A Letter to the Education Secretary

Feral Brioche

My child is not a genius. He’s fairly bright at best,

He doesn’t have attainment medals glowing from his chest,

He’s pretty well behaved – at least, I don’t hear that he’s naughty –

He’s not a music prodigy, or known for being sporty.

He’s reading not too badly, can decipher what’s on signs,

His writing’s not too scrawly if he keeps between the lines,

He doesn’t have additional needs as far as I can tell,

And up to yesterday, I thought that he was doing well.

But then I got the test results, and thanks to you, I’ve learned

That instead of being proud, I really ought to be concerned.

A five year old that reads and writes seemed pretty good to me –

(Even though he gets confused between the letters B and D)

But it seems he’s way behind, and the levels that he meets

Only indicate…

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A letter of support for our campaign from a current Primary Headteacher in England

“We are expected to teach our children incorrect grammar and punctuation so that they will score highly in the tests. This is ludicrous!”

Let Our Kids Be Kids

Please take time to read, share, print and retweet the following to as many people as you know as the following is from a current Primary Headteacher in England who supports the action we are taking as parents but has asked to stay anonymous…


I am the headteacher of a single form entry primary school on a council estate. I am writing to give my support to your campaign and to explain why.

For some time I have been disillusioned by the high stakes testing regime in our schools which acts against an effective primary education.

In our Nursery and Reception Classes children are full of wonder and show determination and resilience. Children in our Early Years spend the majority of their time outdoors. They confidently choose the resources they need and solve their own problems. Having achieved this level of curiosity, independence and love of learning, we then seem…

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Example of why people are joining us in SUPPPORT of schools & Teachers on May 3rd

For Emphasis: SUPPPORT!
(iPhone hates it but I rather like it.)

Let Our Kids Be Kids

One from many examples of why people are joining in on May 3rd…

My son is actually stressed out – he’s panicking that he’s going to fail these tests. I do everything I can to reassure him but the pressure has got to him anyway…. I’m joining in on May 3rd to show him I’m sticking up for him. I want… time to be a child not to be tested.

Support Schools and Teachers on May 3rd here

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Worried about how you’ll explain your child’s absence to your school on May 3rd?

Let Our Kids Be Kids

If you are worried about how you’ll explain your child’s absence to your school please read this…


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‘Our schools will not be academies,’ says major local authority | News

North Beds NASUWT

It can be done.

Birmingham City Council has passed a motion stating that it does not want its schools to become academies

Source: ‘Our schools will not be academies,’ says major local authority | News

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A teacher’s take on the jargon of explicit teaching…

I know that parents have to decode a lot of jargon whilst their kids are at school. I’m often asked about some of the acronyms commonly seen and heard in my classroom. Perhaps they sound more like a quartet of elderly folks in a retirement home, however WALT, WILF, WALA and TIB are some the latest educational buzz words.

Explicit teaching focusses students toward the learning/understanding/skill, rather than the doing/task/activity. Below are some useful acronyms that are becoming more and more common in schools, for making learning explicit for children.

WALT = We Are Learning To…
Sometimes called a Learning Intention, a WALT  makes the learning, concept, understanding or skill clear to students. For example, “We are learning to use talking marks in our writing”. I find WALTs extremely useful in differentiating between the task or activity and the actual learning…

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Struggling with my body, struggling with my mind

My long holiday from blogging has been due, in part, to bipolar disorder and the need for medication, in my case Lithium carbonate, which seems to have a demotivating and anhedonic effect on me – as well as the dampening of my manic behaviours both productive and harmful.
Strip the personal details out of the excellent piece which I am reblogging here; read it and boil it down to the discussion of affect and energy and motivation and volition and self image and dosage.
What I found was a text that describes well the situation I find myself in at present. I’m pretty sure that this is a template that many with bipolar disorder would recognise.
The frustration of trying to explain to others:
“I know what I have to do, step by step, for xyz” but whenever I try to address it – brain fog. As to the NHS: It is such a shame that while I can be prescribed fabulously expensive drugs for weight loss by unnatural means, the option to prescribe gym sessions doesn’t seem to exist.


In January, I wrote about my feelings about my weight, and my history of unhealthy relationships with food and dieting. I concluded the post by saying that I was going to focus not on weighing myself, or dieting, but on choosing real (i.e. not junk, or empty calorie) foods and picking exercise activities that I genuinely enjoyed. That approach worked really well – for about 4 weeks. Then somehow I lost the ability to think kindly towards myself or sensibly about my food choices. I ended up buying a whole new set of clothes for my holiday in a bigger size, and returned from the trip towards the end of March with a renewed Coca-Cola habit and “f*ck it” attitude towards what I ate and drank. Fast forward eight weeks. Now many of the clothes I bought in March no longer fit either. Even my partner, who is usually…

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