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  • Together, we make an impact

    by Chantel Carpenter

    Pearson Primary - Together, we make an impact

    Last month saw the proud launch of our new Impact pages. Here, you’ll find the first tranche of case studies and evidence showing exactly how our programmes and professional development help teachers to have the biggest impact on each of their children.

    Don’t get us wrong. We’re not trying to lay claim to credit that belongs to you. One of the central tenets of the Pearson Primary manifesto is that we support teachers to do what they do best.

    We know that it’s the quality and the passion of your teaching that has the greatest impact on children’s learning. But we also know that teaching is a huge job. You have to be an expert in all things: the subjects you teach, pedagogy, assessment, classroom management, curriculum design… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    So let us take some of the pressure off your shoulders. You can trust us to support you with fantastic resources and training that help you do your job as brilliantly as you want to. We know, though, that trust is won, not given, and that’s what our impact site is all about.

    Evidence through to impact

    It matters to us that the programmes and professional development we create really do help children to achieve in their education. That’s why we build our programmes on respected research and evidence - such as the Clackmannanshire Study into Synthetic Phonics - and why we sponsor studies by leading academics into key areas of Primary assessment, pedagogy and policy.

    When we're talking about children's futures, though, it's not good enough simply to create a resource and send it out into the world to make its own way.  That's why Pearson is committed to evaluating and reporting on the impact of our resources – and improving them, when necessary, to make sure they do not just a good, but a great job for the teachers and children using them.

    We do this while we are developing them - road-testing them with real teachers and children. We do this by checking in with our customers once they have bought them to see how they are using them in their school, and to what effect. We do this by giving them to Local Authorities to test with groups of schools in their area.

    So, please do check out the case studies, infographics and research summaries to see the positive impact that the partnership of great teachers and great Pearson programmes and professional development have been having in schools like yours.

    Then, if you would like to, get in touch with us to tell us about your experiences with them. Perhaps you'd be willing for us to do a case study based on your school, or perhaps you would just like to tell us what you think works best, or what you would do differently if you could. Please use the comment function below and we'll be in touch.

    P.S. - This is an evolving site, with more to come for maths and intervention, so why not bookmark it to make sure you get updates?

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  • Pearson Primary manifesto: #3 We work with charities that really make a difference to children's lives.

    Alongside our commitment to making resources that have a measurable impact on children’s lives, we seek out and support charities that are equally dedicated to helping people make progress in their lives through learning.

    Feeding imaginations (and tummies)

    We know for example a child’s ability to concentrate is seriously impaired when they come to school hungry, as sadly an estimated 700,000 children in the UK do each day. So we’ve donated over £64,500 to Magic Breakfast and voted them our charity of the year for three years running. Donate to Magic Breakfast.
     

    Reading for pleasure isn’t just fun but also a key indicator of future academic success; that having books at home and being read to from an early age is crucial to making this happen. That’s why, through Booktime, we’ve given away over 10 million books to Reception-aged children, and why we’re extremely proud to sponsor the annual national Read for my School competition that has over 200,000 children in over 3500 schools reading one million books each year.

    To help facilitate the sharing of outstanding teaching and leadership practice, we’re working with the Cambridge Primary Review Trust to help schools to build an outstanding, creative curriculum in a principled, evidence-based way. Plus we’re proud to sponsor the Pearson Teaching Awards, giving a platform for rewarding and recognising the unsung heroes that are so vital to our children’s futures.

    So many children all over the world are far less privileged than our own children, which is why Pearson has been working with Book Aid International since 1980, donating over 2.5 million books, including many of our primary titles.

    Literacy is the key to transforming lives. So, Pearson has embarked on a campaign to inspire new collaboration on the evolving challenges and opportunities around literacy. If Project Literacy was to achieve one thing in the next five years, what would it be? Do share with us at #projectliteracy.

    And lastly but certainly by no means least, Save the Children and Pearson have launched an ‘Every Child Learning’ partnership, to help out-of-school children caught in the Syrian refugee crisis access quality education.

    Providing education for children in conflict and emergency settings presents many unique challenges. Over the course of the three year partnership, Pearson has committed £1 million to work with Save the Children to identify and develop solutions for delivering education in emergencies, drawing on the expertise and assets of both organisations. Of course, the credit for all these achievements goes to the wonderful organisations we work with. We are honoured to be able to play a part in making them happen.

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  • The good, the bad and the ugly of a career as a Primary teacher

    by Kate Jolliffe

    Teaching - the highs and lows. I became a teacher because I enjoy working with children, I want to make a difference, I get a lot out of it, I am good at it, it's my true vocation, it's challenging and offers variety.

