Professional learning is critical if the curriculum is going to inspire children to become lifelong learners. Becky Swain and Hassina Khan look at how some schools are investing in staff engagement in advanced training programmes.
Working memory is the key to learning
New studies are suggesting that the single most important element in improving learning skills is training children to boost their working memory. Tracey Alloway reports on her important research findings.
Learner-driven learning in classrooms
Everyone accepts that the goal of ‘independent learning’ is what education should be about. Yet teaching for independent learning is incredibly rare and goes right against teachers’ current implicit values and practice. Chris Watkins outlines a pathway to a new pedagogy.
Understanding the Holocaust
Genocide is merely social exclusion taken to an extreme. It is vital that children have the skills to empathise with the victims of social exclusion as real people if they are to understand how terrible it is when discrimination spirals out of control. Stephen Smith discusses the teaching of a difficult subject.
Lights! Camera! Learning!
Making films about their school, area and themselves within ‘role’ for topics like the Second World War has given the children at Columbia Primary technical, interpretive and presentation skills, as well as a love of research. Teaching Thinking and Creativity reports on a School of Creativity in Tower Hamlets.
Creating a P4C-inspired curriculum
Increasingly, Philosophy For Children is seen as a worthwhile activity in primary schools. But it could be much more! Gavin White puts the case for its becoming the main organising concept for re-constructing the whole primary curriculum.
Finally, the Government is taking cultural capital seriously with a programme to enhance teachers’ and pupils’ aesthetic appreciation and artistic skills. Joe Hallgarten reports on the ‘Find Your Talent’ programme.
Artful response to the Big Yawn
Ofsted might have said it was an excellent school, but the teachers and pupils were bored and depressed... until the staff shook it all up with a curriculum based on great works of art.
The director’s cut
Interpreting moving images critically is a key literacy skill that can give children intellectual distance and creative insight. Ian Wall describes how getting students to interrogate directors’ decisions can help explain how meaning is constructed.
Assessment as an act of love
Our system is not geared up to measuring creativity, thinking, confidence and imagination. It simply is not possible to use existing assessment tools to chart children’s progress in achievements which are seemingly intangible but which are more important than the frequently ‘tested’ goals. Debra Kidd reports on Kingstone School - a school of creativity - which is trying to establish a new assessment paradigm.