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We get excited about what we do - talking to teachers, and authors, chatting with pupils and turning conversations and ideas into practical educational series. Find out more about our guest bloggers.

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Wednesday words: Reception vocabulary teaching activity

This week, we bring you a Reception vocabulary teaching activity which uses the story of Hansel and Gretel to help children to develop an understanding of words to describe different characters.

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Overdue Ofsted report - our expert's predictions

It has taken a lot of hours for Ofsted to discover that the primary curriculum is skewed by SATs, that the foundation subjects are being squeezed and creative teaching is not as widespread as they hoped.  They find that timetabling is conservative, priorities are focused on the acquisition of knowledge and there is a lack of flair in some of the teaching. And, apparently, we don’t know what we mean when we say ‘skills’.

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Wednesday words: Year 4 vocabulary teaching activity

In this first Wednesday Words blog, we bring you a fun Year 4 vocabulary teaching activity to help children to describe an 'intelligent predator'. In this case, the predator is the octopus.

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Do boys learn differently to girls?

Up and down the country in 1000’s of schools there are improvement plans with some variation of the phrase ‘raise boys’ achievement.’  For most schools this is a yearly target because year on year the difference between boys’ and girls’ attainment either continues to grow or remains stagnant.  Very rarely does this gap close.

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Closing the word gap

You may have heard of the “word gap” it refers to the gap of 30 million words between different groups of children before the age of 3. Charlotte Raby (author of Rising Stars Vocabulary) explores the meaning of  the 'word gap' and explains how your school can tackle the problem. 

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Unlock the potential of oral history in your classroom

Bev Forrest talks to us about the positive, lasting impact an oral history project can have to your pupils and how easy it is to link our History Voyagers package to the 2014 curriculum.

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How Rushey Mead use PiRA, PUMA and Optional Tests to identify gaps in children's learning

We are a large inner-city school in Leicester with 630 pupils on roll, approximately 95% of whom speak English as an Additional Language.  These wide ranging starting points have made gap analysis through the use of accurate and reliable assessments paramount.

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Using a high-quality text to teach a range of reading and writing objectives

After the launch of this year’s Great British Bake Off, it seems timely to share David Melling’s latest Hugless Douglas classic, ‘Hugless Douglas and the Great Cake Bake.’ This resource demonstrates how a high quality text can be used to teach a range of NC objectives spanning across both key stages. Many thanks to Maddy Barnes for the fantastic ideas. 

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Read it, write it, understand it - fantastic spelling activities for your classroom

Spelling currently has a higher profile than ever, thanks to the expectations for writing in the new assessments at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, which mean that a child will effectively be penalised for not being able to spell words considered appropriate for their age. 

Guest blogger Nicola Morris shares some fantastic activity ideas to help make spelling fun and engaging for pupils. 

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Prepare your assessment system for inspection

We've not got long to wait for our Primary Assessment 2016 Conference, and we’re looking forward to welcoming Headteachers, Deputy Heads and Subject Coordinators from across the country. For those of you who haven’t yet registered, here’s a summary of all that we’ll be covering on the day.

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