Over the years I’ve made some things, and it would be useful to have somewhere where they can live as hyperlinks that I hope will carry on working.
System Redesign 3: Curriculum Redesign This was a labour of love, working with Kai Vacher and Professor David Hargreaves in what I think of as the definitive series of resources on personalising learning - note not the industrial “we will create a personalised experience of schooling for you” with technology or an incredibly customised curriculum, rather we will create an environment to give you opportunities to personalise your learning. I got to visit some wonderful schools and write about their ideas which still seem fresh and exciting today - and to have two talented colleagues put everything in the context of the time.
Curriculum Design In Action, Futures Vision I was fortunate to work with the Futures Vision Group which featured a number of people who were on the top of their game as inspirational headteachers (or ‘system leaders’ in current parlance) - at times it was scary, but never dull. We were commissioned by the now defunct QCDA to produce something around what proven innovation looks like in practice and I managed to gather in one room a real brains-trust of Futures Vision Schools and other people I’d come across who maybe didn’t have the same profile, but who I knew would be able to contribute. We spent a day with groups presenting in small sessions - only three big presentations, and I’m proud to say the evaluation average from delegates was 1.1 (everyone scores from 1 to 5 and 1 is good). This was also the first time i ever used a Wiki, with the help of Bill How - so the booklet was made up of my notes, the material each school had submitted on the day, and then everyone pitching in (OK about 8 people actually made real contributions) - I then had to make it into a cohesive final version that would pass through the QCDA’s quite challenging quality assurance process to be allowed out with the national curriculum branding - so most of the words are mine, but the ideas and the work in the schools is of other people!
Creative ICT in the Classroom When we set up the Learning Discovery Centre, there was a real sense that some quite simple ICT tools were finally delivering on the promise of technology engaging children and making learning better. It was still a time of people putting in quite heroic amounts of effort to make the stuff work, but I was blessed with some close colleagues who could carry it off themselves and inspire other people to have a go too. Bill, Cheryl, Adrian and I wrote the book at my dining room table as a plain text file using an app called SubEthaEdit - meaning we could literally work live on it together (I know that’s easily done today, back then it was ground breaking). That isn’t a very efficient way of doing a book, but it’s immensely good fun. Kudsia joined us near the end and added in her experience of early years teaching to round it all off. Somewhere I probably still have the files off the CD-ROM, the ones Adrian made at Rockingham Primary School still stand out as supremely imaginative and fun. Actually I still have a couple of copies of the book, but nothing to read the CD-ROM with…