Military Service Pupils in Schools

Supporting Military Service Pupils in Schools

Did you know that whilst many children of parents serving in the British Armed Forces attend schools that have a high percentage of service pupils, the majority attend schools with less than ten service children?

Children in this situation have unique circumstances where they may have been separated from a parent for long periods, moved homes and schools frequently, or even relocated to different countries.

Teachers can be ill-equipped to understand how they can help these military pupils but fortunately, a charity called Little Troopers has developed a programme of resources to help pupils from reception to sixth form. Designed with the help of educational psychologists, behavioural experts and play therapists, the resources are very helpful to any school that has children from a service background.

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What is COP26?

COP26 – What can schools do to tackle climate change?

What is COP26?

With climate change in the headlines daily, it has been impossible to miss the news coverage of the COP26 conference held in Glasgow from 31st October. Despite this being the 26th Conference of the Parties brought together by the United Nations to discuss climate change, it has only been this year that it has obtained so much attention in the media worldwide.

The UK government took a leading role in this year’s conference and the Department for Education (DfE) has been given the huge responsibility for fighting against climate change by educating young people.

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Teacher Feedback

Reducing the Burden of Teacher Feedback

Time spent on marking students’ work and writing individual feedback has long been seen as adding to teacher workload. Moving away from written feedback is an obvious option to reduce teacher workload but schools are often reluctant to let go of the evidence that written feedback provides.

In an environment where school leaders are looking to reduce teacher workloads, it is important to be able to prove to Ofsted and parents that verbal feedback is an effective alternative to providing written feedback.

Looking at some current research into verbal feedback methods may help school leaders and teachers ensure they are following best practices. It should certainly open a debate into how changes could be trialled.

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Great Head Teacher

What Makes a Great Head Teacher?

A question often asked in education is how to determine whether a head teacher is a good one. The attributes required to be one of the best head teachers may well be the same as required by any great leader, but a head teacher’s role can be particularly complex whatever type of school they are leading.

This is a list of eight qualities that you will want to see in the best head teachers.

A great head teacher:

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Teachers Read Books

Why do Teachers Read Books About Education?

According to the NEU, many teachers suffer from stress and a heavy workload during term time, so is it unexpected that many teachers choose to read books about education during their holidays?

There has been some stigma attached to teachers who use their free time reading education books with many on social media showing a lack of understanding and using derogatory language to suggest that they don’t have a life.

There are many reasons why some teachers choose to do this extra reading in their holiday time.

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Teacher Stress

Teacher Stress in England

Teacher stress in England is a topic that has been raised over several years with many teachers opting to leave the profession, retire early or look for alternatives within education. Professor Wettstein carried out a study in 2020  that concluded that many factors lead to teaching being a highly stressful career across the globe.

Many teachers in England each year look towards the private sector for a less stressful teaching option but is this a viable alternative that will reduce teacher stress?

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Working Memory

What is Working Memory?

Working memory is defined as a cognitive system that holds information temporarily and has a limited capacity. Working memory is considered to be important for reasoning and decision making and also controlling behaviour. In education, working memory is something often talked about by teachers when they notice students struggling with processing or retaining information in the classroom.

Baddeley (1974) developed a working model that established that working memory is distinct from long term memory and not only does it deal with retaining information but also processes the information to develop cognition.

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Essential Books for Teachers

Essential Books for Teachers

All teachers know that their learning about teaching doesn’t stop at the end of their degree or PGCE. As well as developing their own classroom experience, most teachers are genuinely interested in continuing to explore ideas and research.

It can be hard to decide which books to prioritise, so why not look at some recommended titles here:

The Future of Teaching

This is an interesting take on teaching written by Prof Guy Claxton, a cognitive scientist who has some divisive opinions. His critical approach has caused some controversy on social media and the headlines created have certainly brought his book to the attention of many within the profession.

Claxton uses his knowledge to question the use of cognitive science in policymaking that dictates a particular teaching style. With the new Early Years Curriculum coming into play this year it is a very topical subject within the profession.

How Learning Happens

Paul Kirschner and Carl Hendrick have rigorously compiled what they consider to be the most important research publications in the psychology of education and gone on to provide a summary of the conclusions for each with some practical suggestions for teachers to use in the classroom.

This is an excellent book with distinct chapters that contain links to further reading, making this a very practical and accessible work for teachers to learn from.

The BASIC Coaching Method

Written and published by Andy Buck, a former headteacher, this is a guide for teachers and school leaders in the art of coaching.

It provides an excellent background in coaching with strategies for promoting coaching within schools. Designed with lots of interactive questions and self-evaluation it enables the reader to develop their techniques in coaching.

Stop Talking, Start Influencing

With 15 years of experience in conducting brain research, the author Jared Cooney Horvath is well qualified to advise on how people learn.

This book is a great read for those who are interested in finding out how to make their teaching more successful and get a deeper understanding of their students.

Classroom Observation 2.0

Despite a culture shift in the value of classroom observations for making judgements, observation is still very much a regular practice in most schools. This book, written by Prof Matt O’Leary, is an essential read for anyone who has responsibility for observing others.

Based on good research, it shows how effective observations can be when based on reliable evaluation methods. An excellent book for improving observation techniques and adding more value to the results.

Retrieval Practice

Retrieval practice is a very topical idea in education. This book, by Kate Jones, a current teacher, is an excellent example of sharing peer knowledge and research findings to enhance practice.

It provides excellent evidence based ideas to help teachers in the classroom at primary and secondary to develop strategies for improving teaching, learning and long term memory.

Powerful Teaching

This book, written in 2019 is by cognitive scientist Dr Pooja Agarwal and experienced teacher Dr Patrice Bain. Their collaboration led to a practical book that is full of research based ideas to bring easily implemented ideas to be applied in the classroom.

Teaching Walkthrus

This very accessible book by Tom Sherrington and Oliver Caviglioli presents 50 ideas divided into bite sized chunks with illustrations to inform teachers and provide a range of resources to use in class.

Easy to dip into but backed up by educational research it is a great one for teachers to have in their toolkit.

Connect the Dots

Tricia Taylor wrote this book in 2019 to explore the connection between relationships, memory and mindsets in relation to learning.

Based on excellent research in the field it contains useful guides for leaders to enable them to develop CPD training for staff as well as making it a great read for those teachers interested in cognitive science.

Children in playground

5 Active Learning Ideas

Active learning is about far more than just getting pupils to be physically active in the classroom. Lots of research suggests that regular active learning activities can have huge benefits to the effectiveness of student’s learning but the strategy only has a significant impact if the learners are given the opportunity to actively engage with material so that they retain the learning.

Three primary schools that took part in the annual National School Sport Week run by the Youth Sport Trust found that using active learning helped students to develop specific skills and explore concepts in a different way.

Here are 5 ideas for introducing active learning:

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