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Tag Archives | schools

boardroom table and chairs

Governors: Stakeholders or Non-executive Directors?

As schools are given greater and greater powers over curriculum and teachers’ pay and performance, the business of governance and accountability comes under the spotlight. Statements by the Chief Inspector of Ofsted early this year spotlighted the role and perceived weaknesses of some governing bodies. What do we want from our school governors? What do […]

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maze

How do you solve a problem like PISA?

Every three years the OECD produce a league table of what 15 year olds around the world can achieve in reading, maths and science. This time, they have added a fourth dimension: problem solving. In this piece, Graham Birrell suggests the new PISA tests themselves pose more problems than they solve. With a heavy feeling […]

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child and maths

Children can be mathematicians too: it’s not about more learning – it’s about better learning

How do you successfully engage all pupils in their mathematics and encourage their enthusiasm for learning? Rejecting simplistic solutions such as more or narrow, results focused teaching, Dan Port and Sarah Rowntree, Year Six teachers at Meadowside Primary School in Gloucester, explain how they instead wanted to change existing practice and enable children in their […]

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Union flag tongue

Teaching foreign languages in primary schools: have we learned our lessons?

England is ranked the worst country in Europe for the level of acquisition of foreign languages amongst teenagers. And yet for decades, English schools have tried to improve this situation, perhaps most notably through experimenting with teaching modern foreign languages in primary schools (PMFL). Clearly, something has gone wrong…

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compass

Critique is easy, offering solutions is the difficult bit

The reason the tests plus inspections model has lasted 25 years despite constant criticisms of the kind you’re making is that no one has managed to suggest a viable alternative. No Government of any political stripe is going to do anything other than tinker with the current model unless something concrete, implementable and politically viable […]

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