What’s been in the news or caught my eye this week?

  • According to the Labour party, Scandinavian school systems could offer the solution to reforming primary education and ensuring that pupils are happy and resilient.
  • A handful of pupils at Mount Pleasant Primary School are being fed bread and water for lunch if they forget their dinner money – not so pleasant.
  • According to The Independent, “Parents are being told that sick children should sit their Sats tests, even if they need to rely on first aiders for extra support during exams.”
  • The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) have published 4 more independent evaluation reports of EEF-funded projects. They are:

*Family Skills aims to improve the literacy and language skills of children learning English as an additional language (EAL). It focuses on supporting parents of Reception-aged children (aged 4-5) and consists of 11 weekly sessions for parents delivered at the child’s school by external family learning tutors.

*A pilot of RETAIN, a one-year professional development programme for early career teachers (ECTs) who are teaching key stage 1 (KS1) pupils in schools in disadvantaged areas. The project was led by the Cornwall College Group and evaluated by a team from Sheffield Hallam University.

*A pilot of Positive Action, a school-wide programme led by Lady Joanna Thornhill Primary School and evaluated by a team from Queens University Belfast, that aims to develop positive attitudes and behaviour, and improve peer relationships and engagement in learning.

*A trial of GraphoGame Rime, a computer game designed to teach pupils to read by developing their phonological awareness and phonic skills. The game is delivered in small groups supervised by a teacher or teaching assistant, with pupils working on individual devices, as the game is designed to constantly adjust the difficulty to challenge the learner at an appropriate level. The project, delivered by the University of Cambridge and evaluated by the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER), was funded as part of joint initiative with Wellcome to explore how insights from neuroscience can be used to improve education.

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