Sheila Blackburn speaking at trAction Crewe

Sheila Blackburn will be reading some of her Stewie Scraps books at Crewe Library on 11 July, as part of the trAction Crewe Festival.

TrAction Crewe is a three-day fun event to celebrate Crewe’s role in railways, science and engineering. In addition to Sheila’s session, there will be many free activities for all the family including science, sports, children’s competitions, games and exhibitions.

As Stewie Scrap’s inventions are pretty amazing, listening to his stories is a perfect way to end to the technology-themed festival. So why not pop along to the library and learn about his space racer, star rocket or giant joggers!









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Filed under Sheila M. Blackburn, Stewie Scraps

Teaching British Values through Music

Feversham Primary Academy in Bradford has come up with a really novel way of teaching British values – through a music-led curriculum. In the attached article Naveed Idrees, the headteacher, tells what they’ve done.

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Food Standards – why are they different for some academies?

Schools that became academies between 2010 and 2014 are not required to follow the Food Standards. The Standards were not included in their funding contracts so as provide them with more autonomy.

The standards restrict the amount of sugary, fried and fatty foods in school meals and require pupils to be offered at least one portion of vegetables or salad as part of their lunch each day. As the Local Government Association (LGA) points out, this loophole means that about 1 million pupils may be being served unhealthy school meals.

The government has written to the 3,896 academies and free schools affected, asking them to make a voluntary agreement to comply with the new Food Standards. However, according to the LGA, 2,476 schools have still not formally committed to the standards.

Another important aspect of the Food Standards which is frequently forgotten (or ignored) by schools is the requirement for children to learn to cook and be taught about healthy c9781783171194-Get-Cooking-Classroom-recipes-newooking and nutrition. Schools often site a lack of resources and space as reasons for not teaching pupils to cook.

For this reason we brought out Get Cooking in the Classroom. The book has been designed to support schools as they work to comply with The School Food Plan. With relative ease, teachers will be able to undertake a variety of healthy and fun food activities. Many of the recipes do not even require access to an oven!



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Filed under Get Cooking in the Classroom, How to Sparkle at Beginning Multiplication and Division, Kate Morris, Sally Brown

Great chart of learning theories

I love this chart of learning theories. It is a fantastic summary of key innovators, opinions and perspectives.

I wish I had been given something similar when I was a student. I’m hoping that by posting it here I’ll be able to find it (if and) when my daughter starts her teacher training!

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Parliamentary Inquiry into Extremism

I’m delighted that Alison Jamieson, author of Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Teacher’s Handbook for Addressing Extremism, is quoted in the following article on the Parliamentary Inquiry into Extremism.

The article calls Alison’s submission “arguably the most coherent written submission to the inquiry”.

In her submission, Alison advocates the creation of “safe spaces” that might encourage classroom discussion of political violence, the terminology of terrorism, and peace-making through conflict resolution.

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Filed under Alison Jamieson, News, Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Teacher's Handbook for Addressing Extremism

What crazy rules for using exclamation marks!

According to the latest guidance issued by the DFE, pupils will only receive marks for using exclamation marks if the sentence starts with ‘What’ or ‘How’.

The guidance suggests “What a lovely day!” or “How exciting!” as acceptable examples.

“A sentence that ends in an exclamation mark, but which does not have one of the grammatical patterns shown above, is not considered to be creditworthy as an exclamation (e.g. exclamatory statements, exclamatory imperatives, exclamatory interrogatives or interjections),” it says.

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Happy children – how important is this?

Sir Michael Wilshaw has said he is “suspicious” of head teachers who say that their ambition is to make children in their schools “happy”. Instead, he argues, the focus should be on making children resiliant.

Sir Michael also says that we should “talk up” the benefits of teaching more.



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