Building on the success of a smaller, pilot project that involved 4 schools in the previous academic year Exeter Consortium offered a course to develop early years professionals’ understanding of the importance of working memory. The course ran over two terms and was led by Jon Maxwell-Batten, retired Educational Psychologist, Tania Beard, Headteacher of St Martin’s Primary and Nursery School and Mel Turl, Assistant Head and Early Years Lead at St Martin’s Primary and Nursery School.
The aims of the project were to:
The course participants were made up of a majority of early years practitioners but included professionals from other settings and age ranges. Everyone who attended the course was given a copy of 2 books with games that can be played in the setting/school or at home. The books were written by Mark Hill and Katy Hill and are currently in print.
The books give many ideas for games to improve children’s working memory and these can be adapted and changed to meet the needs of the child/ren, school or setting.
Each school/setting that took part in the project has given an overview of how they implemented what they had learnt and shared a story about an individual child. Not all settings/schools have supplied quantitative data but the stories they have shared give an indication of outcomes for the children. The stories have been anonymised but if there is a particular approach you are interested in you can contact Tania Beard at St Martin’s C of E Primary and Nursery School - firstname.lastname@example.org - she will liaise with the school, and, if they are willing, will arrange an email introduction.
Please find a copy of the report here: Working Memory Report. The report also includes information about additional resources to support schools in strengthening working memory with children.
An early morning on Saturday 7th September, saw five members of South West Teaching School Alliance (SWTSA), Dartmoor Teaching School Alliance (DTSA) and Exeter Consortium & Teaching School Alliance (ECTSA) take the long trip to London to attend the researchED National Conference 2019 at Chobham Academy in Newham.
This annual event aims to bring the brightest minds in education together for a day of inspiring seminars, lectures and talks. For the 2019 edition, over 100 speakers, including Paul Kirschner, Tom Bennett and Daisy Christodolou, delivered sessions to over 1500 delegates throughout the course of the day.
Paul Kirschner explored five research giants and how we must build upon their hard-earned discoveries to design and deliver the best learning experiences for the students of today. Tom Bennett looked at behaviour lessons from the best UK schools, outlining the most effective strategies that schools can utilise in order to create safe, calm and nurturing environments. Meanwhile, Daisy Christodolou delivered a session around education technology, looking at how it has often failed to deliver and how it can succeed in the future.
With more than 100 sessions to choose from throughout the day, there was something for everyone, ranging from myths about education in Finland to advice on helping new teachers flourish.
As the event came to an end, those who attended were left to reflect on an informative day, ready to apply what they’d learnt to their respective classrooms.
From the perspective of SWTSA, DTSA and ECTSA, the day allowed us to understand the latest developments in educational research, but for those who missed out on the event - fear not. Some of the speakers may feature at our grand Summer Conference in 2020 … watch this space!