Author Archives: James Murphy

A Door Into The Dark

There is something more in this than natural, if philosophy could find it out. – Hamlet I have of late been haunted by an image from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. In a post-apocalyptic world, starving bands of survivors roam a … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

What Dreams May Come

If it be now, ‘tis not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now . . . – Hamlet He gazed past the gleaming stainless steel, through the floor-to-ceiling glass windows to the vibrant, pulsating city far … Continue reading

Posted in Education, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

More Light?

OPHELIA: The king rises! HAMLET: What? Frighted with false fire? CLAUDIUS: Give me some light! Away! – Hamlet  In Act Three of Hamlet, the troubled prince hatches a plan to prove the king’s guilt. He stages a play re-enacting the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Requiem for a Straw Man

” . . . and indeed it takes From our achievements, though performed at height, The pith and marrow of our attribute.” – Hamlet There is a common refrain in the discourse about teaching reading that almost immediately derails the debate, … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Reading is Knowledge

Originally posted on thinkingreadingwritings:
We shouldn’t confuse skills with knowledge  One of the most discussed topics in education today is that of the so-called ‘knowledge curriculum’. Its most famous proponent is E D Hirsch, who has written extensively on the…

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment


O, what a noble mind is here o’erthrown! Ophelia, Hamlet. It should not be surprising that a recent report by the Social Mobility Commission found that educational inequality is increasing. Schools tend to reflect, rather than direct, their communities, so … Continue reading

Posted in Education | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

8 DIY Steps to Build a Reading Culture

Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy, But not expressed in fancy; rich, not gaudy  – Hamlet Many UK schools have invested in online ‘reading acceleration’ schemes which claim to foster a richer reading culture and to improve students’ motivation to read. … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments