Is Gordon Ramsey the Answer?

In response to Vic Goddard’s Piece in the TES, July 25th 2014.
In which he applied Ramsey’s Kitchen Nightmares to schools, and I now look to apply it to my F.E class room.

Goddard discusses the menu, often muddled and irrelevant, as is the curriculum. The need to look at the number of classes and rationalise them. Teaching whats right for students, not for staff.
We changed the Level 1 curriculum last year and it certainly was an over populated menu. Developed according to what I thought the customer needed and finalised dependent on what staff were available.

Vic Goddard talks about Ramsey’s willingness to turn the dishwasher in the matre‘d. It is important to get the right people. Developing skills, making sure they are used effectively. Empowering people, asking questions about what they do, helping staff gain confidence.
Developing a team has proved a difficult and elusive task. Transient staff, misconceptions/ assumptions about Level 1 learners and funding cuts have caused an unsettled environment. Putting it politely.

Goddard mentions Ramsey’s listening to customers, and not just though what would be student voice or parents, but going out and meeting those who choose to go elsewhere. And finally there is talk of decluttering and ensuring the space is bright and clean.

The curriculum for the 2014 academic year has been simplified and refocused mostly through an understanding of what you can do with a Level 1 programme of Study. Ensuring that the course is relevant to the learners, unique to the college and achievable in the current climate of resourcing budgets.
The timetable has been reduced, which I am not happy about and seemingly powerless to address. Though it does an allocate an hour to online learning in preparation for the FELTAG report. Other changes caused by staffing have been made and I have attempted to adapt as best as I can to scheme a coherent programme.
The scheme of work has been developed to make student voice an integral part, as has my schedule to ensure more opportunities for discussion with parents. To ensure that the programme of study is not muddled and the curriculum is communicated coherently.
I remain perpetually powerless and frustrated over staffing. And thats all there is to say about that.
After a number of years of requesting, I have finally been given a Level 1 base room. A job has been put in to get it cleaned, a paint job and extra white/notice boards. To ensure that information is clearly displayed and student work can be prominent.

The important thing to remember about kitchen nightmares, is that Ramsey revisits. This isn’t a one-off, its important to maintain and continually review.
Prepare for when somebody wants to order off the menu.


eduBlogger Learner

Why blog?
For me it’s about accepting that I am trying to build credibility as an expert in something.
In this case being a Teacher/ Learner

(note I’m writing this on an iPad, using the WordPress app, this will either result in me marvelling at the godsend and only blogging using the app, or hating it and never using it again. There is no middle ground)


#followfriday: @sjbatch



You shouldn’t necessarily follow Stephen Batchelor because of his Twitter account as it is, but rather what it could be, if encouraged.

As a Teacher/Learner he was my first Boss and I find him insightful, often funny and rarely dull. ‘The Batch’ is the Director of H.E at MidKent College and the nearest I’ve had to a mentor in F.E. Whether he wanted to be or not. I wouldn’t have my teaching qualification without him. Thank you good sir.

Essentially, when they come for me, and they will, I can say it was his fault.

The author of Dummy books and occasional blogs, about History, go say hi and tell him I sent you.


As a Bonus; from the archive…





Follow Friday is a twitter trend to promote Friends, like minded people, people of interest, on Twitter.

Les Cochrane quite rightly noted that a random list of names means nothing, he’d much rather have a select few names and a reason why they’d be good to follow.

I decided to do a bit of both, and use my blog to talk about those on Twitter I follow, and why I think you should follow them too. 

I’ll only recommend a maximum of ten per week and will set up a category so you can find them should you so wish.

This weeks 10, i went with the first ten people I followed on Twitter and so this is actually just as much a gateway into their online presence which is why I followed them and continue to follow them;

@warrenellis: Internet Jesus and Acclaimed writer of Transmetropolitan, Planetary, Global Frequency and the recent GI Joe: Resolute.

@stevegarfield: One of the Internets first Videobloggers and passionate about Online Video.

@casymckinnon: The former Miss Kitka and award winning producer of Galacticast and a Comicbook Orange. She has also written about online media for the Guardian.

@gapingvoid: Inspirational writer, artist, new media and wine marketer. 

@zefrank: an American online performance artist, composer, humorist and producer of The Show. during which he inspired an Earth Sandwhich, a Song for Ray and Ugly Myspace. Go to and all will become clear. 

@rudy: The writer producer of Galacticast and ‘walking media production house.’ Check out the episode looking at Abrams pitch for Star Trek.

@zadi: The co-creator and host of the award winning Epic Fu.

@wilw: Star of Stand by Me and famous for his role as Wesley Crusher in ST:TNG. He emerged as a vocal member of the Geek community.

@amazingamanda: One of the first videobloggers to bring new media to the the general public appearing on ABC News and CSI.  

@xenijardin: Blogger and tech culture Journalist, as well as Co-editor of the award winning blog Boing Boing and Executive producer of Boing Boing TV. 


Thats all folks, more next Friday.