Welcome to our podcast series ‘Of Primary Importance’!

In this podcast series, we will be exploring all things EYFS and primary with different topics and special guests each fortnight.

Episode 13

In this episode, we are joined by Juliet Park the director of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL) for the Share Trust. She is also a languages teacher and national MFL consultant-supporting schools and academy trusts. She is a successful author of languages resources. Juliet is an experienced examiner, and she regularly delivers training for awarding bodies and trainee teachers. She is also a specialist for the Secondary School Admissions Test (SSAT) in Dylan William’s formative assessment programme, and she supports primary and secondary heads to introduce this in their own settings.  She is passionate about developing a lifelong love of languages and linguistic mastery in young children.

In this episode we discussed ‘Tips for success in teaching a new language’ especially for teachers without a language specialism.

You can follow Juliet on Twitter at @julietdpark

You can also check out her book ‘Tried and tested: The ultimate guide to teaching primary languages and her languages resource website

You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Check out #OPIP and #OfPrimaryImportance for more content

Key questions covered:

  • You recently had a book published- could you give us a summary of what the book is about and why you decided to write it?
  • As you know language teaching in primary schools often isn’t taught by specialists- what kind of barriers do teachers without a language specialism have to teaching a language?
  • How can they overcome these barriers?
  • If a teacher is going to be teaching a series of language lessons what are your tips for being prepared for this?
  • How can teachers ensure pupils not only learn a language but retain that knowledge?
  • What are the barriers to language learning for pupils and how can teachers help them overcome these?
  • What do you think is working well in schools for language learning and what do you think is needed to support this more?
  • What skills are important to teach pupils that will help them be successful in language learning?
  • Where pupils struggle with their Literacy how does this impact on their progress in learning another language and how can staff help them?
  • There are lots of benefits to learning another language could you share some of your key ones?
  • Is there any training/resources/support you would recommend to teachers and how can people get in touch with you?

About the host

Kat Cauchi is the Product Manager of ReallySchool – a solution for early years and primary from NetSupport . She is also a former primary school teacher, member of the Global Equality Collective, Technocamps, GiST role model, and Global EdTech author.  

Watch Past Episodes!

Episode 12 – Are schools preparing pupils to be ‘future

In this episode, we are joined by Evo Hannan. Evo is passionate about design and innovation in education. Innately driven by his desire to create positive change, Evo has utilised his 20 years of teaching experience to channel into projects which have made an impact across the globe, including The Agency project and Ed Talks Live-a live YouTube talk show which engages in hot education topics with guests from around the globe. This inspired him to take a step out of the classroom in July 2021 and start his own education venture called Innovation X, a big thinking company created to help inspire new ideas to move education forward. He recently launched Innovation X’s first service called Vertigo, a social media agency for schools and education partners, that offers a modern streamlined approach to community engagement, growth and communication.

In this episode we discussed:  Are schools preparing pupils to be ‘future ready?’

You can follow Evo on Twitter at @EvoHannan , on Instagram at  @evohannan and on LinkedIn

You can also check out his website and  YouTube channel

You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Episode 11 – What does effective teaching and learning with technology look like in primary schools?

In this episode, we are joined by Mark Anderson. Mark is a global speaker, education technology expert, consultant, trainer and award-winning blogger and author, known as the ICT Evangelist. He is also Head of Education at NetSupport Group  and he is an Independent Thinking Associate. In 2015, Mark moved on from his 20+ years in the classroom and various leadership roles to work with schools and teachers the world over.

In this episode we discussed ‘What does effective teaching and learning with technology look like in primary schools?

You can follow Mark on Twitter at @ICTEvangelist

You can also check out his website and YouTube channel.

