Where is the evidence to support differentiation?


Duke of York’s Royal Military School and the Legend of the Lone Tree

My old school. Nice to read about it.

The Dover Historian

Frederick Duke of York, founder of the Duke of York's Military School. Internet Frederick Duke of York, founder of the Duke of York’s Military School. Internet

The original Duke of York’s Royal Military School was founded in 1803 by an 1801 Royal Warrant. Called the Royal Military Asylum it was located in Chelsea. It was the time of the Napoleonic Wars (1793-1815) and Frederick Augustus, Duke of York (1763-1827), second son of George III (1760-1820), was the Commander in Chief of the British Army. It was he who was concerned over the increasing number of neglected orphans of soldiers that had fallen during the Wars and prepared to do something about it.

The scheme that the Prince had advocated in 1801 was modified and he laid the foundation stone of the school that opened two years later. The first child was the orphaned John Evans, the son of Corporal Evans of the 81st Regiment and by 1806, the school was accommodating some 1,000 orphans. This…

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Whose PD is it Anyway?

The very popular 1980s imporvisation show, Whose Line is it Anyway? gave me and my mates a great deal of entertainment and not a few laughs when we were at school.  I used to love the humour, the sparkling wit and the deftness of a pun.  In many ways, it glued, for me, the fundamental... Continue Reading →

Why the holidays may not matter when it comes to learning and why my first lessons back will be tests — missdcoxblog

“Forgetting focuses remembering and fosters learning; remembering generates learning and causes forgetting; learning causes forgetting, begets remembering, and supports new learning.” Bjork 2011 I’ve seen some online articles that raise concerns with the length of the school holidays. Whilst there may be other concerns, I don’t think they’re overly problematical in terms of learning. This […]... Continue Reading →

An interview with Dylan Wiliam — Filling the pail

Dylan Wiliam is a world authority on formative assessment and Emeritus Professor of Educational Assessment at the UCL Institute of Education in London. His popular book on formative assessment, Embedded Formative Assessment, was recently released as a revised edition and his latest book, Creating the Schools our Children Need, critically examines the ways we could... Continue Reading →

How can we measure and report progress meaningfully?

Having struggled through many of these issues – but not articulating my misgivings particularly well – I found this very insightful and useful.


As we continue to develop our system-wide thinking about assessment, it’s important that teachers and leaders understand the underlying concepts we’re dealing with.  In order to motivate and challenge all students, it makes good sense to try to distinguish between attainment and progress.  This allows us to give value to students making strides with their learning regardless of their starting point.  Schools have made valiant efforts to develop assessment language and processes to measure progress and to report this to parents.  Not everyone can get the top marks but everyone can make progress.  That’s the idea.  But does it work?

The idea of progress only works if we’re clear about what it means – and only if we give it the weight the concept can sustain.

If we have something absolute like the time it takes to run a 5K race or how far we can jump in long jump…

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