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  • Why oracy is so important in the classroom

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    In another education case of ‘what comes around goes around’, oracy is now being hailed as vitally important in the classroom. Nick Gibb, Schools Minister, has been talking up oracy after the national media picked up a story regarding a primary school in Bradford that has banned words such as...

  • Exams are getting tougher: Is there a secret to success?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    If there is one thing that teachers, parents and – of course – pupils have discovered now all phases of GCSE reform have gone through is that exams are getting tougher. The challenge has been ramped-up in several ways. First of all, in terms of the number of GCSEs that students now have to sit....

  • Should technology be used more in lessons?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    We live in a digital world. There can be denying that technology has become all-encompassing. However, a massive irony exists today in UK education. At a time when technology is everywhere and we are constantly looking forward to the next advancements, the method of assessment that our education...

  • Peer Assessment: Is it all that?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    Back in the days when Assessment for Learning was the ‘in thing’ and a real buzzword in education circles, self-assessment and peer assessment were all the rage. The benefits of both are fairly obvious: self-assessment forces the student to take more responsibility for – and have a greater...

  • How important is it to tap into the interests and pop culture of pupils?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The notion of teachers being ‘down with the kids’ sometimes gets frowned upon. It’s true that it can be taken too far. At its worst, it can lead to teacher/pupil relationships that are far too informal. When that happens, it’s easy for lines to be crossed and boundaries to become...

  • Should parents have the right to withdraw pupils from Relationships and Sex Education?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The DfE (Department for Education) rarely introduces anything that doesn’t attract a good deal of criticism. Education is such a hot potato and any new guidance or initiative quickly becomes a political football to be kicked around by all the stakeholders of education, regardless of who the...

  • Relationships and Sex education: Too Controversial or Absolutely Crucial?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The school curriculum will always divide opinion. With something as fundamentally important as what and how our children are taught in school, it’s no surprise that people take different views. Parents think they know what is best for the children. Teachers crave the trust, freedom and autonomy...

  • When Is Permanent Exclusion the Only Answer?

    By Ryan Crawley, 24 Jan 2020

    In the old days, educators dealt with many fewer behavior problems. If two students were not getting along, they might have some sort of argument but that is where it ended. Unfortunately, nowadays, if two students are having issues with one another, a fistfight or worse could break out quickly...

  • Why aren’t schools doing more to develop soft skills?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The start of the exam season every year always sparks off the same debates and discussions: Are schools becoming ‘exam factories’? The pressure young people are under with exams is raised, and concerns are expressed about the rise in mental health issues - and so on. The actual ‘value’ of the...

  • Is the new draft Welsh curriculum showing the way forward?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The draft of the new Welsh curriculum has just been published and has now entered its consultation period. Naturally, opinions vary on its content and how it might work in practice. However, what is clear is that the new plans are very different to what most people will have experienced...