DT & Engineering Blog: First Camera Phone Captures Birth


In 1997, Philippe Kahn creates the first camera phone by wiring his laptop, digital camera and cell phone together with his car speaker wire. And shares the adorable picture of his baby with his family and friends over the internet.

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Growing a culture of great teaching


Growing a culture of great teaching

Class Teaching

These are the slides that Andy Tharby and I talked through at the Wellington Festival of Education on Friday.

Andy talked about how we used the wisdom of great teachers we had worked with over the years, alongside evidence from educational research and cognitive science, to distil great teaching into six pedagogical principles, in our book Making every lesson count’.

Having unpicked some of the key elements, of each of the six principles, Andy then went on to talk about why this approach has been useful to us a school:

  • It allows a tight but loose approach to teaching – teachers are free to implement the six principles in their classroom in a way that best suits them, their subject and the students they are teaching.  They have professional autonomy.
  • When we talk about great teaching at Durrington now, we have a common language.
  • They are meaningful for all

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Here’s your school development plan – no, really, don’t thank me. #SLTchat


Here’s your school development plan – no, really, don’t thank me. #SLTchat


There are so many things you might need to do to take a school forward. Based on my reading and engagement with schools around the country this year, here are some areas I’d recommend for consideration.

Before outlining the details, here are two preliminary considerations:

A: Sort behaviour. Don’t do anything else until this feels like it’s working. Literally – give it all your attention because nothing else will work unless you do.

B: After behaviour, choose three priorities. Five as a maximum. The rest is a to-do list, not a list of priorities.

1. Deliver a built-in CPD Programme

You can’t do much unless teachers meet regularly, with a flow to their CPD sessions so that ideas can be shared, trialled in class and then reflected on in a continuous cycle of improvement. If you don’t invest in CPD, you won’t get far – unless you just want…

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Class Teaching

Last week, I was fortunate enough to listen to the fabulous Lucy Crehan talk about her book ‘Cleverlands‘ at the Wellington Festival of Education.

As a teacher in an inner-city school, Lucy was exasperated with ever-changing government policy claiming to be based on lessons from ‘top-performing’ education systems. She became curious about what was really going on in classrooms of the countries whose teenagers ranked top in the world in reading, maths and science.

Determined to dig deeper, Lucy set off on a personal educational odyssey through Finland, Japan, Singapore, Shanghai and Canada, teaching in schools, immersing herself in their very different cultures and discovering the surprising truths about school life that don’t appear in the charts and graphs.

Cleverlands documents her journey, weaving together her experiences with research on policy, history, psychology and culture to offer extensive new insights and provide answers to three fundamental questions:


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