Tag Archives: Review

Nurture 17/18

My New Year’s Eve blogpost I have now done for several years but in a slightly different format as teaching headings are not necessarily relevant, balancing my life is however.


A new phase completely, no more teaching. At first we considered the idea of me just having a year off – no attempt to work, but that felt wrong to me. I launched AndyKnillArt as a web blog on 31 January. I will review its first year on the first anniversary on www.AndyKnillArt.com. My art has earnt money, I have exhibited and participated in many events – a great success overall. In March I secured a part time job at Wareham Boat Hire with Matt and Julie Jones. The season saw me working at Abbot’s Quay, Wareham until the start of October. I love the outdoor nature of the work, standing in the river, talking with passers by and customers and guiding on safe use of our fleet of craft. I have learnt many skills and I look forward to my second season in 2018. Both of these offer much free time which has been spent with family, especially Anne.


2016 had ended with Mum passing away. 2017 has mirrored this as Dad has passed away too. This time I was with him at the end and felt very privileged to be there to support him. Liz and the New Zealand clan came to visit while over at the start of the year and explore a little of what our new area has to offer. More contact with Jonathan to start the year after a low end to 2016. From May to November came a gap. We have now seen him but the circumstances were difficult and we hope contact can be more regular in the future. Living as a family unit across three generations has taken some adjustments but generally works harmoniously and of course we do live in such a beautiful place. We have also purchased a property to let out in 2018 as an investment for the future.


At times too much, at other times gaps have opened up due to overlapping events and a need / desire to pace myself more sensibly. So ongoing membership of Swanage Sea Rowing Club although craft fairs and work at Wareham meant that after the Three Rivers race in March I didn’t compete in any other events until the Swanage Supervets event in October. I continue to help with Juniors on a Monday. My overall fitness has benefitted and rows over the tidal race at Old Harry and along the coast to Dancing Ledge have been highlights in seeing the coast from a different perspective.

My river work in Wareham helped my fitness with lifting and shifting equipment and also meant I did more paddling some in work craft and some in my own kayak . I have also paddled the entire coastal perimeter of Swanage Bay now. More kayaking is needed in 2018. I have underused my bike, it has been used to and from some rowing sessions but I haven’t really done any extended rides. I have achieved a nonstop ride / drag up Kingston hill which I was pleased with. I have walked quite a bit on local trails, some with Anne and some alone.


Two new jobs, setting up a business and learning other new skills has meant a busy year for learning. Learning I wanted to do in connection with new pathways. I have extended my art skills with attendance at Swanage Art Workshop with Anne which has given us a shared interest and led to new friendships. Art skills, purchasing equipment, self employed tax returns, working and selling at art/craft events including printing, mounting and framing work. The list goes on and on. Using a petrol driven mower…


After a poor January I cut most of my online ties for a while and closed whole accounts. I am now back online but with far fewer links / contacts and many are new ones that have been formed in the last year. It is difficult to believe when we are in Swanage that we have not been here longer from the number and variety of people we know, are friends with, who we stop to talk with as we make our way around town.

I have remade some of my education connections but steer away from discussing matters in education. I only taught at TSS for 10 Weeks but the lasting connection I made with pupils continues even over a year on and that is immensely satisfying.


Physically I went through a bad passage after straining a shoulder at rowing training and receiving treatment. Otherwise physically, scratched insect bites have been my worst problem, generally I have been physically healthy. My mental health has continued to vary but the differences between high and low are not as wide as earlier in 2017 and suicidal thoughts are not my instinctive reaction to unease. I attend two groups now in Swanage and Wareham where I have made good friends, joined in with facilitating at meetings and even attended a training course with MIND.

I am not making specific plans going forward: we will rent our new property out, I will do Art and work on the river, we will spend time with friends and drinking / eating in various local coffee houses, pubs…, we will spend time together, especially Anne and I. We will continue to watch our wildlife and enjoy our location. We may welcome some of you to visit us. We will look after ourselves physically and emotionally.

Thanks for reading.


