National Association for Primary Education

Website relaunch – NAPE 027


The National Association for Primary Education (NAPE) brings together everyone who has a concern for the learning of children from birth to 13 years. Members and affiliated schools work to improve education through the Early, Primary and Middle Years.

This week I take you through the relaunch of the NAPE website and what you can expect to find.

  • Join online via PayPal
  • Read our journal Primary First
  • Links to the NAPE podcast
  • I-SPY book series available to buy from £2 per book
  • The Development of Handwriting Skills by Christopher Jarman
  • Blog posts & social media feeds
  • Christian Schiller – In His Own Words
  • Our position papers & media releases








Take a look now at


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Robert Young General Secretary – NAPE 026

In the latest episode of ‘Meet the National Council’ I interview Robert Young General Secretary and Interim Chair of National Association for Primary Education.

Robert Young

General Secretary







Robert has been active in NAPE since 1986 when NAPE SE London was established as a university based branch and was elected as its first chair, remaining in post until 2013. His professional background is in initial teacher education, having been involved in higher education since 1973, retiring from full-time work in 2007. Since then he has continued to support the University of Greenwich as a part-time link-tutor in schools and doing some external examining for other universities. Semi-retirement has also enabled him to develop his interest in school governance, both as a chair of governors in a Greenwich primary school and as a national leader for governance.







For more information about National Association for Primary Education please visit

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Reading for Pleasure with Prof. Teresa Cremin – NAPE 025

National Association for Primary Education in collaboration with the School of Education, Oxford Brookes University, present the Annual Schiller Lecture

READING FOR PLEASURE : developing readers for life


The lecture will explore the cognitive, social and emotional benefits of reading and in particular will focus on how, when teachers share their reading lives and books in common with children, new and closer relationships develop reader to reader and human to human.

The Annual Christian Schiller Lecture commemorates the work of an enlightened and inspirational figure in primary education, who was especially influential in the post-War years through to his death in 1976. It is fitting that this year the lecture is to be given by Prof. Teresa Cremin, one of the most articulate and distinguished figures in primary education, whose commitment to the creative dimension in education is very much in line with Schiller’s values. Teresa has written and edited nearly 30 books, including the forthcoming Experiencing Reading for Pleasure in the Digital Age (Sage, 2019); previous examples include Writer Identity and the Teaching and Learning of Writing, Teaching English Creatively ; Researching Literacy Lives; and Building Communities of Engaged Readers. All are welcome to this event.

You can find out more about Teresa Cremin and Reading for Pleasure on the Open University website

National Association for Primary Education



Christian Schiller was born on the 20th September 1895. He went to a prep school and then to Gresham’s School where he was head boy. Military service in the First World War followed and he was wounded in action.

After the war he read mathematics at Cambridge and then studied with Percy Nunn at the London Day Training College before beginning his teaching career. In 1924 he was appointed HMI and then followed a long period of work with the schools in Liverpool where his
contact with poor children and their families was a deeply formative experience. He became District Inspector and later filled this role in Worcestershire.

In 1946 he became Staff Inspector for Primary Education and his influence, often in partnership with his friend Robin Tanner, HMI and etcher, was strongly felt as elementary schools developed into primary schools with a distinctive child centred approach which drew on children’s innate creativity and which recognised the powerful learning which comes from direct experience.

On his retirement in 1955 he began a new career as he created a one year course at the University of London Institute of Education for teachers and heads seconded from their schools. Each course was kept small, no more than 12 people who spent their year visiting schools and in discussion led by Schiller who often remained largely silent until he revealed his vision and optimism about the future in a brief summing up. There were no examinations or required coursework yet, as this writer will testify, everyone worked extremely hard. The course was hugely influential and most of his former students have gone on to hold senior leadership positions in education.

Christian Schiller died on the 11th February 1976. The following year the first memorial lecture was presented in London and the annual lectures, now organised by the National Association for Primary Education, continue to the present day. We are pleased to be able to celebrate the work of this great man who contributed so much to the principles and practice of primary education. To those who say look at us, obsessed with children being coached to pass tests, schools competing rather than co-operating, I reply , look more deeply , beyond today’s political froth. Schiller’s work continues and one day, will prevail.


‘Christian Schiller in his own words’ was published by the Association in 1979. The book is available price £5.00 from the NAPE national office.


T: 01604 647646


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Education A Manifesto for Change with Richard Gerver – NAPE 024


Richard Gerver has been described as one of the most inspirational leaders of his generation. He is an award-winning speaker, bestselling author and world-renowned thinker.

Richard began his career in education, most notably as headmaster of the failing Grange Primary School. In just two years, famously transformed into one of the most acclaimed learning environments in the world. He was celebrated by UNESCO and the UK Government for its incredible turnaround.

Richard has since transitioned to the global stage where he uses his trademark humour and natural style to deliver passionate, provocative and authentic speeches. He draws upon the first-hand experiences and unique insights garnered from frontline education to explore the links between great leadership, human potential, change and innovation. His ability to connect experiences across many seemingly different environments helps people to expand their thinking and perception of potential. It is this authenticity and uniqueness which has helped Richard win him global acclaim and invitations to speak on the most recognised stages, including TED, the RSA and BBC radio.

The three core principles underpinning Richard’s philosophy are communication, empowerment and impact. He argues that great leadership is first and foremost about serving the needs of the people who work for you. His mantra: systems and structures change nothing; people do.

Having successfully transitioned from teacher to thought leader, Richard has had the opportunity to regularly advise governments and major corporations globally, including Google, Visa, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley, Deloitte, Harrods, Puig and Telefonica. His unique experience and insight into realising human potential also see him working in elite sport, with Olympic and Paralympic coaches, EPL Soccer coaches, England Golf and professional cricket teams. He has recently started working with the British music industry to help develop a capacity for forward, proactive and sustainable change.

Richard is also a bestselling author. His first book, Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today (now in its second edition), has become a seminal text around the world for those engaged in the transformation of education. His other books are explorations of human potential, leadership and success. In Change and Simple Thinking, Richard explores the world beyond school, through the eyes of an educator. Both have received critical and public success; both achieving global bestseller status. All his books have been translated into a multitude of languages including Spanish, Chinese and Korean. Richard will also be publishing a new book: Education: A Manifesto for Change, to be published in April 2019, this book will explore how our school system can be made fit for purpose in our turbulent 21st-century world.

Most importantly, Richard is always humbled to be able to share his lifelong commitment to living, learning and laughing.

Twitter @richardgerver

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Take a break – NAPE 023


Here are the details for the Christian Schiller Lecture 2019.

We are taking a 2 week break for the Easter Holidays but will be back and revitalised in the summer term.

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Primary Music on Fire

I would like to say a big thank you to NAPE for their support and sponsorship. It is because of them that Education on Fire can bring you so much FREE content and build this wonderful community, so please do join the newsletter on the link above to get all the inspiration you can.



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