Best-selling education author ‘inspired’ by Carrickfergus Grammar School

Carrickfergus Grammar School has been credited for helping to inspire a new book by a popular education writer.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 5:46 pm

Kate Jones is an author and a head of History based in Abu Dhabi whose most recent book based on best teaching practice in the classroom was a best-seller.

Miss Jones made the comments about “working with incredible staff at Carrickfergus Grammar School” in a video and to her 25,000 followers on social media on the cusp of the publication of her latest work, which features a case study on the North Road school.

The case study on Carrickfergus Grammar charts the school’s journey in recent years, culminating in its new learning and teaching policy.

James Maxwell, principal of Carrickfergus Grammar School.
James Maxwell, principal of Carrickfergus Grammar School.

Speaking about Miss Jones’ comments, principal James Maxwell said: “Over the past number of years Carrickfergus Grammar School has been on a somewhat unrelenting journey to understand and develop our own concept of what we deem are the ingredients of outstanding teaching. We call it the ‘CGS brand’.

“It was a journey rooted in evidence-based research alongside our own experiences of the classroom. The outcome was six clearly defined principles: stretch and challenge for all pupils, highly effective questioning, the benchmarking of brilliance in relation to work, scaffolding of work so that all students can meet ambitious learning intentions, robust feedback and the pursuit of mastery through evidence of independent practice.

“We are thrilled, but not surprised, that the Carrickfergus Grammar brand is starting to get recognition, not least through Kate Jones’ ground-breaking book into the art of retrieval practice. Retrieval practice is something which our students here will know well, and in a recent survey I was delighted that over 75% of parents indicated that their child had mentioned or discussed retrieval at home.”

Meanwhile, the Carrickfergus school is believed to have become the first in Northern Ireland to appoint a director of education, Mr Mark Roberts. Click here to read:

Last year, the school noted record results, with 100% of its girls attaining 3 A* - C passes at A Level, and over 92% of boys.

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