October 20, 2022

Implementing the EEF’s Five-a-day-approach and School Planning Guide for Primary – Part 3

Implementing the EEF’s Five-a-day-approach and School Planning Guide for Primary – Part 3 of 3

In the second blog post, the EEF’s recommendations for targeted academic support were outlined. This third and final blog post will focus on the use of wider strategies. 

Wider strategies support pupils wider learning behaviours that enable schools to remove non-educational barriers to attainment and get pupils’ learning back on track. The guide states: “The success of these strategies is strongly influenced by whether or not they are implemented alongside supportive relationships and strong routines.

Prioritising wider strategies can be key for the wellbeing and attainment of all pupils, but will be especially important at transition points, where the child is moving to the classroom next door or to an entirely new setting. Evidence suggests that is particularly true with pupils with SEND and for those from disadvantaged backgrounds. 

In considering wider strategies, the EEF guide considers two elements:

  1. Attendance
  2. Improving behaviour.


The EEF suggests that there are a number of approaches that can improve attendance.
Sharing pupils’ attendance data with parents and carers at different points of the school year.
Frequently stating the importance of regular attendance.
Utilising technology such as text messages.
The evidence suggests that targeting parents through attendance interventions can also be successful. All approaches need to be underpinned by strong relationships and an understanding of pupils’ needs.

Leaders need to reflect on two key questions:

Improving Behaviour

Many schools have invested time in establishing new routines following the disruption caused by Covid-19. A focus for many schools is supporting positive behaviour for many pupils.

The EEF suggests that this may mean:

  • Establishing a whole school culture in which behaviour routines are implemented positively, consistently and with transparency.

  • Explicit teaching of social and emotional skills to all pupils, which also integrate well into high-quality teaching in every classroom.

  • Approaching transition carefully, ensuring that pupils: receive a well-sequenced curriculum that builds upon their prior learning experiences; have a strong understanding of school routines and expectations; benefit from opportunities to develop new friendships.

Leaders need to reflect on two key questions:

As schools develop their plans for the year ahead, it is important to recognise that successfully implementing new approaches is not a quick, one-off event. Additionally, there may be a need to stop existing approaches (de-implementation)

Meaningful change happens in planned stages and unfolds over a period of time.

Photo of Emma Adcock – VNET EDUCATION CIC
Emma Adcock

Principal Consultant
October 2022

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