I write as we head towards the business end of yet another academic year, it is somewhat scary when the realisation hits that I am also coming to end of my first two years as an international educator. With this also comes the clarity that the students whom I have been responsible for teaching over the last cycle are now also coming to the end of their courses, and the inevitable terminal exams.
Preparing students for the future is a hot topic right now, and with good reason. According to the World Economic Forum, 65% of children starting school today will go on to do jobs that don’t exist yet. For those of us who work in education, this presents a rather troubling dilemma: if we don’t know half of what they’ll be doing, what are we supposed to teach them?
As the debate over single-sex education continues, Karen Raven, headmistress at Chislehurst School for Girls in Bromley, South London, cites the importance she believes all girls’ education plays in preparing young women for 21st century Britain, as well as in closing the careers gap persisting between men and women…
When it comes to stress, anxiety and worries, our natural instinct is to protect children from them; why? It’s a natural process we need to go through, and an important life skill we need to be able to manage. If we don’t fail, we don’t learn. Part of failing is feeling sad; part of feeling sad is knowing how we can move on and be positive again. It’s important for children to experience a healthy amount of stress and anxiety. If they don’t experience it, how will they learn to manage it?
With the warmer weather approaching - and the prospect of enjoying the great outdoors becoming more of a reality - schools need to be helping children prepare for the season ahead. Thankfully, Boots are once again bringing their Soltan Sun Ready Schools programme to UK classrooms - minimising workload and budget concerns, while maximising pupil health. This year, the leading pharmacy chain are even going so far as help fund school trips!
Supported by Change.Org, school literacy project Change It invites the next generation to take action on real issues that matter to them, by writing and directing their own campaign video in the classroom. Teacher Dan Burden recently completed the project with his Year 6 class, in support of the #homesnotspikes petition. He explains the impact the project had on his pupils:
Brockhill Park Performing Arts College is a large Secondary school sat up above the Cinque Port of Hythe, overlooking the English Channel. Every morning Brockhill students arrive at school dressed smartly in blazers and gather in friendship groups, some in the playground, others in the canteen - but that is where the similarities with other schools end.