Out-of-school activities can help to improve primary children’s educational attainment, a new study shows. Children who took part in organised sports or other activities at ages 5, 7 and 11 were almost one-and-a-half times more likely to reach a higher than expected level in key stage 2 maths, according to researchers from NatCen Social Research, Newcastle University and ASK Research. The study of 6,400 English children was funded by the Nuffield Foundation. No link was found between organised sports and activities and KS2 English and science scores.
A primary head’s resignation letter to parents went viral on social media after he wrote that standards for Year 2 and Year 6 had been raised “to a point where the pupils are being set up to fail”. Jeremy Gargan, headteacher of Aycliffe Village Primary, in Country Durham, said that the plan to force all primaries to become academies and change the way that funding is allocated to schools would not raise standards. “This is not the education system that I signed up to when I left engineering to pursue a career helping others to fulfil their own potential,” he writes.
Children from disadvantaged families are four times more likely to go to an inadequate primary school or one that requires improvement, compared with children from wealthier families, new research shows. The charity Teach First, which conducted the study, said that parents from low-income communities were less likely to be able to choose a good or outstanding school, because it is harder for schools serving low-income communities to get higher ratings from Ofsted.
Giving primary pupils individual and unique written tips or targets when marking their maths books is a bad use of time, according to the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. In its new guidance, the NCETM says that primary teachers should not routinely write down individual targets in exercise books, but should instead incorporate the goals in lesson plans.