Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

This June, we'll be delving into how schools are Assessing Assessment.

Traditional ways of assessment can often lead to an increase in stress levels for both staff and students. We'll be exploring the impact assessment is making on teacher workload, and assessment experts RS Assessment from Hodder Education will be demonstrating how important it is for schools to have access to reliable assessment advice and resources.

Read on for more ideas, examples and tips for assessing assessment in your school.

Classroom

Classroom (319)

It is a beautiful March day: slight breeze, sun’s out, chilly with the feeling that spring is nearly there. I am sitting at the back of a 2nd floor classroom facing a newly-qualified teacher as part of his mentoring support, observing a lesson. His target: pupil engagement. He is at the front of a twitchy, but generally well-behaved Year 5 class standing at the interactive whiteboard. The activity seems engaging ...
Bullying is a difficult problem. Limiting mobile phones or blocking social media can reduce cyberbullying, but not anti-social behaviour in classrooms. Curriculum-based anti-bullying strategies are not usually the first approaches that schools consider, but they can have a major impact, and are likely to save you money! Consider these smarter, budget-effective timetabling approaches and reduce bullying in your school.
“Teachers warn learning through play can lead to pupil disruption” was the title of an article printed by a Scottish newspaper in January this year. The article cited a recent report which had shown that some teachers in Scotland were worried about increasingly poor behaviour within classrooms when engaging in active learning.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that teachers are under pressure to produce value-added results, follow an ever-changing curriculum and teach to inspection standards with limited amounts of planning and preparation time. With multiple lessons planned for the week, short-term, mid-term and long-term it is easy to fall into the same pattern of activities: the worksheets, the interactive whiteboard presentation that isn’t always interactive, and the card sort that ...
Having taught now since 2008, and having been a subject lead since 2010, I have seen through a fair share of changes to the History curriculum. When I first arrived, my school was teaching a traditional KS3 system (think Romans, 1066 and all that, Medieval life in Year 7) before a GCSE and A-Level that bore no link or pathway to the GCSE. Since then, “what sort of curriculum?” has become a key part ...
The most superficial study of the causes of World War One illustrates that rampant nationalism played an important role in the tragedy that unfolded one hundred years ago in the summer of 1914. Schools have a particular responsibility to ensure that any study of the Great War highlights how national pride is one short step away from national prejudice, which in turn precludes empathy and predisposes countries towards military conflict. This ...
Last month I received an email asking me to write an article entitled ‘Great Ways to Teach Bonfire Night’. Having been a teacher of RS and history for four years, and still not yet lost any of my enthusiasm for the job, I was really keen and immediately agreed to do it.
Question: How are teachers ensuring results in an environment where no one size fits all? We talk with educators far and wide to share amazing (and often strange) innovations for creatively bringing teaching and learning to life.
From my adventures running architecture sessions with kids, there is a lot I have learnt about creating the best facilities to support young creative geniuses. Here is a series of recommendations to create and manage an exciting hub of architectural discovery:
Project-based learning (PBL) changes how we look at education and the best ways to engage young people in learning. Learning is all around. It is in books, in classrooms, outdoors, at home, in museums and workplaces; everywhere all the time. We learn through reading, listening, engaging, but mostly by doing. When we apply what we learn to something tangible - something interesting to us - we remember it. We want ...
With many of the new specifications and examinations focussing on a greater volume of content, the challenge for some teachers is how to engage students and ensure deep learning. This is especially the case when curriculum time constraints play their role. One method to support deep learning, as well as engage lower ability, SEND or hard-to-reach students, can be using immersive and experiential learning experiences. This can be achieved using ...
I wholeheartedly agree with her majesty’s chief inspector of schools. That’s a sentence I never believed I would write. When, however, Amanda Spielman expressed the view that Primary schools who scrap most of the curriculum in Year 6 to focus just on English and maths could be accused of “putting the interests of schools ahead of the interests of the children in them”, it is difficult to see how ...
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