A Japanese Year 6 Electromagnet Worksheet

Nine months ago I posted a blog which was the translation of a page of a Japanese text book (here and here). Mary Whitehouse saw it and introduced me to Shinjiro Ogawa – a Japanese science teacher on secondment to Italy. We met at the ASE conference. Shinjiro introduced me to several Japanese colleagues, all of who are working on fascinating projects.

Shinjiro has been very generous sharing Japanese resources – here is a year 6 activity on electromagnets (from: http://happylilac.net ‘Chibi-Musu-Drill’)

Screenshot 2018-01-25 at 20.17.29

You could use Google Translate and a bit of editing to read this, but I’ve done the first page for you (see below)

I hope you enjoy it!


Continue reading “A Japanese Year 6 Electromagnet Worksheet”


Teacher Training: “The Dodge City of the Education World” (Levine)

Two weeks ago I wrote a short blog about how I wanted to structure my trust’s initial teacher programme (here).

I asked for feedback and advice and I got it (thank you). The principal advice was that we’d focussed heavily on skills and strategies without looking at the theory. I think teaching strategies are very important – the cognitive load of the classroom is enormous: if a novice teacher can focus on practising specific proven strategies, she will be able to process more information in the classroom and learn to be a better teacher faster (I’ve written about this here).

But understanding learning is important too – and I don’t think we’ve neglected it. In fact, I’m proud of what we’ve done.

So I thought I’d share what we’ve learnt (through worked examples, completion problems, goal free activities, retrieval practice, spaced practice, interleaving, concrete examples, etc.).

The title of this post reflects the view that ITE in England is like the Wild West. There are great opportunities, but also great risks. I am sharing, because I like transparency; I’m looking for feedback and perhaps, if you like what we do, you’l recommend someone to train with us.

Continue reading “Teacher Training: “The Dodge City of the Education World” (Levine)”

Physics Problems for Primary Pupils

Physics problems - KS2

We teach Key Stage 2 children (7-11 year olds) how to solve interesting and sophisticated maths problems (see here). Many children are comfortable using the Singapore style bar-model methods to support mathematical problem solving.

But the only physics problems we set pupils at primary are data-handling types (typically bar charts).

I have written previously about cognitive load theory and problem solving (here and here). But to teach problem solving, you need problems. Continue reading “Physics Problems for Primary Pupils”

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