Show cover of Brighter Thinking Pod

Brighter Thinking Pod

Welcome to the Brighter Thinking Pod from Cambridge University Press - Education. We provide a place where international education enthusiasts from all backgrounds can come together to discuss the challenges faced by teachers in a modern classroom and discover new teaching ideas.  Our panels consist of teachers, authors, key subject figures and more, and we also celebrate the very best of teaching with our Teacher Spotlight. If you'd like to get involved, follow us on Twitter @CUPeducation and send in your show suggestions!


Ep 27: Improving Maths Skills in the Science Classroom
How important are maths skills to life?  Our host for this episode is Cambridge's own Tamsin Hart. She is joined by Richard Needham, past Chair of Association for Science Education (ASE) and member of project teams for the language of mathematics in science and other ASE projects. And Tom Rainbow, an Education Support Specialist who works for the Advanced Maths Support Programme. Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Association for Science Education (ASE) ASE Facebook ASE resource hub Advanced Mathematics Support Programme (AMSP) Core Maths curriculum Nuffield Foundation: Is the UK an outlier? An international comparison of upper secondary mathematics education Biology for Cambridge IGCSE™ Maths Skills Workbook Chemistry for Cambridge IGCSE™ Maths Skills Workbook Physics for Cambridge IGCSE™ Maths Skills Workbook Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at
65:03 04/28/2022
Ep 26: Thrive: The Purpose of Schools in a Changing World
What are the objectives of education and how best can we prepare students for the future?   Our host for this episode is Paul Ellis, Head of Teaching and Learning at Cambridge Assessment International Education. He is joined by the co-authors of Thrive, a book that looks at the purpose of schools in a changing world. Valerie Hannon is Co-founder of the Innovation Unit and the Global Education Leaders Partnership, and Consultant Advisor to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Dr Amelia Peterson is part of the founding faculty of the London Interdisciplinary School and holder of a PhD in Education from Harvard University.   We also hear from four school leaders who feature in the book. Andy Moor, CEO of Holy Family Catholic Multi Academy Trust. Brooke Moore, District Principal of Enquiry and Innovation at Delta School District. Kim Ondrik, Principal of Mill Bay Nature School. And Rae Snape, Head Teacher of Milton Road Primary School.     Show notes: Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Thrive: The Purpose of Schools in a Changing World Tom Sherrington, The Learning Rainforest Encyclical letter, Ludato si’, Pope Francis Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS) The Green School, Bali The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better, Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson Everyone’s invited Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at
82:10 04/21/2022
Ep 25: What Makes a Good Essay? Part 2
Heads down, pens at the ready - we're back for part 2 of What Makes a Good Essay? Our host again is Brand Marketer and Producer of the pod, Adam Steele. He's joined by Adrian Ravenscroft from the previous episode and Dr Clair Rawlingson, an assessment professional who has worked as an A Level examiner, Team Leader and Principal Examiner, as well as a Cambridge International Teacher Trainer. And Liz Keeble – the Chief Operating Officer of The Karalius Foundation, which delivers inclusive and innovative curriculum designed specifically to target disengaged pupils.   Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Cambridge Brighter Thinking Blog Karalius Foundation Liz Keeble LinkedIn Clair Rawlingson LinkedIn Adrian Ravenscroft LinkedIn Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at          
71:32 04/14/2022
Ep 24: What Makes a Good Essay? Part 1
What makes a 'good' essay? Are there similarities between subjects? Can you start with the conclusion?! Let's find out.    Our host for this episode is Senior Brand Marketing Executive and Producer of the pod, Adam Steele. He's joined by a returning guest from series 2, Adrian Ravenscroft. Ade is a Global Perspectives author and assessment specialist who also tutors full-time education staff looking to gain qualified teacher status. They're joined by Shazia Shah, a Lead Teacher of A level Sociology and Criminology, as well as a moderator and team leader for Cambridge International. And Brad Philpot, an IB English teacher in Germany, and director of a provider of teacher-training workshops in Europe.   Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Cambridge Brighter Thinking Blog PEEL essay writing technique CER essay writing technique Philpot Education Ilkley Grammar School Adrian Ravenscroft LinkedIn Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at
69:54 04/07/2022
