Website revamp

Great new website

Paul Garrard, artist - News


I’ve revamped my website. I’m now using the WordPress framework. It’s still work in progress but I’m happy that it looks complete. Please take a visit to:

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Hubris indeed!

I was just congratulating myself on achieving calm and order in my mind. My last real attack was back in October and finally writing about it seemed to be a turning point as I’ve had very little to deal with since. One up to me!

Last night I had the worse attack I think I’ve ever had. Certainly rivalled the tearing off of the wedding outfit one. Absolutely no rhyme. No reason. I had a very relaxing evening. A bit of Twitter. Watched rubbish TV. Did jigsaws on the iPad as I watched. Nothing stressful. Just chilling.

Plucking my eyebrows before bed, as you do, it hit me. Wave after wave of anxiety. Unable to move. Couldn’t breathe. Nauseous.  Shaking. None of the coping mechanisms I’d developed working. I lay on the cold of the bathroom floor praying for it to end. Weeping with the utter helplessness I felt.

In time it passed. A long time. Much longer than previous episodes. Is this my punishment for daring to believe I’ve conquered this debilitating condition? How dare I!  How very dare I!

I awoke this morning still feeling shaken by it. Family coming today though including my beloved Toots. Get up and get on.

I start a course on Monday with FutureLearn on Mindfulness and I am hopeful that it will provide other strategies and techniques I can call on in the future. As a good friend keeps saying to me ‘onward and upward.’ I will keep travelling forward. I accept there will be delays on my journey but I will get there!

More hubris. I’d better be careful.

The Punch That Ali Never Threw

Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

It was another time, another place and I was another person. Way before I was a teacher and I could sit in the pub in the afternoon. This time in London, somewhere, I can’t remember, wasting time with an old friend. The radio played a local station and we more or less ignored it. Until, after a sports report which told us nothing, we heard that Mohammed Ali was signing books in Tottenham Court Road that afternoon. An opportunity not to be missed, we finished our drinks (probably) and got a ludicrously expensive cab across the city. Sure enough, half an hour later, a large man shuffled out off a limo and blinked in the afternoon sunshine. It was Ali. We turned into little children in his presence.

I’d never been so close to greatness since – as I found out later – I’d barged passed a young Diego Maradona…

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Some commentary on History, progression and the Social Studies benchmarks

Excellent and thought provoking article.

Professor Mark Priestley

The following is a guest post from Dr Joe Smith, University of Stirling, on the assessment of History using the new benchmarks.

Curriculum for Excellence is presently being equipped with ‘benchmarks’ to clarify what a child at each ‘level’ might be expected to know and do.  In terms of history, this means that Education Scotland have addressed the messy question of progression in historical understanding.  This blog posts explores some of the problems with the proposals. (NB. Some of the arguments here are similar to those I raised in The Curriculum Journal 2016)


There exist several models for progression in history education, but all are based on the uncontroversial premise that ‘getting better’ means something other than ‘knowing more’.  There is, after all, a literally infinite amount that one might know about the past and so to say that, ‘I know more history than you’ is to say…

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A Lifetime of Resentments and Insecurities

All too true for too many of our children Kenny.

Just Trying to be Better Than Yesterday

tazOften like a whirlwind, often like a Tazmanian Devil, he storms, belligerently out of my class on the bell in the same rebellious manner as he enters: with somewhere better to be and another fifty minutes chalked off from his day. Negotiating six periods daily is a constant battle for him. What has changed is, in his developing maturity, he now doesn’t fight as much, knowing that this is something he must endure until he can leave school. He does what he needs to do, avoids what he can avoid and gets out of here as fast as he can.

For kids like him, school has been an abject failure. Education has never been respected in his family – what has it ever done for them? – and we have whole-heartedly failed to change that for him. Counting the days, looking at the clock, biding his time. He’ll leave school…

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