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 […]

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 […]

A hard habit to break? The power of independent study behaviours in the Sixth Form

Katie Cork, Head of Sixth Form, St Mary’s School, Gerrards Cross Study habits and academic achievement In post-16 education, a student studying for three A-levels has 10 or more hours of undirected time a week within their timetable; this is around half the time recommended for students to spend on independent study (Oakes and Griffin, […]

Fostering joy in the academically rigorous English classroom

Dena Eden, English Standards Leader, Inspiration Trust, UK Joy and academic rigour are often dichotomised. However, through careful consideration and application of cognitive science, we can appreciate not only how they can co-exist, but also how academic rigour is crucial if we are to see our students taking joy from English. An academically rigorous classroom […]

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. […]

Leading girls: Creating a supportive environment where girls embrace leadership opportunities

Gemma Hargraves, Assistant Head (Pastoral) at King Edward VI High School for Girls, Birmingham.  Despite the overachievement of girls in education remaining a persistent historic trend, there may be room for improvement in their willingness to embrace leadership opportunities within secondary schools. Creating the conditions for girls to thrive in education may appear simple when […]

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 […]

‘Doing well and being well’ – what’s the difference? A study of secondary school teachers’ perspectives

Rosanna Wilson, Edward Sellman and Stephen Joseph, School of Education, University of Nottingham, UK Introduction How do English secondary school teachers engage with the concept of ‘wellbeing education’? The global impact of COVID-19 has emphasised the frontline role that teachers and schools play in supporting children’s wellbeing. Nonetheless, the nature of wellbeing and its relationship […]

Homework as a motivator for learning

Jovita Castelino, Cardinal Heenan Catholic High School, UK Homework is a high-impact, low-cost strategy that can have significant implications for academic success, particularly at the secondary level (EEF, 2018). This is dependent on whether the homework set is of a high quality, it is inherently linked to classroom learning and all barriers to successful completion […]

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 […]

Promoting dialogue with Google Classroom

|Figure 1 illustrates the professional learning community (PLC) model used to generate design principles for dialogue with Google Classroom. It includes: Dialogic intentions

Tristan Igglesden, Faculty of Education, Cambridge University, UK Introduction The demand for remote learning, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, has led to the introduction of the Google Classroom learning management system (LMS) into the lives of over 150 million students (Google, 2021). However, most teachers had little time to consider the potential of this technology […]

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 […]

How can the secondary mainstream classroom be more inclusive for pupils with ADHD?

Claire Pass, MA Education, Leadership and Management; Co-Founder and Director, Dragonfly: Impact Education, UK Creating an effective learning environment means paying attention to both the macro-culture – across the whole school – and the micro-culture(s) of the individual classroom (Moore et al., 2017). This article will consider how both the macro- and micro-cultures of the […]

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 […]