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Piano Portals- brilliant!

PP

Stephen Marquiss is more than just a brilliant pianist… and he is brilliant!

He has thought deeply and long about the art and science behind learning to play. He is challenging the orthodoxy, and this examination of teaching and learning is stunning.

Learning should unleash joy. It should not be conducted under sufferance.

Explore the site. Watch the videos.

Something for learners and teachers of all standards, and across the genres.

Wonderful!

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Justice has taken too long…

http://www.gazetteandherald.co.uk/news/13346917.Dismissed_Calne_head_teacher_cleared_to_continue_teaching/

A number of colleagues contacted me after I reported on the battle Trystan Williams has undertaken to clear his name.

I am utterly delighted to say that another hurdle has been cleared with ease.

Quote: “The agency found there was no case for Mr Williams to answer following his dismissals as head teacher at the Springfields Academy in Calne, a school for children with complex learning, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

The announcement follows a similar decision by the Crown Prosecution Service in October 2014 that no charges would be brought against Mr Williams or his deputy James Lynch.

Mr Lynch has also been cleared by the NCTL who will now pass the information to the Disclosure and Barring Scheme (DBS) formerly the Criminal Records Bureau and Independent Safeguarding Authority.

Mr Williams said: “It is the first time I have slept properly in 21 months. This is the first major step forward and I am looking forward to getting my life back on track and cracking on with what I do best.”

I understand that Trystan is relentlessly pursuing those individuals who were responsible for prolonging proceedings against him, who tried time and again to destroy him despite evidence stacked in his favour. One wonders sometimes if there is any difference in the words prosecute and persecute.

I wish Trystan every success in exposing the lamentable behaviour of certain officials, who went well beyond “risk aversion” in an attempt to hide systemic failings on their own watch, perhaps.

Too many good leaders have had their careers blighted by either wrongful persecution or the tyranny of the “compromise agreement”.

Let Trystan’s case be a beacon of hope.

The insanity of the slogan

This would have stuffed the individuals who went to fight in Spain against the Fascists in the late thirties… it all hinges on the word “terrorist”, What were the French, Czech and Polish resistance fighters in WW2? And didn’t the west empower “resistance fighters” against Gadaffi… and look what that’s led to? And what about Palestinians who, after half a century of state sponsored terrorism against them, have nothing to lose but their lives? We need a smarter politics in the 21c, or we may emasculate those that fight for democracy. I suppose it hinges on how and where you fight, rather than what you fight for….

Britain First

Sing with Sassparella- 2 weeks to go!

It’s still not too late to join the fun! Contact me if you are interested.

Selwyn Hall

Box is a village on the A4 between Bath and Chippenham.

Selwyn Hall is at the end of a small turning off the main road.

There is limited parking at the bottom of the road by the tennis courts, so share cars where you can!

BY BUS

231 Bath – Chippenham Leaves Bath Bus Station 09:05 and 09:35 (it takes about half an hour to get to Box)

Returning to Bath 18:27 and 19:03

FOOD AND DRINK

Bring a bottle of water (you can refill). We will provide tea or coffee on arrival, please bring your own flask if you think you will need more especially at lunchtime.

(It’s a small kitchen and not very practical to have more than two or three people in there at any one time….)

LUNCHTIME

Bring sandwiches, a picnic if there is a group of you… or bring some food to share! We will put out a big table, and eating together will be a great opportunity to get to know each other. There is a Co-op in the village, and a pub as well for those who would like a liquid lunch!

CLOTHING

Wear comfortable clothing and bring some layers. It may be cool to start with, but could warm up considerably with everyone singing along- be prepared.


 

PROGRAMME FOR THE DAY

10-10.30am arrivals/ registration tea/coffee welcome

10.30-11.00am warm ups/ preparation

11.00- 1.00pm learning first 3 songs

Probably Dancing in the Streets, Tracks of my tears, Reach Out, I’ll be there

(There will be regular leg stretch/comfort breaks)

1.00-200pm lunch break

2.00-4.30pm learning more songs

Probably Heard it through the Grapevine, My Girl, I Wish, Superstitious, Tears of a Clown

(There will be regular leg stretch/comfort breaks)

4.30pm band arrives / short break

5.00-6.00pm perform with band

6.00pm finish

 

 

Any problems call Marius on 07803 136745

Sing with Sassparella- a new community singing opportunity for 2015!

