Is there a recruitment and retention crisis in education?
Without doubt these are the most challenging times I have experienced in teaching and school leadership.

Finding a middle ground between doing what is morally right for the students and keeping the academy from falling into a category due to the new measures is a difficult task. [Read more]
Teaching coding as part of the national curriculum
The changes to the computing curriculum may well have been lost in the middle of some fairly large scale reform over the last year or so, but will impact learning in many subjects according to those in the know.

The idea of teaching coding is incredibly daunting to those who may have just about grasped how to play Candy Crush on their phone, but is really a question of teaching strategy, logic and thinking – ideas which all educators can see are relevant across the spectrum of subjects. [Read more]
Transition from Primary to Secondary
For most of us, the first day in a new school was so long ago we have almost entirely forgotten the anxiety and fear of taking the leap from primary to secondary.

As each summer term draws to a close, we must try to sympathise with the children experiencing a whirlwind of emotions in order to support and guide the transition of taking the next step in their lives.

In Year 6 classrooms nationwide there is anticipation in the air at the end of the school year. SATs are over, plays are being rehearsed and most of the pupils are almost entirely focussed on the end of school party or trip. [Read more]
Under Pressure: Supporting Catch up Students
Last week at the Festival of Education held at Wellington College, Dame Stella Rimington, former head of MI5, ‘criticised the pressure put on children to perform in school and the rivalry this breeds between them’ (The Independent).

Dame Stella stated:
I didn’t take my career seriously and in many ways it was a great help in my life because I look at the young constantly being asked what they are going to do and they are really focused by the time they leave school and on some kind of profession and I think it is quite stressful for them.
[Read more]
New Ofsted Common Inspection Framework
New plans revealed by Sir Michael Wilshaw this week are ‘the biggest reforms to inspections in Ofsted’s 20-year history’ (TES).  The new common inspection framework will come into effect from 1 September 2015.

Under the new framework, any schools classified as ‘good’ will have a short visit every 3 years, rather than every 5 years under present inspection frameworks, in order to identify any signs of decline; triggering a full inspection if found. [Read more]
In the news: 5 EBacc GCSEs to be studied by all pupils
Yesterday, news emerged on the plans due to be put forward by Nick Gibb, schools minister, that all secondary school pupils in England will be expected to take five GCSEs in EBacc subjects: English, maths, science, a language and history or geography.

The Conservatives’ election manifesto stated that if schools did not offer these, they would not be eligible for a top Ofsted rating (BBC). [Read more]
Positives and Drawbacks of Active Learning
We might think of active learning as an approach to instruction in which students engage the material they study through reading, writing, talking, listening, and reflecting. Active learning stands in contrast to "standard" modes of instruction in which teachers do most of the talking and students are passive. (University of Minnesota)

Reasons to use active learning [Read more]
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