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The Learning Rainforest


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Table of Contents

Part 1: Developing the Learning Rainforest Concept. Introducing The Learning Tree Set it out Roots; Trunk; Vegetation The inputs 1 My career experience Reference to the tree. 2The Trad-Prog Debate: SKR, Guy Claxton Blogging: KEGS vs HGS School visits 3. The Curriculum Debate Enacted Curriculum The Trivium Bacc-Thinking Arts? Knowledge-led curriculum; Powerful knowledge National Curriculum 4.What does the research say? Reading research: caveats. I learned to look behind the headlines. Eg Hattie Cognitive Psychology Hattie, Willingham, Nuthall, Berger Wiliam, Dweck; Motivation - examples eg maths mindsets 5 Assessment Thinking Bell curve and standards; the data delusion Daisy C --> technical, links to memory AfL: REsponsive teaching --> relationships Recap: . Teaching to the Top: Philosophy; personal experience; kids; The Model Reprise: The tree is growing... all elements grow together... The Rainforest - individual students... Rainforest vs Plantation --> Managed Rainforest Gardening. = differentiation Balanced diet Part 2: The Learning Tree in Practice Homage to Bill Rogers, TLAC and MELC 1. Attitudes and habits for excellence Awe and Wonder; Joy Rigour - the venn pitch it up; challenge; not accepting mediocrity Teacher expectations - Pygmalion... Relationships 2. Behaviour: Routines, bill rogers, assertiveness, Signal pause insist --> attention, silence, time/not drifting, 3. Curriculum Planning Big picture, small picture; Objectives vs tasks; small steps; scaffolds and stabilisers Skills and drills. Knowledge elements Reading, words Teaching Reading; 4. Mode A 4.1 Explaining and Modelling 4.2 Questioning What, how, how to react Dialogic, probing TPS Whole class response - eg whiteboards MCQs Routine expectations oracy 4.3 Feedback Verbal; positive, specific - Dylan Wiliam Responsive Marking - selective, etc, lean, whole class Close the gap 4.4 Assessment: Daily, weekly, review Teaching for memory Teaching for Memory and Exam Success FACE IT 4.5 Practice learning by heart, guided practice Independent learning; guided study; Homework 5. Mode B 5.1 Hands on; Dialectic - logos; experience Playing detective 5.2 Projects Group Work Projects; lessons from art lessons; Open ended task; creativity 5.3 Student-led learning Online class forum; Edmodo, Google classroom Reciprocal teaching Flipped Learning Independent learning: Co-construction 5.4 Oracy Structured speech events - debate Writing frames; talk for writing 5.5 Off-Piste

About the Author

Tom Sherrington has been a teacher for 29 years and a Headteacher for 11 years working in a wide range of exciting schools. He is am now a freelance consultant sharing many of his thoughts about teaching through his popular blog teacherhead.com


'I found Tom's book wise, balanced, practical, and grounded in research. I'm confident it will help teachers not only to choose the best guidance but to implement it and what's more to coordinate it with other sounds ideas. It's a compelling road map to building a successful school.' Doug Lemov, author Teach Like A Champion and Reading Reconsidered 'Tom Sherrington is a rare thing- a head teacher who can write, not just elegantly, but intelligently. One would be valuable enough. Being capable of both make him and his work essential reading for school leaders everywhere. He also has the gift of not only a career full of experience, but the capacity to unpack his experience in such a way as to make it not just intelligible, but relevant. One of the reasons for this is that he embraces the complexity of the school leader's role without losing sight of the overarching moral purposes to leadership. Rather than writing a book - as so many books on leadership are - of 'here's what I did and you should do it too, ' he assists the reader in developing their own journey through what may or may not work - and in what contexts. Accessible without being reductivist, intelligent without being opaque, this should be on the bookshelves of any school leader interested in reflecting on what they do.' Tom Bennett, Director of ResearchEd 'What is truly astonishing about this book is the amount of distilled wisdom packed into it. It combines a huge amount of significant research with decades of Tom's own invaluable experience of working at the chalk-face to form a coherent, practical and thought provoking book that will be an indispensable guide for years to come. Simply put, this is the book I wish I had read when I started teaching.' Carl Hendrick, head of research, Wellington College

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