Build it – but they won’t necessarily come.
I love ‘Field of Dreams’. For those of you that don’t know the film, Kevin Costner plays Ray, an Iowa farmer who hears a mysterious voice in his cornfield saying, "If you build it, he will come." He interprets this as an instruction to build a baseball diamond (what else?) and, once it’s complete, he is visited by the ghosts of the 1919 Chicago White Sox. If you haven’t watched it, don’t let this synopsis put you off – it really is a brilliant film.
When today’s young people leave education, they are likely to face stiff competition to get to that first rung on the career ladder. The quality, rounded education that schools deliver is key to preparing their students for a world beyond the classroom. But for a high-achieving school, it can be difficult to continue to raise the bar of achievement. That’s why I was so interested in the novel approach taken by Jerudong International School (JIS) in Brunei, where students are encouraged to drive their own progress.
It was just over a year ago that Innovate My School published an article about a school in Brighton that had brought in some goats to support their pastoral provision. That was us. Two weeks after Innovate My School made us famous, we were getting up at 4am for our first live TV appearance, on Good Morning Britain, after the TES ran a story on us which was picked up by the national media. Since then it's all gone a bit bonkers, and our hairy resources are now superstars in their own right.
Effective teacher CPD improves teaching and learning and has one of the largest impact on student outcomes (Hargreaves 1994, Craft 2000). This means that getting it right is crucial. However, when it comes to CPD, how do we know we are getting it right? It’s a topic I discuss regularly, and it’s often the case that the answer I get tallies with research that states that CPD evaluation is often a neglected step and that many school leaders struggle to carry out any sophisticated, in-depth analysis (Porritt 2005, Goodall 2005).
In addition to academic development, the classroom is the perfect place for children to develop their characters. Character development helps children to build key social and personal components, such as a sense of morality, self-belief, and integrity; valuable traits that will continue to help students throughout the rest of their lives. This article outlines the best activities for inspiring character development in the classroom.
With so much emphasis on academic outcomes and the growing concerns about the mental and physical wellbeing of many students today (as well as some teachers and parents), how can we give young children and adolescents a rich, fully rounded, holistic education that enables them to fulfil their true potential and prepares them well for life as informed, active and dynamic global citizens?
There is no question that the technological age has changed all aspects of our lives: our constant need to check social media, scroll through our emails and post our whereabouts is almost becoming an obsession. Initially, findings discovered that this phenomenon was mostly prevalent amongst teenagers, however recent research has revealed that middle-aged women too have succumbed to the technological age, perhaps in a bid to ‘keep-up’ with their offspring, or maybe a way to while away a little ‘down time’ – a release from the humdrum of ‘normality’.
MemorAbility is a new and important programme designed for children in Nursery, Reception and Years 1 and 2. The resource has been created specifically for the pupil who is having difficulty learning to recognise letters, blending sounds and learning to read through either a phonetic or a visual approach.