What does continuous provision mean to you?

With the perpetually increasing pace of change in education it feels hard to keep up with new initiatives. Often when we do catch our breath we realise we haven’t fully grasped what the new jargon means or how we should be improving practice, sometimes we see repeated patterns and at other times we catch up …

When Less is More: Learning from professional development opportunities

  Past posts in this series have discussed ‘Teaching for Mastery’ and the Shanghai-England primary exchange.  In this new post Catherine Gripton reflects upon what she learned from observing a Chinese teacher’s lesson and considers these in the light of teacher professional development. Learning from lessons The Mathematics Teacher Exchange, involving teachers from England and …

The Importance of a Daily Whole-Class Read – Enjoying a Book for a Book’s Sake

Past posts in this series have discussed picture books in the primary classroom and high quality children’s literature.  In this new post Sally Betteridge considers the benefits of reading to your class. The joy and wonder on their faces as you capture them in the imaginary world of the story – they are hooked on …

A Dialogic stance

Building on an earlier post in this series which looked at oracy, Rupert Knight considers here the concept of the dialogic classroom, how it relates to a culture valuing spoken language more generally and how this might serve a wider purpose. Oracy as a foundation A previous post in this series explored the concept of …

How can the building of ‘relationships’ maintain good classroom management?

  The importance of mental health and well-being of children has become an important focus within education. In this post Esther Fulton considers the role of positive relationships in creating a nurturing classroom environment. The DfE has recently published a paper that highlights the importance of schools creating ‘safe and calm environments’ and ‘equipping pupils …

“Line up: boy, girl, boy, girl”: Revisiting gender labels in the primary school

    BOY GIRL BOY GIRL BOY GIRL BOY GIRL GIRL GIRL BOY GIRL So, what is wrong with this pattern? The ninth term should be ‘BOY’, correct? This is a familiar type of simple repeating pattern than children in their Reception year might engage with.  However, there is a deeper issue.  Why do we …

Good habits? Habits of mind and mastery in the primary mathematics classroom

    Primary mathematics teaching in the UK is undergoing something of a revolution as the roll-out of mathematics mastery continues.  In this post, Rupert Knight considers how this relates to the idea of mathematical habits of mind and metacognitive strategies at a time when a new 2018 Education Endowment Foundation report has brought metacognition …

Homework – what is it and is this what we really want it to be?

      Homework is an increasingly commonplace activity in the UK’s primary schools and thus in homes across the land. In this post, Rachel Lehner-Mear considers how homework is currently conducted and asks whether there might be a better approach. Why are we setting homework? As the new school year gets under way, the …

How to make the world a better place: teach children how to think

Teachers generally believe that education can make the world a better place, but we need to realise there is some good news, and some bad news about this. In this post, John Perry reflects on the place of thinking skills in our schools. Firstly, some good news: schools are improving. More children achieve more highly …

The world in your classroom: using technology to inspire and engage

Technology is increasingly prevalent in schools but not necessarily used to best effect as a learning resource, as noted in an international context by the OECD in this 2015 report.  In this post, Rachel Walker from Sneinton C of E Primary School in Nottingham shares her experiences of using technology in a productive way. I …