What’s the best way to maximise the impact of your Teaching Assistants?

A TA who receives just one day of subject specific literacy training will have a greater impact on young people’s learning outcomes than one who has nothing. That might sound obvious but too many committed and inspirational people are employed as teaching assistants knowing they could be doing so much more.

The potential impact is far reaching – not only can they impact on literacy levels and attainment but are known to also influence behaviour, confidence and attendance.

Of course, any good quality TA training needs to include an understanding of the range of strategies for reading and writing, knowledge of phonics and equip them with practical ideas to help young people become independent readers and writers.

That’s why we’re offering this one day training package for Teaching Assistants, packed with vital information that will start to make a difference to their work immediately.

Sue Dixon, founder of Thinking Child, has designed this course from years of experience as a literacy consultant and trainer. She understands what is required on a core learning module and what TAs and schools require from limited time and budgets.

This starter day will include a review of the questions ‘How do we read?’ and include detailed work on reading strategies, including phonics and grammar. We’ll end as we began with a question ‘Why do we read?’

After this one day TAs will feel more confident and become more effective in the school.

Follow up training which looks at ‘Reading into Writing’ is also available. This is where the connections can be explored in more depth and be tailored to the work that TAs are deployed to carry out in your school.

This core day of valuable training can be delivered in your own setting with groups of TAs – up to a maximum of 20. All materials and handouts are included in the package cost of £750.

Individual Training Course places in Northamptonshire are also available in June/July 2013.

To book your course or find out more visit the website http://www.thinkingchild.org.uk/training/

Telephone 01604 491511

Email info@thinkingchild.org.uk

Encouraging progress and enthusiasm in the second and third year of foreign language study

After the first year or two of learning a foreign language, the initial buzz of excitement may well have left some pupils.

The children have learned some vocabulary and can use and manipulate some set phrases and psychologically they really don’t want more of the same. It is, in fact, time to move on.

So part of the aim at this stage must be to encourage children to realise that they can manipulate the language and use it to communicate with others. From this point on they can feel ownership of the language and realise that they can use it.

In short they need to be empowered with the knowledge that they can indeed manipulate the language, something that is achieved through activities which incorporate competition, surprise, movement and secrecy.

Such activities are the cornerstones ofMore Fun Ideas for Advancing Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom.” The resource contains 77 activities which help pupils learn to manipulate the language, improve their decoding skills and discover how the new language functions at sentence level.

And so, out of this recognition comes the empowerment. It enables creative communication and gives young learners a feeling of ownership of the language being learnt.

The inherent rationale behind each activity is that it is enjoyable and interactive, challenging children’s understanding of the language and furnishing them with a purpose for their learning.

With activities ranging from the Human alphabet and Foreign language detectives to Secret signal and Be the teacher, you will never be stuck for ideas.

The activities support the Year 5-6 objectives for the KS2 Framework for Languages.

A contents page and a number of free resources are available on our website.

You can order More Fun Ideas for Advancing Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom in any of these ways:

PS. The Amazing May Sale runs on our website from 20–24 May 2013 with a discount on everything.


How schools become efficient and how they maintain efficiency

According to the government document “Improving Efficiency in Schools,” the average secondary school ought to be able to save around £100,000 a year in efficiency savings, while the average primary school should be able to save around £25,000 a year.

And to be clear, those are not one-off savings. The report stressed that these savings ought to be achievable this year, next year and every year.

To achieve these terrific savings, the report said, all the schools have to do is take a look at how other, more efficient, schools are handling matters, and copy their practices.

Yet if it were as easy as that, surely by now, most schools should be feeling extremely well off, as inefficiencies are removed and the savings mount up in school bank accounts, simply waiting to be used on other educational ventures.

Sadly, as we know, this is not true. And it is not true for one very simple reason: efficiencies arise not just by copying other schools (although this can help somewhat) but mostly through the introduction and maintenance of what might be a called “an efficiency mindset” throughout the school.

The process of achieving an “efficiency mindset” has been explored and examined in detail by school managers and administrators over the past five years in a number of schools – schools which as part of this exploration really have made incredible efficiency savings.

Now for the first time the way in which schools are making savings is described in one volume: “The Efficient School.”

This volume reveals not only many of the projects that schools have introduced in recent years in order to achieve efficiencies, but also the vital processes which these schools introduce to ensure that objections to change are overcome and that changes, once implemented, are maintained and developed.

As such report explores not only areas in which savings can be made, but also the way in which the whole issue of changing well-established processes and habits can be handled in a school.

The Efficient School is available in copiable form (as a printed volume or on CD) so that it can be distributed to all interested members of staff.

ISBN: 978 1 86083 811 8 Order code: T1803emn – please quote with order.

Sample pages can be viewed at http://www.pdf.firstandbest.co.uk/education/T1803.pdf

  • Photocopiable report in a ring binder, £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • CD with school-wide rights: £24.95 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Both the Ring Binder and the CD £31.94 plus £3.95 delivery
  • Prices include VAT.

You can purchase the report…