    We recently did some research with our Primary Teacher Panel to help us understand how we can support you better.

    We've done other research into what you need from us in terms of resources, but for this particular study we wanted to understand what it feels like to be a teacher in the 2010s. We asked:

    • Why did you go into teaching?
    • What makes you feel appreciated?
    • What is hard about your job?
    • Why do you stay in teaching?

    The individual responses (around 200) were really fascinating and gave us an interesting and sometimes sobering snapshot of the realities of being a Primary teacher today.

    The infographic below showcases the most common responses we received. While there's probably nothing too surprising here for you we wanted to share it anyway because it shows some very clear themes emerging across everyone who answered.

    TeacherInfographic

    Do you agree? Is there anything you would add, or expand on?

    To see more from Pearson Primary, follow us on twitter, or like us on facebook.

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  • CentreForum report backs judging pupils' progress

    by Julie McCulloch

    Regular readers of this blog will know that we have long argued that the fairest and most effective way to judge schools is by the progress their pupils make.

    We’re delighted, then, to have launched a new report, together with the CentreForum think tank, on this issue: Progress matters in Primary too: Holding schools to account consistently.

    Following on from an earlier report on secondary school accountability, the report argues that pupil progress, rather than attainment, should be the principal floor target for primary schools, for the following reasons:

    • A progress measure encourages schools to focus on all pupils, because the performance of all pupils counts equally towards school performance by that measure. An attainment-based measure has the potential to encourage schools to focus more narrowly on pupils near the threshold, because it is here that schools stand to make the most gains in their measured performance. Consequently, pupils far below the expected standard risk being left behind, while those far above may not be adequately stretched.
    • A progress measure considers pupil performance in light of their individual starting points. In this way it is able to better identify the impact of the school from circumstances outside of its control, i.e. the prior attainment of its intake. An attainment measure puts schools with lower prior-attainment intakes at an inherent and unfair disadvantage, because such intakes are less predisposed to meeting the attainment standards.

    The report also addresses the thorny issue of baseline assessment, arguing that an effective baseline assessment, administered to pupils in their first half-term of Reception, is fundamental to creating a progress measure. It acknowledges that there are valid concerns around the introduction of a baseline assessment, but believes that these can be overcome.

    The report ends with two recommendations:

    1. Pupil progress is the fairest and most effective accountability measure, and should therefore be adopted by government as its principal headline accountability measure for primary schools.
    1. To support pupil progress becoming the principal headline accountability measure for primary schools, the government should provide clear, defensible evidence that the baseline assessment which underpins it is valid, fair and reliable.

    We hope that this report will prove useful in this highly-charged debate. Do let us know what you think.

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  • 10 jobs Primary teachers do as well as teach

    by Ros Letellier

    As you know, we believe teachers are superheroes. There are so many skills that go into being a Primary school teacher that we can't even count them, but here are 10 we thought you might recognise!

    Please feel free to tell us about other skills you'd like to see mentioned.

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  • Pearson Primary Manifesto: #2 We support teachers to do what they do best.

    We know that to do the job of a primary teacher you have to really care. That twelve-hour days are commonplace. That the classroom work is just the tip of the iceberg.

    That you need almost superhuman strength just to deal with the administrative burden - not to mention eyes in the back of your head.

    You’re Batman. We’re Robin.

    We know you look out for every last child in your class – making sure no one falls behind, finding ways to help those who struggle, challenging the gifted. We understand that it’s making a difference to these children’s lives that matters to you.

    And we also know how thinly stretched you are. How much of your own time you give up to planning and paperwork. (Holy understatement, Batman!) And that’s where we come in.

    We work with the top experts in the country to deliver the kind of resources and professional development courses that you tell us you want.  We know that you need back-up, not direction, which is why our programmes are supportive, not prescriptive.

    We offer a huge bank of front-of-class and independent practice resources for you to pick and choose from, and long-, medium-, and short-term plans you can edit as you see fit.

    We offer thousands of interactive games and eBooks – giving you choice and variety as well as ease of access. All our programmes have allocation, assessment and tracking built in, making it easier to audit, report on and tailor children’s learning.

    Our resources mean that you can take back some of your evenings and weekends, and give you the assurance that you have everything covered. Need ideas and resources for tomorrow's lesson on fractions? You've got them. Want to make sure you've covered everything that might come up in the new, harder grammar test? It's all there.

    But no matter how good our resources are, they're nothing without a teacher to bring them to life. We know we're only the sidekick to your superhero — helping facilitate you to do what you do best — teach.

