The Curriculum Spiderweb

As curriculum is complex, we routinely seek out a plethora of handy metaphors and analogies to make sense of it. And so, in recent years curriculum has recently been described with a multitude of metaphors, such as a boxset (more Game of Thrones than the Simpsons), a voyage of exploration, or curriculum as narrative.  Each metaphor has explanatory …

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Arguing about English

Everyone has an opinion on the teaching of English, its curriculum, along with our national qualifications. Not just teachers: parents, policy makers, and pupils, all have an argument at the ready.  Of course, most of us have stumbled through an analysis of Shakespeare, or grumbled over the peculiarities of grammar at one time or another, …

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5 reasons why students fail with revision

Everyone has their own exam revision story of stress or failure. Whether it was an exhausting all-nighter, or the time you prepared for one exam question, but were asked another. Perhaps these experiences are why we are uniquely keen to understand better how to prepare students for exams (both teachers and parents)? Despite the good …

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Three Pillars of Vocabulary Teaching

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that vocabulary knowledge is crucial for pupils’ school success. Pupils are language sponges, learning thousands of words each year. Like increases in a child’s height, it is a slow but inexorable development. On a daily basis it is near-imperceptible, but when you begin to count the passing of school …

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The ‘Language Leap’ at Transition

The importance of tending to pupils at the transition between primary and secondary school is well-established. The obvious focus, understandably, attends to the pastoral needs of pupils: making them feel safe and secure in their new ‘big school’ surroundings. Crucially, there is also an increasing recognition that making curriculum connections and charting the ‘language leap’ …

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Does reading *really* matter in mathematics?

Every teacher recognises that every subject is mediated by reading skill, but it matters in some more than others, right? Does it really matter that much in maths? When I speak to teachers, or those school leaders responsible for aspects of literacy whole school, the refrain they often relate is that reading simply doesn’t matter so much …

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