Never Stop Learning

In these new and uncertain times, pupils will have spent many months away from school due to the closures put in place as a result of Covid-19. Last year, schools in England were closed to all pupils except those of key-workers and vulnerable children on the 20th March. For the majority of the summer, most learning took part remotely. Huge strides in online education were made in months that perhaps previously would have taken years. Teachers created learning packs, online lessons and updated communication systems – rising to the challenge of how to educate their pupils without the the essential face-to-face contact and personal interaction. Then September arrived and the clamour for the reopening of schools returned. Pressure was on for schools to serve their communities once more. Parents were expecting pupils to return to "normal" schooling despite the Covid-19 procedures that needed to be followed... Now, in 2021, we sit once again in a lockdown with remote learning and home...
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A Position of Knowledge

When working within cycling both at the 2012 Olympics and onwards with the SKY or INEOS racing team, Sir Dave Brailsford employs a significant principal in all he does. The 1% principal is based on the small changes that TOGETHER make a big change. As Brailsford said, Speaking to the BBC… “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of, that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together. There’s fitness and conditioning, of course, but there are other things that might seem on the periphery, like sleeping in the right position, having the same pillow when you are away and training in different places. They’re tiny things but if you clump them together it makes a big difference.”https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-34247629 He believed that if it were possible to make a 1% improvement in a whole host of areas, the cumulative gains would end...
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Every child deserves a Champion

When you visit a supermarket, you will often find a seconds aisle or money-off promotion. Buy-one- get-one-free or “money-saving” offers will entice you in and always make you buy that extra chocolate bar or that second beer you don’t need. You don’t look at the individual price anymore, just what you think you can gain. You usually end up spending more but feeling weirdly better off. The individual price has been removed, the label takes over. The power of a label is immense. We look at people differently because we label them as something else. Rumours, gossip.. “I didn’t know that!!” dominate social media and public culture. A politician or public figure’s career can be brought down to a shuddering halt by a label being attached. The individual has been removed, the label takes over. Are we in danger of doing the same thing within education regarding our reaction to COVID-19? Lockdown Lockdown has brought many difficulties and challenges. Pupils will have spend many months away...
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Put the Personal back

Lockdown has brought many difficulties and challenges in education. Huge strides in online education have been made in months that perhaps previously would have taken years. Teachers have created learning packs, online lessons and updated communication systems - rising to the challenge of how to educate their pupils without the the essential face-to-face contact and personal interaction. Children have spent weeks and months away from the support bubble of a school, from their friends, from their safe place. Some will have thrived in a new family bubble – building new self-esteem and confidence. Others will have found it a challenge. Learning will have been lost but more importantly, their circumstances could have changed. They may have learned a deeper understanding of what it means to live in poverty, or encountered this for the first time. They may have learned to hide, to become invisible, to protect themselves from adults who are not safe, without the respite that school can provide. Many...
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Year 7 Transition QLA – A Flying Start

What helps pupils make a successful Transition to Secondary School? We surveyed secondary schools up and down the country asking about Transition. Every school and area has a different way of working. Some involve days in school and others involve immediate testing. Some can involve both. However, if you are looking for a way to make immediate progress with your new Year 7 pupils - nothing beats Question Level Analysis. Your new Year 7 pupils have already taken six standardised tests in May. The KS2 SATs give a validated indication of each of your students strengths and weaknesses and the results are available every year - broken down to performance in each individual question. With appropriate analysis, this can prove to be a fantastic tool to help secondary staff bridge the progress gap that exists across KS3. A recent report into how data was used in schools showed that whilst 62% of teachers said that KS2 results are used to set...
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What makes a Good Question Level Analysis?

Over the last few years, Primary School Heads and teachers have been offered many different versions of Question Level Analysis to help with curriculum planning and future SATs preparation. QLA really is a useful tool. It helps teachers better prepare pupils and to refine the curriculum to secure those marginal gains. By looking at how your pupils performed, you can see exactly where you will want to make changes for next year. . What to look for in a good Question Level Analysis? Here are our TOP 10 Questions to Ask... . 1) Do you have to search in many places or is it delivered in one go? Remember the aim of this analysis is to save you time as a head/teacher so you are not searching through lots of data to find the answer. You need something that does all that for you. . 2) Does the analysis look at Individual Questions or just general topics?  Most Question Analysis actually only gives you the heads up around different topics but what if, you wanted...
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