“We talk a lot about children being secondary ready, but hand on heart, if we send them up without the ability to successfully operate a range of soft fruit then we are failing them.” – The Monkey Proof Box
We are looking forward to hearing from Jonathan Lear at the Small Schools Conference next week where he will talk about bring the curriculum to life!
His is a no-nonsense approach to bringing the best out of children that hits all the right buttons when it comes to Ofsted and SATs, even though hitting the Ofsted and SATs buttons is the last thing they are trying to do. What his whole school is driven by is making each day as enjoyable, effective, challenging and productive as possible. It is something that all the many visitors to the school and to Jonathan’s classroom in particular see happening in a hugely inspiring way, one that does lead to the inevitable question – what’s really stopping us all teaching like this?
Apart from being a first-rate teacher, Jonathan has also made a name for himself as an entertaining and challenging speaker who never fails to entertain and enthral an audience. Drawing on his experience both in the classroom and as a deputy head, he is not only able to share with his audiences many practical ideas to improve the quality and nature of teaching and learning in the classroom, but also an understanding from a leadership position of how to make change happen – and what might get in the way.
From the application of Robert A. Bjork’s concept of ‘desirable difficulty’ and the teaching of self-regulated learning to getting lesson planning down to a fine art and proving how effective concept-based learning can be even in the most challenging inner-city environment, Jonathan’s work shows what can be done.
It’s a radical and inspiring approach to the primary curriculum that combines academic rigour and research, creativity, the bravery to trial new approaches and the confidence at leadership level to get rid of the things schools think they have to do to focus on embedding the stuff that really matters.
On top of that, Jonathan has also introduced the idea of Guerrilla Teaching to the world through his first book of the same name, encouraging teachers everywhere to take the fight for a decent curriculum to the hills, regardless of what the latest government edict is. He has followed this up with a brand-new book cunningly entitled The Monkey-Proof Box, detailing the whole-school curriculum development work that schools can employ in order to bring teaching and learning to life in their own classrooms.