Best Practice

Attachment theory and children’s learning in school

Attachment theory has clear and important implications for education. Dr Elizabeth Harlow considers its relevance to children’s learning and looks at how some schools have been applying the principles of the theory to the organisation of pastoral support and teaching and learning


Character education: What does it look like?

The virtues and traits that are developed through effective character education have never been more important as young people navigate their way through the Covid-19 pandemic. Drawing on the Schools of Character Kitemark, Tom Haigh looks at what it means place character at the heart of your school


Coronavirus: Pastoral care in a changed school environment

As pupils return to school, we will need to be prepared for challenging behaviour, safeguarding disclosures and signs of mental health and wellbeing problems. Anthony David looks at the pastoral priorities that must be at the top of the list for primary schools



Parental engagement: Building on lockdown relationships

The further re-opening of schools will still involve a large role for remote education and home learning. Ben Case looks at how the improvements in parental engagement that we have seen during lockdown can be built upon as pupils begin to return to the classroom



Tackling common reading barriers

The reading gap is urgent and visible. Alex Quigley identifies some common barriers and offers advice on how we can tackle them in the classroom


A judgement call like no other

The science on school re-opening is reassuring, but it is not immutable. In the end, it is a judgement call and schools must be given the flexibility to do what is in the best interests of their communities, says Geoff Barton


Delivering effective mental health education

With health education becoming compulsory in September, there is an opportunity for a clearer focus on mental wellbeing. Clare Stafford speaks with two mental health experts about effective whole-school approaches and practical tips for schools preparing to deliver the new curriculum


Taking on an acting headship in a time of crisis

As if becoming an acting headteacher is not enough of a challenge – what is it like when there is a global health pandemic? Suzanne O'Connell speaks to one newly acting headteacher about her experiences and her advice to others who find themselves in an acting role


Mindfulness activities for younger children

Mindfulness is the ability to be aware of experiences as they are happening with an attitude of curiosity and kindness – a useful skill in the current climate. Claire Kelly offers five tips for introducing these ideas with younger children






NQTs: Supporting good mental health

Supporting trainee teachers with their mental health and helping them to develop good habits for the future is vital – but are we doing enough? Pearl Gibson looks at work in Essex to support new teachers


The virtual staffroom: Morale and engagement during lockdown

During lockdown, we must not neglect staff morale and wellbeing. Denise Barrows looks at how school leaders can deepen trust and connections with and between staff. She considers our one-to-one interactions and how to build a virtual staffroom environment


Safeguarding: Spotting the signs of domestic abuse

The coronavirus lockdown has led to an increase in domestic abuse and violence. Safeguarding expert Debbie Gardner looks at the role of schools in spotting the signs in a world of remote learning and national lockdown



The lockdown legacy: What will change?

Headteacher Rachel Tomlinson believes that the coronavirus shutdown will have a lasting, positive, legacy for the way her school is run. Yvonne Gandy explains



Ideas for teacher CPD during lockdown

One consequence of the Covid-19 closures for many teachers has been a reduction or at least a side-lining of their CPD. Fiona Aubrey-Smith urges schools and teachers not to neglect their CPD and instead to take their professional learning online...


Protecting teacher wellbeing during lockdown

While we are doing all we can to support the wellbeing of our young people during the school closures, we must not forget our teachers. From financial grants to mental health support, Sophie Howells advises


Attendance: A more intelligent approach?

A system of letters and fines, with the possibility of prosecution, has been part of many schools’ attendance policy for years. With children forced to stay home and at least a slight change in Ofsted's tone, is it time to consider a new approach in the post-lockdown world?


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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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