Ep 23: Bringing the real world into the STEM classroom
‘Yeah, but when are we ever going to use this in the real world?’ If you’ve been asked this question by your students before, then our episode about bringing the real world into the STEM classroom is for you! Our host for this one is our very own Tamsin Hart, a Senior Product Marketing Executive at the Press. She is joined by two special guests. George Vlachonikolis is Head of Economics and Professional Tutor at Headington School, Oxford, as well as Author of A Level Economics teacher’s resource for Cambridge International. Michael Strachan is a Deputy Head Academic from Repton School, Dubai.     Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Cambridge IGCSE Chemistry practical workbook and teacher’s resource Cambridge International AS & A Level Economics teacher’s resource Walt Whitman, ‘When I Heard the Learn'd Astronomer’ From Camouflage to Classroom: What my Army career taught me about teaching Michael Strachan Twitter Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at  
38:53 03/31/2022
Ep 22: Teaching Remotely
Cameras on and make sure you are not on mute – we’re about to delve into remote teaching and learning. The host for this episode is our Head of Professional Development, Victoria Renfro. She is joined in the virtual studio by two new guests. Siti Zaleha is a Secondary Mathematics Teacher & Teacher Trainer in Malaysia. Siti is also a professional development mentor here at the Press and was selected as one of the 5 EdmodoCon 2021 Global High 5s Presenters. We’re also joined by Nik Peachey. Nik is Director of Pedagogy at Peachey Publications, which was shortlisted for an innovations award in 2021 for its Teachers’ Classroom App.   Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments The end of phone calls: why young people have silenced their ringtones Cambridge Schools Conference, Dr. Rhonda Bondie: What makes an excellent online teacher? Project management tools - Kanban board – what is it? Kanban board – Trello Dr Frost Maths Discord PeacheyPublications Nik Peachey Twitter Nik Peachey Scoopit Siti Zaleha Twitter Siti Zaleha LinkedIn Siti Zaleha website Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at
44:36 03/24/2022
Ep 21: Creating Work Experience Opportunities For Young Students
In this episode, we’re looking at ways to introduce the world of work to students, and ultimately, how we can help them to gain employment skills. Our host for this episode is Head of Publishing at the Press, Lucy Mills. She is joined in the virtual studio by two new guests. Vicki Barkney is a Careers Lead at Nene Park Academy secondary school and sixth form in Peterborough and Tom Macildowie, who is a Senior Education Specialist at the software company, Adobe.     Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Cambridge Nationals series Adobe NenePark Academy Cambridge University Press & Assessment celebrates World Book Day with sustainability-themed local community event Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at
26:39 03/17/2022
Ep 20: Teach Students How To Learn: Metacognition
The word ‘metacognition’ can be a bit daunting when you first hear it. Fear not, in this episode we explain all – from definitions to practical strategies for the classroom.  The host for this episode is our very own Insights Manager, Silvia Pirola. She is joined in the virtual studio by three expert guests. Dr Saundra McGuire is an internationally renowned learning strategists and Professor Emerita at the Louisiana State University, USA. Tom Healy is an IB Diploma and MYP English Teacher at the Ostrava International School, Czech Republic. And Suzanne Delassiaz is an IGCSE and A Level Maths Teacher at Brussels International Catholic School, Belgium. Show notes Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring – baseline assessments Cambridge Panel Panel webinar: Reach Metacognitive Equity by Teaching Students How to Learn Presentation Saundra mentions in the episode: Metacognition by Dr. Saundra Mcguire Dr Saundra McGuire’s books Cambridge University Press Twitter Cambridge University Press Instagram Email us at
55:59 03/17/2022
Ep 19: Hands-on Learning
Roll up your sleeves, because episode 19 is all about hands-on learning!  Our host this week is our digital maestro, David Hickinson. His guests are John Pinkney, who is a learning advisor at Raising Robots and also a certified LEGO Education trainer. And Stuart Swann, former ICT Lead and a now consultant and LEGO Education Academy Trainer.   Show notes  Raising Robots Raising Robots on Twitter IE Solutions  Stuart Swann on Twitter The LEGO Foundation LEGO Education   Further reading: Play Well Report Six Bricks Seymour Papert: Mindstorms: Children, Computers, And Powerful Ideas Mitchel Resnick: Lifelong Kindergarten Learning Connected: A Year of Making and Learning   Robots: Pepper LEGO Mindstorms NAO Bee-Bots
45:53 04/15/2021
Ep 18: Homework
