HUH: Curriculum conversations between subject and senior leaders

Schools need to have purchase on the curriculum: why they teach the subjects beyond preparation for examinations, what they are intending to achieve with the curriculum, how well it is planned and enacted in classrooms and how they know whether it’s doing what it’s supposed to.

Fundamental to this understanding are the conversations between subject leaders and their line managers. However, there is sometimes a mismatch between the subject specialisms of senior leaders and those they line manage. If I don’t know the terrain and the importance of a particular subject, how can I talk intelligently with colleagues who are specialists?

This book sets out to offer some tentative answers to these questions. Each of the national curriculum subjects is discussed with a subject leader and provides an insight into what they view as the importance of the subject, how they go about ensuring that knowledge, understanding and skills are developed over time, how they talk about the quality of the schemes in their departments and what they would welcome from senior leaders by way of support.

Putting Staff First: A blueprint for revitalising our schools

“Putting staff first” presents the most complete and compelling vision that I have seen for a school that places teacher learning at the heart of its endeavours, rather than being bolted on as an afterthought. From selection and preservice education through to support for the most experienced teachers, John Tomsett and Jonny Utley provide a clear template that any school leader can adapt for their own context, making it one of the very few books that I would recommend that every single school leader should read. — Dylan Wiliam

This Much I Know About Love Over Fear …: Creating a culture for truly great teaching

This Much I Know about Love Over Fear is a compelling account of leading a values-driven school where people matter above all else. Weaving autobiography with an account of his experience of headship, John Tomsett explains how, in an increasingly pressurised education system, he creates the conditions in which staff and students can thrive. 

This Much I Know About Mind Over Matter …: Improving Mental Health in Our Schools

In This Much I Know about Mind Over Matter John Tomsett addresses, with refreshing honesty, the growing problem of the mental health issues experienced by children and young people, offering up a plan for averting a mental health crisis in our schools. Tomsett interweaves his formative and professional experience with strategies for addressing students’ mental health issues and insights from his interviews with high profile thinkers on the subject including Professor Tanya Byron, Natasha Devon, Norman Lamb, Tom Bennett, Claire Fox and Dr Ken McLaughlin.

Cognitive Apprenticeship in Action

In 1991, Allan Collins, John Seely Brown and Ann Holum published ‘Cognitive Apprenticeship: Making Thinking Visible’. Nearly a quarter of a century later John Tomsett encountered their paper and, since then, it has influenced his teaching immeasurably.

An Angler’s Journal: A lifetime’s fishing told in 52 tales

How many of your fishing trips can you recall in any real detail? How often do you wish you had kept a note of what you caught, when you caught it and exactly how much that huge carp weighed on the scales?