#teacher5aday….a reflection after two terms | Mishmashlearning goes blogging https ://mishmashlearning.wordpress.com/2014/12/26/teacher5aday-a-reflection-after-two-terms/

See review after two terms


#Nurture1415 – the review of the year

OK, #nurture1415 – the review: these are what I recorded, so  what has happened? – see R follow ups

1) Self

1.1 Continuing to develop my BD management. Currently doing two therapy based courses and setting separate targets that include using my mood diary, mindfulness time, and increasing my exercise. (1)

– 1.1R  I returned to work by the end of January and I have not had a day off since due to own mental health – the mood diary has gone by the way, I still blog when things are hard and I use a range of mindfulness apps through headphones. I did use in lessons from Feb – June. I have kayaked a lot until September – need to get back on the water. Also for my 50th I bought a new bicycle – used a lot again until September and just been out today.

1.2 Being in work, re establishing a good attendance record. Possibly changing jobs / school, although hitting 50 may hinder that (any offers lol?). Enjoying my teaching. (2)

– 1.2 R As above my attendance has been vastly better, even though some of the comments made in my Return to Work meeting in. January came across as threatening. I have moved jobs and school and I am enjoying the new job as Head of Geography a great deal. I continue to really enjoy my teaching and I am now developing two younger staff too.

1.3 Spending more time with family and not multi tasking when I have time off. (3)

– 1.3R this has varied as no. 1 son no longer lives at home, but this has helped all of us overall this year. I still multi task to much but there has been more family hugs and I feel this side has improved especially after the happiness of moving schools.

1.4. Taking time out for exercise (1.1) and making increasing use of my kayak bought this summer as the weather gradually warms up. (4)

-1.4R I have exercised more overall. In the summer, I cycled up to 54 miles in a single day which marked a great outlet. The kayaking has allowed me to explore and also paddled with an old college friend on the sea. My wife, Anne, also had her first kayaking session and we had a great outing completed with cake and tea afterwards.

2) Blog

2.1 Write more posts and try to go back to a balance of more education and less mental health. (5)

-2.1R I have done more blogging. This has varied between this blog but also on http://gasigict.wordpress.com and http://globalsolo.wordpress.com – new adventures started in 2014.

2.2. Develop more contributions with @ieshasmall to the mindshackles project. (6)

-2.2R Yes I have done more Mindshackles work, kayaking images and my socks getting their own interview.

3) Twitter

Develop more links across subject boundaries and globally. (7)

– 3R Well this has been achieved beyond my wildest dreams. New Years Eve saw the start of a new adventure. I set up accounts for: Globalsolo. A network idea – for educators interested in solo taxonomy that I have increasingly become an advocate for and evangelist about at Teachmeets and such events. Let’s just say that on Dec 22 the Twitter network stands at over 1770 current members / followers.

Then in May linked to my Geographical Association work I started a Twitter account and blog to gather more shared ideas about websites, apps and resources online to share them with other geography educators. Again a great success and this account on Twitter currently approaches 850 followers.

I have also taken part in a number of links through participating in online chats including #satchatoc (Oceania) and conferences in the USA and Australia.

4) CPD / Presenting

4.1. Teachmeets – continue to contribute as a presenter, already signed up for Pedagoolondon2 in March and sharing a workshop at Northern Rocks 14 in June. Also joint planning of TMHavering in February with @talkingdonkeyre. (8)

– 4.1R Well I presented at a range of Teachmeets, I made video clips for others. Northern Rocks was my biggest event to date and a great privilege- and re invited for 2015. Andy Lewis (@iteachre) had to step in when I was ill, however in 2014 has run three Teachmeets in February, July and November – so a clear success.

4.2. Developing the pedagogy group in current school to generate wider discussion and some action research projects. (9)

– 4.2 R I was discouraged from extras on return at the start of the year – discussions still went on, but an opportunity missed by the school – in my opinion and no longer on staff. I am already involved in discussions about pedagogy at my new school and have also delivered IWB training too.

4.3. To learn some coding as part of Key Stage 3 computing course – currently able to use Scratch and Hopscotch, just started online Python course. (10)

– 4.3R I started to learn some coding then found I would not be teaching IT so stepped back but enjoy discussions about the use of Scratch with my son.

