Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

Pobble, the prize-winning global literacy initiative, has recently launched a new tool to facilitate lesson planning. Pobble Resources allows teachers to search content providers on Pobble and find the best teaching resources. They can then prepare the most engaging lessons easily, and share their lesson ideas, making collaborative planning really easy.

Play must infiltrate the learning approaches in our classrooms. Surreptitiously, if need be, it has to once again steal into our classrooms and become embedded in our outlook, our approaches and strategies. Why do we advocate play? Play captures within it the elements required for building the right attitude to learning. Fearlessness, risk taking, taking loss and failure in your stride, working as a team and the joy and humility in success.

For 1600 lucky Primary pupils and their teachers, 19th June was no typical Monday. Marking the first ever LitFilmFest, 7-11 year olds from across the country were invited to the London BFI IMAX to watch their filmmaking and writing efforts projected onto the biggest screen in Britain!

Here are 13 quick follows for school leaders, chosen from a range of fields and offering a variety of different benefits. This is a non-definitive list, so remember to add you own suggestions below!

Of course it’s important for kids to learn how to read and write, and there are plenty of games to help them do that, not to mention textbooks. However, in our increasingly technological society, coding is another crucial skill — and it helps when kids learn it young.

The BAMEed Network is a movement for all, and its aim is to ensure visible diversity in the education sector. It is a network for support, challenge and advice. The Network held their first conference on the topic of Unconscious Bias in Birmingham earlier this month.

During the course of last year I came across A Tale Unfolds and it fascinated me. A combination of English and Computing skills combined; an opportunity to really engage the children in their learning. I had looked at those teachers who had successfully used it, such as Graham Andre and Rachel Preece-Dawson, and naturally I was keen to give it a go. When I won a trial of the scheme I was over the moon. I took it with me to my new school and trialled it in the Autumn term with my Year 5s.

To mark London EdTech Week, the British Educational Suppliers Association (BESA) has published a report on how the impact of edtech is currently measured in the classroom. The report features survey work undertaken by the National Education Research Panel (NERP) on ICT leaders and decision-makers from 454 Primary schools and 252 Secondary schools in England.

We are in boom times for children’s and YA literature, it seems, and more and more publishers are publishing books that are engaging for struggling readers to get them more motivated to read. I’ve often found it easier to ‘rev up’ the reading of those that have low literacy levels than to excite the interest of the ‘can read, won’t read’ crowd. It seems amazing, and a little incomprehensible, to me that young people who are able to access the fantastic imaginations of fab authors don’t show any inclination to do so - do they not realise that they could be fighting with ninjas in Chris Bradford’s books or travelling through magical realms with Garth Nix’s Lirael?

1. Communication: It is important to keep those involved in the loop. Not everyone needs to be involved every time, but it is important to ensure that those who need the information have something which is current and accessible. The person who raised the initial concern may not need to see actions and future communications, but they should receive closure of some kind. Perhaps a simple email or note, with ‘Thank you for raising this concern, it has been passed on to the safeguarding team and they will be in touch if any further information is required.’

Often, after a public show, a kind member of the audience will come up and tell me that I could be a teacher. While to them this is a compliment, this runs headfirst into one of my pet peeves. No, I could not just be a teacher. Of course I perform for (and sometimes direct) children and young people, and my shows have an educational leaning, but that doesn’t mean that I could walk into a classroom tomorrow and be a teacher. It is a basic misunderstanding, and to my mind, slight lack of respect for, the amount of time, training and on the job learning that makes for a good teacher.

I am Marcus Shepherd, a 28-year-old BME headteacher at Merrill Academy. Prior to September 2016 behaviour was extremely poor, with several students displaying extremely poor attitudes towards learning and behaviour which could not be managed effectively. A number of students would display extreme behaviour, and this would result in several incidents and issues occurring throughout the day. Students would regularly be out of lessons and running around corridors, causing disruption to lessons. In lessons and around the academy, students displayed constant defiance and extremely poor engagement in their learning.

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