Monthly Archives: August 2011

‘Without community, you have nothing.’

This was once said to me and I have thought about it often since – ‘without community, you have nothing.’

Today, we are thinking about our friends in and around Gilboa-Conesville School, NY. News items in the UK do not even begin to highlight the full extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Irene. We know that many, many families have lost their homes and belongings. We know that towns have been devastated, and some even lost, due to major flooding. We know that areas around Gilboa have no clean running water, electricity, phone lines or passable roads. And won’t for the foreseeable future.

Yet what they do have is ‘community’. And the local community is pulling together to help each other out in whatever way they can – whether it is shelter, food, helping to clean up or rebuilding roads and property. It is a strong community in action.

You can never underestimate the importance of nurturing and maintaining a community. However small or big.

We are thinking of you all.

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Today we are celebrating a successful year of ‘Single Steps Learning’. A journey of a thousand miles really did begin with a single step…and another…and another!

We look forward to many more!!

Thank you to all our friends, family and everyone we have met and learned alongside during the past year.

Andrew and Lynne

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It has been a stressful and highly emotional week for many, if not all, the A-Level students in Wales, Northern Ireland and England. Results arrived last thursday amid delays and crashes on the UCAS website. Expected grades or unexpected grades; university places confirmed or entry into the ‘clearing process’ or an uncertain change of direction; national headlines about higher results than ever in some areas…or a disappointing ‘fall’ in others; even more headlines about high student loans, number of places available and whether the system is fair or not; and a particular issue for Wales – is the Welsh Baccalaureate really widely accepted by institutions as an equivalent to an ‘A’ grade in an A-Level. We certainly know of one university that does not recognise this qualification – despite what Leighton Andrews may say in television interviews. 

This week has certainly made me reflect on my own experience of A-Levels. Maybe they should be a distant memory as over 20 years have passed since I received the white envelope in the post. Yet I can remember it clearly. I can remember how I felt. I can remember the heightened emotional atmosphere in the Sixth Form Building. I can remember queuing with other students to talk to teachers. I can remember having to make hard decisions. 

The following links are to blogs by The first reflects on the relevance of grades and how this changes in a lifetime. The second takes a look at the issue of ‘assessment for learning’ and its implementation.

Was I really an ‘A’ grade psychology student? 

How do we change a cultural fascination with grades?

Finally…for all the stress felt by the A-Level students and their families this week, it has also been a crazy week for those people ‘manning’ the clearance help-lines. The last one spoken to said she had been working 13 days straight and may need to lie down in a darkened room as therapy! 


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Filed under Education, Formative Assessment, Learning, Potential, Secondary, Teaching

30 Day Challenges

So – how would this work if you set up a 30 day personal challenge or work challenge?

Or could we ask our classes to set their own 30 day challenges…a different take on ‘individual targets’…

Or have you already tried something similar? If so, please get in touch…

(Thank you to Pete for sending the original article that linked to this clip.)

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Inspiring Learning

Today we have been busy… busy… busy… designing a bespoke training event based around ‘Inspiring Learning’. This book speaks a lot of sense.

The foreword grabbed my attention…

“It means to ‘breath life into’, inspiration….If the children in your classroom are spellbound by your performance in the classroom then you are charismatic but not inspiring. And if you want to inspire children then you must learn to stop taking their breath away…its not about you.”


Page 196-8 includes some quotes that we like…

‘What we want to see is the child in pursuit of knowledge and not knowledge in pursuit of the child.’ (George Bernard Shaw) 

‘In times of change, learners inherit the earth whilst the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.’  (Eric Hoffer)

‘There is a striking quality to fine classrooms. Pupils are caught up in learning; excitement abounds; and playfulness and seriousness blend easily because the purposes are clear, the goals sensible and an unmistakable feeling of well-being prevails.’ (Louis Rubin)

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A big thank you to all the followers who ‘liked’ our Single Steps Learning page on Facebook. We had enough ‘likes’ to be given our own username in the url – 

We would like to use the Facebook page to post links and provide a space for discussion, sharing of ideas and building a learning network/community. Please forward the link to anyone who might be interested.

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Where do great ideas come from?

We love the RSA animate video clips. The art work helps to clarify the content and it certainly holds our attention. 

A thought whilst watching the video – how do we maximise the opportunities for ‘connectivity’ in our learning environments? What stops us from doing this? What helps us to do this?

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Another interesting clip from the RSA…


Sparks some interesting thoughts and connections. Well worth a watch…

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We are now on facebook…

Click on the icon and like our ‘Single Steps Learning’ page on Facebook. 

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