A to Z of Twitter Leaders

See below for those educators on twitter in middle and senior leadership and other leadership, SLE, AST and  coaching positions. They all offer great advice and support

A Amjad Ali   PT AHT & consultant, deliver INSET and CPD, free T&L toolkit @trythisteaching

B Andy Buck Author, speaker, trainer and coach. FCCT. Former geography teacher, head, director at NCSL and MAT MD. Founder of Leadership Matters and The StARTed Foundation.

C Carpool4School Delivering you a selection of educational takeaways, Teaching and Learning ideas, Wellbeing and Workload advice, Special guest appearances

D Drew Povey People. Performance. Potential. A multi-sector perspective of leadership

E Emma Turner Edu research & CPD lead for Discovery Schools Trust & Affinity TSA by day. Chaos coordinator of 3 small children by night.22yrs Primary teach & CoHead FCCT

F Garry Freeman Teacher 42 yrs,SENDCo, SendMyths advocate,National SEND System Leader,author of 6 books, M&W & ProgRock fan. Views ALWAYS my own. I do NOT claim to be a lawyer!

G J. Grocott Primary Deputy and dad of 3 gorgeous children. All views are my own. Also I am the 2019 Edufuturist ‘Wellbeing Ambassador’ winner which is nice. I love my job!

H Hywel Roberts The #travellingteacher, storyweaver, pedagogy of #botheredness
I Impact Providing support to schools that has real impact

J Kate Jones Head of History. Author Love to Teach: Research & Resources for every classroom.

K Katharine Birbalsingh Headmistress/Founder Michaela: free/charter school doing it differently. Freedom from state, truth on race,

L Stephen Logan  Leadership, learning and running / Deputy Head

M Ross McGill  No.1 Education Blog, CPD Trainer, Exp. School Leader

N Niomi CR  Assistant Headteacher Sept 2019, DSL, English Lead, Metacognition, SLE

O Olly Lewis AH T&L, Science HoD

P Alison Peacock   CEO of Chartered College of Teaching Charity. Teacher, Author, Public Speaker, Professor, Hon Fellow Queens’ Cambridge

Q Alex Quigley National Content Manager at the Education Endowment Foundation. Former English teacher. Author: ‘Closing the Vocabulary Gap

R Tom Rogers Assistant Headteacher – teaching and learning / History Teacher / @tes columnist / Founder of @teamtmicons /talk and write about education

S Stephen Tierney CEO of the BEBCMAT. Chair of @HeadsRoundTable & SSAT Vis2040. Focussed on Leading & Learning. Author of Liminal Leadership

T Tom Sherrington Consultant. Author. Speaker. Teaching/Curriculum/Assessment. The Learning Rainforest

U (struggled with U) however John Tomsett Headteacher at Huntington School in York, England. All views are my own.

V Integrity Coaching Director of Integrity Coaching, Author, Education Commentator for @Guardian, Ambassador @LShipMatters, School Leader well-being advocate

W Nick Wood   Maths Teacher. MCCT. Middle School AHT-curriculum. As I learn, I change

X Pran Patel TEDx Speaker-NPQSL-Former AHT Curriculum and Standards-Outward Facing Leader-UKs 1st and only antiracist website (schools)

Y B Yusuf love to teach, lead & learn, Sci&ed tech leader, consultant

Z Zoe Andrews Senior leader. Chemistry teacher & AST status. Doing NPQH, done M.Ed. Enjoy all things data, wellbeing, leadership

Follow me and add your suggestions

A to Z of Science Teachers on Twitter

I have put together a list of science teachers who have influenced my teaching in some way over the past few years. This list is only Part 1 as I am sure there are enough quality names out there to make a part 2.

Some letters were tough to decide however I hope one or two teachers (ITT, NQT, RQT or anyone else) will find this list useful.

If you are on this list – thank you.

A – Ayd Instone Head of Physics, teacher, metacognition & creativity specialist.

B – Bill Wilkinson – – Deputy Head of Science, PGCE Mentor, former academic scientist,

C – Chris Baker – – Previously a physics teacher, and still interested in education and helping teachers.

D – Dr Kristy Turner – – Chemist, CSciTeach, teaching (uniquely) both in school (0.4) & UoMan (0.6). ChemEd Research.

E – Gethyn Jones – – Physics teacher, nerd, edublogger, husband, loves cats.

F – Fabio Di Salvo – – Head of Physics. Science teacher -check out #chatphyscis

G – Deep Singh Ghataura – – RSci/ Physics +maths teacher / likes the CCT / PGCert Assessment / Did Theoret cal Physics

H – Daniel Hobson – – Physics Teacher. All views are my own.

