Working For ASDAN Education

THIS is about the last couple of years where I have had the pleasure of working for ASDAN, an educational awarding body and registered charity. It is with the regret that I now leave ASDAN to pursue other opportunities in education and my passion for teaching and learning.

My role has been as a National Development Co-ordinator working with schools to develop curriculum’s and resources for teachers across the UK. The main part of this role was to develop and deliver training events for the professional development of school and further education practitioners. Comments from delegates can be found here. I have loved my time working with ASDAN for several reasons, but when I reflect upon my experiences these are the two main reasons why ASDAN stands out as a #GreatEducation organisation with real positive vision, values and #EduPurpose.

Firstly, you can follow ASDAN on twitter @asdaneducation. If you work in education and care about equipping young people with the skills for lifelong learning in the 21st Century, I would highly recommend that you do this. One of ASDAN’s main aims is to make learning relevant and transferable & to reward a range of learning styles. Through doing this they recognise that young people do genuinely have different learning needs! With the very narrow curriculum focus in the current educational landscape it is important to keep in mind that ASDAN are still sticking to their educational values of creating varied learning experiences for ALL learners, while celebrating the diversity that exists in young people. I have found it really refreshing to work with teaching professionals across the UK who also believe in this. I feel that my work has given me the opportunity to provide advice and guidance to improve the life chances of so many young people.

Secondly, working at the central office in Bristol with such a talented group of people (including those based around the UK) has given me the opportunity to grow professionally as a teacher. If are interested in education and you ever have the opportunity to work for ASDAN you should seriously consider it. The leadership style is that of empowering people to manage their time, contribute and share their own ideas. The directors are supportive and encourage a collegiate approach to achieving the organisations vision and values. In my opinion this is exactly how any organisation should be run and it makes the individual feel valued. My experience has been that the directors do not constantly check or monitor progress but trust employees as professionals in their individual field/specialism. I hope that I have repaid the faith placed in me as I think that I have been pro-active in meeting the needs of the organisation? I believe my colleagues would agree with me that this leadership style makes employees feel motivated to go the extra mile to be the best that they can be for the organisation.

THIS is therefore the end of a hugely enjoyable and rewarding professional chapter in my life. I want to thank every one of my colleagues at ASDAN (and those recently moved on) for contributing to a great experience. Over the past week or so, the comments that I have received from so many colleagues have been overwhelming. The comments have also given me the extra bit of confidence to know that how I conduct myself, how I interact with others and my work ethic are positive personal traits that should help me in the future as a teacher or as a school leader. Those people know who they are, so thank you so much. You will never truly know what that means to me!

It would however be remiss of me to not thank the following people individually who I have worked very closely with;

Maggie and Kath for ALL your support as line managers, as colleagues and I hope now as friends.

Kath and Sally for hiring me in the first place!

Jemma for your continuous offer of coffee, who will make it now? Oh… and sorry if the logo does not meet requirements! 😉

Julia for being a critical friend… your help in the early days was really useful. 🙂

Rob for your computing/coding/on-line teachings.

Kiel for introducing me to Minecraft and simply for being the only other Yorkshireman in the office!

Finally, Simon for making the early morning coffee to make us feel alive at 7:30am when we start work. Also for being a great guy to share a workspace (and lately a car) with on a daily basis… thanks for putting up with me!

Goodbye all at ASDAN! 🙂


Featured Image: Gained from ASDAN Design.


Being A Lifelong Learner

It was Robert John Meehan who said “Your life as a teacher begins the day you realise that you are always a learner”. I am passionate about teaching and learning. My blogs discuss different views on learning and I discuss about what I know works and what sort of teacher I am based on information that I have gathered through working with educators across the UK.

THIS blog is about how I have recently been taking part in a qualification as part of my journey as a lifelong learner. Not only has it reminded me about the importance of teachers being lifelong learners and reflecting on our teaching experiences, but it has reminded how young people become lifelong learners.

