March 26th, 2008

Via Andy Black’s blog, I note that you can now buy a projector for your iPod.  Pretty cool… and would almost make me buy one - the iPod that is, not the projector.  Mind you, at $1400 the price isn’t too bad, provided the resulting picture quality is OK.

Self assessment

March 25th, 2008

The Self Evaluation Form (SEF) is the mechanism by which schools in the UK judge their own performance and capabilities, strengths and weaknesses. The form is a public document, typically developed by the school’s senior management team, in collaboration with governors, staff and other stakeholders. Intended as a living document, updated at least annually, the SEF is used as one of the most significant inputs into the lightweight inspection regime currently adopted by Ofsted.

There’s an interesting post on the Primary Teacher UK blog suggesting that Ofsted inspectors are not always rigorous enough in challenging the claims made by schools in their SEFs. I can’t really comment, other than to say that in the current environment it is understandable (though not necessarily acceptable) that schools will try to spin the system to their best advantage whenever they can.

In the case of the newly amalgamated primary school where I am chair of governors, we self-evaluated ourselves as ’satisfactory’ prior to our first Ofsted inspection and this was duly endorsed by the inspectors. We had little option. As a new school, however good we thought ourselves, we didn’t have the necessary evidence to back up any other claim… and the reality is that so much work is currently in hand, both in terms of setting new policies and practices and in terms of aligning pedagogic, assessment and other teaching and learning approaches across what used to be two schools, that to claim anything other than ’satisfactory’ at this stage would be unreasonable.

TwitLyrics - 19th March 2008

March 20th, 2008

the more i tweet you / the more i want you / somehow this feeling / just grows and grows

TwitLyrics - 15th March 2008

March 20th, 2008

rise up this morning / smiled with the rising sun / three little birds / tweet by my door step

Shrinking governing bodies

March 20th, 2008

I noticed in the Guardian earlier on this week that the government is thinking about entering into a consultation period about whether school’s governing bodies should be made smaller.  I guess this is partly in response to those areas where finding governors proves to be difficult - not something we tend to suffer from at my school (or in Bath generally I guess).  Ignoring that particular issue though, I tend to think that, within reason, smaller and more focussed governing bodies tend to work more effectively than larger ones.  We currently run with 16, for a primary school with ~420 pupils which I think works quite well.  I certainly wouldn’t want it to be any bigger and I suspect that it would continue to work just as effectively at, say, 12 or so.

My only concern with getting much smaller than that is that it might tend to work against the efforts that schools are expected to make to become more involved in their local communities?

Bass guitar hero

March 20th, 2008

Stan’s just bought himself a copy of Guitar Hero III for the XBox. Nice.

Call me weird, but I want to play Bass Guitar Hero III - I can’t stand all that twiddly lead guitar rock stuff.

Sunday night work

February 24th, 2008

Sigh… it’s Sunday night, 11pm, and I find my self writing emails about repositories and the like.

Actually, I’ve done pretty well keeping away from work this weekend so in some ways I should be pleased with myself. On the other hand, this cartoon from XKCD does rather sum it up nicely…

TwitLyrics - 22nd Feb 2008

February 23rd, 2008

darling you got to let me know / should i tweet or should i go? / if you say that you are mine / i’ll be here ’til the end of time

TwitLyrics - 20th Feb 2008

February 23rd, 2008

well sometimes i go out, by myself, and i tweet across the water
and i read all the things, of what you’re doing, and in my head i paint a picture

Andy and Stan go to @Bristol

February 18th, 2008

I took Stan over to @Bristol today.  Overall I was a bit disappointed, though Stan seemed to really enjoy himself and that’s what matters.  I dunno, I just felt that a lot of the exhibits were at the wrong level or something, particularly the computer-based ones that wanted you to read stuff, then give your opinion.  The planetarium was good though.

Traffic on the way home was pretty heavy - particularly at the Bristol end.  Perhaps it is always like that - it was rush-hour I guess.

We drove into our road just as the sun was setting - there was a very weird light, a kind of heavy yellow color.  Odd.  There must have been something strange cos I noticed at least three other people twittering about it.