How much homework should we expect children to do? What makes impactful homework? What is the link between homework and stress? Should we still expect children to do homework? All this and more in episode 18! Our host this week is Senior Marketing Executive, Tamsin Hart. Her guests are Cathy Vatterott, Professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis and Author of Rethinking Homework. And Michael Chiles, Geography Teacher, Examiner and School Leader, as well as author of several assessment and feedback books.   Show notes Cathy Vatterott, The Homework Lady   Cathy Vatterott: Rethinking Homework: Best Practices That Support Diverse Needs    Cathy Vatterott: The Teens are not Alright  Michael Chiles - Twitter   Michael Chiles: The CRAFT of Assessment  Michael Chiles: The Feedback Pendulum: A manifesto for enhancing feedback in education     
40:16 04/08/2021
Ep 17: Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL)
When teaching subject content in English, should subject teachers also teach the English language? Join us as we explore this question and dive into the world of content and language integrated learning (CLIL) Join our host, Commissioning Editor, Biljana Savikj, in our virtual studio with two new guests. Dee Rutgers, is a Researcher at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge, specialising in multilingual education and CLIL. Ali Talbot, is Head of English as an Additional Language (EAL) at an international school in Cambridge.     Show notes Dee Rutgers Ali Talbot Bell English Naldic Teaching in English in multilingual classrooms: Language in learning across the curriculum (TEMC) course by Lexis The knowledge base of CLIL teaching in multilingual primary education settings CLIL Essentials for Secondary School Teachers, Peter Mehisto
47:16 04/01/2021
Ep 16: Primary Special – Encouraging Imagination and Engagement to Develop Key Skills
In this episode, we discuss a variety of teaching techniques that help to “bring the curriculum to life” and how encouraging imagination and engagement from children can support the development of key skills. We talk about different ways technology can be used in the classroom as well as how reading, writing and speaking skills interrelate. Join our host Emma McCrea in our virtual studio with two new guests. Gill Budgell, a consultant publisher, researcher and author of Cambridge Primary English, and Martin Bailey, Director of Animate 2 Educate Ltd. and Digital Enrichment Leader at Lanchester E.P. Primary School. Show notes Frattempo Cambridge Primary English PenPals for Handwriting Animate 2 Educate Stig of the Dump now>press>play Johnny Walker – Twitter Teresa Cremin – Twitter The Open University Reading for Pleasure – Twitter Nikki Gamble – Twitter Just Imagine Story Centre Voice 21 James Clements – Twitter Purple Mash  Animate 2 Educate – Twitter Lanchester EP Primary School – Twitter Gill Budgell – Twitter
47:14 03/24/2021
Ep 15: 21st Century Skills
Episode 15 is all about 21st century skills. Join us as we discuss this much-talked about education term, paying particular focus to Cambridge Global Perspectives: a course that is all about skills building. Hosted by our very own Janey Webb, Commissioning Editor for Global Perspectives, she is joined by two new voices on the pod. Adrian Ravenscroft is an Independent Education Consultant and Tom Holman is an Assessment Specialist.     Show notes: Cambridge Global Perspectives curriculum information Cambridge Global Perspectives resources Cambridge University Press Twitter The 11+  Primary Global Perspectives books BBC Radio Three Essay Podcast Adrian Ravencroft’s LinkedIn  
38:13 03/18/2021
Ep 14: Engaging Parents in Education part 2
This week we’re continuing our discussion on engaging parents and carers in education, focusing on engagement opportunities and celebrating each child’s achievements. Join our brilliant host, Product Marketing Manager Emma McCrea, as we welcome back Richard Morgan, Assistant Head at The Perse School in Cambridge, and Beth Borrett, a parent of three children at different stages in their education. We also warmly welcome Susan Holmes, Head Teacher at the Nehru World School in India. Show notes “Mens sana in corpore sano” Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets “It takes a village to raise a child” Tapestry online learning journal Nehru World School The Perse School Cambridge The Perse School Twitter
30:53 03/11/2021
Ep 13: Engaging Parents in Education part 1
This week we’re discussing the impact of parents and carers engaging in education, exploring both the positive outcomes and the potential challenges. Join our brilliant host, Product Marketing Manager Emma McCrea, along with two new guests. Richard Morgan, Assistant Head at The Perse School in Cambridge, and Beth Borrett, a parent of three children at different stages in their education. Show notes The Perse School Richard Morgan – LinkedIn
26:53 03/04/2021
