Category Archives: blog

I’m Back!

Well, that was shortlived! I honestly thought that I would be giving up New Term. But I was thinking about education. I’m still passionate about it & I still want to be able to comment on it.

So I’m keeping New Term going & will be commenting on the general state of education, great ideas that I have about it (!) and sharing any interesting pieces of information that I come across.

Keep checking back for these wonderful insights! I’ve already got a few ideas that should keep me going for a bit.

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A week in the life of my Guardian blog

Last week I wrote a blog for the Guardian Teacher blog about the funding of RE. I had no idea what to expect. Naturally I was thrilled to have something I’d written on the Guardian website. I write two blogs of my own anyway, this one and my craft based one, A Crafty Chai, so am used to the process. When I get comments on my blog posts, they have always been positive.

I had no idea what to expect from the RE one on the Guardian. I tried to remember not to take any of the comments personally. People always have something to say and I guess the fact that 55 people commented on the blog post is better than no one saying anything. The interesting thing was the mixture of view points. There were some from people who were shocked by the lack of funding for RE and some from people who don’t think RE should be on the curriculum at all. It was interesting to see people responding to other people’s comments. I didn’t want to get involved, as I have a tendency to take things quite personally (& I have to admit I did have a bit of trouble sleeping after reading some of the comments!)

But discussion and debate about all subjects and the point of education is important, especially in the light of what the Government is currently doing. There has been a lot of discussion recently about the lack of jobs, unpaid work experience, drops in university places and whether education really does prepare todays young people for the working world. I feel that the current pressures on schools to perform is unrealistic and this is not best for the vast majority of our young people. Whether subjects like RE  are currently doing what the Government wants them to do is debatable.

I really enjoyed writing for the Guardian ( and I’ve enjoyed calling myself a ‘Guardian Professional’!) I hope that I can continue writing blog posts for them. But next time, I won’t read the comments before bed!

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My first ever Guardian blog post!

So there I was yesterday, sitting at my desk, writing some resources for a project I’m working on. I always have Twitter open on my desktop, just so I can keep up with what’s going on. Plus, when you work at home on your own it’s nice to talk to people online.

Anyway, @GuardianTeach tweeted and asked if there were any RE teachers interested in blogging. Naturally I retweeted but I also replied saying that it was a shame they didn’t tweet last year when I actually was one. They replied, suggesting I get in touch anyway. So I did. I love a good blog and was definitely interested. They wanted a response to Professor James Conroy’s report on the state of RE in schools today. I was able to be honest in my response to the findings within the report.

To say it was easy is an understatement. I know budgets are tight within schools, always have, always will be. But I’ve been on the side where you have to make your budget stretch more than most. I wasn’t shocked by the findings. I had to fight RE’s corner many times. It’s not always respected by most of the other staff. And that’s what makes the RE teachers job harder. No matter how hard you stretch your budget, how many pens you ‘borrow’ from certain Swedish furniture shops, you feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

I can remember on inset days after the summer holidays when the whole staff would meet & we would go through the exam results. As someone who was super conscientious & worked incredibly hard for her students, this was torture. At times, RE is taught by non-specialists who don’t always have the subject knowledge. And sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you work, students don’t always do the work. So sitting with the results up on the PowerPoint, I wanted to jump up & say, ‘But you don’t know how hard I’ve worked, it’s not fair, we don’t have any money, there are only 2 of us, we only have an hour a week, we teach everyone, we did our best!’ I never did shout this out, but I have mini-panic attacks over it.

I’m not saying other teachers don’t work hard or have tough times or difficult working environments. But if RE is as important as the Government suggests then they need to back it up. Come on Gove, put your money where your mouth is!

To read my blog post, have a read of it here. Let me know what you think. My budget for the year was about £800 for way more students. What are your experiences? What’s your budget like?

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A Twitter Win

A few months ago, I went to the Pudding Club & wrote about it on my personal blog: A Crafty Chai. It’s a fab event to attend and you get a certificate and a pen to show that you’ve eaten seven puddings in one sitting. I follow these guys on Twitter and they tell you which pudding has been the favourite at their most recent gathering.

Now I love stationery. So when I received the free pen I was happy to find that it wrote really well. And I’ve pretty much been using it ever since. I was distraught when, the other day, it ran out of ink. Out of desperation, I tweeted about it on my personal twitter account. I was super impressed when the Pudding Club tweeted me back and asked if they could send me a new one! But of course they could! So after a few direct messages, I received an envelope, addressed to my twitter name (that’s a first!) & I opened it with relish.

Not only did I receive a replacement one, but a second really fancy pen, which is beautiful to write with. This is one of the reasons that businesses, and people in general, need to be careful with Twitter. It can be a powerful source for good, showing excellent customer service, like the Pudding Club here, but it is also a place where people, customers, talk openly. If they receive good or bad service, it’s instantly written about on Twitter. I like it when a company or business that I use is on Twitter because it means that I can give feedback about anything straight away. I know social media can be seen as a scary place if you’re not familiar with it, but the power of it as huge.

Plus it got me some free pens #ftw

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Happy Customer

Yesterday I visited a friend of mine to give her the blog that I had developed for her. A while ago she asked me to help her with a site that she could use for her cupcake business. She already has a full-time job & is a new mum so wanted something small that she could manage and update. We decided on a Tumblr blog and picked a theme. I then developed it so that it would show off the different types of cupcakes that she makes and personalised it to her requirements.

I really enjoyed doing it. It gave me experience of another blog site and I had to think about the needs of the client. I then had to talk her through posting blogs & she has since set up a ‘Gallery’ page. She is really happy with the way it looks & I think that it’s the best format for her.

The best thing though, is my payment. I’ve been paid in cupcakes! Is there a better payment?! I think not!

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