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Belonging schools: how do relatively more inclusive secondary schools approach and practice inclusion?

JENNY GRIFFITHS, TEACH FIRST, UK TOBY GREANY, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, UK JODIE PENNACCHIA, UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM, UK JENNY GRAHAM, THE DIFFERENCE, UK ELEANOR BERNARDES, UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM, UK Background Teach First’s work on whole-child development (Griffiths, 2023) suggests that individuals in inclusive settings, particularly pupils from disadvantaged backgrounds, attain better academic and other outcomes (Gray et al., 2021). However, […]

Communication bands: A framework of shared understanding

Alison Futerman, Therapy Service Manager and Speech and Language Therapist, Eden Academy Trust, UK Gill Smith, Professional Development Service Manager, Eden Academy Trust, UK Dr Paul van Walwyk, Director for Schools and Educational Services, Eden Academy Trust, UK This case study reflects on the introduction and impact of communication bands within the Eden Academy Trust […]

Celebrating our school community: Creating an anti-racism inclusion group

JAMES LEIGH, HEAD OF YEAR 12, HEAD OF FUTURES AND HISTORY TEACHER, READING BLUE COAT, UK I trust that I am not alone in believing there to be intricacies inherent in the necessity for staff to actively celebrate diversity in school communities, while also actively enforcing anti-racism. Indeed, since 2022, Keeping Children Safe in Education requirements […]

Optimising Pupil Premium: Evidence-Based Strategies for Narrowing the Attainment Gap

MARK LESWELL, RESEARCH LEAD, SWALE ACADEMIES TRUST, UK In the evolving educational landscape, pupil premium (PP) remains a critical tool for reducing educational inequality. This article explores the multi-dimensional challenges and opportunities that PP presents, including the changing parameters of eligibility, the role of attendance and the importance of school leaders and teachers adopting evidence-based approaches […]

Applying learning from positive psychology’s evolution to create flourishing school communities

Jenny Swift, Light Up Edu-Leadership, France Introduction The evolution of positive psychology highlights the importance of schools going beyond wellbeing curricula that teach children how to practise mindfulness or gratitude, or staff programmes that focus on developing personal wellbeing through managing stress or increasing resilience. It signposts to the need for a more nuanced, multi-layered […]

Developing metalinguistic talk through teacher–researcher partnership

You can listen to an audio version of this article above. RUTH NEWMAN, ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR IN LANGUAGE AND LITERACY EDUCATION, UNIVERSITY OF EXETER, UK Introduction A large body of research illustrates the benefits of talk for learning (Mercer and Littleton, 2007; Wegerif, 2013; Jay et al., 2017), recognising that ‘Of all the tools for educational […]

Using evidence-based practices that support metacognition

JUAN FERNANDEZ, TEACHER AND EDUCATIONAL RESEARCHER, UNIVERSIDAD AUTÓNOMA DE MADRID, SPAIN Educational research has identified different strategies to promote students’ learning. Integrating this best available evidence from research with teachers’ knowledge and expertise, while considering students’ unique needs and personal preferences, is usually considered as evidence-based practice (Galindo-Domínguez et al., 2022). Metacognition and retrieval practice […]

Effective strategies for deeper learning and approaches to organising learning

Olatomilade Folaranmi, Lead Instructional Coach and Research Champion, Trinity Academy Leeds, UK What is deeper learning? In a psychologically safe environment underpinned by the culture of high challenge and low threat, guiding the students in our care towards expertise becomes the priority and a non-negotiable. John Sweller, in the abstract of his 1988 paper titled […]

The balancing act: Maths teaching that is knowledge-rich and child-centred

ANDY ASH, MATHS LEAD, HOLY FAMILY MULTI-ACADEMY TRUST, UK The national context: Knowledge-rich curriculum and teaching for mastery Over the past 10 years in England, there has been a shift in national education policy towards what is termed a ‘knowledge-rich’ curriculum (DfE, 2013; Gibb, 2021). This terminology is used to describe a curriculum centred on […]

