• Digital natives? Using technology to improve learning and assessment with Mary Richardson

    The role of new digital learning technologies is not a vision of the future; it is now firmly embedded in education systems from the nursery to the university. The development of digital resources is fast-paced and it can seem overwhelming to navigate the tsunami of sales pitches promising everything from reduced workloads to perfect assessment. However, step back and remember the wise words of educationalist Dylan Wiliam that “everything works somewhere; nothing works everywhere – so we need to ask ourselves, under what conditions does x work?”

  • Closing the word gap with Jean Gross CBE

    I rarely meet a teacher these days who isn’t concerned about the growing number of children with speech, language and communication needs. 

    It isn’t likely to get better any time soon if we look at what is happening in the cohort of children who will soon be working their way through the school system. In a recent survey 82 per cent of health visitors reported seeing a year-on-year increase in children with speech, language and communication delays in their pre-school caseloads. And last year, Speech and Language UK estimated that at least 1.9 million primary- and secondary-aged children were struggling with talking and understanding words. That equates to one in five school-aged children – the highest number ever recorded.

  • Are we missing a trick in primary assessment? with Jean Gross CBE

    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.
  • Helping children to engage with reading

    We all know that a child is more likely to have lifelong success if they become a reader because it lays the foundation for learning across the curriculum. In this blog, Amy Lewis, Head of Coram Beanstalk, discusses the importance of reading, and how you can use Pearson's Primary Interactive Library to enhance a child's reading experience.

  • Getting started with phonics for 4-year-olds

    How many people do you think can remember learning to read? Can they remember the days, weeks, months and years their primary school teachers took teaching them a skill that would open up a world of opportunities? How many can remember recognising those initial letters on the page, combining the letters and sounds to form words and then attaching meaning to those words? The chances are, not many. For those that struggled with reading however, the memories are probably more vivid.

  • Making eBooks Count: The case for online readers to support development by Ben Connor

    Research has shown that enjoyment of reading is key to future success. However, we also live in a digital age, where our pupils spend a vast amount of their time consuming information via digital and social media platforms. Although print is important, access to digital books on a range of devices can give children more opportunities to read.

  • Why a diverse English curriculum matters now more than ever

    “There has never been a stronger reason than all the things that are happening, to try and show students that they are members of a global society.” 

    Bennie Kara, Author and Deputy Headteacher

    Consider the value of global connections and understanding in 2023; the power of communication as we navigate life post-pandemic, including the climate crisis; the huge importance of empathy, as issues like the rising cost of living, and the conflict in Ukraine continue to make their impact on young lives. With a diverse English curriculum helping to shape learners’ views and skillsets, schools can develop tolerance and sustainable thinking for new generations – something we need now more than ever before.