Sing with Sassparella- a new community singing opportunity for 2015!.

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Courageous Curriculum Design: 10th July 2014 Engineers’ House, Bristol

Courageous Curriculum Design: 10th July 2014 Engineers' House, Bristol

Conference details confirmed. This is open to system leaders, primary and secondary Headteachers and Principals, anyone with an interest in curriculum design, innovation and future thinking. Although initially emerging out of work with South Gloucestershire Headteachers, this conference is designed to re-invigorate some collaborative thinking across CUBA (Counties that Used to Be Avon), served by the same LEP.

Reflections on a long hard week for the Daily Mail

The recent spat between Ed Miliband and the Daily Mail may have come as a surprise to some, who may not have associated this rag with the Murdoch obscenities that have dragged down the reputation of the British press of late. Some may even have considered the Daily Mail to be a “respectable” broadsheet, presenting a relatively right-wing viewpoint to a relatively balanced, informed and open-minded readership. Well, I am glad we have a free press. I am glad papers like the Daily Mail spout their rhetoric without restriction and without apology. Why? Because, in a free, relatively fair and relatively progressive, humane and open society (I am talking on a world-wide scale here ranging from North Korea to Finland), it’s important to know what bigots, xenophobes, racists, sexists, disablists, homophobes are actually saying and thinking… so that you can counter-punch with all your weight and might.

My first brush with the Daily Mail came when I faced the wrong end of an

Daily Fail

Employment Tribunal: I was falsely accused of sex discrimination in the workplace… because I allegedly gave male colleagues new executive chairs, but left a hapless female colleague with a chair that made farting noises when she sat on it. You can imagine, the free press had a field day (with The Sun publishing a picture of an Executive chair with cartoon farts coming out of it). It even made “Have I Got News for You?” and various other satirical programmes, around the world, for a couple of crazy weeks in March 2006 (google it- the internet never forgets- this is how the Guardian recorded the denouement http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2006/apr/10/schools.education). One of my senior (retired) female members of staff wrote to the Mail in defence of my chivalry… the fact they also published a picture of her reclining on a chaise longue is neither here nor there… they were supportive of me, and totally dismissive of a litigious process that allowed “women” to make such “spurious claims”.  Even when the Mail support you, it makes you feel very uneasy indeed.

My next collision came in 2011, as CEO of ASDAN Education. Michael Gove, supported by Alison Wolf, had begun the process of eliminating all qualifications from school league table reckoning that “weren’t academic enough”. ASDAN’s qualifications did not fit Gove’s narrow view of what constituted an academic qualification, so it came as no surprise to get, one day, a call from one of the Daily Mail editorial team. They expressed “concern” that young people could get a GCSE in claiming the dole… of course, nothing could be further from the truth. I spent an hour explaining the power of our qualifications to engage, motivate, equip weak learners with the skills they need to succeed in academic qualifications, how our qualifications did not replace GCSEs, but supplemented and complemented an academic or vocational diet with the accredited competencies to do better in both. Mail 2 Well… I could have been talking Chinese… well, actually, left wing “pinkie” liberal garbage.

The story that was published played to the right wing gallery… what more could I have expected? Reasonable-ness? A fair hearing? A balanced piece of reporting? Both sides of a complex argument? No. I am not naive. I am not jaundiced. But what particularly upset me were the readers’ comments which followed the on-line version of the story. “Cripes!”, I thought, maybe there really are intelligent and well-educated people in this country who would like to repatriate me to India because of my father’s Goan heritage. Maybe there is a swathe of middle England who fear a meritocracy…. who fear societal change.

The Daily Mail likes to confusticate politics with patriotism, hence the attack on Miliband’s father… Their assumption is anyone with vaguely socialist principles wishes to destroy Britain and the values that underpin British society….well, actually, what socialists like Miliband Senior might have been wanting to do is help build a better, fairer British society by QUESTIONING and REBUILDING values… Of course this is a threat to inherited wealth, inherited power and influence and the privileges enjoyed by a ruling class. If that is the case, BRING IT ON!