Best Practice

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



Ten steps to successful school fundraising

Squeezed budgets and government cuts have made life difficult for schools and placed a new importance on raising additional monies locally. Rachel Gordon offers 10 dos and don'ts for successful school fundraising and bid-writing


The shifting sands of safe-guarding

Safe recruitment is a constant concern for schools and an ever-changing statutory regime and lack of guidance don’t help. With new changes in force since September and more expected this spring, Dai Durbridge offers his advice


'I'll tell you what stress is…'

In a climate of austerity and constantly changing working conditions, stress is on the rise among teachers. Vanessa Latham looks at the legal position of teachers and schools when stress levels are running high


Helping children and families in hardship

As austerity continues to bite, the UK's primary schools have developed a major role in supporting struggling families in some of the country’s most disadvantaged communities. Nick Bannister looks at the inspiring work of two schools



Raising the quality of teaching

Sharing your ‘butterfly’ practices, prioritising behaviour management and practising evidence-led CPD were listed as key to raising the quality teaching during a “Tweet-Up” debate featuring Sir TIm Brighouse and Professor Dylan Wiliam among other experts


Embedding Comic Relief across the curriculum

With Comic Relief approaching, headteacher Emma Higgins explains why and how her school makes charity fundraising an integral part of the school year and how it can tie in to the curriculum


A blueprint for ICT innovation

The recent Decoding Learning study seeks to pinpoint innovative practice by teachers and students when it comes to exploiting technology in education. It offers eight approaches to innovation with ICT. Professor Rosemary Luckin explains


Setting vs mixed ability

Sir Michael Wilshaw tells us that mixed-ability can harm the more able. Boris Johnson stands up in favour of grammar schools. Should our schools be more selective and put children back into sets? Suzanne O’Connell takes a look


‘The tyranny of stuff’

If your workload is becoming unmanageable it may be time to turn your back on some of the demands on your time – and give your team more responsibility. Nick Bannister on achieving work/life balance


Effective consultation with your parents

With recent changes to the Ofsted framework giving greater prominence to the views of key stakeholders, schools need to find new ways of gathering and responding to feedback. Dorothy Lepkowska reports


A new approach to CPD

Maggie Farrar discusses joint practice development, a peer-to-peer approach to CPD which is prioritised and modelled by school leaders too



The rise and rise of business managers

The school business manager is an established part of the leadership of England’s secondary schools, but primaries are still some way behind. That’s now changing, as Nick Bannister discovers

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