Hear from leading voices from across the sector about how to support KS3, EAL and SEND learners to make progress with reading.
A False Binary
Grime is a style of British rap music that emerged from the UK Garage scene during the early 2000s. The genre is defined by complex syncopated raps over fast beats, initially made famous by a generation of East London artists such as Wiley and Dizzie Rascal, and more recently, revived by the likes of Stormzy, who became the first British black solo artist to headline Glastonbury in 2019. On paper, Grime is perhaps not the natural bedfellow of Classical music. Grime Opera strives to challenge this assumption, uniting young people from a diverse range of backgrounds in pursuit of an authentic musical experience.
A new climate for design education? Sylvia Knight in conversation with school Head of Tech, Michael Noonan
Through her work with the Royal Meteorological Society, Sylvia Knight has discovered a hunger for revised climate teaching within the secondary curriculum. She introduces the key issues facing schools and students today, and turns to tech teacher Michael Noonan for his thoughts from the frontline of teaching design and technology (D&T).
What gets measured tends to get done. In primary schools this means a curriculum driven largely by English and maths.
But perhaps assessment needs to help us look below the surface of these headline measures. Why? Consider these research findings:
- Children with poor language at age five are six times less likely to reach the expected standard in literacy at age 11 than those with good language, and 11 times less likely to reach the expected standard in maths.
- Children’s reading ability is dependent on their oral language skills – their vocabulary and language structures. The contribution of spoken language skills to reading is not confined to reading comprehension; it also predicts how easily they will learn phonics.
Building independence through maths for every student
By Karen McGuigan
I was one of these children who just loved maths – even now I see it everywhere in life – but I know that’s not a talent most people have. Maths is so important. It helps us understand money, unpick practical things like our shopping and phone contracts, and make informed decisions.
Yet the way most schools teach maths, especially to learners with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and additional needs, means many children are leaving education without the key maths skills they’ll need to live independently.
In 2019, after working on maths with my then 7-year-old son who has Downs Syndrome, I started a programme called Maths For Life with the aim of creating a differentiated approach to the current maths curriculum; one that delivers essential maths that all children need for life. I believe what I’ve learned could really improve maths accessibility for every child, whatever their needs and ability.
Continuing our focus this month on all aspects of sustainability, from menu evaluations to energy-saving initiatives, Clare Cox, Sustainability Lead at Pearson, shares with Education Today some of the steps schools are taking to become more sustainable, and collates key tips and advice from leading voices across the sector.
Featuring this month in Education Today is Becki Huth, the Sustainability and Forest School Lead at Cutteslowe Primary School, which is part of the Riverside Learning Trust in Oxford. She tells us about the wide-ranging sustainability initiatives that have been implemented at her school and the surprising impact they have had on both the pupils and the school community.
Q: What are some of the underlying causes or factors that contribute to maths anxiety in students in your opinion?
For teachers, a key part of our roles is sharing our love for our subject and inspiring the new generation, yet we’re faced with many students struggling with maths anxiety. Although causes vary from student to student, there do seem to be some common trends.
Key considerations include attitudes towards maths at home, in the classroom and on social media. For example, how do their teachers and families respond to making mistakes in maths? It’s also important to consider the mathematical experiences of students at home and in the classroom; is the focus on numbers and recall or exploration and discovery?
Maths is really everywhere, I think, and there are lots of ways to access it. Many problems in our society now require maths to be solved.
Maths can also help students understand the world more, for example when they’re thinking about finances; budgets and taxes. Even for life at home, it helps develop problem-solving skills and increase creativity.