I – Ian Taylor – – Associate Lead Teacher Science. Evidence informed practice. Sharer of ideas bridging the research-classroom gap. Blogger

J – Jane Masters – – Teacher of Biology & Psych & Y7 tutor. Former HoD.

K  – “K -Chem” Niki Kaiser – – Chemistry teacher and Research Lead

L – Louise Cass – Former Forensic Scientist (GSR). BSc Forensic Science. LLM Criminal Litigation. Ex Nat. Lead Practitioner. Sciences Teacher (KS3/4). AQA examiner (views my own)

M – Mrs Singleton – L&T science lead GLF | Director of Science| SLE| FCCT| CSci | MA Ed| PiXL Science executive group| Whole school LP| Coachmark| L&T|

N – Neil Atkin – Educational Consultant .Founder of Rubbish Science. Gender champion. Promoter of Resilience and Independent thinking. Science of cool stuff!

O – Olly Lewis FCCT – AH T&L • Science HOD

P – Matt Perks – 11-18 physics teacher, now at University of Southampton in Initial Teacher Education. By teaching, we learn!

Q – Questions and Assessment, lots of knowledge to be shared from Matthew Benyohai – Teacher of Physics and Head of Scholars & Academic Enrichment – MSci Chemistry and Molecular Physics, MA Educational Assessment, MInstP, AMCIEA

R – Adam Robbins – Head of science interested in educational research. Views are my own or copied from someone smarter than me

S – Miss Stephenson – Physicist, KS3 Co-ord. NQT mentor & Research Lead @ SMCA Blackpool Research Sch. MA Ed @ Bath Uni. Advisor EEF Improving Secondary

T – I Teach Boys – Science Teacher in London | Interested in raising boys attainment and new teaching and learning ideas

U – u need to add Team Science if you are a science teacher – Team Science – a place for teachers to think, talk and share ideas about science education

V – Kishore Vyas – Science teacher | Ex Head of Science & Assistant Head Teacher | Experienced GCSE science video maker. Brand new project – The Science Break for GCSE Science.

W – Ruth Walker – Curriculum / Knowledge / Physics / Lead Practitioner / Shed Loads of Practice / Midlands Knowledge Hub

X – “X-cellent” tweets and sharing from Dr Richard Butler who brings together the science twitter community – Dr. Richard Butler, Head of Science at The King Alfred School Academy. BSc and PhD in Chemistry from The University of Manchester. Teacher. Engage and inspire.

Y – B Yusuf – love to teach, lead &learn! Sci&Ed Tech leader, consultant

Z – Zoe Andrews – Chemistry/ science AST & SLT member. Passionate about learning, leadership and well-being.

I hope you haved added all 26 if you have not done so already.

Keep an eye out for part 2



A to Z of Cognitive Science

Using research and making use of evidence from cognitive science to inform education is now becoming a hotly debated topic on platforms such as twitter and more and more educational companies are using the ideas to support students. Educational companies such as   who are soon to hit million subscribers are a front runner in using these techniques and not forgetting the team at who post engaging videos, educational blog posts and enlightening strategies that teachers can use quickly.

I have compiled an A to Z to help those that a new to this research and of course those old hands who may need a refresher.

AAce That Test from the Learning Scientists. A team of brilliant cognitive psychological scientists who research the science of learning. Their blog posts are a must read for all teachers as well as parents/carers and students alike. They have a vision of sharing scientific research and making more accessible – they have certainly do that. I have been lucky enough to see them present at a teachmeet organised by the  in 2017 and they completely transformed my thinking around education. The team can also be found on twitter separately – they are all well worth following.

B – Blake Harvard – The Effortful Educator https://theeffortfuleducator.com/ . Blake is an American teacher however has some very useful blog posts on applying cognitive science to education. Blake can also be found on twitter here ]

C – Concrete ExamplesOne of the famous 6 strategies highlighted by as a method to help students to study effectively.  Concrete examples are used when we need to understand an abstract idea.


D- Dual Coding – using visuals and text simultaneously so the information is encoded into long term memory. I have further blogs on this topic:

and recommend you follow on twitter as the dual coding oracle.

E – Efrat Furst – Dr Furst does a fantastic job at communicating and promoting cognitive sciences to education. She teaches out of Harvard University and her research-informed strategies have transformed many a classroom. Follow Efrat on twitter

F- Flávia S Belham PhD– The chief scientist behind applying cognitive science to education. Sign up to Seneca as a teacher/student/parent HERE and follow Dr Belham on twitter

Seneca has a great cognitive science course for teachers that I very much recommend. My certificate for this is proudly on the wall of my classroom.

