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‘It’s given the children a love of wildlife’: the schools letting nature in

The Guardian – Emma Sheppard

“The number of schools using gardens and the natural world to teach students continues to increase. The campaign for school gardening, a programme run by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS), now has 20,000 school members, with 81% growing plants specifically to attract wildlife and pollinators. “Biodiversity underpins everything,” says campaign manager Alana Cama.” (more)

To foster a love of art in children, we must teach it at primary school

The Guardian – Emily Gopaul

“It’s no secret that arts subjects are increasingly being deprioritised in many schools, and that there’s a fall in the number of pupils taking arts subjects at GCSE. Yet the arts matter, not only to individual learning but to the UK as a whole: the creative industries currently contribute £84.1bn a year to the economy. Enthusiasm for art should really start at primary school – by the time students reach year seven, attitudes about what matters in education will have already been established.” (more)

Every school needs a staff wellbeing team – here’s how to start one

The Guardian – Daniella Lang

“I started as headteacher at Brimsdown primary school in Enfield, north London, during a troubling time for the school. There had been two requires improvement Ofsted inspections, and it was judged to be in the lowest 10% for year 6 reading progress. The subsequent changes my leadership team and I made – a new English and phonics scheme, for example – and redundancies during the first year left staff morale low. So I made the decision to start a staff wellbeing team, and asked for volunteers from the teaching staff to help. The results have been extraordinary.” (more)

Bullying is still rife in schools. Here’s how teachers can tackle it

The Guardian – Elizabeth Nassem

“Many people will know what it feels like to be bullied. Despite a wealth of research and well-meaning interventions at a local level, bullying is still a common problem in UK schools (pdf) – and associated with depression, anxiety and even suicide. Schools are legally obliged to tackle bullying, but they may not have had the adequate guidance or training to do so, meaning that attempts to address it often focus on the more obvious forms of bullying, such as physical aggression, and overlook the children’s views.” (more)

School marks are important. But resilience is the real indicator of success

The Guardian – Johanna Leggatt

“Sometimes the high achievers go on to fruitful and varied careers, but sometimes their light burns out early. Stories filter back of how they “lost it” at university. Not used to studying in an unstructured environment, they gulped down their freedom too quickly and greedily, and the last anyone saw of them was a chance encounter at a pool hall somewhere up the coast. Often it’s the rebel who takes everyone by surprise. They’ve got four side hustles, three books to their name, and a reliable stream of passive income. While you have spent a fortune to come to the reunion, they’re making money off their online deals website while chatting over canapés.”(more)

Government plans ‘English hubs’ to boost child literacy

BBC – Staff Writer

“The government is to set up 35 “English hubs” across the country in an attempt to improve child literacy. The hubs are among a raft of new measures announced by Education Secretary Justine Greening. A £5.7m investment will aim to boost literacy skills in 469 schools, whilst a £7.7m hopes to develop high quality teaching resources. The schemes form part of the government’s social mobility action plan, launched last month.”(more)