Best Practice

Ensuring strong primary school governance

In the face of the many challenges embroiling education, David Hanson looks at why and how strong governance, and good working relationships with headteachers, can help schools to be successful


What has happened to sustainability?

The sustainable schools agenda used to be a key element of government policy, but now it is up to schools to decide how they approach the issue. Nick Bannister talked to one head about how and why his school continues prioritise environmental issues


Pupil Premium: Evidence and impact

The pressure is on schools to ensure that Pupil Premium spending is evidence-based and to show the impact of their strategies. Fiona Aubrey-Smith looks at what practical guidance and resources are out there to help


Measuring impact: Using the Premium

Schools everywhere are looking for the most effective Pupil Premium strategies and for the best methods of showing the results of their spending decisions. Liz Twist looks at what the evidence shows to be the best approaches


Singing from the same music sheet?

Are schools tuned-in to the range of support that is now available for music education? Mark Burke reminds schools of what the new National Music Hubs have to offer...


Helping you deliver RE

Many primary teachers feel apprehensive when teaching RE. Sarah Smalley looks at a range of useful resources and websites


Raising the primary standards bar, again

Just when schools thought they were safe, the floor standards have been raised again. Suzanne O’Connell looks at what the new expectations will mean for primary schools


Oracy – teaching your pupils to talk

Schools can make great strides in tackling underachievement by improving pupils’ spoken language skills across the curriculum. Jean Gross, the former government Communication Champion for children, reports on some of the great practice she has seen


Primary curriculum – the debate continues

It seems everyone has an opinion about the draft primary school curriculum. The consultation has now closed and as we await the final document, Suzanne O’Connell listens to what has been said so far


Diary of an Ofsted inspector

In a bid to give readers a valuable insight into the school inspection process from the Ofsted point of view, we asked a school inspector to keep a diary of a recent primary school inspection visit. Writing anonymously, they take us through the process





The hunt for LGBT equality

What can schools do to meet their legal requirements and ensure staff are treated equally, irrespective of sexuality. Legal expert Paul Maddock advises.


When primary-aged pupils self-harm

Self-harm, traditionally seen as a teenage issue, is becoming increasingly common among primary-age children. Headteacher Update looks at how schools are coping


Techniques to get your boys reading

Boys’ underachievement in reading is a perennial problem for our schools and teachers. The NFER’s Liz Twist and Rebecca Clarkson examine recent test results and look at what the evidence tells us about the kind of literacy activities which boys – and gir


Ask Brenda – How do I engage parents?

I am a new head in my first headship at a small primary school and am finding it very hard to engage the parents with my new ideas for the school. What can I do to bring them with me? Or should I perhaps slow down the pace of change?


Introducing peer observation to primary school staff

The introduction of a peer observation programme at Anton Junior School has led to a much stronger focus on pedagogy, improvements in teaching and learning, and has been embraced by staff. Headteacher Tom Donohoe looks at how this has been achieved



Primary pupils Learning to Lead

Learning to Lead is a pupil leadership project originally developed by two teachers in Somerset. Now in more than 100 schools, both secondary and primary, Sir Tim Brighouse recently visited participating primaries to find out more. Chairman of the scheme,


Innovations in primary language teaching

An imminent best practice case study publication is to bring together a range of innovative languages projects being pioneered by Teaching School Alliances. Therese Comfort and Eva Oliver look at some examples


Using ICT to support pupils with behavioural difficulties

Using handheld technology can prove effective in helping pupils with behavioural, emotional and/or social difficulties, who often avoid written or literacy work because of a fear of failure. Primary ICT co-ordinator Mary Farmer explains


Conducting the perfect teaching job interview

What is the best way to get the most from interviews with prospective teachers looking for a job at your school? Darryl Mydat provides some interview guidance for schools looking to recruit new staff


Closing the maths gap from year 1

Primary schools are invited to apply for funded places on Mathematics Mastery, a programme which helps schools to foster a deeper understanding of maths among pupils. Sara Castledine explains


Spending the Pupil Premium well in primary schools

Ofsted’s latest report into how schools are spending the Pupil Premium finds that while more schools are using the funding effectively, a ‘significant minority’ are still struggling. Pete Henshaw takes a look

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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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