G – Google Scholar. There are lots of ideas in cognitive sciences and you will have your favourite techniques and strategies. Google scholar searches academia for research and if possible gives a link for a free PDF download. It is well worth exploring this. For example “retrieval practice classroom ” gives some excellent results.

H – Henry Roediger III – Professor Roediger researches aspects of human memory, how knowledge is retrieved and how this can be applied to enhance education. His work on the testing effect with Dr Jeffrey Karpicke has changed teaching for the better.

I – Interleaving – one of the 6 effective study strategies for students by the learning scientists. Interleaving is a method of revision that suggests you mix up topics during your revision schedule and is often combined with spaced practice. There has been lots of debate on best to interleave, Mark Enser does well to explain how to embed this into the curriculum planning as interweaving.

J – Journals – Keep education evidence informed by reading. Research schools do a great job of passing on snippets and research however I believe it is important for all teachers to read and improve, we expect students to do it after all. I currently subscribe/read two accessible journals that are written by teachers for teachers. One of which is IMPACT from The Chartered College of Teaching and the other is ResearchEd – I fully recommend them both.

K – Karpicke, Professor Jeffery Karpicke has researched and written extensively on retrieval based learning, metacognition and cognitive strategies. One of his most ground breaking papers was co authored with Phillip Grimaldi on retrieval based learning

Karpicke, J.D. and Grimaldi, P.J., 2012. Retrieval-based learning: A perspective for enhancing meaningful learning. Educational Psychology Review, 24(3), pp.401-418.

L – Long Term Memory – After we have encoded and consolidated information in the long term memory our ultimate aim would be to retrieve it.

M – Metacognition and Self Regulation  -a cost effective way of raising standards across your school. The Education Endowment Foundation have produced this guidance report to help support teachers in embedding metacognition. Lots of research is being done on metacognition and it is well worth thinking about how you can embed into your pedagogy.

N – Neuroscience – Neuroscience is the study of the brain and cognition is about acquiring knowledge and developing understanding.  There is a great blog here by   

  has a nice video here

O – Online Platforms –Seneca Learning has been developed using cognitive science and is a platform that many students across the country are enjoying and benefiting from. I have blogged about Seneca here.

Plickers is a brilliant and free quizzing tool in which you can collect in data from retrieval quizzes.

P – Pooja K. Agarwal – Dr Agarwal is an assistant professor at Berklee College of Music teaching psychological sciences. She is also the founder of retrievalpractice.org collaborating with Henry L .Roediger III. Pooja has a great insight into cognitive science and retrieval and can be found on twitter  and

Q – Questions / Elaboration –Elaboration is one of six strategies named by the learning scientists in order to help students to study effectively. Elaboration is adding detail to what you know by questioning yourself. Why has this happened? How has this happened?

R – Retrieval Practice – another of the 6 strategies named by the Learning Scientists.The testing effect has long been researched and the simple conclusion is the more  you self test and quiz the better you will do. This should be done over a period of time (see spaced practice) and is the opposite to cramming and just reading material. I have written further blogs on retrieval practice and ideas of how to implement strategies here.

S – Spaced Practice- another of the 6 strategies named by the Learning ScientistsThis is the opposite to cramming. I have created a few resources for my students to use.

Good flashcard revision will not only support spaced practice but also retrieval.




T- Teachers & Twitter – on the front applying and testing these strategies need to be in the A to Z. Twitter is full of educators that are passionate in the application of research informed learning, some of which are mentioned in this A to Z. Twitter really is the best CPD out there and if you want ideas to implement a strategy, twitter is a supportive environment for you to ask the questions. #cogscisci is a great place to start

U- Untested and Unproven theories  (Neuromyths and Neurononsense)Brain Gym/VAK learning styles/ left and right side of the brain misconceptions – you name them and education has  –Dan Willingham has a brilliant and is active on twitter. See here a collection of articles that Dan has written which really are a must read for any teacher.

V – Volume keep it low. There is lots of conversation at the minute around if student talk is productive. Should students work bu collaborating in groups? is this effective? This is another great blog by Mark Enser “what does learning sound like?” and others from noise” and The power of silence

W – Working memory – working memory is the short term memory that is utilised when we are manipulating data of some kind. Once finished with it is either forgotten or encoded to the long term memory.

X – X-Amples from Rosenshine Principles of Instruction. Another must read for all teachers nicely summed up by in this blog and the research article by Barak Rosenshine 

Y – Years – how long facts will stay in your long term memory if you apply the strategies (hopefully…well that is the idea anyway)

Z – Zest and Zig Zag– From the zest of discovery and knowledge many teachers are now changing direction – zig zagging – in how they approach teaching and learning and their application of cognitive science in lessons.

