Get happy!

Anyone who has taught any of the Health and disease segments of the biology A level will be familiar (ish) with the definition of health from the WHO;

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” (WHO, 1948)

It tries to define the thorny issue of health by saying what it is, rather than what it is not. What makes someone unhealthy is intuitively easy to grasp, so it makes sense to think of people not being ill as being healthy.

Which brings me to the related matter of happiness, or more specifically the happiness of students. In recent years Continue reading “Get happy!”


No effect size

Four years back, in the heady after-glow of the 2012 London Olympics, the work of Dave Brailsford (now knighted) became of interest to many teachers. He was the face of marginal gains, the training philosophy that took care with even the smallest of details and minor improvements to make a whole series of small gains in performance. I remember doing an assembly on the idea (of course) back in the day (yeah, I was on this stuff early I tell ya), relating tales of Continue reading “No effect size”

ResearchED and class

I spent a muggy if enjoyable day at the third annual ResearchED two Saturdays back. With my usual lack of forward planning I’d delayed the decision over which sessions to attend to the minutes waiting for the opening speakers – the Head of Capital City Academy (no servants were mentioned) and the elegantly be-vested co-organiser Tom Bennett. I had a few ideas in mind; Dr Allen from Datalab, incoming Ofsted head Amanda Spielman were definites, but broadly I went for talks that were broadly speaking sociology rather than pedagogy. Continue reading “ResearchED and class”