You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Check out #OPIP and #OfPrimaryImportance for more content

Episode 10 – Creating a Wellbeing Culture in schools

In this episode, we are joined by Andrew Cowley. Andrew is a former Primary School DHT who has a commitment to and a passion for wellbeing for children and for school staff. Believing wellbeing to be a strategic consideration as well as a life skill, Andrew co-founded @HealthyToolkit and wrote the accompanying blog, has blogged for Education Support Partnership and BBC Teach. More recently Andrew has been published by Bloomsbury Education: The Wellbeing Toolkit (2019) supports wellbeing for staff and The Wellbeing Curriculum (2021) proposes a broadly defined approach to wellbeing and character development in the primary school.

In this episode we discussed creating a Wellbeing Culture in schools.

You can follow Andrew on Twitter at @andrew_cowley23

You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Check out #OPIP and #OfPrimaryImportance for more content

Episode 9 – Keeping primary pupils

safe online

In this episode, we are joined by Caroline Allams, Natterhub’s Co-founder and Chief Product Officer. Caroline is an educator with over 12 years’ experience in the UK, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Hong Kong.  Natterhub is a gated immersive online safety and digital citizenship learning platform, providing primary schools with a tool to develop crucial digital soft skills and that teaches young children to understand more about their digital landscape.

In this episode we discussed keeping primary pupils safe online.
You can follow Caroline on Twitter at @carolineallams
You can also check out Natterhub’s YouTube and website.

You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK
Check out #OPIP and #OfPrimaryImportance for more content

Episode 8 – How to maintain a work-life balance when working in education

In this episode, we are joined by Penny Whelan. Penny Whelan is a Primary Assistant Headteacher and SENCO. She has a BSC Psychology degree and a PGCE. Penny works part time and is also EAL coordinator, an SLE, Coach and the Operations Manager for the Schools Linking Network in her Local Authority. She is passionate about SEND, inclusion, community and diversity.

In this episode we discussed how to maintain a work-life balance when working in education.

You can follow Penny on Twitter at @pennywpennyw

You can also check out her blog post It’s all about finding a balance

If you are a SENDCO are you are looking to join one of Penny’s DM groups please contact her via Twitter.  

Episode 7 – The Respect Model

In this episode, we are joined by John Magee.

John’s life mission and purpose to Cultivate Kindness in the Classroom by being a positive role model and sharing with everyone the many psychological and emotional benefits from practising daily kindness. He has helped transform over 10,000 children’s lives and 1000’s of teachers lives who have taken part in his Kindness Matters 30 Day Challenge and he looks forward to doing the same for anyone listening to this episode. In this episode we discussed The Respect Model John developed and how this helps reduce confrontations and encourages pupils to be more respectful of school staff.

You can follow John on Twitter at @KindnessCoach_.

You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK. Check out #OPIP and #OfPrimaryImportance for more content If you are interested on coming on the show or have a topic suggestion, send me a DM!

Episode 6
– Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In this episode, we are joined by Nicole Ponsford. (@nicoleponsford)

Nic Ponsford FRSA is the Co-Founder of the GEC (Global Equality Collective)  and CEO of GEC Education.  Previously an AST and award-winning teacher and Harvard author (‘TechnoTeaching’), she is now an educational and technology thought leader. Whilst studying her Doctorate , she has recently been an EdTech50 Judge, headhunted for a central role with the DfE EdTech Demonstrator Programme, a whitepaper research analyst for HE and a freelance Online Learning Designer. Nic is also Director of EdTech UK and is Editor of the digital publication EdTech UK Magazine. She is also a frequent keynote speaker and panelist on closing gaps for the most vulnerable, #techforgood & #futureofwork, and all things diversity and inclusion in education. Nic believes that technology is the great equaliser for our time.

In this episode we discussed Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) in the Early Years.

You can follow Kerry on Twitter at @nicoleponsford
You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Episode 5
– Therapeutic animals in education

Kat Cauchi is joined by Kerry Williams-Kendall. (@Skyrish2011) )

Kerry is the Vice Principal at Boothroyd Primary Academy in West Yorkshire. She is leading on Teaching and Learning, Curriculum and Pupil Premium as well as a staff governor. She is leading a research forum for the focus trust and developing a CPF training model for the wider area. She has been in senior leadership since 2006 and worked in many schools as a lead on many different subjects. She also wrote policies and procedures around issues such as fertility treatment and miscarriage while teaching, a subject she is very passionate about.

