The Renaissance Space Podcast is an opportunity to showcase all that global education has to offer. Each month we’ll be uploading an episode focussing on a trending or hot topic within the education community. We’ll be chatting to guests from all corners of the education sector.
Browse below for our most recent episodes, or view all our episodes here.


More Than Just Words on a Page – The ATOS Level

Margaret chats with children’s author and ex-teacher, Matt Beighton. They discuss the benefits of using ATOS from Renaissance to level any book. Show More The ATOS leveller provides an accurate level for almost any book allowing the teacher or child to see if the book is at an appropriate level for reading based on the reader’s unique reading ability. Matt also discusses his upcoming book aimed at teachers in the episode called ‘Write it, Level it, Teach it’. The book focuses on saving teacher workload and how to provide ability-appropriate content for every pupil.

More Than Just Words on a Page – Whole Class Reading

To kick off our new series entitled, ‘Reading – More Than Just Words on a Page’, Margaret chats with the Assistant Headteacher of Tor Bridge Primary School in Plymouth. Show More Olivia discusses how a simple change in strategy with reading practice and the right reading resource results in the perfect combination. She explains how this dream combination has resulted in accelerated levels of reading engagement and proficiency.

EdTech Focus – EdTech Overseas

In the final episode of our EdTech Focus series, James speaks to Heather Howard, Assistant Lead of English, Key Stage 3 coordinator & Literacy Coordinator at GEMS Wellington Academy, Dubai. Show More Heather discusses how EdTech solutions at her school help keep students on track and focus on their targets. She discusses the different strategies that her staff can put into action thanks to varied and accurate data of her EdTech solutions.

EdTech Focus – The Assessment Solution

In this week’s episode in our EdTech Focus series, Margaret speaks to Joe Neale, the trust-wide English lead and Karen Bolland, the Assessment & Data Manager for Schoolsworks Academy Trust. Show More Joe discusses how EdTech solutions have enabled teachers in the classroom to acquire a comprehensive outline of each student’s current growth rate with literacy. In contrast, Karen discusses the ease of data management and report distribution across all schools, thanks to their existing EdTech solutions.

Renaissance Space Podcast – Bonus Episode – The international school with a new reading culture

In this one-off bonus episode, James speaks to International School Librarian Kate Ling at Swans International School, Marbella. Show More Kate discusses how the school has created a strong reading culture for English speaking and English second language students. The episode explores the different ways that the school celebrates reading success, including parties and awards, maintaining strong engagement with reading with all students.

EdTech Focus – The Maths Star

In the second episode of our new series, EdTech Focus, Margaret speaks to Teacher and  School Improvement Leader, Catherine Magee. Show More Catherine discusses how EdTech solutions have supported her and her staff to understand pupil development better while saving them valuable time. Catherine looks at using EdTech to support staff in both Reading and Mathematics. In the episode, Catherine discusses the importance of using assessment data appropriately and efficiently in a school environment. Catherine stresses the significance of using EdTech to reduce teacher workload, not add to it! And Catherine recommends the top solutions that do just that.

EdTech Focus – The International School Librarian

In the first episode of our new series, EdTech Focus, James speaks to International School Librarian Jack Morris at Cranleigh School, Abu Dhabi. Show More Jack is the Prep School Librarian and Accelerated Reader Coordinator. Cranleigh School’s Prep School library is available to students from FS1 (nursery) to Year 8, and they use Renaissance products (Star Reading, Accelerated Reader and myON) with Years 3 to 8. Jack has been working with Renaissance products for the past 4 years in two different schools in Abu Dhabi. In the episode, Jack tells James about how much the school relied on EdTech strategies and solutions to ensure students remained engaged with reading during a period of school closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

World of Reading – World Book Day Special

In our World Book Day special episode of our brand new series, a world of reading, Margaret speaks to school reading leads Rachel Coverdale and Georgina Sheridan. Show MoreThey discuss how they’ve supported children with maintaining reading engagement and monitoring reading development throughout remote-learning.

Covid School Miniseries – The Researcher

The third episode in the Covid School Miniseries. Margaret Allen speaks to researcher Dr Sarah McGeown as they discuss ‘A Guide to Reading Enjoyment’. The guide covers all areas of reading enjoyment for pupils, teachers and parents. Show MoreMagaret and Sarah discuss the challenges of finding motivation for some children to be enthusiastic about reading and what to expect from readers of every ability.

Covid School miniseries – The Teacher

The first episode in the Covid School miniseries – Margaret Allen speaks to Joe Neale, Trust-Wide English Lead at Schoolsworks Academy Trust. Together, they discuss all things assessment, English, teaching in a COVID-19 environment and what can be done to support pupils in the future.

Covid School Miniseries – The Parent and The Assistant Headteacher

The second episode in the Covid School miniseries and our Christmas special – Margaret Allen speaks to parent and Gemma Buchanan and Assistant Headteacher Paula Trahern. Show MoreIn an exclusive roundtable discussion, they give their honest experiences and opinions on how the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 affected their lives. From both the parent and the teacher’s perspective, this unique insight highlights the courage and anxiety from both perspectives during a school year like no other.


Renaissance Space Podcast – World of Reading – The Blogger

The first episode in our brand new series, ‘A World of Reading’. Margaret Allen speaks to teacher, Reading Lead and blogger Kelly Buxton. They discuss what Kelly believes to be core to reading in a school. Her passion, interest, and knowledge are evident in her blog, Are Children Listening.

Renaissance Space Podcast – Covid School Miniseries – The Headteachers

Margaret Allen speaks to headteachers Navroop Mehat and Nick Hart. They discuss how their respective schools have approached the 20/21 academic year with further school part-closures and continuous remote learning. Both guests provide valuable insight into how they have planned and implemented their curriculum before, during and beyond remote-learning circumstances.

Meet the presenters:



Margaret Allen

Bringing with her a wealth of experience and an established educational professional network. As a former teacher, Margaret brings her own knowledge and understanding of how the education sector operates, specifically with EdTech and Primary Schools.




James Willats

With a vast experience of Education Research across the sector, James brings with him a passion for social mobility and education rights for both staff and students alike.