A couple of years ago I led a study which provided the evidence, for the first time, that the physical characteristics of the classroom not only affect the learning progress of Primary school pupils, but impact very significantly. Taking everything together, the measured impact of the classroom design factors explained 16% of the variation in learning of the 3766 pupils - in the 153 classrooms - assessed.
We have been using Word Aware as a structured whole-school approach to promote the vocabulary development of all our children. It is primarily focussed on whole-class learning and we have found it is of particular value for those who start at a disadvantage – including children with Developmental Language Disorder, Special Educational Needs and those who speak English as an additional language. It has had such a major impact on word recognition and understanding within English, we decided to extend it to French and Spanish as an approach for learning new, contextualised vocabulary.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is high on the agenda for schools, inspiring teachers to find more creative ways of bringing these skills to life in the classroom. Is Arckit the solution we’ve been looking for?
In school, crafting needn’t be limited to the art classes; in fact, it can be a really great way to engage students with subjects in a different style. Shaking learning styles up is often very stimulating - a nice break from the norm - and art can be used to supplement learning in almost every other subject on the curriculum. Here are some ideas for injecting some creativity into Geography classes.
What will our classrooms look like in 2017? It really depends on whose crystal ball you look at! School budgets are being squeezed tighter than a jar of peanut butter at a squirrel convention. As a result, teachers are looking for free tools and apps to enhance their schemes of work and create resources using video and animation to help engage students, particularly reluctant learners. Leadership teams are now examining the prospect of creating a sustainable ICT solution that suits our new digital learners and will still be relevant in the future.