4.4. Delivering a beginners apps workshop at the Geographical Association conference in April in Guildford as a representative of the IT Special interest group. (11)

– 4.4R the only apps workshop, seating for 40 or so and a final audience with people turned away of 69. The session included dancing – see April -/ May posts. A good session although number of people changed many of the plans made.

5) General

5.1. Developing the elusive balance between work and home or at least increasing the non working aspect. (12)

-5.1R maybe / maybe not, but as I am in a new post and school a much happier Andy

5.2. Celebrating my 50th at Easter. (13)

– 5.2R oh yes, two zip wire rides, one a.m. And one p.m. Over the Eden Project – very memorable, like a kid in a sweetshop. I have embraced being 50 and actually more positive with it too.

5.3. A desire for a happier year with less than 4 months hit by BD etc. (14)

– 5.3R overall the above and many other events. Yes there have been hardships but more with others health than with mine and a new meds routine which suits me well.

There we are, comments welcomed on here or via Twitter. 2015 – I will set targets and may even try 15 like this with subsections, but not yet.

#Nurture1415 this holiday. I have just reread a whole year of blogposts…

Nope, not the right time of day to start writing annual reviews. I have blogged about some things but realise that others have slipped through the “have I got time” net? 2014 has been a truly busy year of contrasts, change, ups, downs and plateaus.

My nurture posts when written will need to be brief but a full year review by month or path taken might just be therapeutic but I shall include a health warning at the start for anyone who feels the need to read it all.

I have completed my first term in my new post and YES it was the right move. It’s difficult to believe how far I have come since my absence at the end of term at this time last year when a classroom was a place I had seriously considered not returning to. Now I have a new department and … Oops slipping into blog mode…soon I promise.

A mishmash…week continues…TMHavering3

Well, I was able to follow aspects of TMHavering3 from my sofa and retweet images and thoughts from people present. I am blessed to have such good support in Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett who took on the hosting aspect and support in school from Alex Gilchrist, Brigid Hardy and. Lesley Hall.

So the Teachmeet lost a few attendees to work commitments and illness but they seemed to have a fine time. The pictures I am posting were taken by Andy Lewis on the night and tweeted as @iTeachRE.



A revised programme as two pedagogy presenters were unable to attend as unwell, myself in my @GlobalSolo guise and @CraftyTeacher Alison Weston who travels down from Suffolk. The space was better used in my opinion than the original plan and looked good. It was a chance to showcase the school’s E-Zone as well.

Presenters included Havering primary: Elm Park with Laura Woods and Neree Sale (@EPPS_ICT) on their extensive range of IT uses.


I have no image of Dave Smith from Havering IT/Computing team who shared lots on making links internationally including a response to the changing EAL profile within the LB Havering.

On the technical side we had an exclusive in Leon Cych (@Eyebeams) of L4L TV presenting on AV with his own hashtag #TMHavering3AV and it was great that Leon was not stuck behind a camera / mike as he often is when live streaming education events.


In the image he can be seen making use of the school green screen facility and the TouchCast app.

The pedagogy link was started by Adam Thorne, my Headteacher at The Albany School, who made impressions on several people that I spoke to after the event both online and by phone. He shared ideas on co-operative learning and also spent time networking with colleagues.


Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett both presented but I have no pictures of them yet. Finally Iesha Small presented on staff well being and her Mindshackles project which I have blogged about as one of the volunteers involved. This attracted a small but interested audience who discussed ideas in detail with Iesha. She also had some some A3 prints made up including a distant picture of me kayaking on the R Chelmer.



So here ends the first review, but as. I said more photos to file at some point. Already there are requests for TMHavering4…2015 beckons.

Meanwhile a scrolling screen of spreadsheet this morning did for me. I have never felt motion sick before from that. So I will not return this week but will do what I can from home as long as it doesn’t involve vigorous motion.

#Nurture1314 the review of 2013


2013 has been a year of ups, downs and plateaus. After an extended period of the Black Dog I reviewed my year using this blog to look back – apparently this is know as rigour and evidence based.


13 highlights

1) Self
As many of my regular readers are aware this has been a year of several extreme points. Recently depression and anxiety have see me signed of work so a review could possibly be very negative. Reviewing the year shows that: March,May, June and December have seen my lowest points. However, that means that 8 months of the year have been more positive and I need to remember this.