Reading for pleasure: A catalyst for connection

KELLY ASHLEY, LECTURER IN READING FOR PLEASURE, THE OPEN UNIVERSITY, UK PROFESSOR TERESA CREMIN, THE OPEN UNIVERSITY, UK  JENNI JEALOUS, VICE PRINCIPAL, CROFT ACADEMY, UK CURTIS JORDAN, YEAR 2 TEACHER AND ENGLISH LEAD, HORSENDALE PRIMARY SCHOOL, UK   Finding ways to engage students in reading may be one of the most effective ways to leverage social change. (OECD, 2002. […]

Developing critical cultural awareness in the MFL classroom

Philip Mahoney, University of Oxford PGCE / Head of Mandarin at St Birinus School, Didcot, UK In 2013, the Department for Education stated that ‘a high-quality languages education should foster pupils’ curiosity and deepen their understanding of the world’. However, my observations of modern foreign languages (MFL) lessons in UK secondary schools during my initial […]

Can AI enhance teaching and learning?

DAVID PEARSON, THE JOHN WALLIS ACADEMY, UK FIONA YARDLEY, CANTERBURY CHRIST CHURCH UNIVERSITY, UK Not even ChatGPT can predict the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) in classrooms. Will it help teachers? Will it enhance learners’ critical engagement? Will students lose motivation and the ability to write independently? ChatGPT was made available by OpenAI in November 2022 […]

Banging the drum for an affordable group music intervention

THOMAS HAGGERTY, SECONDARY MUSIC TEACHER; MSC STUDENT, UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD, UK Despite being a few years on from the last COVID-19 lockdown in the UK, many educational settings are still battling with the impact that this has had on aspects of everyday school life. Social distancing, especially bans on group singing, caused a significant problem […]

Pedagogy and digital: Insights, impact and implications

DR FIONA AUBREY-SMITH, INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT RESEARCHER, UK GRAHAM MACAULAY, DIRECTOR OF STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS, LEO ACADEMY TRUST, UK Any forward-thinking school keen to provide high-quality pedagogy and curriculum in the current landscape will be aware of the important contribution that digital technology can make. Yet finding robust and insightful evidence has historically been a challenge, making […]

Teaching revision explicitly

Dave Tushingham, Lead Practitioner Mathematics, The Greenshaw Learning Trust For revision to be impactful, students need to know how to revise well. In this reflection, I discuss how, by implementing structured models of explicit teaching for revision, we can equip our students with the metacognitive skills required to revise independently with success when making sense […]

Interconnecting worlds: Reflections on the contextualisation of the maths curriculum in my classroom and its impact on pupil engagement and voice

ANDY CROFT, MATHS LEAD, SNOWFIELDS ACADEMY, UK This article is about the different worlds in which we live, and how providing spaces for dialogues can help students to develop a feeling of relatedness towards the curriculum.  Amid the demands of school life, listening selectively for cues often becomes essential to steer lessons forward, anticipating misconceptions, […]

Communities of practice, collaboration and the dissemination of knowledge

GEETIKA SAWHNEY, SENIOR IT TEACHER, INDIA LYN HAYNES, PART-TIME ITE SENIOR LECTURER, CANTERBURY CHRIST CHURCH UNIVERSITY, UK Context As an educationalist, Lyn was asked to volunteer in an educational institution catering for age three to post-Masters in rural Punjab, India, comprising four distinct communities of practice. Her remit was to engage with students from across […]

Moving beyond the subject silo: Cross-curricular collaboration between the humanities

GEORGE DAVIES-CRAINE, ACTING CURRICULUM LEAD FOR HUMANITIES AND SUBJECT LEADER FOR GEOGRAPHY, DR CHALLONER’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, UK JEN PANAYI, ACTING ASSISTANT HEADTEACHER AND SUBJECT LEADER FOR RELIGIOUS STUDIES, DR CHALLONER’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, UK This paper explores the approach taken in the humanities faculty to foster cross-curricular collaboration between geography, history and religious studies (RS). The […]

Shining a light on curriculum: How to enhance communication and collaboration between senior and subject leaders to support curriculum development

CATHERINE PRIGGS, ASSISTANT HEADTEACHER, DR CHALLONER’S GRAMMAR SCHOOL, UK Senior curriculum leadership Curriculum design and development is not without contention: content selection can be contestable or there may not be consensus on method or pedagogy. Subject leaders, in part, bear this responsibility; they must furnish their teams with subject and pedagogical knowledge appropriate for successful […]