Improving language development: read, play, discuss

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Julia Badger critiques and summarises a recent randomised controlled trial testing the Let’s Talk intervention for improving children’s language development.

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Measuring pupil progress: are we measuring the wrong things?

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Rachel Symons summarises the Progress 8 accountability measure and why it’s important to consider school and pupil background when interpreting exam results.

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A little praise goes a long way, but too much may be harmful

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Asha Patel and Sal McKeown summarise a Dutch observational study of parents’ praise and children’s self-esteem. The research finds that parents’ inflated praise predicted lower self-esteem in children, and also predicted higher narcissism, but only in children with high self-esteem.

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What do teachers need to support student mental health?

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Rachel Symons summarises a qualitative study on teachers’ aspirations, needs and opinions regarding student mental health support in secondary schools.

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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…]