Hundreds of tickets for a conference on primary assessment organised by Dame Alison Peacock, head of Wroxham primary, sold in less than 40 minutes when they became available this week. The free Learning First conference, which will be streamed online, will debate how learning can be prioritised during the current upheaval around assessment. The conference is being held at Sheffield Hallam University on May 21. TES will be the media partner for the event; for more information, see beyondlevels.website
Three out of five primary school leaders (60 per cent) say that they are oversubscribed this year, according to a survey from information service The Key. The survey also showed that almost half (45 per cent) of primary school leaders have had to respond to upset parents whose children didn’t get their first-choice placement at the school. The national primary school offer day, when parents find out which school their child will be going to, is on April 18.
Teaching assistants can bring about an improvement in pupils’ reading when they are used correctly in nursery and reception classes, new research shows. The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) found that the Nuffield Early Language Intervention, which involves teaching assistants working with small groups of nursery and reception pupils who are struggling with literacy, helped boost children’s reading skills by an additional four months. The EEF recommends that teaching assistants should not be used as an informal teaching resource for low-attaining pupils. They should add value to what teachers do, not replace them, and be fully prepared for their role in the classroom.
The winner of this year’s Blue Peter award for “best story book” is The Nowhere Emporium, by Scottish children’s writer and graphic designer Ross MacKenzie. It is a story about an orphan in Glasgow who stumbles across a mysterious shop that appears from nowhere. The prize is voted for by Blue Peter viewers. The best “book with facts” winner is Adam Frost for his The Epic Book of Epicness.