Have we dropped the ball? Promoting PE in the primary curriculum.

In this blog, Esther Fulton reflects on the place of PE in the primary curriculum and suggests how its status might be raised. PE expectations As the Teachers’ Standards state, teachers need to have a secure knowledge of curriculum areas and manage classes effectively both in classrooms and around the school. PE is one of …

The Power of an Immersive Curriculum

In this post, Thomas Dransfield, Class Teacher and Key Stage Leader at Bramcote Hills Primary School in Nottingham shares some examples of creating immersive environments across the curriculum. Our SPARK Curriculum In recent years, the curriculum has taken precedence amongst educational stakeholders, and rightly so, for it is the quality of a school’s curriculum which …

Under the Microscope: a closer look at Ofsted’s science research review

Over the last year, Ofsted has published research reviews into a range of different subjects, designed to collate the most current and most helpful research. In the first of our University of Nottingham Primary Education Network meetings for 2022, our colleague Jo Hancock led a session with a group of school leaders and tutors from …

Harnessing the power of story to promote mathematical learning

In this blog post, which was originally published on the 27th Nov, 2020 on ‘Ponderings on maths education’, Catherine Gripton and Helen J Williams explore how to harness the power of story to support mathematical learning. How might picture and story books enhance the mathematical experience we offer young children? All children are entitled to …

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 …