Irena Barker

Irena Barker is a freelance journalist.

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Covid catch-up: Should some students repeat a year in school?

Can repeating a year of school be a good thing?

Much of the research shows that getting a child to redo the previous 12 months can be detrimental to...

8 min read 25 Jun 2021
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Covid: Uncertainty can spark a fight or flight response that can hinder learning in schools, says research

Tes focus on...Uncertainty in schools

Unsettling feelings can trigger a fight-or-flight stress response that can impact on teaching and...

13 min read 26 Mar 2021
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Male primary teacher stereotypes, debunked

Male primary teacher stereotypes, debunked

What’s it like for men in the female-dominated education profession? And do the stereotypes of them...

7 min read 12 Feb 2021
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How to guard against being manipulated

How to guard against being manipulated

Ever get the feeling you’re being manoeuvred into doing something against your will? Whether it’s a...

7 min read 22 Jan 2021
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How to include pupils of all faiths at Christmas

How to include pupils of all faiths at Christmas

Despite media reports to the contrary, schools with diverse populations rarely ‘cancel’ festivities...

8 min read 11 Dec 2020
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The impact of poverty on pupils’ brains

The impact of poverty on pupils’ brains

Research is beginning to unpick the impact of poverty on the development of a child’s brain and...

7 min read 13 Nov 2020
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The psychological impact of obesity on children

The psychological impact of obesity on children

Research suggests that children who are obese are more likely to suffer mental health problems than...

7 min read 6 Nov 2020
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Are parents to blame for bad behaviour?

Are parents to blame for bad behaviour?

While many teachers might not want to admit it, they often blame parents for the actions of children...

7 min read 28 Feb 2020
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Active duty

Lack of exercise may be detrimental to learning

As schools endeavour to meet academic performance measures, physical exercise inevitably slips down...

18 min read 31 Jan 2020
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Social and emotional skills in early years

The social-emotional skills in the early years

Children who are able to focus their attention, manage their behaviour and interact positively with...

9 min read 25 Oct 2019
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How can teachers alleviate pupils' maths anxiety?

How to tackle maths anxiety in your class

One academic who is researching ways to combat maths anxiety offers guidance for teachers

10 min read 18 Oct 2019
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Can we trust the results of high-stakes tests?

Can we trust the results of high-stakes tests?

When teachers and schools are under intense pressure to get results, how can we know if a jump in...

9 min read 27 Sep 2019
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Could a classroom revamp change student learning?

Do renovations boost pupils’ learning?

Does the airiness of your classroom, or the way you arrange your desks, have a significant impact on...

14 min read 12 Jul 2019