What’s been in the news over the last week?
- Apparently calculators are now back ‘in’. At one time they were all the rage. Then they fell out of favour and were demonised. Now they have been pardoned by pedagogical Popes and can strut their stuff again. Hodgen and Foster looked at the best available evidence on what makes good maths teaching for the Education Endowment Foundation, and “we found that using calculators in maths lessons can improve pupils’ calculation and problem-solving skills.”
- According to a study by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) has found that the long hours worked by teachers during term time “substantially exceeds” the extra time they get off work during school holidays. This research finds teachers work longer hours than police officers and nurses although I’m sure there will be plenty who disagree.
- Emma Hollis, executive director of the National Association of School-Based Teacher Trainers (NASBTT), said that recruiting trainee teachers has reached crisis point as applications are 23 per cent down on last year. And surprise, surprise – what’s the main reason why? You guessed it…workload!
- The demise of primary science has been spoken about before and let’s face it, the situation doesn’t look good. Ever since the science SATs were ditched no one puts the same time and energy into the subject. Some sat that primary science isn’t dying – it’s already snuffed it.
- Congratulations to Fareham College, voted FE College of the Year at the TES FE Awards.
- Nice footwork from Sir Ken Robinson who says that dance is just as important as maths in school. Here is what we all suspected – grouping students into ability-based sets holds back less able pupils. Researchers from the UCL’s Institute of Education surveyed almost 600 Maths and English teachers based in 82 UK secondary schools and found students in lower sets are typically given more structural, repetitive tasks, making them more ‘dependent’ on teachers.
- Anne Longfield, the Children’s Commissioner for England, published ‘Growing Up North’, a year-long report looking at the issues and experiences of children growing up in the North today. This report “praises the ambitions of the Northern Powerhouse project, but it also warns that many of the most disadvantaged children in the North are falling far behind their equivalents in the South, particularly children growing up in London.”
- Music declines even further in Britain – only one in 20 pupils took music GCSE last year.
- Head at Nottingham Girls’ High School, Julie Keller says that young women at girls’ schools are better prepared for life.
- Dylan Wiliam and Paul Black explore how formative assessment might be conceptualized within a theory of pedagogy.
- Published for their 25th anniversary, the #FightingFor report by Young Minds found
* Only 9% of young people and 6% of parents reported that they had found it easy to get the support they needed. 66% of young people and 84% of parents reported they had found it difficult.
* Only 6% of young people and 3% of parents agreed that there is enough support for children and young people with mental health problems. 81% of young people and 94% of parents disagreed.
- For years now Ofsted have used statistical models to ensure proportionate inspection but now they are turning to an artificial intelligence algorithm using a methodology known as ‘supervised machine learning’.
- Teacher Training applications are down and it is little wonder given the negativity and bad press teaching gets.
- Let’s face it, the Sats were a mess last year and Ofqual agree saying they were inconsistent.
- Organisations are invited to apply for share of £2 million funding to run enrichment programmes during the school holidays.
Praising ‘Effort’ May Not Promote a Growth Mindset according to a review of research.