Ep 12: Assessment for learning
Welcome back! In this episode, we discuss a topic that gets a lot of attention – assessment for learning. After a short intro of what it is and why it is important, we dive into top tips, examples and advice to help both new and experienced teachers.    Our host this week is Tamsin Hart. She is joined by some new and familiar faces/voices. Returning from series 1, we have Mark Winterbottom. Mark is a Senior Lecturer in Science Education at the Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge. He is joined by two new guests. Sarah Talbot-Joyce is Education Manager for Teaching and Learning, and Melise Camargo is Training Materials Manager, both from Cambridge Assessment International Education.   Show notes: Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy & Practice, Paul Black and Dylan Wiliam Research on verbal feedback Approaches to learning and teaching series, Cambridge University Press   Get in touch: @CUPeducation on Twitter email us at   
25:27 02/26/2021
Ep 11: Student Wellbeing
Welcome to series 2 of the Brighter Thinking Pod! In this episode, we’re looking into student wellbeing and mental health. Join our host Georgia Robinson in our virtual studio with two new guests. Ros McLellan is a Lecturer in Teacher Education and Development / Pedagogical Innovation at the University of Cambridge’s Faculty of Education. Tamsin Ford is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.    Show notes DFE social wellbeing report in 2019  The children’s society ‘The good childhood report’ Flourishing Across Europe: Application of a New Conceptual Framework for Defining Well-Being. Felicia A. Huppert • Timothy T. C. So (2013). Soc Indic Res (2013) 110:837–861 Strength and difficulties questionnaire  Mind checklist  Mathews F, Newlove-Delgado T, Finning K, Boyle C, Hayes R, Johnston P, Ford T. Teachers' concerns about pupils' mental health in a cross-sectional survey of a population sample of British schoolchildren. Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2020 Apr 21. PHSE curriculum Schools for Health in Europe (The SHE network)  Urie Bronfenbrenner ecological systems theory child development  Michael Rutter and David Quinton young women east end of London grown up in children’s homes seminal study   
35:24 02/26/2021
Bonus ep: Teaching during school closures
As teaching and learning from home continues, we talk to six teachers from our online research community, the Cambridge Panel, about their experiences of school closures and their advice to the teaching community. Our guests in this episode are Babu Bodapati, Elizabeth Baladhay, Mark Beales, Michael Baldwin, Steve Morling and Tom Healy. Our host is Silvia Pirola.
25:12 06/23/2020
Ep 10: Engaging English
The final episode in series one is now available. We welcome educators and authors Elizabeth Whittome and Christopher Radmann into the studio to answer your Engaging English questions. From how to encourage modern students to connect with the works of Jane Austen, to tackling the deficit in grammar and language skills in the classroom, Chris, Elizabeth and your host for the week Tamsin Hart, take you on a journey through secondary English.     Show notes Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan Mansfield Park - Jane Austen Emma - Jane Austen Hay Festival Frankissstein - Jeanette Winterson
29:43 08/29/2019
Ep 9: Preparing Projects
We sit down with author and assistant head Simon Armitage, as well as E-learning manager Hannah Mathais, to discuss projects in the classroom. From independent research to 'genius hour', introduce a new, creative twist to your school this term!  Hosted by Jane Sly    Show notes   Hannah Mathias  Simon Armitage  Eric J. Pollock  Approaches to Learning and Teaching Geography: A Toolkit for International Teachers, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 9781316640623  BluTick BETT  micro:bit Educational Foundation  micro:bit Make Code   HoloLens  Libraries and makerspaces 
31:40 08/22/2019
Ep 8: Inspiring Lessons
This week we sit down with Dr Fiona Maine, Tony Cotton and Dave Neale to bring you advice and inspiration for your lessons. Start the new school year full of ideas to engage your students, whilst still meeting curriculum objectives!    Fiona Maine  Tony Cotton  Dave Neale  Host: Lucy Mills PEDAL: Centre for Research on Play in Education, Development & Learning  DIALLS: Dialogue and Argumentation for cultural Literacy Learning in Schools  The 1001 Critical Days  UKLA Book Awards  The CILIP Carnegie & Kate Greenaway Children's Book Awards Jostein Gaarder: Hello? Is Anybody There?, Orion Children’s Books, ISBN: 9781858816234  SAPERE P4C – Philosophy for Children The Questioning Child, Cambridge University Press, ISBN: 9781108451697 Fiona Maine: Dialogic Readers: Children talking and thinking together about visual texts, Routledge, ISBN: 9780415728089
33:44 08/15/2019
Ep 7: Reading with The International Literacy Centre - Pt 2.
