Ah, the summer holidays - a time for teachers to relax and reflect on another successful year of teaching. But if you’re an eager (and perhaps a slightly nervous) NQT, you’d be forgiven for wanting to use this time to prepare for the beginning of your teaching adventure. Well, being organised is always going to make the process smoother (as long as you still make room for rest and leisure), so let’s talk about one of the more fun, creative parts of your summer checklist: the classroom display!
It’s coming home - but what does it mean?
Now I don’t know about you, but when I’m sitting in my living room to catch the mid-match half-time chit-chat as part of my weekly World Cup fix (can you tell I’m not a big football fan?), I often find myself at a complete loss as to what it is they’re actually talking about. Harry Kane spent that first half keeping ‘deep’, that premeditated foul should have been ‘carded’, free kick this, offside that... and can someone please tell me what on Earth a 'lob' is?
Whilst the 6 week holidays are fantastic for family time, fun, and relaxation, children's language learning can often regress. Parental involvement is key for language learning; it can increase student motivation, boost achievement and maintain attainment.
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All great teachers want their students to be confident readers and users of language. The tricky part is figuring out the best methods to help achieve this goal and then committing to implementing those methods effectively. From our research base, we know that students acquire new vocabulary most effectively when it is presented to them via a contextual, consistent and coherent vocabulary curriculum. When delivered correctly, this approach can transform vocabulary teaching in schools.
Ofsted. One of the many abbreviations that can shock a teacher with a sudden jolt of anxiety. Other contenders include GCSEs for secondary school teachers, and SATs for our primary friends out there. For the most part, the sense of pressure that comes along with each of these words revolves around the same thing: Ofsted’s accountability framework, which is weighted heavily towards exam results, performance tables, and inspections. In 2019, however, this framework is set to undergo some pretty significant changes. And if recent research and commentary by Ofsted is anything to go by, then there’s one thing that’s almost guaranteed to take priority: the curriculum.
Are you giving whole school literacy CPD the attention it deserves?
Back in December 2017, Oxford University Press conducted an online survey with teachers from the around UK. The aim of the research was to explore the nature of the ‘word gap’ that exists for primary and secondary school students. Over the course of a month, the survey received over 1,300 completed responses from 840 secondary school teachers and 473 primary school teachers. The research culminated in a report titled ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters: Oxford Language Report’, which has just been released. You can read the report in full here. But for those of you who have 31 mock language papers to mark, we’ve comprised a list of our five key takeaways on ‘Why Closing the Word Gap Matters.’