewing a couple of correct answers a student, Jimmy, asked Mr D about his own answer: "they don't pollute... Continue Reading →

Fixing the roof while the sun is shining: preparing for distance learning

In Lockdown 1.0, like every other school in the country, we moved to distance learning across the course of a weekend. As a department, we set work for students that we thought was appropriate and manageable, and tried to spend... Continue Reading →

What makes a good explanation? This and more on the Mr Barton Maths Podcast

You may have noticed I wrote a book recently. I've been shamelessly plugging it everywhere I can, and was enormously honoured to recently discuss it on the Mr Barton Maths Podcast. Craig Barton is a huge edu-hero of mine, and... Continue Reading →

Tech for improving your explanations: what and how

When explaining something, it is crucial to: Regulate the flow of information Direct attention It's also important to give your explanations a sense of narrative flow, that you've mapped it out and thought hard about where you are going to... Continue Reading →

Golden Silence

There's something magical about a silent classroom. Students are focused, heads are down, pens are busily scratching away. Participation Ratio is high, and you can almost feel the learning in the room. It's not so easy to achieve though, and... Continue Reading →

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