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16 June 2019

This week sees the launch of my new book, ‘Teaching for Mastery’.  Later this year, another new book, ‘Curriculum and Task Design’, which I am writing with Chris McGrane will also go on release.  I am currently working on another new book, ‘Teach, Do, Practise, Behave’, which will be available in 2020 – this book is a response to the many teachers who have asked me to put together examples of my phasing model of learning.  The book takes several mathematical ideas and explores in depth how they would appear in the classroom during the four phases of a learning episode, with exemplar instructional materials, worksheets, tasks and inquiries.  So, then what?

2021 marks a particularly important anniversary for me, so I thought I’d do something a little different.  In April 2021, I will set off on a 1300 mile walk from Land’s End to John o’Groats.  My hope is that, along the way, perhaps for a day or two or even just a few hours (whatever is manageable), educators from across the UK will join me to walk and talk.  I want to discuss a whole range of educational issues and ideas with a wide variety of teachers and educators from all sorts of backgrounds, with all levels of experience and insight.  These discussions will come together in a new book, which I hope to be able to release in Autumn 2021, ‘Walks with Educators’ (working title – I’d be pleased to hear suggestions, particularly funny ones).

One of the fun things about walking LEJOG is inventing the route daily.  There is no prescribed path to take and it is entirely down to the walker to decide where to roam.  I have a rough plan, which I will stick to and deviate from as the mood takes me.  My intention is to walk through Cornwall and Devon along the northern coastal path, amble up to Bristol, cross the Servern into Wales, then take the Offa’s Dyke path.  I have walked Offa’s Dyke several times and really love the views from the path, but given my familiarity with this route, I might jump off the path and ramble somewhere unknown.  I might walk the full length of Offa’s Dyke and then cross through Cheshire to the Peak District, but more liklely I will leave Offa’s Dyke and cut across the country through Shropshire (where I will visit family) and then to the Peak District via Staffordshire.  After a pie and a pint at one of my favourite pubs in Edale, I’ll start off on the Pennine Way.  The Pennine Way is a 268 mile path, which I have walked several times and already know well.  It is an incredibly dull path, so I will divert many times en route to Scotland.  The path ends at Kirk Yetholm in the Scottish Borders.  I will then amble up to Edinburgh and then to Glasgow via Linlithgow (another chance to visit family).  It’s then onto the absolutely gorgeous West Highland Way, a 96 mile path from Milngavie to Fort William (my favourite section of the walk).  From Fort William, I will walk along the northern side of Loch Ness to Inverness, from where I will largely follow the coast to Wick and John o’Groats.

The walk will begin in April 2021 and end in July 2021 (all being well).  If you are an educator with interesting thoughts and ideas to share who would enjoy joining me for a day of hiking or you live somewhere along the way and would fancy talking education over supper and a pint, I would love to hear from you.

I will be carrying a full pack and intend on wild camping as often as I can (yes, I know it is illegal in England and no, I don’t give a damn), but if you fancy putting a trail battered hiker up for the night, please do let me know – the occasional shower and hot breakfast on a 90 day walk would be welcome!

I am also particularly interested to hear from several folk who can walk the same dates.  Some of my more bizarre friends have talked me into also making a ‘(Is this the way to) Amarillo’ video along the way… so if you don’t mind singing whilst other ramblers look at us with bewilderment, then you can join the hotchpotch band who will be edited together by a young person when I arrive home.

I am hoping ‘Walks with Educators’ will be an interesting mix of education theories, reflections on research, emerging evidence, classroom anecdotes, personal stories and colourful views on the state of schools, schooling and the education system as a whole.  If nothing else, at least I’ll be less fat than today.