Hear all about Therapeutic animals in education and how they can have a beneficial impact on pupils, staff and parents.

You can follow Kerry on Twitter at @Skyrish2011
You can also follow Boothroyd Primary Academy at @BoothroydAcad
You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Episode 4 – Inclusive Books

In this episode, we are joined by Azuraye Williams (@chocpud85) and Lesley Berrington (@Hattiesfriends).

Lesley is a NNEB Nursery Owner turned Inclusive Author of the ‘Hattie and friends’ series of story books. Her books feature positive images of disability, with familiar themes and educational content. The books are suitable for all young children. Lesley believes children need to see disability in books to learn acceptance, respect and understanding for the differences we all have.

Azuraye is a year 6 teacher, Science lead, PE lead and Diversity, Equality and Inclusion lead for school and trust.  She has been teaching for 10 years and has said that every year brings new challenges and experiences. She has a real passion for DEI in education especially being a black, female teacher herself. She feels her own life experiences are something she personally brings to role and is part of her passion for better representation, diversity and inclusion in books.

In this episode we discussed inclusive books – how books can be more inclusive, why representation in books is so important and more.

You can follow Azuraye on Twitter at @chocpud85.
You can follow Lesley on Twitter at @Hattiesfriends.
You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK

Episode 3 – Minecraft Education Edition

In this episode, we are joined by Kate McCallam (@ChattyStaffroom).

Kate is a Year 6 teacher and Computing lead at an independent school in York with 15 years of experience teaching predominantly in Year 6. She is a Literacy specialist and MFL graduate who loves creative curriculum, research, sharing ideas and chatty staffrooms. She also has a previous life in TV production!

I talked to Kate about her Minecraft Education Edition project with two Year 6 classes. Here are some of the questions I asked her:

You can follow Kate on Twitter at @ChattyStaffroom
You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK 

Episode 2 – Stepping up Teaching and Stepping into New Roles

In this episode, Kat Cauchi is joined by Oliver Wright (@OliverSlt) who discusses stepping up teaching and stepping into new roles.

Oliver is the sector manager for Senior Leadership at Twinkl. His role is to develop links with and content for leaders in school. He lives in Sheffield and before joining Twinkl, taught in primary schools for over 20 years. His experience ranges from large city schools to small Peak District schools, including 8 years of headship in two very different schools. He has led on a wide range of developments from curriculum design, use of new technology and improving teaching and learning to improving engagement with parents and large-scale building projects. He’s also been a school governor, a specialist leader in education and been involved in initial teacher training.

You can follow Oliver Wright on Twitter at @OliverSlt
You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK 

Episode 1 – Using Pupil Voice in lesson planning

In this episode, we are joined by Kate Sturdy (@k8KES8).

Kate is a Key Stage 2 Curriculum Lead in North Wales and Year 5 (soon to be Year 6) teacher with 14 years’ teaching experience. She has presented for GwE about her journey to SLT, lectured for Bangor, Chester and Leeds Beckett universities about the new curriculum in Wales, and is currently working on assessment with the Welsh Government. Kate is passionate about using creativity, pupil voice and technology in the classroom.

In the podcast, Kate talks about how she uses pupil voice in her planning and how this has been embedded across the school.

You can follow Kate Sturdy on Twitter at @k8KES8  
You can follow me (Kat Cauchi) on Twitter at @ReallyschoolK 

Of Primary Importance is also available as a podcast on the NetSupport Radio app, as well as your favourite platforms: Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, TuneIn and more. Check out #OPIP and #OfPrimaryImportance for more content!

If you are interested in being a guest on the show or have a topic suggestion, please complete the form below!