Growth mindset with grade targets

A teacher asked us recently: my school makes all students write their target grades on the front of their books: could this be undermining the self-belief and growth mindset I want them to have? She’s right to be worried. Although many schools believe that sharing grades in this way makes it obvious (particularly to inspectors,…

More than just an exam grade – creating and implementing a vision

Vision is important.  Research our team conducted recently found that teachers who were particularly successful in highly challenging schools were those who had a clear vision. So yes, it is important… but it’s also tricky. Breaking it down, is it simply a long-term aim for a class, encompassing good grades and academic achievement, or is…

What underpins an outlier’s success?

What does it take for a teacher to survive in a school which they themselves describe as ‘chaotic’, which may have seen numerous changes in leadership and direction, or might have suffered years of perceived failure?  This year, our team interviewed twenty-five Teach First participants (as well as their mentors and tutors), who had thrived…

Pastoral leadership: purpose, positivity, prioritisation and progress

What does it take to be described as a “great Head of Year” by colleagues, in only your second year in that role? We asked Susannah Meersand, who works at a school in the West Midlands, about the challenges that responsibility for Year 10 has brought her, and how she has approached them. Susannah’s students…