Recovering from the pandemic

Let’s put the curriculum centre stage post-pandemic

Ask any teacher what the foundation of schooling is and chances are they’ll say the curriculum. It underpins nearly everything a teacher does – structuring lessons, delivering content and assessing how well students are performing.

So when schools and the wider education world emerges from the pandemic, will the curriculum save the day in terms of the attainment gap and accountability?

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pupil outcomes and reduce their workload

Can teachers raise pupil outcomes and reduce their workload at the same time?

Ask any teacher whether it is possible to raise pupil outcomes while reducing their workload and most will probably answer the same – no.

However, a new book by Robert Powell called Live Feedback explores strategies that promise to engage learners, raise attainment, and reduce the time spent on detailed marking of students’ work.

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Retrieval practice students

Retrieval practice is only as effective as the tasks you choose

A new research paper has revealed that the type of recall task a teacher chooses can substantially influence the effects of learning by retrieval practice.

It matters how to recall – task differences in retrieval practice (Endres et al, November 2020) explores how 54 university students studied two expository texts, followed by retrieval practice tasks.

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Where should teachers focus their efforts this academic year?

For teachers up and down the country, 2020 has been an interesting year to say the least. The coronavirus pandemic and its subsequent lockdown threw our education system into disarray, with millions of parents forced to tackle the challenge of home-schooling.

During this time, teachers themselves became key workers and had to provide pupils with schemes of work that could be delivered remotely. But now teachers must overcome a new obstacle – helping students catch up on work missed during the six-month stretch of school closures.

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5 Teaching Trends

5 Teaching Trends and Predictions for 2020

Beyond the logistics of schools themselves, such as government decisions, the following trends and predictions could soon be part of your regular routine.

If any of the following concepts feel somewhat unfamiliar, your school could be falling behind others in terms of its approach to education and support for teachers.

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Assessment in the Classroom

To Sit Beside, Not Sit Alone: Mastering Assessment in the Classroom

Many teachers will learn that assessment is either summative or formative. But how many actually know the etymological meaning of the word ‘assessment’?

According to Evangeline Harris Stefanakis (2002), “The word assess comes from the Latin assidere, which means to sit beside. Literally then, to assess means to sit beside the learner.”

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Teachers in 2020

Top Hopes and Fears for Teachers in 2020

For some, the start of a new year means healthier eating and more exercise. For others, it represents an opportunity to set goals and be more successful.

So, what about teachers? Well, it’s fair to say that most in education will have a number of hopes and fears for 2020, which are likely to include the following.

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The 12 Days Of Christmas

The 12 Days Of Christmas for Teachers

What does the run-up to the festive season look like at your school? Several teachers will integrate the 12 Days of Christmas into their lesson plans as a way to keep children engaged, as attention spans are usually at their shortest point of the year.

But why should teachers miss out on all the fun? Here’s an education-inspired 12 Days of Christmas, with a reading recommendation for each.

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red ink to blue ink for marking

Should you switch from red ink to blue ink for marking?

A few years ago, a US study suggested that teachers should stop using red pens because the colour is associated with ‘warning, prohibition, caution, anger, embarrassment and being wrong’.

The research revealed that students think they’ve been assessed more harshly when their work is covered in red ink compared to other colours. It could even have a negative impact on teacher-student relationships and learning outcomes.

News of the report was met with ridicule by many, including Tory MP Bob Blackman who said: “It sounds to me like some petty edict which is nonsense. It is absolutely political correctness gone wild.”

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Trainee Teachers

Four Ways to Make Trainee Teachers Feel More Welcome

Did you know that a quarter of teachers in England work more than 60 hours a week, far in excess of their counterparts elsewhere in the world? Recent research found that teachers in England work 47 hours a week on average during term time, including marking, lesson planning and administration, going up to about 50 hours in the summer during the exam season.

It goes without saying that finding the time for anything other than your daily duties is extremely difficult. But what about helping trainee teachers who are taking their first tentative steps into schools? How can established teachers ensure that the next generation have the best experience possible?

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