Written by a group of American authors including Richard Elmore (2009), whose work has always been hugely insighful,  Instructional Rounds in Education: a network approach to improving teaching and learning is part of the newly emerging work on evidence based practice.  This book is the result of research into ‘doing the rounds’, in the same way that in medicine professional expertise is systematically developed by dialogue and analysing evidence.  Too often in the UK we are too quick to judge teaching and learning, without these first two prior steps.  Want to gather evidence on how effective teaching is?  Watch what the students are doing and talk to them about it – then combine that with thoughtful debate and a rigorous look at what the data shows.

Guy Claxton & Bill Lucas (2010) New Kinds of Smart: how the science of learnable intelligence is changing education.  From just down the road in Winchester, this work brings us bang up to date on the educational implications of the latest thinking on how the mind works.  We are planning on working with the 4:5:1 model of real world intelligence next year, as we develop more powerful ways of learning.  There are some other interesting thoughts from Guy Claxton & Bill Lucas here: http://www.winchester.ac.uk/ABOUTUS/LIFELONGLEARNING/ CENTREFORREALWORLDLEARNING/Pages/Publications.aspx

Carol Dweck (2007) Mindset has some great ideas for developing a shared language around intelligence and learning.  I’ve used this in a number of assemblies this year and it never fails to provoke thought and discussion.  This is another evidence based set of ideas that we will pick up in our powerful learning work in the coming months.  http://mindsetonline.com/

Ram Charan (2005) Boards That Deliver – this has got to be one of the only genuinely exciting books on governance written anywhere, anytime.  How can a governing board be both progressive and add value?  We’re going to try to adapt the best ideas from the public and private sectors in getting stuck into this book’s  main prognosis.

Ram Charan (2002) Execution: the discipline of getting things done.  Inspired by the above, this is an excellent antedote to the idea that the Principal and senior leaders should concentrate on vision and strategy.  Proper execution involves developing people and internal capacity.  We know that really, but it’s good to be reminded – especially in an academy that’s just starting out.