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What does the National Reference Test tell us about achievement in maths and English over time?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital25 August 2022

John Jerrim.

Congratulations to all the young people who got their GCSE results today.

While the mainstream media attention will likely be showing lots of pictures of Year 11s hugging or other such images (Teacher Tapp bingo anyone?) I am going to give my first impression of results from the latest National Reference Test – which were also published today.

What is the National Reference Test?

Since 2017, Ofqual has tested a large sample of Year 11s in English and mathematics around February/March time – just a few months before their (more…)

Is there is a link between Year 11s’ wellbeing and their GCSE grades?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital28 April 2022

John Jerrim.

The 2021/22 academic year is due to see the return of GCSE examinations after a Covid-enforced two-year hiatus. Before the pandemic hit, there was much concern about how these high-stakes examinations may be affecting young people’s mental health.

At the same time, it was recognised that those Year 11s who were struggling with their wellbeing could see their GCSE grades suffer as a result. Yet we actually know relatively little about this key issue – how strong is the link between the wellbeing of Year 11 pupils and the GCSE grades they achieve?

This blog takes a look at the evidence, drawing upon work I have published today in a new academic paper. (more…)

Floating on the ‘cloud’ or living in the material world`? Teaching online in the time of Covid

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 February 2022

Lesley Gourlay.

At the beginning of the pandemic, schools and universities were forced to ‘go online’ at short notice. We often refer to this as ‘virtual learning’, but is that really a good description? We think about the internet as something separate from the ‘real world’ we see in front of us, full of objects and people. The language used to describe it suggests this too – we talk about ‘the cloud’ and ‘the ether’, giving the idea that the online world is a special place, free from the messiness of the material world.

However, the reality of ‘online learning’ is also part of the that world. Computers, laptops and smartphones are objects, and we work with them in ‘real life’ settings. During the pandemic, millions of people had to set up and use digital devices at home for work or study. As we (more…)

How has the pandemic affected young people’s job skills?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital16 December 2021

Francis Green, Golo Henseke and Ingrid Schoon.

With skill shortages widely reported, you may be wondering what’s been happening to the learning of job skills among young people during Covid. It is already obvious that, following Brexit, we in Britain cannot rely as much on the skills of migrants – and this doesn’t just mean for picking apples or driving lorries. Across the board it is widely accepted that we are going to need to step up the training of Britain’s young people, our future workers for decades to come, if standards of living are to be sustained while the economy adjusts to post-Brexit realities and to climate change.

But hasn’t the pandemic put a large damper on hopes of an upturn in our skills? How could Britain’s youth get on with their education when so many schools were closed, and how could they train for careers when they (more…)

Living and learning during a pandemic: what can children tell us?

Blog Editor, IOE Digital14 October 2021

Yana Manyukhina.

Researcher: why did you want to take part in this interview?

Child: “Because nobody had listened to children”

The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us important lessons about school education that we should never forget in a post-pandemic world. We have come to appreciate, as never before, the significance of teacher support, interactions with peers, and positive family environments for children’s learning and wellbeing. At the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Pedagogy (0-11 years) (HHCP), we have also become acutely sensitive to children’s voice and its importance in research. We know we cannot fully understand how to help children succeed at school unless we ask, and listen to, children.

Our Living and Learning during a Pandemic study spanning the autumn term of 2020 was designed to do just that – talk and listen to children. Conducted after the reopening of schools following the first national lockdown, the project aimed to offer young children an opportunity to share their experiences and feelings (more…)