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How might the use of Schemes of Work impact on teacher autonomy?

Annu Pabla and Jack Bryne Stothard, Institute of Education, University of Derby, UK Introduction This article considers and critiques the pedagogical and curricular implications of relying heavily upon schemes of work/schemes of learning (SoW/L) for the profession of teaching, as well as for the learners in our mathematics classrooms. We consider our own experiences and […]

Collaboration for inclusion: When research and practice spark new possibilities

Aimee Durning MBE, Director of Inclusion and Community University of Cambridge Primary School Stephen Kilgour, SEND Advisor and Outreach Teacher at Tapestry Shona Morgan, Outreach Advisor Cherry Gardens School, London Andrea Silvain, Co-Headteacher at School 360 James Biddulph FCCT FRSA, Executive Headteacher University of Cambridge Primary School Introduction Sometimes when we talk about special educational […]

Nurturing epistemic agency through interdisciplinary enquiry

DR CAROLINE THOMAS AND DR LEE HAZELDINE, SENIOR LECTURERS IN EDUCATION, RESEARCHERS IN EPISTEMIC INSIGHT IN INITIAL TEACHER EDUCATION, CANTERBURY CHRIST CHURCH UNIVERSITY, UK The OECD considers the development of epistemic knowledge an imperative for the 21st century (OECD, 2018, 2021). Epistemic knowledge describes what student-teachers and their pupils learn about the methods, processes and […]

Leadership for creative thinking in schools: How current research and innovation is putting creativity back into schools in England

BILL LUCAS, PROFESSOR OF LEARNING, UNIVERSITY OF WINCHESTER, UK  The curricula of both Scotland (Creative Scotland, nd) and Wales (Welsh Government, 2015) actively encourage creative thinking. In England, however, creative thinking is largely absent in the current National Curriculum. Recently, through the Creativity Collaboratives initiated by Arts Council England (Durham University, 2019), and arising from […]

Developing creative thinking

RUTH UNSWORTH AND PETER RAYMOND, SENIOR LECTURERS, YORK ST JOHN UNIVERSITY, UK The ability to think creatively is recognised as a key life skill in our complex, globalised society (Vincent-Lancrin et al., 2019). Yet there is conflict surrounding definitions and uses of creativity in relation to education. Some authors argue that creativity is a skill […]

Teaching for creativity using the five creative habits of mind at primary and secondary


The power of stories: Integrating high quality reading to raise achievement

RACHEL WATSON, HEAD OF HISTORY, BISHOP CHALLONER CATHOLIC COLLEGE, UK The power of stories must not be underestimated. Stories are used from an early age to develop children’s vocabulary and understanding of the world around them; so why do we not use stories more often in secondary school lessons? The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF, 2018) […]

ACT Teaching Citizenship Conference 2023

Climate Empowerment – the role of Citizenship and Personal Development Teachers This year’s conference theme is Climate Empowerment – the role of Citizenship and Personal Development Teachers. This draws on the term adopted by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to denote their most recent priorities for education announced at COP27. ACT’s Teaching Citizenship […]

Why whole-child development is essential for schools

JENNY GRIFFITHS, RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE MANAGER, TEACH FIRST, UK Background In the wake of two years of disruption of learning due to the pandemic, there are increasing concerns about the wellbeing of children and young people beyond the narrative of the need for academic ‘catch-up’ (DfE, 2023). Reports of greater numbers of children performing below […]

A time for change: Developing a coherent sustainability curriculum

ELIZABETH LUPTON AND HANNAH WHAITES, PRIMARY CURRICULUM, UNITED LEARNING, UK The Department for Education recognises the important role that education and children’s services should have in all aspects of sustainability. In their sustainability and climate strategy for the education and children’s services system, they set out four strategic aims: 1. to provide ‘excellence in education […]

Taking curriculum learning outdoors

VICTORIA COOK, EDUCATION AND RESEARCH PROJECT SPECIALIST, CHARTERED COLLEGE OF TEACHING, UK Academic learning can be made experiential and practical by taking curriculum learning outdoors (Mann et al., 2022a). While learning outside the classroom can include built-environment locations (such as museums or city streetscapes), the value of learning in natural outdoor settings is most frequently […]

Oracy skills development for collaborative learning

HAYLEY MURPHY, DIRECTOR OF TEACHING AND LEARNING AND YEAR 2 TEACHER, EVERSFIELD PREPARATORY SCHOOL, UK When using collaborative learning (CL) in Year 2 lessons, I became conscious that the focus was on task outcome and that the students’ collaborative skills were not as effective as they could be. During my Year 2 CL lesson in […]

An exploration of emotional regulation in neurodivergent brains

LAURA JUNIPER, SENDCo, THE REACH FREE SCHOOL, UK We all experience intense emotional responses throughout our lives: the quickening of our heartbeat, the rapid breathing and racing thoughts. Often, this is an adaptive and normal response to a threatening event. Our body is preparing itself for the fight or flight response. We choose our response […]

Enabling students to feel a sense of belonging and connection through an inclusive curriculum

Sophie Smith-Tong, Teacher and Founder, Mindfulness for Learning, UK  At the heart of creating an innovative and effective curriculum is enabling students to feel a sense of belonging and connection. American Psychologist Louis Cozolino states that ‘Children learn best when they feel protected and connected’ (2013, p. 241), so how can educators ensure that children […]

The importance of belonging

KATE THORNTON, LEAD PRACTITIONER FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING, PENWORTHAM PRIORY ACADEMY, UK I would happily bet money that in your staffroom everyone has a seat or at least an area where they sit. Nobody would actually claim a seat to be ‘theirs’, but if you went in on Monday and rearranged the furniture, everyone would […]

Building adaptive expertise to improve outcomes for learners with SEND

SOPHIE DICKIN AND AMELIE THOMPSON, GIPSY HILL FEDERATION, UK Introduction  The proportion of pupils identified as having a special educational need or disability (SEND) has risen from 14.9 per cent in 2019 to 16.6 per cent in 2022 (DfE, 2019, 2022). There is an increased demand for special school places without a corresponding increase in […]

An education of the head, heart and hand

Liz Robinson and Sarah Seleznyov, Big Education, UK Big Education is a multi-academy trust with three schools: Surrey Square, School 360 and School 21. The trust works with a network of over 500 schools across the UK, focusing on developing pupils as empowered and successful individuals, and moving beyond a narrow emphasis on teaching for […]

Tranquiliti event – Achieving systemic change

This in-person event (Location TBC) will draw some of the leading voices in the space to discuss what it will take to shift the dial around student wellbeing.  Consisting of a panel discussion and break-out workshops from specialists in different fields, we will be speaking openly about the challenges faced in schools and share some […]