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  • Pearson Primary Manifesto: #2 We support teachers to do what they do best.

    We know that to do the job of a primary teacher you have to really care. That twelve-hour days are commonplace. That the classroom work is just the tip of the iceberg.

    That you need almost superhuman strength just to deal with the administrative burden - not to mention eyes in the back of your head.

    You’re Batman. We’re Robin.

    We know you look out for every last child in your class – making sure no one falls behind, finding ways to help those who struggle, challenging the gifted. We understand that it’s making a difference to these children’s lives that matters to you.

    And we also know how thinly stretched you are. How much of your own time you give up to planning and paperwork. (Holy understatement, Batman!) And that’s where we come in.

    We work with the top experts in the country to deliver the kind of resources and professional development courses that you tell us you want.  We know that you need back-up, not direction, which is why our programmes are supportive, not prescriptive.

    We offer a huge bank of front-of-class and independent practice resources for you to pick and choose from, and long-, medium-, and short-term plans you can edit as you see fit.

    We offer thousands of interactive games and eBooks – giving you choice and variety as well as ease of access. All our programmes have allocation, assessment and tracking built in, making it easier to audit, report on and tailor children’s learning.

    Our resources mean that you can take back some of your evenings and weekends, and give you the assurance that you have everything covered. Need ideas and resources for tomorrow's lesson on fractions? You've got them. Want to make sure you've covered everything that might come up in the new, harder grammar test? It's all there.

    But no matter how good our resources are, they're nothing without a teacher to bring them to life. We know we're only the sidekick to your superhero — helping facilitate you to do what you do best — teach.

    Read more
  • Pearson Primary manifesto: #1 We put learners at the heart of everything we do

    If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that learning is most successful when children are enjoying it.

    Why? Because enjoyment and motivation are so inextricably linked. (So are fear and motivation of course, but much harder to justify at parents’ evening.) And we only have to think back to our own experiences for proof that learning is more likely to stick when we enjoy it.

    That’s why we design our products and services around the children who will use them. Real children. Today’s children. Children who’ve grown up with the kind of technology we couldn’t even have imagined at their age. Children who live in an increasingly digital world, where bright, stimulating, interactive entertainment and information are only ever a click away.

    We get these kids. We know what grabs them and hooks them into learning. And once we’ve got their attention, we know how to structure resources that keep them progressing. We use technology to enhance children’s learning and keep them motivated and excited. And we use it to create a clear picture of children’s learning progress to help you teach what they need, when they need it.

    We trial our resources during development with real children, in real classrooms, to make sure that they really are engaging.

    We’ve partnered with leading lights in the children’s toy and entertainment industry such as LEGO, Ben 10, DC Comics and Aardman to create resources with real pick-up appeal.

    We’ve created virtual worlds with exciting rewards that motivate children to keep learning while earning points.

    We’ve got thousands of online practice games and interactive activities for maths and English, making every bit of learning fun and stimulating.

    And, perhaps just as importantly, we work with top teaching and subject experts to make sure that our resources don’t just give children what they want but also what they need to succeed.

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  • Introducing the Pearson Primary manifesto

    by Ros Letellier

    If you’re here visiting our blog, chances are you know we’re Pearson, but do you really know who Pearson is? Did you know, for example, that we’ve been around in the book publishing sector since 1724?

    If that comes as a surprise, we’re not surprised! Over the years you’ve known us as Heinemann, Rigby, Ginn, Longman and BBC Active. Or you may have known us indirectly through our much-loved brands – programmes such as Rigby Star, Heinemann Maths, Abacus, Bug Club, Literacy Evolve, Rapid and Wordsmith, to name but a few.

    We understand that when it comes to children’s futures, you can’t take any chances; that you need to feel secure that you’re buying not just good resources - but the very best.

    You need to know you’re buying from a company with a proven track-record; a company who really understands and cares about education; and who won’t abandon you as soon as the transaction is complete. We understand that for you to be able to give a company that kind of trust, they need to have earned it.

    And that’s why it’s really important to us that you know who Pearson really is. Our products and services speak for themselves, and you may well already have been able to form an impression of us from your engagement with them. But if you don’t yet know us, or if you’d like to know us a bit better, please read on.

    We'd like to share with you our 'Pearson Primary manifesto' -  three core values that we believe most represent our view of the world and underpin everything we do:

    #1 We put learners at the heart of everything we do

    #2 We support teachers to do what they do best

    #3 We work with partners to really make a difference in children’s lives

    To find out more about each of these, please read the other blog posts in the manifesto series, and read about the good causes we support.

    And please do tell us what you think. As always, we love hearing from you!

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