Opinions

Don't be bamboozled by the new secondary science curriculum!

I wonder how many students realise that science and engineering provide routes into careers which demand high levels of imagination and creativity? This thought struck me when I was reading an article in New Scientist by Christopher Kemp called ‘Trapped’.He described a concept called the ‘evolutionary trap’, where the ever increasing pace of...

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Getting out of the classroom for the primary teacher conferences

We all know that the learning that takes place outside the classroom is as important as the learning inside it, yet for teachers there is often very little time for reflection, updating skills, thinking about and improving our own practice. Day after day we are inside our classrooms, which are lovely cheerful places, but we need to get out more!...

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Starting from scratch, a teacher’s musings on computing at primary school

At the weekend I Skyped a friend in Australia, listened to music on my phone and drove following the voice of a SatNav whilst my son played an interactive game on an iPad. My life, like the majority of people in the UK, is full of technology, yet why do I feel nervous when I think about planning computing lessons for a Year 4 class?With the...

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Collect and share your favourite resources

There are many places teachers search for new resources. In the past I have had filing cabinets full of worksheets and a pocketful of memory sticks containing a whole host of resources of varying quality – but you don’t need to do this anymore.One of the most useful functions of the eLibrary is the ability to make your own lists of resources and...

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Learning outside the classroom

First off, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page, what exactly is learning outside the classroom? I think it is learning anywhere other than within your usual four walls; that could be green spaces and woodland (my stomping ground!), the built environment, cultural sites, beaches, the list goes on! You name it, as long as you could...

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New school year resolutions

It is a truth universally acknowledged that many teachers work during their holidays. What with getting ahead of planning and booking trips for the following year. Not to mention the sorting out and re-organising of classrooms whilst merrily sticking 30 name labels on 30 drawers, rulers, rubbers, books…It is however a different kind of work; a...

Confused by worded problems?

Whilst taking part in a professional development course run by NCETM (National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics) recently, we were asked this question:Laura had $240. She spent 5/8 of it. How much money did she have left?When asked this type of question, 78% of children in Singapore got the answer correct whilst only 25% of...

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Five quick wins to improving primary science at your school

The end of the school year is a great time to reflect on your science teaching and the achievements and future directions of science in your school and community so you can decide how to do better next year.Unless you are focused, the questions and answers you use to evaluate your impact can be overwhelming, so here are my five quick wins for...

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National Storytelling Week

There is nothing better than a good story. How often have I seen even the most challenging of students sitting completely engrossed by a tale, eagerly awaiting what happens next…? I remember listening to a professional storyteller, whilst on a field trip in Wales, telling tales of mythical creatures called boggarts. He was brilliant. The sixty...

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12 Christmas activities in the science classroom

Ho ho ho. It’s the last few days of school before the Christmas holidays and your pupils are all far too excited to concentrate on anything other than the looming visit by the big man in red  – and the possibility of making snowmen.So how do you keep their minds engaged on the subject, yet tie it in with the seasonally influenced lack of...

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