Exploring what matters

Welcome to the IRIS Connect blog space where you can join conversations and discover free resources, tips and summaries. We hope you find something useful for your professional development and learning.

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guide to improving teacher happiness and wellbeing

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Teacher confidence (efficacy): Why does it matter and how can SLT increase it?

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 21 January, 2019

 Efficacy - or a teacher’s level of confidence in their abilities - can be highly influenced by past experiences or your current school culture. For example, a bad classroom experience or negative work environment can quickly diminish a teacher’s confidence.

Interestingly, seeing students grow and working in a collaborative environment can boost a teacher’s belief in their ability and improve performance. Research also suggests that teachers with a strong sense of self-efficacy tend to be better planners, more resilient through failure, and more open-minded and supportive with students.

 

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Developing independent learning skills that improve outcomes

Posted by Christophe Mullings on 7 January, 2019

Encouraging students to be independent learners, not only has huge benefits for them, but it's also a proven high impact, low cost way to improve progress.

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) found that self-regulated, independent learning has a high impact on pupils’ progress for a very low cost. They learnt that the average impact of self-regulation over 8 months’ progress was found to cost under £80 per pupil per year.

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Dialogic teaching & classroom talk: Maximising effectiveness

Posted by Christophe Mullings on 18 June, 2018

“Dialogic teaching harnesses the power of talk to stimulate and extend pupils’ thinking and advance their learning and understanding.” - Prof. Robin Alexander

Is great dialogue taking place in your classroom and across your school?

It’s well worth taking the time to reflect on this given the robust evidence that dialogic teaching (more broadly known as classroom talk) is key to improving formative assessment of pupils.

Research shows that there is a direct relationship between dialogic teaching and improved individual and collective academic outcomes. A report recently published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) shows that spending more class time on meaningful dialogue that encourages pupils to reason, discuss, speculate, argue and explain, rather than simply give the expected answers can boost primary pupils’ maths, science and English results.

 

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Making metacognition work in the classroom

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 23 May, 2018

Metacognition and self-regulated learning are powerful for pupil progress. Evidence suggests that the use of metacognitive strategies can be worth the equivalent of an additional +7 months progress when used well. So, what is metacognition, how does it work, and how can you begin to teach it in your classroom?

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6 ways to boost your confidence as a teacher

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 22 March, 2018

Having confidence as a teacher can improve your overall effectiveness as well as your wellbeing. Unfortunately, students can be quick to spot a lack of confidence, which can lead to issues with classroom management. 

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The challenge of pupil transition. Have you given it enough thought? 

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 19 March, 2018

The transition from primary to secondary school is a huge step for pupils. For the majority, it is a time of broadening horizons and growing independence.

However, wider research (McGee et al, 2003 and West et al, 2008) shows that, for a significant minority (particularly vulnerable students), it can be a time when their confidence as learners is reduced and they don’t progress as expected. In extreme cases, it can be a time of great trauma which triggers disengagement from formal education.

Effectively transitioning pupils from primary to secondary school is hugely important. But what role do both primary and secondary schools play and how exactly can they help?

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