Part two of our reading special is now available. Sue and Glen are back in the studio discussing book illustrations and reading cultures in schools. We also welcome back Dr Fiona Maine from the Faculty of Education at the University of Cambridge, as she provides inspiration for engaging children in reading for pleasure.   Show notes:    World Book Day  Teresa Cremin @TeresaCremin  Carnegie Medal  Kevin Crossley-Holland  Northern Lights – Philip Pullman  Charlotte’s Web
21:29 08/08/2019
Ep 6: Reading with The International Literacy Centre - Pt 1.
Part one of our primary reading special is now available!  In this episode, we discuss how to bring guided reading into your classroom and develop reading cultures in your school. Featuring Sue Bodman and Glen Franklin of the UCL Institute of Education Hosted by our very own Global UX Design Manager, Cai Reaich.   Show notes The Story of Catriona and the Grasshopper, Bryan and Pym, Roland Guiness, Roland Pym   Charlotte’s Web, E.B White and Garth Williams   Janet and John, Mabel O’Donnell   Mog the Forgetful Cat, Judith Kerr  The Tiger who came to Tea, Judith Kerr  The Hobbit, J. R. R. Tolkien  Pie Corbett Twitter Fireman Sam. Created by, Sam Dave Gingell, Dave Jones, Rob Lee, Anthony Miller  Toy Town Stories, Enid Blyton 
26:50 08/01/2019
Ep 5: The Future of Education
This week we're discussing all things future of education, and how you can provide your students with skills for life.  Joined by Michael McQueen, author of Teaching for Tomorrow, and Roxanna Herescu from the English Language Training (ELT) research team, we take a look at future megatrends, disruption-proof professions, and the Cambridge Framework for Life Competencies.  Hosted by our fantastic Product Marketing Manager, Emma McCrea!   Show Notes Cambridge Framework for Life Competencies Michael McQueen’s website & book store Teaching for Tomorrow by Michael McQueen Volvo Dr Catrina Wallace – Twitter   McKinsey – Where machines could replace humans – and where they can’t (yet) MIT Frank Wilczek John Dewey What School Could Be – Ted Dintersmith    
26:46 07/25/2019
Ep 4: Maximising Mathematics
This week we're talking all things mathematics in the very first of our subject specials!  We're joined by Ems Lord, Director of Nrich Maths as well as author and educator Tony Cotton. Hosted by Jane Sly, we take a closer look at maths in the modern, international classroom and discuss topics including project-based learning and common multiplication mistakes.   
59:24 07/18/2019
Ep 3: A Closer Look at Differentiation
Join us as our host Commissioning Editor James Frith sits down with author and teacher trainer, Mike Gershon, and Senior Commissioning Editor Becky Lovell, to discuss all things differentiation. Filled with classroom hints, learning tips and lesson ideas, listen today for new teaching inspiration!    How to use Differentiation in the Classroom, The Complete Guide – Mike Gershon Mike Gershon – TES Institute How to Teach EAL Students in the Classroom: The Complete Guide – Mike Gershon World Teacher Survey  Outstanding Differentiation for Learning in the Classroom – Jane Bartlett  The Ultimate Guide to Differentiation: Achieving Excellence for All - Sue Cowley  Responsive Teaching: Harry Fletcher-Wood   Blooms Taxonomy Mindset - Carol Dweck 
37:32 07/11/2019
Ep 2: English as a Second Language in the Classroom
Join us as we sit down with Annie Altamirano, Margaret Cooze, Linda Fisher and our host Andrew Campbell as we discuss all things English as a Second Language. With classroom advice, lesson inspiration and tips for ESL teachers around the world, you won't want to miss out. Show notes:  Linda Fisher Twitter  Annie Altamirano Twitter  CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) -  Multilingualism: Empowering Individuals, Transforming Societies  Michael Evans 'Language terms'   Annie Altamirano, Cambridge Grammar and Writing Skills Teacher's Resource with Cambridge Elevate 7–9 Margaret Cooze, Approaches to Learning and Teaching English as a Second Language: A Toolkit for International Teachers (Cambridge International Examinations) 
37:32 07/04/2019
Ep 1: Active Learning
In episode one of The Brighter Thinking Pod, we take a closer look at active learning with tips, classroom advice and teaching inspiration. With Senior Lecturer in Education from the University of Cambridge, Dr Mark Winterbottom, and Head of Teaching and Learning from Cambridge Assessment International Education, Paul Ellis. Hosted by Lucy Mills.    Show notes: Blooms Taxonomy Mark Beales’ website Lonely Planet Faculty of education, The University of Cambridge: Mark Winterbottom LinkedIn Paul Ellis Cambridge Assessment: Paul Ellis 
32:12 06/27/2019