Month: January 2018

The Arts – at the Heart of A Great School

I went to my eldest’s carol service the other night.  It was held in the local Church, which was heaving.  I soon saw why.  Actually, that’s wrong, I heard why. Like many readers, I have been to quite a few school carol services over the years.  In my Inspecting days, it would not be unusual for a visit to ‘coincide’ with the choir’s/orchestra’s/wind band’s performance to the school in assembly, so likewise I’ve witnessed many other school musical events. Well, this was the best.  OK, so having one’s own child might, I accept, skew my view.  I’ve noticed that...

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Introducing Social and Emotional Learning Early and Often

Every time I see a young child misbehaving, I wish that the oompa loompas from Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory would magically appear and sing a little song. The child would then be sent to some sort of reprogramming room while their parents are punished for allowing their child to behave this way. This is what I truly wish would happen, but alas, it never does. Parents need to realize that they are doing a huge disservice to the community when they allow their children to act like animals without any repercussion. Instead we all have to suffer through the...

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How to encourage a love for learning

Education has sadly become far too much about test results, exam grades and the levels of progress a child makes. Of course, these things are important – but if a pupil feels they are just a number, a statistic, or a target grade, it is highly unlikely that they will develop a passion and genuine love of learning.   In tomorrow’s employment landscape, life-long learning will be vital to success so parents and teachers need to be doing all they can to encourage young minds to learn.  Choice and opinions  Both in the classroom and at home, it is important that children...

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Can Children Distinguish Between Real and Fake News?

My students had watched a “documentary” on the Discovery Channel about mermaids which happened to be a fake news. This entertaining, but fake, documentary had videos, pictures, and eyewitness reports of people discovering mermaids in the vast oceans across the globe. While the show garnered excellent ratings for the Discovery Channel, it confused many kids and even quite a few adults. My students were swearing that mermaids had been found. We had several discussions that school year about there not being such a thing as mermaids, or at least they have not been truly discovered yet.    This is just...

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Are Textbooks Really Needed Anymore?

The budgets of all school districts across the globe seem to be shrinking year after year. School boards are left with trying to determine how to make a balanced budget out of it all. There are some parts of the budget that cannot be reduced substantially, such as salaries for educators. Teachers are already greatly underpaid for the most part. But there are others that can be looked at much more closely. School administrators play a major part in figuring out ways to possibly balance the school district’s budget. Usually they are assisted by an accountant or two that...

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