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What do pupils use mobile phones for when in school? This week's interesting findings...

13 July 2021

1. Football – it almost came home!

Last Sunday, nearly 30 million of us watched England men’s team come agonisingly close to winning the European Championship. Many of those watching were students who also needed to attend school the next day. Should a big late-night make for special accommodation from schools?

As it happened 30% of primary school teachers said their pupils were allowed a later start on Monday, though London primary schools were the least likely, with only around 15%!

Secondary schools were more conservative in their approach but around a quarter of secondary teachers disagreed and wanted a later start!

The Euros are just one of many sporting events this summer. Don’t forget the Olympics start soon! Many of you have already used the European Championships as an activity in your lesson – especially those in the primary sector, as well as languages and PE teachers. For languages teachers, the Tour de France provided inspiration for 10% of you in your lessons. Vive le velo!

2. Mobile Phones

The consultation into mobile phone usage in schools continues to rumble on. This week, we decided to do some more nuanced research on the matter.

On an average day, 0% of primary schools teacher deal with a student using a mobile phone in a lesson without permission. For secondary teachers, the number was 27%, which was a drop from 38% when we last asked this question in May. Are schools already clamping down?!

What about the rules regarding mobile phones? It’s much easier to set expectations with students with consistent rules, but we found that this might not be the case…

There appears to be a difference in beliefs that mobile phone rules are consistent within schools. 80% of secondary heads believe that rules are applied consistently. This view isn’t always shared among classroom teachers, where this number drops to around 60%.

However, mobile phones do have their uses inside schools. Two-thirds of teachers have allowed students to use their mobile phones over the last term.

What for? Mainly taking pictures of the whiteboard! Half of you allowed pupils to snap the board and a further 35% allowed pictures of pupil’s work. Revision and quizzing apps were also popular with 31% of teachers allowing phone use for these.

A full 25% (1-in-4) of you also had pupils access their school emails via their phone when in your classrooms.

Banning phones makes sense when looking at negative pupil behaviours, such as having phones out inappropriately, but is it really a good idea to stop all of these other activities? Like you, we’re interested to see what the consultation reveals…

3. Classroom Practice

It seems you’re always looking at ways to improve your teaching. Reading is one of the main ways teachers learn about new ideas – which is why so many of you love the daily reads!

Over the years at Teacher Tapp we’ve tracked the rise of changes in teaching. So what have you been changing in your classroom practice this year?

First, fewer of you made changes this year compared to previous years. Not entirely surprising, given all the disruption and workload!

BUT Dual Coding is becoming more popular, particularly in English, Science and Humanities. Maths teachers were less likely to use it. But then, they were less likely to use all of the improvement changes. Retrieval practice and low stakes testing remain popular – with even 51% of Arts teachers saying they were trying it out this year.

Compared to when we first asked in 2018, Grit and Growth Mindset are less common changes, but still around 23% of primary teachers and 14% of secondary teachers read about the concepts and made some changes to them this year.

The EEF will soon be publishing a review of many of these practices, so keep your eyes peeled when it comes out 👀.

Call out for Primary colleagues

🚀At Teacher Tapp we are really interested in the views from primary teachers and we’d love to grow the number of you who use the app. If you know a primary colleague who you think would enjoy the daily insights that give an accurate picture of how thousands of colleagues are thinking please share Teacher Tapp with them!

❓ If you’ve got any question suggestions then you can Contact Us via the menu in the app or send us a tweet @TeacherTapp.

📰 We love sharing daily reads with you all on and we’re always on the look out for ones we’ve not featured. It’s really easy if you’d like to make a suggestion to do so here.

📣 And if you’d like a pack of posters/coasters to display in your school, to tell people about Teacher Tapp, then please fill in the form here!

Finally, we know you love the daily read, so here are the ones from last week

The most read tip this week was: Where does the term “mufti” originate from?

And here are the rest for your reference