School Blog

It’s all about engagement

Kagan Fours have now become embedded in our classrooms. Structures are designed to increase children’s engagement and co-operation. It is extra work to learn the structures but once teachers know them the teaching is easier. With over 200 different structures to use, which ones have worked for us so far?


Have a look at this website: Kagan Structures put Simply.

School Blog

FISH! For Schools

‘FISH! For Schools helps you to create classrooms where it’s cool to respect and care about each other. Students feel safe and ready to learn. Instead of spending your time putting out disciplinary fires, you have more time to ignite learning.’ (Quote from official Fish philosophy website –


At Walton-on-the Naze Primary School, right next to the sea of course, we’ve come across a whole new meaning for fish, The FISH Philosophy!   With its four philosophies – Choose Your attitude, Play, Be There and Make Their Day, all set in the context of teaching and learning it helps children and their teachers to:


•Create behavioural expectations that are owned by everyone in class.


•Live The FISH! Philosophy in a way that meets your goals.


•Build a caring community where everyone feels safe and ready to learn.


•Develop character, empathy and personal responsibility.


We’re in the process of giving it a go, we’ll get back to you soon with some fishy results!!

School Blog

CPD – What do we want from it as teachers?

CPD – What do we want from it as teachers?

Professional development opportunities, as in courses run by outside agencies, have become fewer and fewer, as a result of ever-shrinking CPD budgets.

CPD has seemingly lost the spark it once had in promoting a profession in which developing as a teacher is an enjoyable experience with endless possibility.


Firstly, the one size fits all model doesn’t work. Some teachers are more competent than others are and, therefore, their areas of development are not the same and neither should their CPD be. Many schools are tailoring CPD to suit teachers and support staff at different stages of their career to ensure a more appropriate CPD programme. But is a CPD programme that is focused on ensuring people are competent at their job good enough?

No longer is CPD the opportunity for an individual to focus on an area of choice that they would like to develop because it motivates them and it will ultimately help improve practice, it is instead a measure – a success criteria – a body of evidence that is tied into school improvement.

CPD time needs to be reclaimed within schools to develop the areas in which teaching staff are most interested and which will then, naturally best support the students in our care.

Surely, opportunities to visit other schools, sharing good practice, listening and networking is the best way to enhance what we do? Ultimately, raising morale in a profession that is subject to constant change and criticism is of the utmost importance.

‘It is clear that an experienced teacher of many years will have very different development needs to someone just beginning their teaching career. Research suggests that CPD needs to be sustained and focused, and that teachers should focus on only a few aspects of their practice over a sustained period to bring about real change.’

Follow this link to read the whole article.