Natalie Scott – Blogger of the Year on Jungle Teaching – 134

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

It was a privilege to speak to TES Blogger of the Year 2016, Natalie Scott, this week.

Natalie is a teacher, a senior leaders, currently working as a Specialist Leader of Education and has volunteered in the ‘Calais Jungle’ camp.

What did your time at the sharp end of school leadership teach you?

Natalie learned that although she is a perfectionist, that doesn’t work for all teachers or students. When she went into a school which was requiring improvement, she relied on processes and procedures when it may have been better to be ‘softer’ and get to know staff better in the first place. It was a mistake in retrospect to have been ‘The Ice Queen’.

Natalie was also a leader in a school where (she started blogging) which was part of a huge academy chain and was very Ofsted-driven, with a lot of staff feeling fear. She found out that if you are asking staff to do something you are not prepared to do yourself or doesn’t directly impact on the children, then it’s not worth doing. She realised her values didn’t align in that school so she needed to leave.

Natalie Scott
Natalie Scott

What made you go to the ‘Calais Jungle’ and teach?

Working 7am to 7pm in school eventually caused Natalie to burn out. She felt that she was restricted as a classroom teacher and was having to give out messages as a leader which she didn’t believe in. She decided she didn’t want to teach again.

Then Natalie received a call from the headteacher she had worked for in the Isle of Wight. He and another teacher were preparing to travel to Calais after hearing that the was no educational provision at all in the camp. There was a school but it was being run by people with no experience of teaching. He told Natalie to ‘stop sulking’ and join them in Calais.

Natalie describes ‘The Jungle’ as a lot like a shanty town and praises the ingenuity and imagination of the people who live there. There are restaurants, shower facilities, a make-shift Church, a library and a theatre. Despite this, the people are living in poverty. Natalie found it mind-blowing. She taught teenagers as there weren’t many younger children there.

Shortly after this, she moved to Dunkirk where there was another illegal camp. The main population here was middle class families, mainly Kurds. They didn’t want to put their children into the intimidating atmosphere of Calais. This camp, however, was a field of mud and raw sewerage, full of children and educated parents who didn’t want to be in the Calais environment. There were no toilet facilities at the Dunkirk camp at all. The doctors, lawyers and teachers who lived there had fled their homes and now had nothing.

As Natalie points out, she realised that her teacher problems in the UK were nothing compared with the problems of these people just over the Channel.

With no equipment, no facilities, what does great teaching come down to?

Questioning was the most important skill…

Read the rest of the show notes on the pivotal Education site

Support the charity Natalie worked with either individually or with your school:

http://www.edlumino.org/ and https://twitter.com/Edlumino

Follow Natalie:

on Twitter and at her blog

TES Blogger of the Year!

Natalie picks up her award!
Natalie picks up her award!

Tweets of the Week

New App!

There is a new Pivotal App available with a host of new features. Download it from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

#HotChocFri!

Tweet to @PivotalPaul or email Paul@pivotaleducation.com if you are a Headteacher and he will send you what you need to take part in the #HotChocFri project. Join in with the positive reinforcement for one or two of your learners who have gone over and above each week.

Send in your suggestions for guests!

We already have a brilliant line-up of guests arranged for the podcast but if there’s anyone you are dying to hear from, let us know by leaving a voicemail (bottom left of the page), sending an email to podcast@pivotaleducation.com or tweeting @PivotalPodcast.

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

Carlene Firmin on gangs, exploitation and violence – research and practice – PP133

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

Dr. Carlene Firmin MBE  joined us this week to share her wealth of research on and practical experience with gangs, exploitation and violence amongst young people.

Carlene is Senior Research Fellow at the International Centre, researching Child Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking and was awarded her MBE for service to women and girls.

Does the language we use to describe children make a difference?

Carlene believes language use makes a big difference. If we use words such as ‘manipulative’, ‘promiscuous’ or ‘street-wise’, it focusses our attention on what we need to do to ‘fix them’ rather than thinking about why they might be behaving the way they are. We end up sounding like we are blaming them for how they are behaving. This is generally unconscious on the part of the adults and we live in a society which tends to focus on the people who are exhibiting a behaviour rather than the behaviour itself.

How can we avoid this use of language?

Professionals need to be confident to challenge and to question. They must try not to condone and accept – even through silence. So we need to be aware of the phrases we use.

For example, saying, ‘They won’t engage with us’, places the onus on the young people whereas saying, ‘We haven’t been able to engage with them’, encourages us to problem solve.

