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Come aboard the Hogwarts Express!

Monday 26th June 2017 marks twenty years since the first publication of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  In this blog, Michelle Nicjolson celebrates the twentieth anniversary of the release of JK Rowling’s fabulous book, with some ideas for bringing the story to life in the classroom.

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On bunnies, magic and the genius of Mini Grey…The Bad Bunnies’ Magic Show

Martin Galway suggests that some especially badly behaved rabbits might just deserve a second chance, and a place in your library, in this review of Mini Grey’s latest picturebook.

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Year 6 Writing – in Search of GDS: verb forms – the key to control.

Martin Galway completes his series of blogs on the Greater Depth writing standard for year 6 writing and makes good on his earlier promise to return to the subject of “Selecting verb forms for meaning and effect”.

Continue reading “Year 6 Writing – in Search of GDS: verb forms – the key to control.”

Shifts in Formality: now, that’s the way you do it!

Penny Slater serves up a postscript to her earlier blog on modelling shifts in formality.

You may recall my blog from February 2016 (A Model of Formality) when I offered a lesson/resource suggestion based on securing shifts in formality. It was a phrase that back then, we were just beginning to get our heads around. Now, thanks to the collective endeavour of the teaching profession (those teachers and advisors who have had to work tirelessly to interpret the sometimes  obscure meaning of some of the ITAF statements, such as my colleague has done here, here and here), I think that we all feel a little more comfortable with what a ‘shift’ looks like.

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2017 KS2 Reading Paper: A secret shared and some questions to ask – a year on

In this blog (a direct follow up to her popular entry from last year) Jane Andrews once again analyses the questions served up in the KS2 reading paper and updates her question stem resource for 2017, for use in school. 

Continue reading “2017 KS2 Reading Paper: A secret shared and some questions to ask – a year on”

From Riches to Rags: an analysis of the 2017 reading paper

Penny Slater unpicks the 2017 reading paper and concludes that despite the concepts within the texts being more easily accessible for most children, the challenge of the reading test remains high.

Following last week’s SATs, we now have two tests that we can analyse in order to gain a better understanding of what the DFE mean by ‘greater challenge’. What follows is an attempt to unpick this year’s reading test, and gain a better understanding of where those elusive assessment goal posts now stand.

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Rebalancing sums – and the ripple effect

In the tried and tested articles, advisers will share some of their interesting tried and tested approaches to teaching mathematics.   In this sequence, the Rachel Rayner focuses on developing the skill of rebalancing as a mental strategy.

Rachel Rayner is a Primary Mathematics Adviser for Herts for Learning

Have you ever noticed how introducing a new drop in the mathematics ocean causes pupils to think differently about already learned concepts?  What follows is a sequence of learning, much loved by me, as it has caused all kinds of new links with number to be made for pupils as well as deeper understanding of core concepts such as conservation and sum from Year 2 to Year 6.  It also challenges pupils preference for working left to right in their calculations (I certainly found that my children’s favourite option) but instead attend to the numbers involved, allowing a far better informed decision about the strategy selected.   The strategy also focuses on the nearness of landmark numbers and the skill of rounding.  This supports estimation and a sense of what is reasonable for further development of number sense. Continue reading “Rebalancing sums – and the ripple effect”

Year 6 Writing – in search of GDS part 3: a farewell to shifts of formality.

Martin Galway wraps up his short series of blogs on  managed shifts of formality as required to award ‘Working at Greater Depth (GDS) within the expected standard’  under the Interim Teacher Assessment Framework (ITAF) for writing. 

Continue reading “Year 6 Writing – in search of GDS part 3: a farewell to shifts of formality.”

Book Review Round-up

Sabrina Wright, Michelle Nicholson and Penny Slater share a little of what they have been reading and enjoying recently.

Continue reading “Book Review Round-up”

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