Geoff Tennant - Promoting access to mathematics for all
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17/2/19: at school (7): assembly on 'Who has control?'

I was very pleased to be asked to speak, for the first time, at full school assembly.  Fixed points were the title, 'Who has control?' and the Bible passage Luke 4:1-13, the temptations of Christ, which I arranged to be read before I spoke.  Please see below what I had ready, had to make some real time cuts in order not to over-run but this is pretty well what I said.  Interested to know what you think!  Very pleased with a number of positive comments from colleagues and pupils, and a very nice card from our headteacher - if you're reading this, thank you, very much appreciated!

20/01/19: at school (6): revising with my year 11 class

If memory serves correctly, when I was doing mock O levels (now GCSEs) in my 5th year (now year 11) we were only required to turn up when we had an exam to do, otherwise we were on exam leave.  That has now changed - whilst doing mock GCSEs year 11 is required to be in school for the normal school day, if there isn't an exam scheduled in any particular time period, then they go to lessons as on the normal timetable, then to use the lesson time to revise.

So, what that means in practice is that, over the last two weeks, I've seen revision going on in a whole variety of subjects.

13/1/19: praying for our country at this time

A belated happy new year to all my readers, I trust that 2019 will bring peace and happiness in all your endeavours, personal and professional.

I'm aware that I've somewhat neglected my blog recently, there are a number of reasons for this which I'm happy to discuss in private conversation.  But I felt I did want to write a post today.

For the last few months I've been very pleased to be on the rota to lead the prayers at the 10.30am service at St James's Church, Bramley near Basingstoke.

23/9/18: Christian living (12): turning the established world view upside down?

[Jesus said to His disciples], "What were you arguing about on the road?"  But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, "Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all."
He took a little child whom He placed among them.  Taking the child in His arms, He said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little children in My name welcomes Me, and whoever welcomes Me does not welcome Me but the One who sent Me.

27/8/18: a tour round some UK newspapers

Some years ago I set myself a little project comparing the way two newspapers, 'The Guardian' and 'The Sun', handled education news stories over the course of a month.  I decided to do this some time in advance, and considered that the single best month would be September as schools go back for the new school year.

Everything was fine initially, with education stories appearing in both papers at the rate of 2 or 3 a day.  But the year I was doing this was 2001 and, as anybody old enough to remember knows only too well, on the 11th September 2001 an atrocity occurred which completely dominated newspapers for some considerable time afterwards.

16/8/18: some thoughts on what we can learn from the Holocaust

One of many things I like about the school at which I teach is that the senior members of staff post a sign outside their offices indicating what book they are currently reading.  One reason for liking this is that it sends out positive messages to pupils – we want you to read and enjoy reading and look, we read as well!  Another reason is that it gives a good topic for conversation when meeting them casually, ideally if I’ve read the book myself, but one can always use a bit of imagination in the discussion if not.

6/8/18: summmer holiday AKA maintenance time

So, after a long year back school teaching, the summer holiday is upon us - at the time of writing 2 weeks in with 4 more weeks still to go.  I have to be honest, the last few weeks of term were very much a case of getting through to the end, the (by UK standards) unusually hot weather continuing for some considerable time didn't help matters, very few fans or air conditioning units to be found!

The first week I spent catching up with some reading, largely arising from the Holocaust, a blog post coming but not quite ready yet - visiting the dentist and the optician, this kind of thing.

15/7/18: when to use smart phones?

So, I woke up on Thursday morning, checked my smart phone – England had lost against Croatia.  If this doesn’t sound a bit strange, I’m sorry that I didn't feeling sorry because I feel that as a patriotic Brit I ought to at least a bit.  But my indifference to all things football took priority over my patriotism, I have to be honest.

So, facing up to the day ahead at school, how to play this?  Having made no secret of my feelings towards football over the last couple of weeks, and having indicated that I’d be looking to see if any organist needed a deputy for Sunday evening, I felt that the time was right to play it cool.

8/7/18: is there some football event on at the moment?

I think I can safely say that I have never understood football from any point of view.  I have no memory, when at school, of ever being taught how to play, it was just assumed that we knew.  Which I didn't.  Particularly, with 21 people already chasing after the ball, I had no idea what it was that I was supposed to do as person number 22.  So, I was the one person at school who cheered when the weather was bad and we did cross country instead.  I mean, running through a park, that I can do, maybe not very fast, but at least I know what I'm supposed to be doing.

1/7/18: how (not) to give praise

I was talking recently to a retired biology teacher, who told of one of his abiding memories from his teaching days.  He had in his class a girl who was not the brightest but worked hard and with enjoyment.  Both teacher and pupil were delighted when, in an end of year test, she achieved the highest mark in the class, a huge achievement arising from great determination and resilience.

Alas, his story did not finish there.  The girl went home and told her parents of the test score.  To which her mother replied, “Yes, that’s because you know so much about sex.
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Recent Posts

17/2/19: at school (7): assembly on 'Who has control?'
20/01/19: at school (6): revising with my year 11 class
13/1/19: praying for our country at this time
23/9/18: Christian living (12): turning the established world view upside down?
27/8/18: a tour round some UK newspapers

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