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Latest podcasts

Curriculum design part 1

Matt is interviewed by Pete Henshaw, editor of SecEd Magazine, about his book, School & College Curriculum Design, and shares steps 1, 2 and 3 of his curriculum design process: agree the vision, set the destination, and assess the starting points.

You can listen via the SecEd website, or download the podcast from your usual podcast service including iTunes and Spotify.

Curriculum design part 2

Matt is interviewed by Pete Henshaw, editor of SecEd Magazine, about his book, School & College Curriculum Design, and shares steps 4, 5 and 6 of his curriculum design process: identify the waypoints, define excellence, and diminish disadvantage. This podcast, like the first part, is available via your usual podcast service including iTunes and Spotify.

Matt interviews school leaders about teacher performance management and appraisal

Coming soon

Matt interviews teachers and leaders about helping students cope with exam anxiety

Coming soon

Matt interviews school and college leaders about preparing students for post-16 success

This episode considers the key elements of the transition from key stage 4 to 5. We offer practical tips for how we can prepare students, both academically and pastorally, for the big step-up to post-16 study.

During the discussion our expert panel asks why this transition point is so important and consider the key pastoral and academic challenges for students of moving into post-16.

Crucially, we ask how we can help students to handle the increased independence of post-16, including study and research skills, time-management, and self-organisation, as well as the increased level of challenge in the curriculum.

When should this preparatory work begin? Who is involved in delivering this support? What is role of further education and sixth form colleges in supporting schools, and vice-versa.

Also, what does good independent career advice and guidance look like, and how can we engage parents and support pupils to make good choices.

And finally, how can we tackle the knowledge gaps and lack of exam skills of the Covid generation of students now moving into post-16, including building back their resilience?

Matt interviews school leaders on the subject of parental engagement

This episode discusses the tenets of effective parent/carer engagement work for secondary schools, offering advice, tips, ideas and best practice for building effective relationships.

Our expert panel discusses a parental engagement timeline – when this work should begin, how it can be sustained, and what forms this might take.

We also tackle how to handle conflict with parents, how to engage with “hard-to-reach” parents and community out-reach. We consider how parental engagement has changed during the pandemic, what practices/innovations are here to stay and how technology is helping.

Other topics include the future of parents’ evenings – online and face-to-face – the importance of positive communication with parents and how this can be done effectively, including proactive communication plans, building connections, and how to operate parental reporting.

We discuss how can we protect staff from inappropriate communications from parents and protect teacher workload. We also look at best practice for your school website, parental communication apps and social media, as well as other innovations such as online parental coaching sessions, video assemblies, and “stars of the week”.

The podcast is hosted by Matt Bromley, an education advisor and author with more than 20 years’ experience in teaching including as a secondary headteacher and MAT director. Our guests are

  • Dave Stephenson, head of year 10 at Honley High School in Yorkshire
  • Liz Lord, deputy head at Honley High School in Yorkshire
  • Paul Haigh, headteacher at King Ecgbert School, Sheffield
  • Sarah Clarke, Curriculum Engagement and Safeguarding Lead, Wilmslow High School, Cheshire

Matt interviews school leaders and experts about the future of digital learning in schools

This episode looks at how digital learning in schools is evolving in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and what it will look like in the months and years to come – with lots of ideas, examples and suggestions for effective practice.

Four experts from primary and secondary education discuss lessons learnt from Covid, how the pandemic experience has changed our practice and the use of education technology – and where we go next.

We offer lots of examples and ideas for specific practices and uses of edtech that are now being adopted permanently by schools, ranging from pedagogy and assessment to blended learning and CPD.

We look at what technology is doing to free up teachers to teach including how it is supporting flexible working, teaching and learning, blended and flipped learning, homework, formative and formal assessment and more. We also look at what schools can do to close the digital divide and improve access to technology.

Matt interviews Josephine Smith, Paul Haigh, Paul Ainsworth and Ben Solly about school improvement

This episode offers practical advice and ideas for effective school improvement practices and processes, including guidance from four experienced secondary school leaders who discuss their common priorities and areas of focus, core principles, vision and values and much more besides…

The panel of four school leaders discuss the core elements and philosophy of effective school improvement, including vision, values & strategic priorities.

