composite of hand holding questionmark graphic with blue background

The Question Mark

A recent conversation with a teacher-in-training colleague has prompted this blog. My friend was given the task of preparing and delivering a 45-minute lesson on the question mark. This is pretty typical of the type of lesson we work with in normal circumstances. Now I can’t think of anything more tedious. As a topic for…

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Oxford’s 2021 Word of the Year

BREAKING NEWS: Oxford’s 2021 Word of the Year Is a Shot in the Arm is November 1’s New York Times headline. The article describes the context and reasoning behind the decision. It’s an entertaining read. “Vaccine,” already a common-enough word in English, more than doubled in frequency over the past year, as vaccines against the…

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COVID vaccination ampule and syringe on yellow background

Back to the classroom

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all. Many members of our school community have been exposed to trauma, and will need care and support during the transition to whatever the new ‘normal’ is. We need to make sure we don’t overload our students (and ourselves) as we return to what has been familiar. In this…

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Two children walking together in the forest with warm light
Second hand book sale on the street

Taking a break

Bookshops are the best place to take a break. All you need is a couple of hours with nothing else that needs to be done. Usually best on your own. Sometimes you have to just do it. Even only 15 minutes or so, in that calm, internalised pleasure palace, can be enough. Children introduced early…

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Boy taking a reading break in between library book shelves

The world continues to turn …

And, thank goodness,  books continue to be published, read, and loved. Reading has been described as the perfect lockdown-in-COVID-19-activity. In these difficult times, it is worth reminding ourselves, and our students, that:  “Reading is an act of civilization; it’s one of the greatest acts of civilization because it takes the free raw material of the…

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