School based obesity prevention for 6 and 7 year olds

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Alison Tonkin writes her debut elf blog on the WAVES study: a cluster randomised controlled trial looking at the effectiveness of a childhood obesity prevention programme delivered through schools, targeting 6 and 7 year olds.

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Lesson observations have no impact on Maths or English GCSE scores

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Pooky Knightsmith looks at the Education Endowment Foundation report on Teacher Observation, which concludes that structured lesson observation programmes have no benefits above existing programmes of peer observation.

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Implementing research evidence in schools: senior leaders and teachers – start here!

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It’s Spring! Pooky Knightsmith coaxes the Education Elf out of hibernation with a new blog about the recent Education Endowment Foundation report: Putting evidence to work – a school’s guide to implementation.

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Health Promoting Schools can improve some areas of health, but more research is needed

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My grandfather had a nearly religious conviction of the value of physical activity. No weekend was complete without a strenuous bout of outdoor exercise, regardless of the weather.  New England gets cold and damp, and his five children would prepare themselves for winter excursions with some reluctance. ‘Healthy body, healthy mind!’ my grandfather would say, exhorting them [read the full story…]

Only phonics instruction is proven effective for treating reading disability, says systematic review

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Reading instruction was once a topic guaranteed to ignite passionate debate among teachers, mostly between proponents of phonics instruction and supporters of whole-language approaches. Although this particular controversy has become less heated in recent years, with many endorsing a hybrid or mixed-methods approach, there remains a great deal of interest in the relative merits of [read the full story…]

Science or Pseudo Science? Prevalence of Neuromyths in Education

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You will be delighted to hear that improving your cognitive ability has never been simpler! You can carry out some easy, but highly effective, exercises to activate your brain, improve communication between right and left brain hemispheres, as well as increasing oxygenation, electrical activity and blood supply to your brain. Firstly, locate your ‘brain buttons’, [read the full story…]

How susceptible are you to ‘neuromyths’? Take the quiz and test your science knowledge.

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Once you are given your score, please leave a comment (and your score, if you are brave enough!) in the box at the bottom of this page. Good luck! My blog next week will discuss this topic, with a more detailed look at recent research on the widely believed myths about  the brain.

Impact of School-Wide Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports

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The impact of poor behaviour in schools can have wide-ranging detrimental affects on learning, wellbeing and social development. School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS or PBIS), originally created by Horner and Sugai (2006), is a whole-school behaviour intervention program. It has been widely implemented in more than 16,000 schools across the United States, with [read the full story…]

Sit together and read… Oh, and discuss the print to help with spelling.

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I remember discovering the joys of storybooks in the 1970’s, as Grandpa Elf and I would sit in the dappled shade of the trees, reading story after story set in the woodland. For human children, tucked up in their beds, tales of deadly wolves and evil grandmothers may well have had a scary edge, but [read the full story…]

Girls just wanna have fun! Helping female children and adolescents develop into happy, healthy, successful and sociable adults.

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My last blog (Boys, don’t cry!) addressed the many challenges that can present themselves to boys during childhood and adolescence, and cause them to veer off the road from healthy development. Girls by no means have it easy! When compared to boys, girls are more likely to present with mental health problems (Merikangas, 2010). Furthermore, [read the full story…]