Best Practice

Challenging schools: Five recurring themes

Every school is different and must tackle its challenges in a way to suit its own circumstances. However, Daniel Sobel has seen some generally recurring themes in schools that could be classed as ‘vulnerable’ or ‘challenging’


Case study: Improving attainment in year 4

In a bid to bridge the gap between years 2 and 6, school leader Ciara Murphy focused on outcomes in year 4, implementing four key strategies to improve attainment in reading and writing


Ideas and strategies to engage reluctant readers

Reluctant readers in their final years of primary education are in danger of entering adult life functionally illiterate – with all the risks that this brings. Georgina Jones looks at what parents can do and offers teachers some ideas for use in class


SEND reforms: Still no real culture change

It is now more than two years since schools were required to implement the new SEND Code of Practice. Now the Scott Report and local authority inspections have thrown more light on current practice. Are the changes really delivering for our SEND children?


What are the next steps for primary assessment?

Could it be the calm after the storm? 2016 was not an easy year for assessment co-ordinators and their schools. Now Justine Greening offers reassurance that 2017 will be better. But will it? Suzanne O’Connell reports


Staying compliant

What do you really have to do to stay compliant this year? Do you know the real requirements from the myths? Marianne Pope puts some commonly (mis)understood expectations to the test


Which type of headteacher are you?

Theories about leadership types are nothing new. However, a new piece of research has identified specific leadership types and how they relate to factors such as pupil outcomes and even the amount you earn. Suzanne O’Connell asked some headteachers where they would place themselves



Planning a new SEND building

Developing new facilities and buildings to cater for pupils with SEN and disabilities can be a challenge for schools. Gareth Barber discusses the requirements, offers expert advice, and looks at a case study of one school’s building project


The growth mindset in key stage 2: Part 3

In the third part of his four-part series on growth mindset approaches to teaching in key stage 2, Ross McWilliam looks at whole-school strategies to involve pupils, staff and your parents


Safeguarding and the law

From radicalisation to female genital mutilation, are your staff up-to-date on their safeguarding duties and will they know what to do if they suspect abuse? Safeguarding specialist Sam Preston offers her advice


Middle leaders: Great teaching and CPD

?Middle leaders now have a key role in developing great teaching across their teams, which of course involves securing effective CPD – but what are the best ways to achieve this? Bridget Clay advises


Why you should let your year 6 pupils play!

Play can be an important outlet for children, but by the time they reach key stage 2 it has often all but stopped. Play therapist Shahana Knight argues the importance of play in all year groups, especially year 6


Pupil Premium: A gap that’s proving hard to shift

The government has made it clear that narrowing the gap between those who are disadvantaged and their peers is a priority. Five years after the introduction of the Pupil Premium, are we any closer? Suzanne O’Connell takes a look



Case study: The arts across the curriculum

Balancing high-quality arts provision with meeting core academic measures is a challenge for primary schools. Jane Ryder discusses how this is tackled at Sidegate Primary School and offers some examples of their practice


Positive male role-models

For many pupils, having a positive male role-model in their lives can make a big difference to outcomes. Kim Jones suggests hosting workshops to give your fathers a chance to engage with their children and the school


Creating pupils who take responsibility for their own learning

Creating responsible children and encouraging your students to begin to take responsibility for their own learning is an admirable ambition for every school. Fiona Aubrey-Smith draws on some examples of good practice to offer advice, ideas and guidance


Music education: An evaluation of In Harmony

The In Harmony project has received £3 million in government funding to bring music opportunities to primary pupils in six disadvantaged areas. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at a new evaluation of the scheme’s impact so far


Encouraging pupils to make friends

Making friends is a key learning curve of primary school and teaches pupils many key skills for later life. However, it is something that some pupils can find difficult. Naomi Richards offers some ideas for how schools can help pupils to make and retain friends


Diary of a parent: The vital role of PSHE

After seeing how girls can be treated by boys, even at primary school, our parent diarist is adamant that PSHE and sex and relationships education must be on the curriculum for all pupils


A helping hand for school leaders

Where can school leaders, especially those who are new to the role, turn to for support? Dr Glenys Hart and Christine Pollitt consider the range of options



Teaching memory skills

Memory champion and school leader Jonathan Hancock has always been amazed that more schools don’t focus on memory skills. He argues why they should and offers some ideas for memory games and other approaches


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Headteacher Update is the only magazine delivered directly to every primary school headteacher in the UK. It is published six times a year, at the beginning of each term and half-term, to keep headteachers up-to-date with everything going on in primary education.

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