Feature articles for primary schools

NFER produces regular features in Headteacher Update to bring out the latest evidence and what it means for practice in primary schools. We also publish occasional articles and features in various other publications.

2016-2017

Individual feature articles 

 

   

An evaluation of In Harmony
January 2017
The In Harmony project has received £3 million in government funding to being music opportunities to primary pupils in six disadvantaged areas. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at a new evaluation of the scheme's impact so far.
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Putting evidence to work
Education Today - BESA Corner, December 2016
In a regular feature highlighting the work of members of the UK education suppliers' trade body BESA, Education Today this month hears from Gareth Mills of NFER on being an 'Enquiring School'. 
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A Research Mark journey
November 2016
Headteacher Update is a supporter of the NFER’s Research Mark accreditation. Here, Dorothy Lepkowska looks at how this initiative and other resources from the NFER can help schools on their research journey.
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How to keep hold of your teachers
October 2016
New research into teacher retention has uncovered some of the reasons why teachers quit the profession, as well as those vital ‘protective factors’ that can help a school to retain, engage and motivate their teachers. Researcher Sarah Lynch breaks downs the key findings.
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Effective school-to-school partnerships
September 2016
Recent research into primary academisation, led by NFER, has looked at whether academy conversion has a notable impact on pupil outcomes. Jack Worth looks at the findings.
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Effective school-to-school partnerships
June 2016
Enabling the teaching profession to instigate, develop and lead school improvement is increasingly viewed as the most effective way forward in embedding educational reforms. Robert Smith explains how this has worked in Wales through school-to-school partnerships.
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2015-2016

Individual feature articles 

   

The recipe for effective assessment
March 2016
In the uncertain world of assessment without levels, it is paramount that schools opt for solutions founded on experience and research. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at how NFER puts together its pupil assessments.
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Research and Evidence
February 2016
The number of schools embracing teacher-led, action research is growing. Gareth Mills explores why there is a growing enthusiasm from teachers for an evidence-informed education system and looks at some examples from schools already adopting this approach.
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The building blocks of pupil premium success
January 2016
Drawing on the work of more than 1300 schools, new research into the Pupil Premium has identified common successful strategies and the key 'building blocks' for their implementation. Dorothy Lepkowska reports.
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Classroom research
December 2015
Headteacher Update is a supporter of the NFER's Research Mark accreditation. Dorothy Lepkowska looks at how classroom research helped one school to bounce back from a poor Ofsted result.
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Quality of assessment
eye, December 2015
What makes a good Early Years Standardised Assessment now that the government has pushed to reintroduce baselines at the start of reception year? There are three key factors in all good systems.
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Summer-born pupils: What's the evidence?
November 2015
The government recently decided to give the parents of summer-born children the right to delay their child's entry to reception. Jack Worth considers the implications of this policy, its potential impact on disadvantaged families, and other possible alternatives.
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What elements make for an effective and reliable assessment?
September 2015
Test developer Catherine Kirkup outlines the key criteria that primary schools should consider when selecting their approaches to pupil tests.
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The research journey
June 2015
Ed Cuffe-Adams speaks to two schools at different stages on their research journey, demonstrating how research is, or can become an established part of life in primary schools.
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How do parents choose a school for their child?
June 2015
What do parents look for a prioritise when it comes to choosing a primary school for their children? A research project has sought to answer this question. Karen Wespieser reports.
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As easy as riding a bike
May 2015
The government-funded Bikeability scheme trains children to be confident and safe cyclists and has so far reached 1.5 million young people. Claire Hodgson looks at how the initiative engages with schools and reports on research into its impact.
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2014-2015

Individual feature articles

   

