Renascence School Education News - private school

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Getting enough sleep is key to exam success, research says

The Telegraph – Josie Gurney-Read

“A good night’s sleep may not be high on the agenda for students across the country but, according to new research, it could be key to successful learning. Academics from the Department of Psychology at Royal Holloway University found that learners were able to remember and consolidate material more effectively having slept on the new information. The research also suggested that learning material in stages and getting enough sleep inbetween sessions, meant students were better able to make connections and remember information, putting paid to the belief that ‘cramming’ before an exam is an effective means of revision. It comes as research published by the Sleep Council last month, found that more than half of teenagers confessed to regularly cramming all their revision for an exam into one night. During this study, researchers taught a group of people new words from a fictional language, characterised by a rule relating the new words to one another. They found that, although learners became aware of the rule within the new language shortly after being taught it, they were unable to apply it to new words until after a period of rest.”(more)

Four in 10 children ‘put off sport by competitive parents’

The Telegraph – Javier Espinoza

” Four in 10 children are put off sport by over-competitive parents telling them they are too fat or lazy to run and making them cry in front of team-mates. Parents telling children they are “too heavy” or that they have made a “pathetic mistake” are also factors contributing to children not wanting to play sports, according to a new survey. One of the 1,002 children polled reported witnessing a dad telling a boy on the opposition team he was “rubbish”, while a mother was seen “shouting abuse at a referee”. Many children cried in front of their team-mates as a result of verbal abuse by parents. Other cases of abusive behaviour included children being called “losers” and “cheaters” by parents from the opposite team. A boy was called “stupid” by his dad each time he played. In total, nearly half of the eight to 16-year-olds questioned said the bad behaviour of parents made them feel like they did not want to take part in sport, according to a study by Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) and the Chance to Shine charity.”(more)

Alcohol use in movies tied to teen drinking

Reuters – Kathryn Doyle

“In a study of 15-year-olds in the U.K., those who had been most exposed to alcohol use in films were also most likely to have tried alcohol, and about twice as likely as the least exposed to have been binge drinking. After accounting for factors in early childhood, and even before birth that might explain the link, the associations were still “very robust,” said lead author Andrea Waylen of the School of Oral and Dental Sciences in Bristol, England. The study only looked at a single point in time, so it cannot prove cause and effect, Waylen noted in an email. But the results are in line with research from the USA, Europe and elsewhere that links youth “viewing of depictions of alcohol use in movies and the onset of drinking, regular drinking, binge-drinking and alcohol-related problems,” she said. Waylen and her coauthors analyzed data from another long-term study of children born near Bristol between 1991 and 1992, who were followed periodically from birth. At age 15, more than 5,000 of the kids completed a computer-based interview, assessing whether they had seen 50 randomly selected popular contemporary movies. Researchers had coded how many seconds of alcohol use appeared in each film, and totaled the amount each kid had seen based on their answers.”(more)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The seven big language learning issues facing the UK

The Guardian – Martin Williams

“Despite the UK’s pivotal role on the global stage and its melting pot of cultures, the country remains largely a nation of monoglots. But what is holding back Brits from learning a foreign language? The Guardian and the British Academy launched the Case for Language Learning to investigate the reasons behind the UK’s shortage of foreign language skills, discussing the importance and value of learning a foreign tongue. The Living Languages report highlights many of the debates and thinking generated by the two-year project, and brings together some of the dominant themes. You can find the full report here (best viewed in Adobe reader). Here are seven of the key findings:.”(more)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Poorer children fall behind in literacy and earn less in later life, study says

The Guardian – Rebecca Ratcliffe

“Poorer children who fall behind in reading at an early age earn around 20% an hour less in later life, according to a study commissioned by the Read On. Get On. campaign, which says poor-quality nursery provision is letting the most disadvantaged children down. Campaigners say the quality of private nurseries – which make up 75% of England’s provision – is too variable and weakest in the most disadvantaged areas. Half of England’s privately run nurseries do not employ a single graduate teacher, according to research by the group, which warns that this is contributing to literacy problems among children. “On average, children from low-income families are nearly 12 months behind their better-off peers in vocabulary by the time they start school,” the report says. One in five children in England cannot read well by the time they leave primary school, while this figure rises to one in three among children from disadvantaged backgrounds.”(more)

How school can save you from teenage traumas

The Telegraph – Eleanor Doughty

” Teenage life can be hard work. Not just for the teens themselves, battling through a modern marathon of Snapchat, decoupled AS-levels and the continuous presence of Kim Kardashian on their televisions, but for parents too. Whether children attend day or boarding schools, the pastoral system is of the utmost importance. Last year, Oxford High School started a campaign to erode the perception of Little Miss Perfect. The initiative, to defend high-achieving teenage girls from the reasoning that being absolutely perfect is the only acceptable position, was well reported in the press. The proliferation of eating disorders has been a frequent avenue of criticism of all-girls’ schools, although the Girls’ Schools Association is rightly trying to dissociate itself from this damaging image. But tackling teenage issues doesn’t start and finish with eating habits and 11 A* grades at GCSE. It’s about a complete package of wellness, confidence and happiness. Peer-led learning can be a game changer for young and developing teens. As many parents will have experienced, trying to suggest something to your teenager “cold”, as a grown up – can be less than fruitful. But let a cool older girl or boy make the same suggestion, and often “hey presto” is the effect.”(more)

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Teachers ‘facing more abuse on social media’

BBC – Staff Writer

“More teachers are facing abuse on social media, warns a teachers’ union. Sexist, racist and homophobic remarks were being used by pupils against school staff, as well as offensive comments about appearance, the NASUWT said. There were also examples of parents being abusive on social media, it added. About 60% of 1,500 teachers questioned in a poll said they had faced abuse, compared with 21% last year. In one case, a photograph of a teacher was posted online with an insulting word underneath. In another, pupils used the name of a heavily pregnant school worker to post insults, the teachers’ union said.”(more)

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)