The 21st Century is very much a digital age and the need for young people to have access to technology enhanced teaching (TET) is becoming greater all the time. It is with that in mind that I have recently undertaken a course to learn about, and improve upon my own TET. I have written about this in 5 recent blogs which can be searched on this site via typing in #MENTEPCourse. Doing this course has also created the opportunity to complete a Level 4 Wider Key Skill in Improving Own Learning & Performance qualification. At the time of writing this I am awaiting external moderation and the confirmation (hopefully) of certification.

The Wider Key Skill is based around a cycle of planning the learning and completing the activity based on achieving SMART (Specific, Realistic, Achievable, Resourced and Timed) targets. The final part is about reviewing the learning cycle to make improvements for the next time.

All teachers will be familiar with this process. The learning is planned, it is then delivered before a review takes place to assess the progress of learners. This review leads to future lessons being re-planned to ensure that the progress of all learners continues to be made. My Wider Key Skill gave me the opportunity to plan my own learning, it reminded me that being given the opportunity to plan my own learning engaged me in the process so much more. More over the learning was relevant to me, my situation and my future.

So we, as teachers, are lifelong learners. We are constantly learning about young people, what makes them tick and then adapting our teaching to suit individual and global learner needs. In my view teachers should be constantly learning, evolving, planning and reviewing learning to better meet our clients (learners) needs.

THIS is what I have been reminded about regarding learning… Teachers will be continuously following this cycle to improve the teaching of young people. However, do we always remember that young people (more often than not) learn better through being actively involved in the learning process themselves? Young people will learn far more deeply if they have the ownership, and are taught how to learn to reach given (teacher) or shared (teacher/learner) targets. They must be given a reason to learn, not just “because you need to know it for the test” (although this is probably true) but because it has real meaning for them. Real meaning can come in different ways but the obvious ones are linking the learning to their future, their circumstances or maybe even as something that is a great thing to know for life!

Learning is a gift! Give young people the opportunity to decide how they learn best and to have ownership of their learning. If these skills are taught and practiced early. then young people will not only do much better in tests and exams, they will do much better in life, as they will be able to constantly apply their skills to learning in different contexts. THIS will make lifelong learning an enjoyable and engaging experience in a diverse 21st Century!


Featured Image:

The New English GCSEs: a pleasure, not a chore.

THIS is a strategy for peer assessment and questioning for deep learning.

By @andrewwarnerkms


There seems to be an awful lot of flapping and worrying about teaching the new GCSEs. I’m not afraid to say that, in our humble little department, we’re quite enjoying it. We’ve had a long term plan since a couple of terms before we started delivering it to our (now Year 10) students after February half term, and both teachers and students are getting to grips with it nicely.

We’ve structured it in such a way that we’ll have all the Lit texts taught by the end of year 10, so that we can interleave fortnightly study blocks of each topic in year 11. We studied Lord of the Flies over the summer term, six poems from the cluster during the first half of the autumn term, and we’re just finishing off A Christmas Carol as we speak. After Christmas we’ll study four more poems, spend the best part of…

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THIS is a series of GCSE STEM Apps which help improve young people’s understanding & results for GCSEs.  I am pleased to have been involved in the co-authoring of these Apps and proud to have been involved in the project.

Links to where the Apps can be downloaded for FREE and for Android (via Google Play) can be found here and for Apple (via I Tunes), here.

The STEM GCSE Apps are:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Science
  • Additional Science
  • Maths
  • Computing

How the Apps can help young people

The Apps create the opportunity to see where the subject could take you, with the simple quiz & learn functionality, that makes grasping and revising GCSE’s in STEM subjects easy & fun. Also, don’t forget to explore the Careers Ideas and Work Skills for inspiration to.

The App is made up through a simple topic by topic menu interface that allows you to browse or quiz yourself in a way that suits you. The bitesize content also includes lots of links to video to aid your learning which has been filtered for you from the internet and YouTube.

The timed mini quizzes are available for every topic & a stats page allows you to monitor your progress.

Apps written by Dan Bowen, Liz Reece & Gareth Lewis (@garethlewis76)
Apps produced by ImpartIQ Ltd


Featured Image (Including adapted text): ImpartIQ Ltd