Tuning in to expert teachers: seeing beneath the surface of classroom practice

In this post, Rupert Knight considers what we mean by teacher expertise and how we might get better at looking for this in action. Speaking in an October 2019 article in the TES about the current upsurge of interest in evidence-informed practice, Mel Ainscow advised caution in the use of evidence by teachers, arguing that: …

Modelling: some thoughts on thinking aloud

In this post, Rupert Knight reflects on the value of modelling as a ‘core practice’ and the live, thinking aloud component of this in particular. In every teacher’s repertoire, there are a number of specific pedagogical practices that are fundamental to almost any subject taught.  They might include, for example, explaining a new concept or …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Why Philosophy with children?

  In this post, Sally Betteridge considers the benefits of doing Philosophy with children and shares her experiences. Is it a ‘nice’ added extra or an essential part of children’s education? Children taking part in Philosophy lessons has been an area of discussion for many years. With an already very busy Primary curriculum it’s not …

Finding a place for inquiry

The OECD have just published the results of the latest PISA survey on collaborative problem solving.  In the accompanying editorial, its educational director, Andreas Schleicher points to the importance of communication-intensive activities in promoting effective collaboration and thereby preparation for a rapidly changing world of work. This is echoed by groups like the Partnership for …