What will Improve a Student's Memory?

In recent years the understanding of the mechanics of the human mind has deepened enormously, and this understanding has begun to suggest new ideas and strategies for how to improve teaching and learning. The Teachers’ Standards require all training and practicing teachers to be critically aware of the need to extend and update their pedagogical knowledge and to actively promote engaging and effective methods that support pupils to improve their learning. The principles of cognitive science hold the promise of helping children to study more effectively and teachers need to be aware of the important developments in the field.

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary field of researcher that seeks to understand the mind. Daniel T. Willingham is a professor at the University of Virginia, whose research focuses on the application of findings from cognitive psychology and neuroscience to education in the United States.In his articleWillingham considers findings from the field that are strong and clear enough to merit classroom application and describes three principles ofmemory that he believes are relevant to most of the learning that students do in primary and secondary schools.

The recent DfE report of the working group into the way new teachers are prepared in classroom behaviour management, argues that understanding the basic psychology of memory is one of the keys to building the relationships that are essential for the design and maintenance of ordered, safe and productive classrooms. The report advises all trainee teachers to begin by reading Daniel Willingham’s essay, What Will Improve a Student’s Memory?

Teacher Workload Review Group
published in March 2016.
The Independent Teacher Workload Review Group set up by the DFE has recently released three reports looking at Data Management, Planning and Resources, and Marking. There are some interesting discussions about the causes of excessive workload in each of these areas and NQTs might like to see their recommendations to schools and teachers.

Three reports are:
Eliminating unnecessary workload associated with data management:

Eliminating unnecessary workload around planning and teaching resources:

Eliminating unnecessary workload around marking:

Useful Documents

100 Tips for NQTs by Sue Cowley

Behaviour Management Report


Key Stage 3 - The Wasted Years

Statutory Induction for NQTs

Suggested Reading

The Art of Being a Brilliant NQT by Gary Toward, Chris Henley, 2015, Crown House.

How to Survive Your First Year in Teaching 2nd Edition Sue Cowley, 2009, Continuum.

Teacher Toolkit Helping You Survive Your First Five Years Ross Morrison McGill, 2015, Bloomsbury

Subjects Information

Business Studies


Computer Science with ICT

CAS Teaching CS in the secondary school

Drama with English

Support material for the new GCSE and A-Level curriculum:

The new Edexcel GCSE Drama Study Guide, for first teaching in September 2016, is available for pre-order now.The new Edexcel AS And A Level Drama Study Guide.
A definitive study guide for the new AS/A Level syllabus. Written by experts, this comprehensive guide:

  • covers in detail all three components of both the AS and A Level
  • gives details of the lives and methodology of ten key practitioners
  • works through rehearsal processes for both devising and text-work, including sample stimuli and texts
  • contains detailed coverage of all set texts, with sample questions and answers for the exams
  • covers design as well as performing routes through the course
  • introduces the terminology and techniques that Edexcel expects students to know.
These are available through the music room website: To order please email orders@musicroom.com with your order and it will be dispatched when in stock. Alternatively you can place your order by phone (01284 773666), fax (01284 702592).





Information about the MA in Teaching

MA Teaching Application Form

MA Teaching Module One DPP Portfolio

MA Trestle
MA Education (Drama) taught in conjunction with Trestle Theatre Company

National Foundation for Educational Research

British Educational Research Association

ESRC Teaching and Learning Research Programme

National Education Research Forum

General Teaching Council (England)

Current Educational Research in the UK

Education Online

Intute has grown out of the Electronic Libraries (eLib) Programme