Carlene Firmin
Carlene Firmin

MsUnderstood

Carlene is also involved in MsUnderstood which is a partnership between the University of Bedfordshire, Imkaan, and the Girls Against Gangs Project. It aims to improve local and national responses to young people’s experiences of inequality.

There has been work in projects across England to develop approaches to help those who are experiencing harm by concentrating on the environments where the harm occurs. They have developed a suite of practical resources which are being published in September 2016.

How are women affected by gang violence?

After a huge amount of research and work, Carlene has come to the understanding that it depends how the young woman is connected to gang violence and what that association means to her. They could be involved in gang violence themselves, have fiends, relatives or partners in a gang, or multiples of these. So her experience and what it means to her could be very different from someone else. This means that girls’ connections to gangs and violence may be stonger or weaker and so they can find it more or less easy to remove themselves from the situation.

Practical results of Carlene’s work

As a result of the research programmes…

Read the rest of the show notes on the Pivotal Education site

Tweet of the Week

New App!

There is a new Pivotal App available with a host of new features. Download it from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

#HotChocFri!

Tweet to @PivotalPaul or email Paul@pivotaleducation.com if you are a Headteacher and he will send you what you need to take part in the #HotChocFri project. Join in with the positive reinforcement for one or two of your learners who have gone over and above each week.

Send in your suggestions for guests!

We already have a brilliant line-up of guests arranged for the podcast but if there’s anyone you are dying to hear from, let us know by leaving a voicemail (bottom left of the page), sending an email to podcast@pivotaleducation.com or tweeting @PivotalPodcast.

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

Dave Whitaker on how to create and use ‘Unconditional Positive Regard’ in your School

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
Ollie Frith
Ollie Frith

This week, Ollie Frith spoke to Dave Whitaker, Executive Head at Springwell Special Academy in Barnsley.

Unconditional positive regard for students

This is something which has been borrowed from the counselling and therapeutic areas. It’s a metaphor, an ethos or a set of values – it should be something you see and feel as you walk round the building. It’s all about being authentic, showing that you really do believe in the children.

Dave Whitaker
Dave Whitaker

Dave points out that people pay lip service to their value statements – it isn’t borne out every day in school.

Authentic care

This is a phrase coined by some visiting headteachers and Dave has now adopted it. It led him to understand some deep truths about his school and why it succeeds:

“The adults believe in the children and the children believe they believe in them.”

Punishment

When the children you work with have already had every punishment imaginable and it’s not worked, why continue punishment? A lot of children just factor whatever punishment they are given into their lives and carry on in exactly the same way. Some children who are punished once will never repeat the misbehaviour – it’s to do with their upbringing and other factors but for the majority of repeat offenders it’s clear that punishment never works.

Do mainstream schools exclude too many children?

Dave believes they do but…

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site

Dave on Twitter

Springfield Learning Community

New App!

There is a new Pivotal App available with a host of new features. Download it from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Headteacher initiative!

Tweet to @PivotalPaul or email Paul@pivotaleducation.com if you are a Headteacher and he will let you into the TOP SECRET project around positive reinforcement for one or two of your learners who have gone over and above each week.

Send in your suggestions for guests!

We already have a brilliant line-up of guests arranged for the podcast but if there’s anyone you are dying to hear from, let us know by leaving a voicemail (bottom left of the page), sending an email to podcast@pivotaleducation.com or tweeting @PivotalPodcast.

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

Brilliant Behaviour!

Starting with Brilliant Behaviour – PP131

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

In an episode packed with news, Paul and Kevin also discuss what’s important in behaviour management when starting a new year. Paul comes up with a brilliant list of advice including some dos and don’ts which will help anyone who finds themselves with a new class.

Here’s Paul’s list of tips (in no particular order):

