Engaging learners for lifelong skills – Lewisham CCT Research Network

Sara Baker is a Professor of Developmental Psychology and Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. She is also Vice Master of Darwin College. Her research aims to improve children’s lives by identifying factors at home and at school that can support their agency over their own learning. In this session Sara will […]

Creating an effective learning environment, post COVID-19

Janet Goodall, Associate Professor, Swansea University, UK  When I was asked to write the editorial for this issue of the Chartered College of Teaching’s journal, I was flattered and very happy to do so, having been an advocate and supporter of the Chartered College since its earliest days. And the topic, of creating effective learning […]

The conscious construction of an effective whole-school culture

Tara McVey, Vice Principal, Towers School, UK In supportive schools, teachers not only tend to stay and be more effective, they also improve at a much greater rate over time (Kraft and Papay, 2014). For a school like ours, that is a game-changer. In our school, the one-stop solution for improving recruitment and retention, and thus […]

Developing teacher self-efficacy to support mental health

|Figure 1 is a summary of the outcomes after the Spotlight programme. It includes: 43% increase in teachers reporting ‘high’ levels of self efficacy (to 71%)

Kerry Hill FCCT, National School Improvement Partner, UK The 2021 Education Support Partnership’s Teacher Wellbeing Index again highlighted a significant concern about the levels of poor mental health within educational professionals. The report uncovered the fact that the mental wellbeing of teachers is worse now than during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, finding that […]

Exploring the evidence base: The role of routines in creating an effective learning environment

Ann-Marie Argyropulo-Palmer, Subject Leader for Music, University of Birmingham School, UK Whether introduced by individual teachers or employed school-wide by leaders, routines – a specific sequence of actions regularly followed – are a common feature of UK classrooms (DfE, 2011). Routines as recommended classroom practice can also be seen at a national level, with the […]

In it for the long haul: Building trusting relationships with parents

Jean Gross, independent consultant and author, UK  Nicola Noble, co-headteacher, Surrey Square Primary School, UK; Trustee, Magic Breakfast, UK Liz Robinson, Co-Director, Big Education, UK; Trustee, National Literacy Trust, UK A large body of research (Castro et al., 2015) has found substantial associations between students’ attainment and the extent of their parents’ engagement with their […]

Students’ perceptions of oracy: Implications for schools

Victoria Cook, Laura Guihen and Amy Gaunt, Voice 21, UK This article draws on a growing evidence base illustrating the positive difference that oracy education makes to children and young people’s outcomes and opportunities. We explore students’ perceptions of oracy, drawing on data collected from 1,994 primary and secondary students across England who had undertaken […]

Considerations of the whole-school reading environment when redesigning the English curriculum

Natasha Crellin, Headteacher, The Hill Primary School, UK Ofsted’s changes to the inspection framework in 2019 prompted schools to consider and refine their curriculum offer. Within our mainstream maintained primary school, the development of our English curriculum led us to reflect on the whole-school reading environment and the impact of this on our pupils’ interaction […]

A reflection on how and why we changed our Key Stage One learning environments

Mary Norton, Key Stage 1 Team Leader, Warden House Primary School, UK Introduction The more we considered the transition – from Reception to Year 1 – of a small group of children with specialist support, the more we questioned our practice for all children in our setting and researched the need for change. This article […]

Motivation for learning in an asynchronous environment: Oak National Academy in action

Katie Marl, Curriculum Manager, Education Team, Oak National Academy, UK Oak National Academy was created in April 2020 to support teachers and students during lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic. It hosts over 10,000 lessons, covering the entire National Curriculum for students aged four to 16, and includes 600 lessons for pupils with specialist needs. […]

High aspirations, clear expectations and positive behaviour management are key ingredients for creating an effective learning environment

Bethan Coles, Teacher Education, University of Bedfordshire, UK Introduction Students with either high aspirations or high expectations have higher school achievement than those with both low aspirations and low expectations. (Khattab, 2015, p. 731) Low teacher expectations do not necessarily negatively impact on students’ behaviour if there are high aspirations and achievement in place. The […]

Story Links: Therapeutic storywriting with parents and children at risk of exclusion

Dr Trisha Waters, Centre for Therapeutic Storywriting, UK Elizabeth Holmes, Freelance education writer, UK Introduction Story Links is a parent partnership model of intervention that supports students at risk of exclusion due to mental health and behavioural difficulties related to attachment anxiety. It uses the principles of therapeutic storywriting (Waters, 2004). The theoretical background of […]

Growth mindset and brain plasticity – the neuroscientific underpinnings of learning

|Figure 1 shows a diagrammatic representation of YesUCan. It gives the four academic mindsets that affect whether we learn as: Self-efficacy

David Bowman, Teacher of Mathematics, GLOW Maths hub, UK The article ‘Mistakes, mindsets and mathematics’ (Bowman, 2018) discussed the four academic mindsets (Farrington et al., 2012) that are the core of the ‘YesUCan’ message (Figure 1). ‘YesUCan’ is a belief that, with effort and great teaching, it is possible to improve in all things. It […]

‘What do you need from me?’ An overview of effective behaviour management in the primary classroom from a teacher’s perspective

Coral Huby, Curriculum Developer, New Horizons Children’s Academy Introduction Behaviour management is taught widely across every point in a teacher’s career in the classroom. We have all come up against those classes, groups, children that push the boundaries to avoid something: learning, interaction, perhaps truth. But consider the language used there – ‘come up against’. […]

Shaping the space: Learning environment and SEMH

Beth Greville-Giddings, Learning and Development Lead, Raleigh Education Trust, UK The term ‘learning environment’ includes many factors. Tapia-Fonllem et al. (2020) discuss the attributes of learning environments across five different dimensions: physical: spaces, furniture, decoration academic: curricular  materials social: interpersonal interactions institutional:  governance and administration wellbeing/ cultural: psychosocial environment.   This review considers the physical […]

It’s easier to be what you can see: Supporting EAL learners in multilingual classrooms

Johanna Thomson, Primary Link Tutor, The Tommy Flowers SCITT, UK; EAL Content Writer, Twinkl Educational Publishing Ltd, UK One and a half million students in England are English as an additional language (EAL) learners (The Bell Foundation, 2020a). Yet too often in school, being multilingual can be viewed as a barrier to making academic progress […]

Equity and English as an additional language: Looking beyond deficit and asset lenses

|FIGURE 1 shows different approaches to viewing children with EAL. Deficit lens includes: Weaknesses and Can’t do. Assets lens includes: Talents

Jacob Huckle, Head of EAL at an international school; part-time doctoral student, University of Bath, UK According to the latest school census, 19.3 per cent of students in England’s schools are learning English as an additional language (EAL), which is around 1.6 million students (Explore Education Statistics, 2021). Although there is no specific data, it’s […]

Supporting students who use English as an additional language: Lightening the cognitive load

Emily Walker, Shaw Primary Academy, UK Cognitive load theory has been continually developed since the 1980s and is concerned with the processing ability of memory (Garnett, 2020). The following two areas of cognitive load are important to consider when supporting learners:  the characteristics and level of complexity of the material or task itself, known as […]

Opening doors to excellence in English at Rowner Junior School

Emily Weaver, Assistant Headteacher, Rowner Junior School, Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust, UK Kerry Payne, Executive Headteacher, Gosport and Fareham Multi Academy Trust, UK Rowner Junior School, part of the Gosport and Fareham MAT, is a coastal school serving a demographic of high deprivation: 62 per cent of learners are eligible for additional pupil […]