Research, Review and repeat...
March 2015
Knowing where to start when creating a research-engaged school is difficult. Getting an understanding of what's involved and recognising where you are on the journey is crucial. Caroline Fisher advises.
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The principles of effective assessment
January 2015
The NFER has worked with hundreds of schools and thousands of pupils to develop its Reception Baseline Assessment. Catherine Kirkup and Marian Sainsbury look at some of the principles of effective assessment that have emerged.
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Tackling Bullying: Knowledge is power
November 2014
Information - both about national trends and about what is happening in your own schools - is a powerful weapon in the fight against bullying. Dorothy Lepkowska explains.
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What is your research goal?
November 2014
When it comes to deciding what research evidence to use in the classroom, what really matters is the goal of the research, not who produces it, argues Dr Julie Nelson.
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Baseline assessment
September 2014
In March, the DfE announced plans to introduce a baseline assessment for all children at the start of reception. Catherine Kirkup answers some of the big questions that schools have been asking about the plans.
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Weighing up the assessment revolution
June 2014
You could be forgiven for feeling dizzy with all the recent changes to assessment policy and practice, not least the removal of levels. Liz Twist summarises the changes to date and offers advice on handling the new assessment regime.
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Making their mark
May 2014
The badge of ‘research-engaged school’ is appealing recognition for a school’s achievements in research, but what does it mean in practice? Caroline Fisher looks one school’s evidence for the NFER Research Mark.
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Tackling low-level neglect
May 2014
Based on recent research evidence, Caroline Sharp offers some practical advice on how schools can identify and support pupils who are suffering from low-level neglect.
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Special HTU digital supplement including all six HTU features

   

Special supplement 
June 2015

Download as a PDF file  

 

2013-2014

Individual feature articles 

   

How prepared are you for the new curriculum?
February 2014
What areas of the new primary core curriculum are schools most prepared for and where do they feel least confident? Elizabeth Pope looks at the findings from NFER’s latest Teacher Voice survey.
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SEN and action research
January 2014
It takes a special kind of insight to meet some pupils' unique and complex needs. Sarah Fleming reports on one school that has boosted their expertise through action research.
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In pursuit of happiness
January 2014
Happiness is a fairly nebulous concept, but with the right support it can be measured to provide insights into the wellbeing of your school. We consider how this can be achieved.
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For the love of learning
November 2013
Two schools have taken some creative approaches to helping their pupils become more independent, reslient and reflective. Alison Willmott reports.
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Getting to grips with the new primary programmes
November 2013
The publication of the new primary national curriculum gives schools a great opportunity to make a gradual transition to the new programmes of study. Catherine Kirkup offers some pointers.
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Engage, enquire, improve
eye, October 2013
Caroline Sharpe explains why the early years sector is tailor-made for practitioner-led enquiry and details how this can now be rewarded and celebrated through NFER’s new national Research Mark.
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Putting teacher-led research to work
September 2013
Graham Handscomb argues the case for practitioner-led enquiry, reflection and research at the heart of successful schools.
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Diagnosis, treatment and progression 
September 2013
Evidence is everywhere, but what are teachers to think? Inspired by medical practice, Ben Durbin gives three steps for its effective use.
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Page-turning learning 
June 2013
As pastimes go, reading has to compete hard for children’s attention these days, but research suggests that the gift of a book still has the power to excite.
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Measuring impact: using the premium 
May 2013
Schools everywhere are looking for the most effective Pupil Premium strategies and for the best methods of showing the results of their spending decisions. Liz Twist looks at how evidence is being used to discover the best approaches and how schools can monitor the impact of their interventions.
Download as a PDF file  

 

Special HTU digital supplement including all ten HTU features

   

Special supplement 
May 2014

Download as a PDF file  

 

2012-2013

Individual feature articles 

    Techniques to get your boys reading
March 2013
Boys’ underachievement in reading is a perennial problem for our schools and teachers. Liz Twist and Rebecca Clarkson look at the evidence.
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    Consulting Parents
January 2013
With recent changes to the Ofsted framework giving greater prominence to the views of key stakeholders, schools need to find new ways of gathering and responding to feedback.
Dorothy Lepkowska reports.
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    Tackling NEETs early
November 2012 2012
The vital work to help tackle the number of young people who are NEET – not in education, employment or training – starts in our primary schools, research shows.
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    Creative Thinking
September 2012
Gareth Mills looks at how engaging teachers in research to inform best practice can unleash untapped creativity and bring about sustainable improvement in schools.
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    Assessment Advice
June 2012
Rebecca Clarkson and Liz Twist consider what good assessment looks like and offer their research-based advice on ensuring that your assessment practice is effective.
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    Data for self-evaluation
April 2012
Claire Easton looks at the importance of gathering evidence to help self-evaluation and school improvement and offers best practice guidance.
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Special HTU digital supplement including all six HTU features

   

Special Supplement 
May 2013

Download as a PDF file  

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