Happy to take further suggestions – find me on twitter here

20 Ideas for student led retrieval practice

There is currently a lot of ideas on twitter about the retrieval practice and the testing effect. If you have come across this blog and are not familiar then I suggest you spend some time reading this research by Karpicke and Grimaldi , I would pay a visit to this website  from by

I have blogged a few ideas about how I have used it, as a classroom teacher however I wanted to explore more ideas about how students could be trained to retrieve knowledge in the classroom and at home.

The following are some ideas that are tried and tested and some ideas that I want to explore in more detail.

1)      Flashcards: I am going to spend time explaining to students how to use flashcards effectively. Much of this is based on this blog I discovered from  by Rachel Adranga. This gives ideas on how to use flashcards along side” instruction” flash cards. I am also pushing students to create their flashcards using dual coding. 

2)      Self Quizzing: this one is basic however so many students just ‘read’ notes and do not quiz themselves from this information. I encourage students to write questions from their notes so they quiz each other and self test at a later date. I have even got students to create their own retrieval grids to quiz one another. Download the grid from TES for free.


3)      Parent Based Quizzing: To support this I have sent parents and carers a bank of questions and answers (via the school VLE) so quizzing can be done at outside of school, ending the need of the question “but what else can they do at home?”. I will reflect and review this later, as this has only just been done. 

4)      Seneca Learning: While we are on the subject of self quizzing, the Seneca learning platform is a brilliant resource for students to do just this. It is free to sign up to and I have just completed a review of how my students find it HERE.  Seneca can also be found on twitter and I have also blogged about Seneca Learning before in these blogs:

5)      Revision Guides/Textbooks: Not just reading them but using them to self quiz and test. Make good use of the questions and answers in the books, cover and write and repeat etc. If there isn’t any questions and answers embedded at the back then there is a great blog here -again from blog pages that details a brilliant method in retrieving information.

6)      A Question A Day: I have created a question a day from January up to the summer exams. I have given these out at parents evenings in the past. I have examples for you to use for the 2019 summer exams.

7)      Mindmaps: Students not only create mindmaps from keyfacts but also self test from the information. It is important students use the idea of dual coding on mindmaps and do not overfill with too much text and  highlighting text. Then try and recreate it all from memory. More ideas can be found from this website.

8)      Quizlet: I have personally not used quizlet however lots of teachers on twitter have commented on how great it is for knowledge retrieval. There are plenty of other flashcards already made my teachers that students can use. Join up here: https://quizlet.com/latest

9)      Heads Up/Taboo: Students can create keywords and terms, mix them up and put them on their forehead. Other students, then have to try and explain what that keyword is without saying it. This aids retrieval from all students – even if it is repeated, the jogging of the memory will hopefully bring up more key terms.

10)   A to Z: A very simple exercise, students jot down A to Z on a bit of paper. They then have to recall key terms for each of the letters they have written down. Download a free template from TES for this from my TES SHOP.

11)   Kahoot: students can set up their own Kahoot and test each other. Like quizlet there are plenty of quizzes already made which you can find here https://kahoot.com/

12)   Homework: As soon as students start their GCSE science course, I prepare them by only setting past paper questions. I then collect these in after students have self marked them and corrected mistakes. In year 11 I give these home learning sheets back and students can use them to self quiz at home. I written how I use this here: How To Solve A Problem Like….Homework

13)   Past papers: These are great, not only for understanding how exam boards write questions in conjunction with their mark schemes and easing anxiety towards their exams. If used in ‘exam conditions’ they promote retrieval in its most basic form. has written an article here on 10 ways to use past papers

14)   Write their own exam style questions: Students write their own exam style questions and quiz each other.

15)   Venn Diagrams: After reading a text, if appropriate students create a venn diagram. Re-read and add the venn diagram. They can then try and recreate it from memory.

16)   Knowledge organisers: If you have jumped on the band wagon like myself and created knowledge organisers it is important to challenge students in not just reading them but recreating them in order to make the knowledge stick. There are plenty of free physics and chemistry knowledge organisers in my TES shop https://www.tes.com/teaching-resources/shop/TRJ

17)   Wordsearch: Challenge students with a wordsearch not by just giving them one to complete but to create one with clues.

18)   Crossword: See 17) Wordsearch

19)   Brian Dump: After reading their notes ask students to write as much as they can from memory. More information can be found here https://www.retrievalpractice.org/strategies/2017/free-recall

20)   Quiz & Trade: Students write 3 of their own questions on one side of a piece of paper and the answers on the reverse. They then go around the classroom and quiz each other with their own questions. If a student they are testing gets it wrong they put a tally next to the incorrect question. After the questions have been exhausted then students swap questions and test somebody.

