Renaissance Blog

Reading Goldmines

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

The fact that there are so many of these lovely books – mostly picture books – in charity shops, is indicative of the fact that the potential of the picture book to support children’s reading development is vastly undervalued.

Don’t judge a book by its colour (band)

By Julie King, Reading Support Teacher

Having taught in primary schools for over 20 years, Julie King has seen her fair share of early reading approaches and an equal share of changes in assessment methods. Based on these experiences, Julie has become a strong advocate for leaving colour bands behind after the current purple or gold bands, when a child is a transitional reader who is able to blend sounds and word parts to read simple words.

Star-t as you mean to go on

By Nicky Nash, Assistant Headteacher

Evidence-based practice forms a core part of the teaching ethos at Brooklands Farm Primary School, with Carol Dweck’s Growth Mindset used to encourage both teachers and students to thrive in a positive learning environment. With the first term now already over, Nicky Bullard, Assistant Headteacher at the school, takes us through her experiences of aligning technology with theorist principles and explains why they believe it’s important to ‘Star-t as you mean to go on’…

Renaissance in the news…

By Renaissance UK,

A study of over 850,000 UK primary and secondary school children sheds further light on the literacy gap between boys and girls. It shows that boys read less thoroughly than girls, leading to poorer literacy outcomes by the time they leave school.

Remembering #ReadingRocks

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Once upon a time, (but not so very long ago) over 150 teachers ‘gave up’ their Saturday to be part of something very special in a lovely primary school buried deep in Merseyside. While I’m still on a professional and personal high from experiencing this day first-hand, now the dust is starting to settle from all of the excitement, I wanted to put finger to keyboard and share my thoughts on why Reading really does Rock!

Reading between the Michael Morpurgo headlines

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Children’s laureate Michael Morpurgo hit the headlines recently after delivering his keynote speech at the first annual Book Trust lecture… with claims that exams have created ‘apartheid’ in schools appearing in the likes of the Guardian and the BBC. However, this message was just one of many points which he covered (although perhaps the most controversial hence its dominant coverage in the media). However, when we look past the debate on Government agendas, Morpurgo actually gives us some really positive observations and suggestions that we can put to good use in classrooms today…

Understanding the ‘Challenge’ of ‘Reading To’

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

When is it right to choose a more challenging book for your children, as opposed to what you believe is ‘age appropriate’?

Introducing Middle Years+

By Cecelia Powell, Managing Editor

The Content team is thrilled to introduce a new feature to better inform teachers and librarians using Renaissance Accelerated Reader as to whether a book is suitable for a particular reader. So, henceforward there will be a fourth Interest Level listing, which will slot in between Middle Years and Upper Years, and will be known as Middle Years+, age 12 and above.

Why I think Mr Fox is so Fantastic

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

While not wanting to give away my age, I have to admit that when it was first published in 1970, I was already a mother and Roald Dahl was a much loved author in the household. And Fantastic Mr Fox quickly became an equally loved personal favourite of mine.

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!

By Margaret Allen, Strategic Education Manager

Children of primary school age are still exploring and discovering at the same time as learning. They are developing at such a rate, both mentally, emotionally and physically, that the best thing we can do for them as teachers, carers or parents – is to provide enough guidance and structure to help them grow… but without stifling their own creativity or potential.

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