Learning to be a subject advocate

In this blog post Anna Baker and Rachael Trott, supported by Catherine Gripton, reflect upon their experiences on the ‘Primary School Direct with Mathematics’ programme, summarising what supports beginning teachers to become advocates for a subject alongside developing their practice in the full range of primary subjects. Learning to teach Teaching is complex and learning …

Spatial thinking: the missing piece in mathematics education?

In this blog post Catherine Gripton explores the potential of spatial thinking for supporting children’s success in mathematics, starting from the early years of primary school. Spatial thinking improves mathematics learning International rankings for education, such as TIMMS and PISA, compare countries by the performance of children and young people on mathematics tests. These are …

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 …

Using visual models to solve problems and explore relationships in Mathematics: beyond concrete, pictorial, abstract – Part 1

This two-part blog series by Marc North explores some thinking and strategies for using representations in Mathematics lessons. Part 1 unpicks some of the key theoretical ideas around the use of representations and models and foregrounds how representations can be used to both solve problems and explore mathematical relationships. Part 2 will illustrate these theoretical …

From caveman to concepts: Making history count in the primary classroom

In this blog, Victoria Crooks considers six ideas for developing primary history, along with some practical strategies. “Mum you’ll never guess what happened today!” These words we’re delivered by my 7-year-old with a frisson of excitement. That morning he had arrived at school to find his classroom in near darkness. The walls and windows had …

Building communities of engaged readers: an exciting opportunity for local primary teachers

In this post Helen Victoria Smith explores the idea of ‘reading for pleasure’ and how research-informed practice can build communities of engaged readers. She draws on research carried out by the Open University (OU) and United Kingdom Literacy Association (UKLA) to discuss the importance of developing ‘Reading Teachers’, and offers the opportunity for local primary …

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 …

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 …

Realising the wider purpose of teaching Modern Languages through integrative approaches

Language learning is now compulsory in primary schools in England. Although the move may initially have appeared as a bold one in 2014, when compared to earlier practice, much work developing capacity in primary schools preceded the change in policy. And much work continues to ensure the delivery of languages is maximised for the benefit …

Mathematics Shanghai style

Three things I learnt from a mathematics lesson study during the Shanghai-England Primary Teacher Exchange   The Exchange During November, the latest leg of the Shanghai-England primary exchange took place.  This is the fourth year of an exchange of primary teachers organised by the Department for Education through local Maths Hubs.  In September, two primary …