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  • Do Extra-Curricular Activities Equate to Better Education?

    By Alan Peters, 24 Jan 2020

    Why do parents choose to spend up to twenty thousand pounds a year to educate their children privately? Prestige? Snobbery? A misplaced perception that if they pay, it must be better? Independent schools would list reasons more closely connected with pedagogy. Small classes, traditional...

  • Benefits of extra-curricular activities for students

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    There is so much pressure on schools these days and the focus on exam performance, league tables and Ofsted is unrelenting. However, schools should always remember that there is much more to education than exam grades. Here are some of the many benefits for having a wide and varied...

  • Why Media Studies should be seen as a valuable subject in schools

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    Few subjects have been as belittled over the last two decades as Media Studies. The supposed pointlessness of Media Studies degrees has seen the subject become the butt of many jokes. In schools, Media Studies has struggled to survive in the face of the government’s relentless drive to promote...

  • How gaming can make literacy teaching exciting for kids

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The writing framework criteria for Year 6 is hardly the most inspiring document in the world, and that’s a massive understatement. Indeed, the teaching of literacy (and grammar, in particular) is one of the ‘driest’ aspects of the English curriculum. Of course, the creativity and imagination of...

  • Knowledge Organisers: A gigantic leap forward or a step back for learning?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    Sadly, teachers being off work with stress is not uncommon. Similarly, it’s hardly a great surprise to hear about teaching unions proposing some form of industrial action, or for them to be at loggerheads with government over some aspect of education policy. However, it is something of a surprise...

  • Time management and well-being tips for teachers

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The maxim ‘work smarter, not harder’ is nothing new. It’s become an ever-present, obligatory slide on CPD PowerPoint presentations up and down the country. Of course, it does make a lot of sense. But, for teachers at least, it’s more likely to be met with an ironic (even derisory) smile and...

  • Should the SATs be boycotted?

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The traditional teaching union annual conference season over Easter always seems to open old wounds and sees a re-drawing of ‘battle lines.’ This year’s NEU conference proved to be no exception. In fact, the union appears to have hardened its stance more than ever on the issue of the SATs...

  • How to prepare students for exams

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    As the summer term begins, we are now into the ‘business end’ of the school year. Non-Examination Assessment (coursework, in old money) will very soon be done and dusted. Marks will be submitted, samples bagged up and sent off… and fingers crossed. That leaves you ‘free’ to focus entirely on...

  • Exam season looms: Keep mental health in mind

    By Mark Richards, 24 Jan 2020

    The start of the summer term marks the beginning of one the most stressful periods of the school year – exam season. Obviously, it stands to reason that this is the time of the year when students are likely to feel the pressure the most. But it’s also a time that can be fraught with anxieties and...

  • How Teaching Has Evolved During the Last Decade

    By Ryan Crawley, 24 Jan 2020

    As we get older, ten years does not seem like such a long time anymore. After all, we probably all have t-shirts in the closet and socks in the drawer that are older than ten years. When we were younger, it seemed like a lifetime. But now, it appears a decade can go by in the blink of an eye. This...