Primary Blogging

Collecting blogs about primary education

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Primary Curriculum Resource Pack

Ramblings of a Teacher

Over the past year I have tried to create and collate resources which might be useful for primary schools rolling out the new curriculum. Many of these have been shared on this blog, and also on my website.

To try to make it easier for schools and teachers to get the key resources, I have now compiled the 12 main documents into a single download. The zip-file pack contains:


  • Curriculum overview for Years 1 to 6 for all subjects
  • Blank Word Document template for schools to create their own jigsaws (perhaps to share with parents on their websites)

Changes Document

  • A detailed booklet breaking down the changes in each of the core subjects by year group, comparing learning objectives against the primary frameworks for English and Maths, and the QCA plans for Science.

Progression documents

  • One document each for Reading, Writing and Maths showing all the National…

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The real problem with insets

the primary head's blog


Planning an inset can be difficult. Lofty ambitions can often descend into days that are just easier to manage. I personally tend to fall into the trap of not thinking broad enough; I’ll have a brilliant idea as to how we’ll solve a particular issue and then the night before I’ll realise that Early Years or support staff will literally have nothing to do. This leaves me with two options: run around looking for middle leaders to come up with an additional focus within twelve hours or do nothing, buy loads of cakes and avoid making eye contact with any poor member of staff who is feeling undervalued.

There are, in my experience, three types of inset: the guest, the initiative, the catch-up.

The guest

This can be a high risk (it’s normally high cost too come to think of it) and involves booking an outsider; an expert to teach…

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Our Solutions to the Problems with Guided Reading

Originally posted on

When I blogged here about some resources I’d made to brand the reading AFs, I promised a blog post about how and why my year group had abandoned the traditional method for teaching reading.  The idea came from my wonderful year leader, Rhoda, so she has written this to share our reasons and method.

If you’d have asked me 18 months ago about the most effective way to teach reading across the primary phase I would have, without a doubt, talked about Guided Reading. I had always taught reading through this approach, it was just the way we did it. In fact, I was such an advocate that when I Ied English across my school I encouraged other colleagues to do the same. I’ve now changed my mind.

It was a conversation with a teacher at a TeachMeet Sussex meeting that got the cogs whirring. I heard him explain how his school had been advised not to do Guided Reading Sessions during OfSTED as it would be difficult to show progress which was above Requires Improvement. If that is the case, why is this still our chosen method of teaching?
These are my main issues with Guided Reading:

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Sorting out sentences

Originally posted on

This year I have a group of children who are really struggling to write in sentences.  At some point along the way they have not understood how to write clearly.  They are not the weakest readers in the class and nor is their speech and language lagging behind – they simply haven’t grasped how and where to put full stops in the right place.I have tried a few techniques for getting them to correct their work and learn to start a new sentence correctly.  There is not one solution to this problem and neither will the same technique work for every child but you will see that these strategies can and have made a difference to these children.

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Why TeachMeet?


After promoting a local TeachMeet in a teachers’ meeting, I overheard a thought-provoking comment in the staff room the next day. Whilst gazing at the TeachMeet poster I had put up, a teacher who was absent in the previous day’s meeting pondered, “Why would anyone want to do that – actually choose to spend some of their own time meeting with teachers?” So…Why TeachMeets? What are they and why do busy, practising teachers put so much time and energy into running these independent events?

Despite going to many TeachMeets in my 2 years of teaching, it’s something that I’d never even considered.  I guess the main reason for this is that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every TeachMeet I’ve ever been to – it’s never felt like a burden.  I’ve come away from each one with a tonne of ideas to use in my classroom, new friends who are in the profession…

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I, teacher

the primary head's blog

There may be some (many) NQTs out there who found the Autumn terms tough. Even the most naturally gifted teacher or bright-eyed bushy-tailed young Buck can find the reality of being an actual full time teacher really hard. That’s partly because it is. Teaching is an incredibly hard job and it’s only in your first proper term that you realise how sheltered you were from the day-in day-out pressures of the job whilst you were training. But it’s also because you haven’t been doing it for that long. So before you spend the final night of your holidays not sleeping as you worry about whether you will be able to jump back onto the merry-go-round or worry that you are just not cut out for this profession read this. Here I dig deep into my memory archives and share with you some of the most incompetent parts of my NQT…

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