Research & Resources Digest May 2017

Improving literacy in key stage 2

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published (28 April) guidance on improving literacy in key stage 2, which is part of a series providing guidance on literacy teaching. It builds on the recommendations presented in the EEF’s ‘Improving Literacy in Key Stage One’ report, but is specific to the needs of pupils at key stage 2. The report makes a number of recommendations, which are summarised below (source: EEF):

  • Develop pupils’ language capability to support their reading and writing
  • Support pupils to develop fluent reading capabilities
  • Teach reading comprehension strategies through modelling and supported practice
  • Teach writing composition strategies through modelling and supported practice
  • Develop pupils’ transcription and sentence construction skills through extensive practice
  • Target teaching and support by accurately assessing pupil needs
  • Use high-quality structured interventions to help pupils who are struggling with their literacy.

Further details can be found: https://educationendowmentfoundation.org.uk/resources/guidance-reports/literacy-ks-two/

Recruiting governors and trustees

 The National Governance Association (NGA) has published (31 March) a new recruitment guide – ‘The right people around the table’ – which looks at how to recruit and retain new governors and trustees to school and academy boards in England. The guide covers the following areas (source: NGA):

  • Evaluating: composition and current practice
  • Recruiting: attracting good candidates
  • Appointing: interviewing and references
  • Inducting: training and support
  • Succession planning: ensuring there is leadership of the board.

Further information can be found: http://www.nga.org.uk/Guidance/Workings-Of-The-Governing-Body/Chairs-of-Governors/The-right-people-around-the-table-a-guide-to-recru.aspx

 Breakfast clubs in schools with high levels of deprivation

The Department for Education (DfE) has published (30 March) the findings of an evaluation of a programme to run breakfast clubs in schools with high levels of deprivation, where more than 35% of their pupils are eligible for free school meals (FSM) and which had no existing breakfast club. Strong leadership, and ‘buy-in’ within the school were seen as essential for a successful breakfast club. Schools perceived important benefits from having a breakfast club, including: reducing hunger; improved concentration and behaviour in class; improved punctuality for some pupils; improved social development and increased pupil confidence.

The DfE has also published a briefing for school leaders on setting up and implementing breakfast clubs; and a flyer on what schools said was important in setting up and sustaining successful breakfast clubs, which were:

  • Get a senior member of staff involved early on
  • Identify the main reason you want a breakfast club in your school
  • Find out what parents and pupils want from a breakfast club
  • Establish who you want to attend and whether you want to charge
  • Identify people to run the club
  • Identify the right location
  • Monitor how the club is working and plan early for the school year ahead

Further details can be found: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/breakfast-clubs-in-high-deprivation-schools

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