This is a guest post from our Founder and Director of Content, Lewis Bronze MBE, a big thank you to Lewis for contributing to our community blog. To find out more about Lewis please see his bio at the end of the blog post.
As the temperature hots up in the political debates surrounding education, take a moment to read some cool, calm advice which is to be found, of all places, in a set of new DfE reports on teacher workload. Anna Vaughan has created 3 blog posts around these specific DfE updates which you can find at the following links:
- Teacher Workload: Planning and resources
- Teacher Workload: Marking
- Teacher Workload: Data management
How refreshing to read plain language which states some empirical truths about teaching. “Planning a sequence of lessons is more important than writing individual lesson plans” should be seen as a reprieve from the belief that every moment of a lesson needs to be schemed out in advance like a three-dimensional version of Dungeons and Dragons. “Planning should not be done simply to please outside organisations”. Do you think they might mean Ofsted? To reassure teachers, the report states that Ofsted themselves make clear in their School Inspection Handbook that “Ofsted does not require schools to provide individual lesson plans to inspectors”. So there.
The report goes on to praise high quality resources as supporting good teaching, but questions the cost/benefit of teachers producing those resources themselves. Rather than re-inventing the wheel, the report suggests that the “intellectual exercise of planning sequences of lessons” is a better use of precious time.
Implied but insufficiently stated, in my view, is the importance to this process of using professional created and curated resources. A good example is the addition of the Mayan culture as an optional topic for study at KS2 history. Would teachers searching the internet for resources automatically know which resources labelled as “Mayan” actually illustrate Aztec or Inca culture? For schools which partner with Discovery Education, teachers need have no such worries. Resources in our Espresso service are checked and double-checked, in other words “curated” to provide a level of quality assurance. So not only do you save time in going to a curated service, the outcomes will be more successful, leaving teachers with more time to do effective planning. And to catch up on The Night Manager on iPlayer.
Lewis Bronze MBE Biography
Founder (Espresso Education) and Director of Content, Discovery Education
Lewis runs the UK content and development services for Discovery Education. Lewis has dedicated his career to making first-class information programmes and resources for children. He co-founded Espresso Education in 1997 with the vision of making curriculum-relevant, engaging, and video-rich resources updated weekly. Previously Editor of Blue Peter and a chair of governors at a primary school, he has an intuitive grasp for how to develop digital classroom resources.
He has been a significant industry voice in promoting the application of digital resources in teaching, and a driving force in establishing Discovery Education Espresso in the UK market, building strong relationships with key customers and stakeholders.
Lewis has been honoured to receive several awards. In 2013, he was appointed MBE for Services to Education. He received the BETT 2014 award for “Outstanding Achievement in ICT Education”. In 2010, he was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award by the members of the leading industry body, BESA. Bronze holds a degree in Law from the University of Cambridge, where he attended Jesus College. He lives with his wife, Carol, in Chiswick, London and has three children.