Shielding Children From Learning


Over the last few months I’ve been working on projects teaching reading and speaking to three very different levels of readers. I’ve worked in a Primary school, with 7 year olds, in a Secondary school with 12 year olds and just recently on an ESOL scheme teaching adults to speak and read English. Reading with an adult is reading with a genuine partner, with a very active learner, who offers ideas and challenges the teacher effectively to improve their learning, even when their language skills are not great. These adults are focussed and learn well.

For too many of both the y3 and y7 pupils reading is an enemy, reading causes anxiety. It involves a lot of failure. Working with the children, you can see how complex it is to learn to read, and to feel powerful. One way we can make the difference is by giving children one to one attention. Not enough schools supply this valuable time but even in half an hour a week, a child can be carefully helped to acquire the  skills that form the basis of all other learning. Working one to one is different to listening to the rising clamour and disorder of the average classroom, with its perpetual restless ‘on the edge of control’ feeling. How can we get more volunteers into schools? The current system puts up barriers to allowing outsiders into schools but we’re also shielding our least privileged children from learning.


Engage event: On becoming a good reader, by Karen Johnson


Engage event: On becoming a good reader, by Karen Johnson.

The Inspiration of Encountering Great Writing by Sandy Braddick


Engaging with Ourselves: The Inspiration of Encountering Great Writing by Sandy Braddick.

I very much enjoyed meeting Sandy Braddick at the Great Writers Inspire event. She is an inspirational teacher of the first class. Yeovil students are very lucky indeed.

Free resources from Oxford University for English Teachers



Wonderful freebies on DH Lawrence, George Eliot, Anglo Saxon, Shakespeare, also Critical Thinking and Philosophy if you rummage around their itunes offering

Turmeric showreel



Counting 1-10 clips available free on the BBC website


You can find all the Counting with Rodd programme episodes here after the transmission on BBC2 on March 13th 2012.

Or you can search BBC Class Clips for ‘Counting with Rodd

Or each episode can be searched on its unique number:

1 13441

2 13442

3 13443

4 13444

5 13445

6 13446

7 13447

8 13448

9 13449

10 13450

New Series: Counting With Rodd from 1 to 10


Turmeric’s latest production. Aimed at pre-schoolers and infants, presenter Rodd Christensen shows us how to play with and recognise the numbers 1 to 10. Each number gets to star in its own 5 minute show teaching us how to form them and how to use them in the right places. With playful activities, movement and lots of comedy, each number also has its own special verse in the number song so we can confidently sing along and count to 10 with Rodd. Commissioned by Katy Jones at BBC Learning with educational advice from Linda Mort.

Ladybirds have 6 legs

Rainbows and days of the week for the number 7