We consider how to get everyone on board, communication and change management, ensuring consistency, collaboration, distributed leadership, succession planning, CPD, building trust and social capital, middle leadership, supporting high-quality teaching & learning and more. We consider the EEF Implementation Cycle, and why we must stop chasing outcomes and focus on processes.

There are no silver bullets – and every school is different – but we discuss some common priorities and areas of focus, and where our school leaders would begin if they were parachuted into a challenging school tomorrow…

Matt interviews Chloe Testa, Adam Riches and Leanne Collingwood about marking and feedback

In this episode, three experienced teachers offer a range of tips, ideas and advice for effective marking, feedback and assessment practices in the classroom. Themes include workload reduction, in-class marking, whole-class feedback, specific techniques & more…

Matt interviews Heidi Halliday, Jason Thurley, Julie Pankhurst and Paul Rhodes about transition 

This episode considers how we can ensure a smooth start to secondary school for our year 7 pupils. Our expert panels discuss general best practice ideas and approaches as well as specific advice for this September and a Covid-affected transition…

In this episode, Matt Bromley interviews colleagues from four secondary schools to find out how we can ensure an effective transition of pupils from year 6 into year 7.

Matt interviews Natalie Packer, Julia Rowlinson and Garry Freeman about teaching pupils with SEN

In this episode, Matt and his guests consider what effective teaching for SEN students looks like in the mainstream secondary school classroom, offering practical advice for teachers and school leaders on pedagogy, interventions, the graduated approach among many other areas. 

Matt interviews Jackie Beere and Kevin Piper about developing metacognition and self-regulation

In this episode of the SecEd podcast, Matt Bromley interviews Jackie Beere and Kevin Piper about metacognition and self-regulation. The panel define their terms and discuss ways to help students develop metacognitive skills in order to support their wellbeing, and their learning and progress. They debate whether metacognition can be taught as a transferable skill or if it is domain-specific, and discuss the importance of a teacher modelling different learning strategies. The podcast offers a number of practical ideas and tips for teaching staff.

Matt interviews Marc Rowland, Debi Bailey and Charlotte Bowyer about Pupil Premium best practice

The discussion looks at the impact the Pupil Premium has had over the last 10 years on closing the attainment gap. The panel discuss the causes of academic disadvantage and explore some solutions for schools, including tackling the vocabulary gap, improving quality first teaching, and putting in place targeted interventions and support. The podcast is hosted by SecEd editorial board member Matt Bromley and features Debi Bailey, CEO of Newcastle East mixed MAT, Charlotte Bowyer, Pupil Premium Coordinator and Assistant Headteacher at King Ecgbert School in Sheffield, and Marc Rowland, Deputy Director of the National Education Trust & author of A Practical Guide to the Pupil Premium.

Matt interviews Phil Denton, Chloe Testa and Peter Radford about teacher workload

Matt talks to headteacher Phil Denton, head of English Chloe Testa, and education trainer Peter Radford about teacher workload. They discuss the impact burn-out can have on teachers’ wellbeing, as well as the consequences of low teacher retention and explore possible solutions. The conversation also touches upon the importance of school culture, explaining that often it’s the nature of the work teachers are asked to do that causes anxiety. Our guests argue that teachers should be afforded autonomy when it comes to planning and assessment. They discuss the impact Covid-19 has had on workload and what schools might learn about flexible working.

Matt interviews David Birch about ASCL’s Forgotten Third project

Matt interviews former headteacher David Birch about his work on the Forgotten Third project which was an independent Commission of Inquiry set up in October 2018 to look into how to improve the prospects of those students who do not achieve at least a grade 4 standard pass in GCSE English and maths at the end of 12 years of schooling. Young people who fall below this bar pay a high price in terms of reduced prospects in progression to further and higher education and to careers. The Commission focused specifically on how we can do better for these young people in respect of English, though many of its observations could also be applied to maths.

Matt interviews assistant headteacher Zoe Evans about skills development 

Matt is in the interviewer’s chair to ask assistant headteacher Zoe Evans about her work on developing literacy, numeracy and digital competency skills for pupils at a school in North Wales.


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