Category Archives: Podcast

RIP STARS battling for equality! PP235

This week, Tara Elie speaks to the truly inspirational RIP STARS:

Here’s how the Disabled Young Researchers describe themselves:

We are a group of disabled young people aged 17 – 25 from Coventry, UK. We have been trained by Anita Franklin and Geraldine Brady (Coventry University) to be researchers. We lead our project – research by young disabled people for disabled young people. We have a voice and we want to give a voice to other disabled young people. We want to use research evidence to improve the lives of disabled young people.

Each member of the groups has a story to tell, from their own, personal experiences of how young people with disabilities are treated in schools and colleges.

How and why to change your culture with Maxine and Ewan from Haileybury Turnford PP234

This week, Tara Elie talks to Maxine and Ewan from Haileybury Turnford in Hertfordshire. It’s an excellent chance to hear all about how they have embarked on a process of culture change around behaviour and rates of exclusion – and their successes.

Haileybury Turnford school logo

End of Year Behaviour Progress with Lee Parry PP233

Despite serious technical challenges at his school, Lee Parry managed to join Tara Ellie to discuss the progress his school has made in behaviour after adopting Pivotal’s approach.

Lee is Head of Drama at Netherhall School in Cambridge and also a qualified Pivotal Instructor.

Netherhall School logo

Tara and Lee also discuss tips for managing behaviour at the end of the Summer term – sometimes a tricky time for classroom teachers. Lee has some great advice to share!

Pivotal Podcast’s Parade of Pops – 232

Pivotal Podcast's Parade of Pops title

Greetings pop pickers! This is a rundown of the 10 most downloaded episodes from the podcast in the academic year 2018-19.

Will your favourite make it to the top spot?

In no particular order, here are the episodes featured:

YouTube For Teachers – and Baby Sharks! – PP231

Just one of Katie’s amazing videos

This week, Tara speaks to Katie from the thriving YouTube Channel, ‘For Teachers’.

Follow For Teachers:
Instagram: @ForTeachers
Twitter: _ForTeachers

Katie has a fascinating story – originally a teacher in Manchester, she now teaches in Hong Kong and explains to Tara some of the differences she’s discovered. Katie is also passionate about promoting teaching and helping new teachers through her popular YouTube Channel.

Principal Ricky Massey and ‘The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of Schools’! PP230

This week, Kevin and Ollie speak to Ricky Massey and hear his fascinating story. As Principal of Glengormley High School in Belfast, he took over a school which was described as ‘The Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of Schools’.

Ricky explains how he approached this new role and gives lots of practical tips on how to turn a school around and reach out into the community.

It’s an engaging and amusing story and we really enjoyed having Ricky on the podcast this week.

Ricky on Twitter

Dr. Todd Whitaker – (E.T.) Phone Home! PP229

In a fascinating interview, Tara Elie speaks to the influential educator, Dr. Todd Whitaker, about phone calls and how to be welcoming to parents.

Todd Whitaker

Dr. Todd Whitaker has been fortunate to be able to blend his passion with his career. Recognized as a leading presenter in the field of education, his message about the importance of teaching has resonated with hundreds of thousands of educators around the world. Todd is a professor of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. He has spent his life pursuing his love of education by researching and studying effective teachers and principals.

Prior to moving into higher education he was a math teacher and basketball coach in Missouri. Todd then served as a principal at the middle school, junior high, and high school levels. He was also a middle school coordinator in charge of staffing, curriculum, and technology for the opening of new middle schools.

One of the nation’s leading authorities on staff motivation, teacher leadership, and principal effectiveness, Todd has written over 50 books including the national best seller, What Great Teachers Do Differently. Other titles include: Dealing With Difficult Teachers, Ten-Minute Inservice, Your First Year, What Great Principals Do Differently, Motivating & Inspiring Teachers, and Dealing With Difficult Parents.

Todd is married to Beth, also a former teacher and principal, who is currently a faculty member of educational leadership at the University of Missouri and professor emeritus at Indiana State University. They are the parents of three children; Katherine, Madeline, and Harrison.

Todd’s website
Todd on Twitter

Tweet of the week!

Matt Burton and Cerys Griffiths- Starting Secondary School – tips and resources for transitioning – PP228

Starting Secondary School with BBC Bitesize

This week we’re thrilled to welcome two guests to our podcast; Matt Burton, Headteacher at Thornhill Community Academy and Cerys Griffiths, Creative Director, BBC Education.

Matt is probably better known as ‘Mr Burton’ from the popular TV series Educating Yorkshire, who, inspired by watching ‘The King’s Speech’, helped pupil Musharaf Asghar with his speech and delivery.

Tara Elie caught up with Cerys and Matt to discuss transition and behaviour between leaving primary or secondary school, and the launch of BBC Bitesize’s ‘Starting Secondary School’ Campaign.

Starting Secondary School is a new BBC Bitesize campaign aimed at 10 to 12 year olds, their teachers and their parents. It shines a light on the great potential of starting fresh in secondary school and is packed full of practical advice and emotional support to help take the stress out of taking the next big step.

Watch the trailer video here

Starting Secondary School partners with CBBC documentary series ‘Our School’ to get first-hand experience from children who have made the move and, not only survived, but thrived. You can also find practical tips for parents on how to best support their children.

On BBC Teach you can find bespoke classroom clips and resources, created in partnership with YoungMinds, that can be used as the start of discussions around transition. These can be used in the last year of primary or in the first year of secondary school in lessons, assembly, group workshops or an individual basis.

You can access Starting Secondary School BBC Bitesize here:

You find content for teachers here:

Charlie Taylor from Zen Educate – How to Integrate Supply Teachers – PP227

Charlie was the inaugural Chief Executive of the National College for Teaching & Leadership (NCTL) where he was responsible for overseeing teacher training and professional conduct. Prior to the NCTL, Charlie was the Headteacher at The Willows Special School and a DfE expert adviser on behaviour.

This week, Tara Elie talks to Charlie about how schools can best include supply teachers and how supply teachers themselves can make the best of their opportunities.

The episode is full of great anecdotes and lots of useful tips, whether you are class teacher, head teacher or supply teacher!

Charlie now works for

Jamie McDonough – play in the classroom – seriously?! PP226

Jamie McDonagh

Jamie’s website is

With over 15 years experience of the sector, Jamie brings an invaluable wealth of knowledge and experience to what we do at Let’s Play. Holder of The UEFA A Licence, the most prestigious qualification available to football coaches, alongside his teaching qualifications – Jamie is a modern and innovative coach, teacher and trainer who centres his work on fun and the needs of the children, young people and players he works with.

The three missions of Let’s Play are:

To give play back to the kids.

To educate, empower and build confidence in adults who work with children in PE and Sport.

To support every child’s right to play.