  • Put the paperwork to one side – the children are the most important thing and you don’t have time to deal with the bureaucracy
  • Use your mentor to help you prioritise – and sometimes unofficial mentors are even more helpful than the official ones
  • Schools could try to do minimal induction at first and then spread more out over the first term
  • It’s important to get out and about in your first few weeks – meet the other staff on their own terms and be present and visible to the students
  • Avoid the ‘rules lesson’ – rather, concentrate on teaching one, three-step routine in the first lesson and then get on with some really interesting, engaging work
  • Be realistic about what you are going to achieve in the first terms – it can take two or three terms to become established
  • Beware the ‘honeymoon period’ – don’t relax even if the children are behaving perfectly and keep on teaching routines you can fall back on when the class go wobbly
  • Examples of great routines to start with are:
    • The ’embellished countdown’ which is a countdown with positive reinforcement added to each number
    • Meet and greet at the door – show some kindness and interest
  • Don’t overshare in the first weeks – hold back a bit until you have worked out which children can take the information and which might abuse it
  • Concentrate on PIP and RIP – Praise in Public, Reprimand in Private – refuse to be drawn into public reprimands but praise a lot in public
  • Leave positive phone calls and postcards home for later on in the term – it’s a bit odd to receive effusive praise from someone you have just met – instead, triangulate praise by getting someone who knows the learner better than you to deliver praise and mention your name

Another source of great advice for NQTs starting with their first class this September is Twitter. Ellie and many others have been tweeting tips with the hashtags #NQTchat and #NQT. For example:

New App!

There is a new Pivotal App available with a host of new features. Download it from Google Play or the Apple App Store.

Headteacher initiative!

Tweet to @PivotalPaul or email Paul@pivotaleducation.com if you are a Headteacher and he will let you into the TOP SECRET project around positive reinforcement for one or two of your learners who have gone over and above each week.

Send in your suggestions for guests!

We already have a brilliant line-up of guests arranged for the podcast but if there’s anyone you are dying to hear from, let us know by leaving a voicemail (bottom left of the page), sending an email to podcast@pivotaleducation.com or tweeting @PivotalPodcast.

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site

(Creative Commons Sound clip by Johnny Pixel Productions, Inc. – http://www.johnny-pixel.com/ http://www.freesound.org/people/jppi_Stu/)

The Pivotal Podcast Mixtape 2016! Summer Shorts 6 – PP130

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

This is the sixth week of the Pivotal Podcast Summer Shorts.

As we approach the new academic year in the UK, I’ve been looking back through archive and once again I’m amazed to see the breadth of topics and range of speakers we have featured over the past 130 episodes.

Pivotal Podcast Mixtape!

The clips come from the following episodes:

Scripted behaviour interventions – PP10

Behaviour for sports teams and parents with Garth Smith – PP18

Magnificent Classroom Cultures with Phil Beadle – PP23

School Direct and routes into teaching with Stuart Garbutt – PP27

Blogging with children from Year 1 – 13 with David Mitchell – PP31

How to improve your behaviour policy – PP43

Sean Harford from Ofsted – PP63

Jarlath O’Brien on Special leadership – PP74

Pivotal Summer Shorts 2 – Pivotal Conversations – Children, Mental Health & Behaviour – PP80

David McQueen – Motivation, Mentoring and Marvellous McQueen! – PP91

José Picardo on how to get the best out of technology in teaching- 105

Sugata Mitra on why children need teachers, autonomy and technology – PP117

How to teach writing with Ros Wilson: Satisfaction Guaranteed! – PP122

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site


Sound effect credit – Audio Cassette Tape Open Close Play Stop by Bertrof licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License.

Nancy Gedge and David Cameron on keeping children at the forefront of what we do – Summer Shorts 5 – PP129

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

This is the fifth week of the Pivotal Podcast Summer Shorts.

The Pivotal Podcast has always been about bringing you inspirational moments to inspire from educational experts. Sometimes we have to cut parts of interviews out due to time contraints so this week I have been back through what’s on the cutting room floor. I’ve found a couple of excellent examples of snippets from two of our favourite guests which would otherwise have be lost.

Nancy Gedge
Nancy Gedge

The first clip is from award-winning blogger, teacher and parent, Nancy Gedge and the second is from presenter, trainer, consultant and former Director of Childrens’ Services, ‘The Real’ David Cameron. They speak about very different aspects of education and safeguarding but the commom thread is the importance of keeping children at the forefront of everything we do.

David Cameron
David Cameron

Read the full show notes on the Pivotal Education site

English as a Foreign Language (EFL) and Literacy – Summer Shorts from #TMLondonBoat – PP128

Paul Dix
Paul Dix

Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne
This is the fourth and final week of the Pivotal Podcast Summer Shorts from the recent TeachMeet London Boat event. More than 100 educators met at Westminster Pier and took to the water to discuss a wide range of issues in education.

The fourth session I recorded dealt with issues around English as a Foreign Language – EFL. It was facilitated brilliantly by Amjad Ali and led to a lot of useful tips, approaches and resources being shared. By this time we had sailed past the Houses of Parliament and had turned round for home so listen out for the bells of Big Ben’s clock tower striking a quarter to nine and some police sirens in the background.

