Blakesley Hall Primary School in Birmingham has more than 600 pupils who are cared for by more than 60 teachers and support staff. Headteacher Mrs Phillips contacted Every Child Needs a Mentor (ECNAM) in the summer of 2014 with a very clear brief:
What is it that makes a school special? Is it the location, resources, perhaps a particular specialism? While there could be many things, most schools would say the teachers and pupils that make up the core community of the school; they are the living embodiment of a school’s ethos. So, naturally, schools will want to shout about their achievements, and the internet is a fantastic resource for spreading the word, whether this is through email distribution, a website or social media.
When a teacher has so much on their plate, it can be easy to get tunnel vision. It’s important to be aware of the best teaching and learning options out there; here, London-based blogger Helen Willis takes a look at how teachers can help pupils truly soar.
It’s fairly common for old-school educators and administrators to unplug the Internet and shun new technology. Some still see tablets, laptops and remote Internet access as a distraction that should be fought; they believe that there’s no replacement for books, pens and pads. However, these learning institutions have, quite simply, got it wrong.
The ability to set goals and understand the steps necessary to achieve them is a key skill for secondary school students looking to succeed in life and work. Whether it’s encouraging pupils to discover the desire to improve, to follow their dreams or to learn from their mistakes, having dreams and ambitions can turn young people’s lives around.
It was a skill I learned from a young age growing up in the tough Toxteth area of Liverpool during the 1970s and 1980s. My skateboarding career began by accident when I was on a school trip to Liverpool museum aged 14 and saw a performance by American skateboard team, Hobie. My family didn’t have much money, but I was determined to learn the sport so I built a skateboard from a plank of wood and my sister’s roller boots!