What are the signature pedagogies of teacher education?

At a time when teacher education is under the spotlight, Rupert Knight revisits Lee Shulman’s idea of signature pedagogies as a way of developing shared, ambitious principles for the education of beginning teachers. Learning to teach in England In the last year, the process of learning to teach has come under renewed scrutiny in England. …

Children reading in lockdown

In 2020, the National Literacy’s Trust’s (NLT) research revealed how UK children’s reading practices (age 8-18) changed during the first lockdown (from March 2020). Prior to the lockdown, the Trust’s Annual Literacy Survey had sadly revealed a 15-year low in children’s enjoyment of reading. However, the 2020 survey showed that children read and enjoyed reading …

Teacher resilience in Covid times

How can we support teacher resilience in Covid times? In this blog Esther Fulton considers how the current pandemic has affected the resilience of beginning teachers and suggests how key support can be put in place to help with this. As part of the ITE curriculum here at the University of Nottingham, one of the …

Assessment records in the early years: Reducing workload or reducing quality?

In this month’s blog, Cath Gripton reflects on the purpose of documenting assessment in the early years and cautions that we risk ‘throwing out the baby with the bathwater’ in reducing certain types of assessment records in the education of young children. Assessment documentation as evidence In a recent podcast, Camilla Gilmore stated that early …

Classroom practice in 2020: adaptation and opportunity?

In this post, Rupert Knight reflects on some of the changes to Primary classroom practice emerging this school year. Taking stock at the halfway point of this very unusual term, what are the questions that might arise as the school year proceeds? Not the usual start to a school year… When children and teachers returned …

Teachers’ changing professional identity

In this blog Esther Fulton looks at the processes involved in developing your own teacher identity, particularly in the current times. What does it mean to be a teacher during Covid-19? My own identity as a teacher educator has been dramatically altered during the last few months. My comfort zone has always been when I …

A dog’s life?

Children today are more immersed in virtual worlds and often lack the opportunity to interact with people, animals and nature during their formative years. This has then led to issues relating to wellbeing and mental health. In this post, building on an earlier one in this series on reading dogs, Esther Fulton considers the wider …

Life on the ‘tricky table’

  In this month’s primary blog post, Catherine Gripton explores ‘ability’ grouping from a child’s perspective and asks whether children experience ‘ability’ grouping in the way we think they do. To ‘ability’ group or not to ‘ability’ group? There is much debate about ‘ability’ grouping with questions raised about effectiveness and concerns that it widens …

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 …