As this is the last of the Pivotal Podcast Summer Shorts from this event, we also hear as many take aways from TMLondon Boat as I could capture from the educators on the boat and even after we disembarked, there was still time for some fun as Action Jackson and Jaz Ampaw Farr sat down on the steps leading up from boat and started singing. I hastily retrieved my sound recorder so you can hear me bumping it about a bit but I wanted to see if I could capture some of the singing – there’s also violinist busking in background. Then some passers by gave Jaz their baby to hold and you can hear they had to reduce the volume of the song It was an amazing end to a great experience.

Links mentioned in the episode:

https://www.grammarly.com/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/women-leading-in-education

Amjad Ali (left) facilitated this session
Amjad Ali (left) facilitated this session

Parliament in the background
Parliament in the background

Farewell to TeachMeet London Boat
Farewell to TeachMeet London Boat

Action Jackson strikes up on the steps
Action Jackson strikes up on the steps

Jaz and helpers!
Jaz and helpers!

It's all over!
It’s all over!
Photographs by William Mulryne

Read the full show notes and see all the photographs on the Pivotal Education site

Job satisfaction – Summer Shorts from #TMLondonBoat – PP127

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

The third session I recorded at #TMLondonBoat was based on the question, ‘What job satisfaction do you get from your role?’ It led to a brilliant number of different answers and the focus on positive responses was lovely to hear. It left us all with a warm glow and reminded us what’s great about being in education.

Over 100 educators gathered at Westminster Pier to board the boat and cruise the River Thames while discussing educational issues. The format was different to many TeachMeets – delegates submitted the questions they wanted to discuss as they boarded the boat and then small groups were formed, facilitated but not dominated by a volunteer.

Everyone agreed it was a brilliant experience and we all look forward to many more TeachMeets which follow this pattern.

#TMLondonBoat photo
Immortalising the event!
#TMLondonBoat photo
Sitting on the floor discussing what’s great about our roles!
#TMLondonBoat photo
Plenty of views…
#TMLondonBoat photo
Video and audio recording in action!

Photographs by William Mulryne

Read the full show notes and see all the photographs on the Pivotal Education site

Mental Health and Mindfulness – Summer Shorts from #TMLondonBoat – PP126

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

In our second Summer Short from TeachMeet London Boat, a group of teachers and educators talk about mental health and mindfulness. They cover areas such as student anxiety around exams, ADHD, how and why to use mindfulness techniques and practical, classroom approaches to making a positive impact on the mental welbeing of their classes.

Links mentioned in the episode:

http://www.bemindfulonline.com/

The Body Scan Practice

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mindfulness-Eight-Week-Meditation-Programme-Frantic/dp/B004ZFZJWA

https://www.headspace.com/headspace-meditation-app

Over 100 educators gathered at Westminster Pier to board the boat and cruise the River Thames while discussing educational issues. The format was different to many TeachMeets – delegates submitted the questions they wanted to discuss as they boarded the boat and then small groups were formed, facilitated but not dominated by a volunteer.

Everyone agreed it was a brilliant experience and we all look forward to many more TeachMeets which follow this pattern.

#TMLondonBoat image
@TeacherToolkit, @ASTsupportAAli) and @Actionjackson
#TMLondonBoat
Deep in conversation on the boat
The Mental Health and Mindfulness discussion in full swing
The Mental Health and Mindfulness discussion in full swing

Photographs by William Mulryne

Read the full show notes and see all the photographs on the Pivotal Education site

Policy and Politics – Summer Shorts from #TMLondonBoat – PP125

Paul Dix
Paul Dix
Kevin Mulryne
Kevin Mulryne

This is first of four Summer Shorts which were recorded at TeachMeet London Boat recently. This one is about Policy and Politics.

Over 100 educators gathered at Westminster Pier to board the boat and cruise the River Thames while discussing educational issues. The format was different to many TeachMeets – delegates submitted the questions they wanted to discuss as they boarded the boat and then small groups were formed, facilitated but not dominated by a volunteer.

Leon Cych and Jaz Ampaw-Farr
Leon Cych and Jaz Ampaw-Farr

Everyone agreed it was a brilliant experience and we all look forward to many more TeachMeets which follow this pattern.

Read the full show notes and see all the photographs on the Pivotal Education site