Societies have always been divided between the conservatives and the liberals, between upholders of dignity and adopters of new ideas. But there are some issues which should be kept away from such labels and partisan politics. Sex education is one such issue. The plethora of arguments against sex education in schools doesn’t stand a chance on close scrutiny. The argument of age It is widely accepted by doctors worldwide ...
Many schools are considering converting to an academy. With the prospect of greater financial freedom, coupled with flexibility in curriculum delivery and increased autonomy, becoming an academy looks like an attractive proposition. But what benefits do academies secure over schools, and is there truly greater financial freedom? An obvious place to start is the freedom afforded to academies in the delivery of the school curriculum. Changes do not need to ...
In the face of restricted budgets, teachers are fast becoming experts in seeking out free educational resources, often creating their own in an attempt to save case. Compiling DIY textbooks from online materials is a great way to personalise study resources whilst cutting costs, and there are plenty of websites where teachers can access worksheets and educational videos for free. Although ‘homemade’ educational aids can bring considerable benefits to teachers ...
In schools, there are twenty problems that cause about eighty percent of the tech stoppages. I’m going to tell you what those are and how to solve them [using a Windows operated system]. Trust me, they’re easier than you think to correct. I routinely teach them to children and then they teach their parents. I’ll tell you the problem first, then why it generally occurs, and finally, ...
That’s it. As the meerkats say ‘simples’. If I catch every student doing something well, and reward them, then they do more of it. And it rubs off on the others. If I don’t believe in them, then they soon switch off. Does that sound like rocket science? No it doesn’t. But I’d like to see Brian Cox, Einstein and Steven Hawking get together and teach ...
Changes to 2011/12 payment timetable The Young People’s Learning Agency (YPLA) has announced that they are bringing forward the payment dates for all regular payments to Academies for the 2011/12 academic year. This is in response to concerns that Academies incur significant costs (for example payroll) in advance of normal payment dates. From September 2011, all regular payments from the YPLA will be brought forward from the 18th of the month to ...
Due to my exceptional mathematical prowess during the very early years at school, I was occasionally given the exalted and coveted pleasure of being allowed to play a maths game on the schools one and only computer! It was a brown BBC, more affectionately known as the “BEEB”. It sat in the library, and received longing looks by every pupil that happened to walk past. Anyone who remembers these BEEBS ...
Globalisation and rapid, continuous technological change are presenting enormous challenges and making education ever more critical in preparing students for work and citizenship. In modern knowledge economies, education is not only the main driver of growth but a key social equalizer. However, it is vital that matters are kept in perspective so that education not only raises academic performance but also develops and nurtures the personal growth of children and ...

Creating a Drama studio

Most schools don’t have a designated drama studio but some have recently begun to convert old classrooms, or mobile classrooms, into drama spaces. These are my top tips for creating a drama studio: The whole room should be painted black. Including the ceiling! This is so that (a) any lighting can be used effectively; (b) there are no distractions; (c) it's practical and (d) it provides a blank canvas ...
In April this year, the NUT warned teachers about the dangers of befriending pupils on social networking sites such as Facebook. The implications are so great that some schools have banned teachers from using Facebook altogether. It's certainly true that Facebook can be a perilous place for teachers. Is it okay to accept a “friend request” from a pupil whom you know personally? What happens if you reject that friend ...
Have you ever wondered what happens to the thousands of old computers that we get rid of everyday? These days you can’t just throw IT equipment out and leave it for the dustmen. The WEEE Directive (Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment), which was made law in 2007, means all of us have to dispose of our old computers carefully and safely. This is because all computers are full of toxic ...

"Oh No, Not RE, Miss!"

A supply teacher recently recounted her experience when asked to teach RE to a reluctant Year 6 class in a rural primary school. In introducing the lesson she was greeted with groans of “Oh no, not RE Miss!” Not a great start she thought. However, at the end of the lesson, clearly having won her pupils over, she was told “that wasn’t RE Miss, that was fun!” So why do ...
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