My blog now features a Mental Health category so readers looking for that do not need to read about pedagogy. The lows have been triggered by events within my close family and within myself and my own self esteem at the end of the year. (1)

2) Geographer
My main subject continues to be my focus although I also teach some Key Stage 3 computing.

2.1 The geography has included online research of global news stories by myself and lead TA, inc. the Queensland, Australia floods of February. (2)

2.2 Attending the national Geographical Association. Conference at Easter in Derby,where I just happened to holidaying nearby! My continued involvement in the IT special interest group and production of the revised apps sheet that was popular at conference. (3)

2.3 integrating pedagogy ideas read about or seen at events into my everyday teaching. From the 7Es lesson plan (@HThompson1982), Solo Taxonomy (@arti_choke), Ethic of Excellence (Ron Berger). (4)

3) Presenting
A busy year where I have presented to peers through talks, #edchats, video clips and talking face to face.

3.1 The year started with BETT13. I went on the Friday as I had got a ticket to the evenings Teachmeet. Usually, I have wandered around collecting information for myself and colleagues occasionally meeting familiar faces. This year I had met 10 people I knew before I had even got in. The day was a celebration for the movement to promote pupil Digital Leaders. I shared two Teachmeet Takeovers with: @dawnhallybone (geography apps) and @sheliBB (digital leaders). I met over 50 fellow tweeters. Then in the evening the Teachmeet. I had got involved and had agreed to investigate the proposed raffle focus and to sell tickets. Using web research I managed to make contact and then speak on the phone to the bank co-ordinating and the Parents organisation VP for Sandy Hook Elementary. On the night I was very hyper and pursued ticket sales with verve, I earnt a new nickname “Raffle guy” and we raised £650 far beyond my expectations. (5)

3.2 Digital Leaders – a focus from 2012 that continued mainly through leading our school group under my Cross curricular ICT TLR role. In July we filmed with Promethean with a new IWB model and now feature as UK secondary exemplar. We also reviewed some prototypes which we can not disclose. I was also invited to BCHS and spoke with staff who re interested in taking the idea forward. I also went to an event organised by @EPPS_ICT locally. (6)

3.3 Teachmeets – I spoke at 6 during the year- Milton Keynes, PedagooLondon TM, Essex (co host), Surrey (Garden Shed Productions video), Promethean Advocates face to face, TMCollaborate. My main topic this year – Solo taxonomy. (7)

3.4 Teachtweets – an innovation from #ukedchat. Presenters make pre recorded video clips which are shared and the creators are available to answer any queries. An ongoing friendship with @ICTMagic that had started at TMEssex in Feb 2012, meant I made several contributions during the year using arrange of app based clips. (8)

3.5 Edchats – I have joined in a range of these this year in New Zealand, South Africa, Oceania, USA, UK. At Easter I hosted a ukedchat and then in April alongside @aliceleung from Australia we ran #sologlobalchat. We hosted 40 educators from the UK, New Zealand and Australia for an hour on a Saturday. Alice wrote a great summary blogpost including our chat archive. (9)

4) CPD attended / developing
Most of my CPD is self generated. The following are more examples:

4.1 Education reading – I bought a number of ed. books at Easter but didn’t start reading them until the start of the summer holidays. The three I have read so far are: @HYWEL_ROBERTS Oops- since lent to a trainee at school; @arti_choke Solo book 1 (long overdue); Ron Berger – An Ethic of Excellence. I still have Full on Learning, The Lazy teacher, and some new kindle books to read too. Many of these ideas are already seen in my teaching. (10)

4.2 Day events – I attended Pedagoolondon in March and TLT13 in October. Both included a great range of workshops and I look forward to their 2014 sequels. (11)

4.3 Others – ongoing work with the UK and Ireland Promethean Advocates team. Starting an in school cross departmental pedagogy group. (12)

5) Blogging / Tweeting

Another busy year for this blog. I have submitted some posts for #Blogsync by @Edutronic_Net. Taken part in @ieshasmall ‘s Mindshackles project and tweeted… lots. Twitter has taught me so much and provides such a great supportive network that I am proud to belong to. (13)

Here ends the review aspect …