As we regularly visit schools, we find ourselves in contact with the local police quite often, to discover crime in the area that we are visiting and the main problems with relation to bullying. A recurring theme in all regions is that ‘Cyber bullying’ as well as ‘underage drinking’ is a major problem. In every school I visit, I observe students raising their hands to say that they’ve been ...
I get this question often - and it pops up frequently on my IT teacher forums and Nings. IT teachers as a group are struggling to understand their future role: are computer skills to be taught in dedicated computer-room-based IT lessons, or should the teaching of these skills be integrated into standard classroom lessons? Here are a few points to consider.

Effective commissioning in schools

How can we commission services better in our school? This article explains the commissioning cycle, passes on tips on effective commissioning, and links to the Commissioning Support Programme and DfE guidance. What is commissioning? The Commissioning Support Programme (CSP) defines strategic commissioning as follows: Commissioning is the process for deciding how to use the total resource available for children, young people, parents and carers in order to improve outcomes in ...
Laptops are fantastic learning tools, but it is no secret that mobile devices can pose issues for schools when it comes to managing and deploying equipment. Although laptop trolleys were created to resolve these problems, it is still important to have an action plan in place to get the most from your mobile ICT. To make organising your school’s ICT equipment that little bit easier, I’ve put together ...
The London 2012 Olympic Games provide an ideal incentive for each of us to shine and enjoy the rewards from raising our personal development bar and supporting one another and children as we go for gold in all that we do and in every aspect of our lives. How can we achieve this heightened state? Let’s start by considering what we VALUE, what we treasure, because this is where much ...
Do you have a policy on how teaching staff should present themselves online? This article includes an ICT code of conduct with rules about online communication for school staff. It also refers to official guidance and a clause in the GTCE code of conduct which covers teachers’ behaviour. ICT and online communication code of conduct for staff Hellingly Community Primary School in East Sussex has an ICT code of conduct ...
I know that we were one of the lucky ones who avoided the cull of Building Schools for the Future because our building work had started and contracts signed. The next wave of Liverpool schools, who had worked so hard on their plans and buildings, were left bereft and cast covetous glances at we five schools who continued their build. They joined with the LA and local business men to ...
When is a sign not just a sign? All of the time is the true answer. In the worst case, it can be a missed opportunity to attract new pupils or can make the school appear less than it is. The first thing that visitors, pupils, staff and local people see is the school frontage. An integral part of that is the signs which instantly create an image and perception ...
In part 1 of 'The Lost Art of Listening’, I looked at how we have become somewhat conditioned to accept music as ambient sound. I suggested that you and your students take some time to really listen to some music. We didn’t stipulate what kind of music and I’m not interested in discussing genre or the subjective value of different kinds of music here. What I’d like to ...

Best value statements

Are there any sample 'best value' statements? We link to examples of school best value statements. We also refer to local authority guidance on writing your best value statement.
Many people think that drama is just about improvisation, or performing, but it is actually a powerful teaching tool that can inspire learning across the curriculum. Drama and literacy have always been cosy bedfellows – theatre and plays are the performance arm of drama and are often a natural progression to its processes. Many drama lessons use literary texts – poems, letters, quotations – as a stimulus and writing in role is a ...
How would inhabitants of Kepler-22b rate Planet Earth beings? If inhabitants of the newly discovered Kepler-22b planet were to quietly visit Earth’s atmosphere and observe the activity on Planet Earth, how would they rate the way we live and how we are looking after our planet?  Would they be surprised to see widespread, unsustainable modes of operation that appear to be posing a very serious threat to ...

Latest stories

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    How to handle stress while teaching in a foreign country

    Teaching English in a foreign country is likely to be one of the most demanding experiences you'll ever have. It entails relocating to a new country, relocating to a new home, and beginning a new career, all of which are stressful in and of themselves, but now you're doing it all at once. And you'll have to converse in a strange language you may not understand.

  • Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?
    Is Learning Fun for You, Teacher?

    Over the weekend, my family of five went to an Orlando theme park, and I decided we should really enjoy ourselves by purchasing an Unlimited Quick Queue pass. It was so worth the money! We rode every ride in the park at least twice, but one ride required us to ride down a rapidly flowing river, which quenched us with water. It was incredible that my two-year-old was laughing as well. We rode the Infinity Falls ride four times in one day—BEST DAY EVER for FAMILY FUN in the Sun! The entire experience was epic, full of energizing emotions and, most importantly, lots of smiles. What made this ride so cool was that the whole family could experience it together, the motions were on point, and the water was the icing on the cake. It had been a while since I had that type of fun, and I will never forget it.

  • Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2
    Free recycling-themed resources for KS1 and KS2

    The Action Pack is back for the start of the brand new school year, just in time for Recycle Week 2021 on 20 - 26 September, to empower pupils to make the world a better and more sustainable place. The free recycling-themed resources are designed for KS1 and KS2 and cover the topics of Art, English, PSHE, Science and Maths and have been created to easily fit into day-to-day lesson planning.

  • Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu
    Inspire your pupils with Emma Raducanu

    Following the exceptional performance from British breakthrough star Emma Raducanu, who captured her first Grand Slam at the US Open recently, Emmamania is already inspiring pupils aged 4 - 11 to get more involved in tennis - and LTA Youth, the flagship
    programme from The LTA, the governing body of tennis in Britain, has teachers across the country covered.

  • 5 ways to boost your school's eSafety
    5 ways to boost your school's eSafety

    eSafety is a term that constantly comes up in school communities, and with good reason. Students across the world are engaging with technology in ways that have never been seen before. This article addresses 5 beginning tips to help you boost your school’s eSafety. 

  • Tackling inequality in EdTech
    Tackling inequality in EdTech

    We have all been devastated by this pandemic that has swept the world in a matter of weeks. Schools have rapidly had to change the way they operate and be available for key workers' children. The inequalities that have long existed in communities and schools are now being amplified by the virus.

  • EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab
    EdTech review & The Curriculum Lab

    The world is catching up with a truth that we’ve championed at Learning Ladders for the last 5 years - that children’s learning outcomes are greatly improved by teachers, parents and learners working in partnership. 

  • Reducing primary to secondary transition stress
    Reducing primary to secondary transition stress

    As school leaders grapple with the near impossible mission to start bringing more students into schools from 1st June, there are hundreds of thousands of Year 6 pupils thinking anxiously about their move to secondary school.

  • Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?
    Generation Z and online tutoring: natural bedfellows?

    The K-12 online tutoring market is booming around the world, with recent research estimating it to grow by 12% per year over the next five years, a USD $60bn increase. By breaking down geographic barriers and moving beyond the limits of local teaching expertise, online tutoring platforms are an especially valuable tool for those looking to supplement their studies in the developing world, and students globally are increasingly signing up to online tuition early on in their secondary education schooling. 

  • Employable young people or human robots?
    Employable young people or human robots?

    STEM skills have been a major focus in education for over a decade and more young people are taking science, technology, engineering, and maths subjects at university than ever before, according to statistics published by UCAS. The downside of this is that the UK is now facing a soft skills crisis and the modern world will also require children to develop strong social skills as the workplaces are transformed by technology. 

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