Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Four in 10 new teachers quit within a year

The Guardian – Sally Weale

“Almost four out of 10 teachers quit within a year of qualifying, with 11,000 leaving the profession before they have really begun their career and record numbers of those who remain giving up mid-career, according to analysis of government figures. The exodus of new recruits has almost tripled in six years, resulting in a crisis in teacher supply in a profession that has become “incompatible with normal life”, according to Mary Bousted, the general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Denouncing the government’s record on schools, she said the education system was “being run on a wing and a prayer”, with teachers exhausted, stressed and burnt out in a profession that was being “monitored to within an inch of its life”. Addressing ATL’s annual conference in Liverpool, Bousted told delegates that before he entered office, former education secretary Michael Gove had told ATL’s 2010 conference that teachers should be highly valued and that he wanted to give the profession more freedom over how to teach.”(more)

Monday, March 30, 2015

Parents rarely spot child obesity

BBC – James Gallagher

“Parents hardly ever spot obesity in their children, resulting in damaging consequences for health, doctors warn. In a study of 2,976 families in the UK, only four parents thought their child was very overweight. Medical assessments put the figure at 369. The researchers, writing in the British Journal of General Practice, said obesity had become the new normal in society. Experts said the study showed the “enormity” of the obesity epidemic. Around one in five children in Year 6 is obese and a further 14% are overweight, the National Child Measurement Programme shows. Blind spot The team, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the UCL Institute of Child Health, gave questionnaires to nearly 3,000 families asking if their child was obese, overweight, underweight or a healthy weight.”(more)

How to teach… Anne Frank

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“This spring marks 70 years since the death of Anne Frank, the young diarist who shone a light onto the suffering of millions during the second world war. The Anne Frank Trust is commemorating the life of the teenager, who died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp aged just 15, on Tuesday 14 April 2015 by encouraging people to read from her diary for one minute. Schools can join in this campaign using #notsilent. There are many ways to introduce Anne’s work in the classroom – here’s a collection of ideas and resources to help you. Start with the basics. What do your students know about Anne Frank? Who was she, where did she come from and why was she forced into hiding? This presentation by the Anne Frank Trust UK provides background information for secondary students, while this reading comprehension activity by PrimaryLeap is aimed at students aged seven to 11. These resources can be used to start building a timeline of Anne Frank’s life. There is a good introductory video and 3D animation of the Frank family’s secret annex here.”(more)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

More pupils have mental health issues, say school staff

BBC – Judith Burns

“More than half of 850 staff surveyed by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) agreed more pupils had developed problems. On Monday, the ATL’s annual conference will debate a call for more support for vulnerable pupils in schools. General secretary Dr Mary Bousted blamed “poverty, poor housing, unemployment and financial insecurity”. School staff have had to “plug the gaps in social care as best they can”, said Dr Bousted. Some 861 ATL members responded to the survey earlier this month. ‘Completely overwhelmed’ More than one in six said they believed at least a quarter of students in their school or college were affected by mental health problems. Almost 90% said staff have had to provide more support for these pupils over the past two years, while 43% said they had been finding it harder to access services for pupils with mental illness.”(more)

Twice as many boys start school ‘unable to speak properly’, report finds

The Telegraph – Javier Espinoza

“Boys are twice as likely as girls to start primary school unable to speak properly, a new report says. Speech problems include issues around pronunciation, language and structure of sentences and also the ability to express themselves properly, according an analysis made by the Early Intervention Foundation (EIF). Their analysis of 2014 government figures on early years showed some 40,000 girls and 82,000 boys lack personal, social and emotional development by the age of four. The charity expressed concerns about too many boys arriving for their first day of school without a broad range of skills needed to maximise their potential. Carey Oppenheim, EIF’s chief executive, said: “This can have damaging consequences which can last a lifetime. Especially as children with strong social, emotional and communication skills developed in childhood have a better chance of getting a good job and being healthy, than those who are just bright or clever.”(more)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Half of kids don’t eat veg each day

