About and Contents


Salutations! My name is Michael Smyth (@tlamjs) and this is my blog. I am a Biology teacher who is lucky enough to be an Assistant Head involved in teaching and learning and a former Head of Department. Blog topics range from education to sport to all things in between. The Twitter handle and subsequent blog name TLAMJS is an acronym of Teaching, Learning and Assessment followed by my initials. This is in homage to the Berkhamsted Teaching, Learning and Assessment that inspired me to become more actively involved in this area of education. All my best ideas come from elsewhere or at the very least in close collaboration with other brilliant minds. And let us not forget Charles Darwin’s words “ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge.”


I have tried to group these but please bear in mind that this is a loose classification (there is always a monotreme to proof the rule).

Teaching and Learning

Forum on Education

Education Conferences


  • Success, Failure and Multiplication ideas on the importance of learning from mistakes and introducing the Multiplier Effect.
  • Jaffa Cakes and Writing Less, Better looking at the ways we can help students distil their thoughts and transfer them into writing.
  • The One Hundred One Percents based on Sir Clive Woodward’s idea that “winning the Rugby World Cup was not about doing one thing 100% better, but about doing one hundred things 1% better”. This post looks at how this philosophy might be applied to teaching and learning and is the basis of my popular conference workshop.
  • Tickety-boo detailing why examining is something every teacher should have a go at and describing some common errors with quick fixes.
  • (Relatively) radical thoughts examining two unorthodox approaches to timetable allocation and picking teachers.
  • Teaching and Learning Observations exploring ways to make a lesson observation more teacher-centred and less about box ticking.
  • Tomatoes and Pens: Revision Ideas details the Pomodoro technique and an idea for completing past papers.
  • Sweet Success or why I don’t think we should be using sugar as a reward.
  • Gridiron Greatness a book review of The Score Takes Care of Itself looking at how to create a culture of success.
  • Assessment Working Party Findings detailing a proposal borne from the collective minds of staff.


  • (Tab)let them eat cake a summary of a session I chaired with staff in September 2014 to discuss how tablets might be used in our School.
  • (Tab)let them eat cake II the first follow up to the initial post and looks at the formation of a Working Party to explore this area.
  • (Tab)let them eat cake III a further exploration of EdTech including trialling tablets and setting homework on a VLE.




A Level


Please note that the views and opinions expressed on this blog represent Michael only and no-one else. All feedback appreciated.

1 thought on “About and Contents

  1. Pingback: Why I don’t worry about blogging (anymore) | tlamjs

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