Blogging at Satchel

In the last 12 months part of my role at Satchel has been contributing regularly to the blog. I’ve covered topics such as classroom philosophy, teacher workload and even the mystic art of pedagogy.

Our blogs had to help parents and teachers navigate what has been a turbulent school year, to say the least. Throughout the year, my colleagues and I reacted to a number of challenges that teachers and parents faced – with the sole aim supporting our current partners and winning the hearts and minds schools we didn’t yet work with.

Ofsted Framework 19/20

We kicked off in September with a big shake-up from Ofsted. Major changes to the judgement framework welcomed teachers back in term one of the 19/20 school year. You could almost hear the collective groan from teachers across the country.

For newly qualified teachers, Ofsted terminology can be hard to wrap your head around. So I put together a short guide to the most used terms.

Returning teachers had the uphill battle of learning a brand new addition to the framework they would be judged on during inspections. I tried to boil down hours of research to make it as quick and simple as possible for them to digest in-between marking books.

Student development saw greater importance in the new framework, with SMSC and PSHE taking centre stage.

And if teachers were confused – parents were positively perplexed. I broke down the new framework for parents, as well as Ofsted’s rating system and some key questions that parents might need to know the answer to.

But this shake-up also raised slightly more troubling aspect of Ofsted’s framework. The controversial ‘British Values’ criteria was given more weight in deciding a school’s rating. I delved a little deeper into this policy and it’s ties with Prevent, Operation Trojan Horse and systemic racism here.

2020

2020 started with some good news (believe it or not) for schools in the UK. Free sanitary products were introduced in late January. We covered the good news on the blog – a slight departure from our usual style but for a worthy reason.

I’ve already detailed the success of our February-March Pedagogy campaign here

Of course, March saw the inevitable UK outbreak of COVID-19. We covered the beginning of it’s pre-lockdown impact here. Then, schools closed.

Schools had to pivot to a distance learning system, the likes of which our country had never seen before. Suddenly millions of children were learning from home. As well as gated content and other marketing material to help manage our increasing demand, I committed to writing helpful blogs about distance learning, exam cancellations and online safety.

An important thing to note at this point, were the changes in roles. Students were still students, but parents had become the face to face teachers, with classroom teachers taking a more remote role in learning process. We had to increase our support for parents as their workloads tripled overnight.

For this I covered the importance of routine, a guide to media literacy and links to valuable educational resources that parents could use to assist their home tutoring. We’re continuing to support all of our teachers, parents and students as COVID-19 continues to transform EdTech and education as a whole.

To read all of my blogs from the past year at Satchel, visit my author page here

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