Have you used any of these strategies? how have you found them? What other ideas do you have?

Get that job, interview success – a 3 minute quick read.

I have been at my current school for 9 years now and during that time I have had 2 external teaching interviews and a couple of internal promotions [and a couple of external teaching related jobs]. The comments from my early internal interviews where that I had to improve how I answered questions. When I reflect back on the interviews, I was under-prepared and lacked the confidence to answer questions in the required fashion.

I spent a lot of time on how I could improve my technique. I googled and collated a list of questions relevant to the job I was applying for, and thought about I would answer the questions. There was lots of common questions on a general theme, so I created a mindmap for those likewise for my buying buttons [what I can offer the school]. I still have these and it is always good to have a glance over them.

The mindmaps and questions made me reflect more on my impact. What actual difference have I made to student outcomes, staff CPD, schemes of learning, school and departmental improvement and change. This led me to reflect about all the responsibilities I have taken on {and led to this A to Z list]and how they may link to common questions:

• When have you led a project?
• Describe a project you have led, what went wrong and the lessons you have learnt from it?
• How have improved capacity of colleagues?
• What impact have you had on raising standards in Science?

Once I had examples in my head – I tried to get as much data as I could regarding student outcomes and I felt far more confident. Getting all this right, then led to answering it with the star technique.

S – Situation – context and background.
T – Task – my/role in the situation/within the team
A – Action – what you did! Do not undersell yourself here.
R – Result – the impact you had. This could be data and what happened. Also reflect on what went well and how it could be improved.

Lots of further advice here: http://www.mrgilladvice.com/assistant-headteachers.html

I also needed to work on my confidence in answering ‘future’ based questions, and answering with a strong moral purpose. If the school/interviewer doesn’t like the answer at least you are true to yourself, which is the most important thing. I knew I had to think about, what I had to implement along with time frames and how I would measure impact – again something I was unprepared for in my first interviews.

Over the past few years I have been successful in some interviews (county subject network leader, SLE) and have been unsuccessful at others. My two AHT interviews, however feedback has been positive on my actual interview it has just been lack of experience as the reasons given why I didnt get the job.
When applying for jobs, the process takes over my week prior to the interview. I end up writing notes and ideas on anything, post-its, bits of paper, my phones and anything I can get my hand on [including my hand]. This can be for the actual supporting statement but also for the actual spoken interview, so I created a 5 minute planning sheet to jot my thoughts all on one page (or two). I could then throw (recycle) all the other bits of paper.

The sheets are free to download on TES. There is two, the second more relevant for a leadership post (middle or senior)

Beginning my leadership Journey (A to Z)

In recent months I have been planning my step up from middle to senior leadership. I have purchased a few books on the matter, read blogs and asked many current senior leaders their thoughts.

To help get some of my thoughts in order I thought I would create my own personal leadership A to Z. I am sure I have missed something out and I certain that your A to Z would be different however if you are starting or settled in to senior leadership you may find some of these ideas a refresher. (I apologise if some letters have more than one word – When I review the post I will decide on the more important, however I don’t think it hurts at this stage).

I would be interest to hear your thoughts and your A to Z

A Accountable & Approachable to all – aids Alignment

B Belief the why behind the strategy, the passion for moving forward

C Conversations & Communication including the difficult ones

D Delegate in order to COACH and Develop for Direction & PURPOSE

E Encouragement praise and support to get the best from people

F Future read & keep an eye out on education developments & changes

G Good role model for all staff, students and the community

H Honesty, Humanity & Humility show I care and TRUST others

I Inspire teams through Integrity & Innovation & Impact

J Jocular be myself and keep my sense of humour when things go wrong

K Know my school vision & know my team(s) vision

L Leadership Styles know my style! Autocratic, Democratic (Plant)

M Moral Purpose/Compass be fair for what is right & wrong

N Nourish to raise standards for students and CPD for staff

O Organise know my own and teams strengths and weaknesses

P Proactive & Pragmatic be visible, walk to not away from trouble

Q Quo, Status Quo think ouside the box how to solve problems

R Risks continue to take risks but with Respect

S Strategic Leadership know the plan, share the vision

T Trust The Team and focus on improvement and development

U Useful & Unassuming treat others how I like to be treated

V Vision be clear on the why and where! make it visible to all

W Why? what is the belief and vision behind the change?

X Xenial be proud and be welcoming

Y Yearning keep desiring to learn and improve

Z Zenith always strive to be better and improve

If you are interested in school leadership and on twitter, I will be posting more about my journey if and when I get there:

I also recommend following: