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Getting to the root of meaning - Entertaining Etymology

There are four year olds who are fluent in dinosaurs. Some of them even know that dinosaur comes from the Greek for scary lizard. And can tell us that tyrannosauros rex means tyrant king lizard. So what? I reckon it’s something we could be capitalising on – children’s interest in and playfulness with big words. Something happens along the way where we feel that we have to water things down, make them accessible, instead of giving young people difficult words and talking to them about where they came from. Teachers do not need to be experts in Latin and Greek themselves to do this. What they do need to do is ask a few questions: where does this word come from I wonder? Who would like to find out?

Question of Curriculum

“How we decide what to teach, when to teach it and why we teach it are some of the most fundamental questions we ask in our schools. However, in some instances, important questions about what to teach has taken a lowly position in educational discussions. Instead we focus on how to achieve outstanding Ofsteds and how to become outstanding teachers, which leads to an obsession with pedagogy at the expense of an in-depth discussion about what we teach. Instead of a focus on short-term lesson planning, we need to look at the long term, how we intend the powerful stories of our subject to unfold.”

So you want to learn another language?

As formal language teaching has moved towards more communicative approaches to language learning, learners are turning to such apps where they can make mistakes in a private setting. However, what really makes language learning a rewarding experience is not the promise of virtual rewards, but rather the ability to connect the culture, the people and the language of the new country with one’s own experiences, knowledge and values.

The Challenge of the Changing Curriculum

The only way to plan out the new courses, and keep your sanity, is to divide out the planning between the department. Plan out a rough sketch of the unit together and then work out who is going to take which part to write. Creating the overview as a team means that you get to have very important conversations about pedagogy and subject knowledge and dividing out the topic means that you can play to your strengths as a group.

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