BBC – Staff Writer

“More than half of kids don’t eat a single portion of vegetables a day, according to Newsround’s food survey. The government recommends that everyone should have at least five portions of fruit and veg a day. But the survey shows 52 in every 100 kids don’t have any veg, and 44 in 100 have no fruit on a daily basis. What we’re eating is a big issue at the moment because one in three kids in the UK is obese or overweight. That figure has trebled in the last 25 years. The survey was of 1,432 boys and girls, aged 7 to 12, across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. It also showed that lots of kids are trying to make positive changes to their diet. It suggested that eight in 10 children have made changes like drinking more water and eating more fruit and vegetables in the last years.”(more)

Being bilingual really can put you in two minds: Researchers say people can have different personalities in each language

The U.K. Daily Mail – Mark Prigg

“Speaking two languages really could give you a split personality, researchers have found. They say that many speakers have entirely different personalities in each of the languages they speak. Previously research has even found those who are bilingual even see colours differently. ‘Rather than ask whether speakers of different languages have different minds, he says, ‘we ask, Can two different minds exist within one person?’ said psycholinguist Panos Athanasopoulos of Lancaster University. ‘The extent to which language affects this process has been the focus of a long-standing debate: Do different languages cause their speakers to behave differently?,’ the team wrote. ‘Here, we show that fluent German-English bilinguals categorize motion events according to the grammatical constraints of the language in which they operate. Athanasopoulos and colleagues were interested in a particular difference in how English and German speakers treat events.”(more)

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Present, sir: benefits of a mindful classroom

The Telegraph – Eleanor Doughty

“When asked what impact mindfulness has in schools, Richard Burnett of Tonbridge School quotes T S Eliot. “ ’Teach us to dare and not to care. Teach us how to sit still.’ English literature is a wonderful source of unknowingly ‘mindful’ passages.” Burnett co-founded the Mindfulness in Schools Project (MSP) with Chris Cullen, then a teacher at Hampton School in south-west London. He remains a teacher at the all-boys Tonbridge in Kent, where all Year 10 pupils “do” mindfulness, taught by Burnett and the headmaster Tim Haynes. Mindfulness was elected as part of the school day because Burnett believes it to be an important life skill – it is more than just an aid to academia, but something to take on into later life. “The knock-on benefits to wellbeing, mental health, the capacity for empathy and simply for young people to be content and to flourish make it well worth it,” he says.”(more)

Nicky Morgan: girls who study maths and science go on to earn a third more in wages

The Telegraph – Rosa Prince

” Girls who take maths and science at A-level will go on earn a third more in wages than those who stick to the arts and humanities, new research has found. Nicky Morgan, the Education Secretary, said the data produced by the consultancy London Economics showed the importance of encouraging female pupils to take STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and maths – as a means of closing the gender pay gap. Girls who take just one STEM A-level will see their wages rise by as much as £4,500 a year on average, while those who sit two maths or science subjects are predicted to experience a pay boost of 33.1 per cent. In contrast, boys who take two STEM A-levels are expected to earn less than eight per cent more on average than those who focus on other subjects.”(more)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Teacher stress levels in England ‘soaring’, data shows

BBC – Matt Precey

“Stress levels among teachers in England’s classrooms are soaring, a BBC investigation has found. Unions are blaming workload for large numbers of staff taking time off work or leaving the profession. Insurance industry data suggests stress is the biggest cause of staff absence save for maternity. The Department for Education insists it is working “to tackle the issue of unnecessary workload which we know can lead to stress”. The BBC has also seen a survey of 3,500 members of the Nasuwt teaching union which shows more than two-thirds of respondents considered quitting the profession in the past year. Workload was the top concern, with 89% citing this as a problem, followed by pay (45%), inspection (44%), curriculum reform (42%) and pupil behaviour (40%). In addition:.”(more)