Renascence School Education News - private school

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Language learning in the UK: ‘can’t, won’t, don’t’

The Telegraph – John Worne

” Can’t, won’t, don’t, three words which sum up our national view on speaking foreign languages. Of course it’s not entirely true, but last week saw another day of disappointment for language lovers, as we saw the continued decline in UK students choosing to study foreign languages at university level. I’m pretty much lost for words, having written and spoken on this topic many, many times in the last few years. So for inspiration I turn to the writer and author Christopher de Bellaigue, who wrote to encourage me in my labours last autumn: “It’s as well to remind ourselves that our ancestors thought nothing of picking up languages: one for the village, the other for the town, and perhaps another one entirely for the capital city, and that nowadays supposedly less educated people in other countries can end up knowing half a dozen.”(more)

Workload forcing new teachers out of the profession, survey suggests

The Guardian – Kate Hodge

“Almost three quarters (73%) of trainee and newly qualified teachers (NQTs) have considered leaving the profession, according to a new survey by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers. Heavy workloads are wreaking havoc among new recruits as 76% of respondents cited this as the main reason they considered quitting. Almost eight in 10 (79%) of the 889 students and NQTs surveyed by the union said they did not feel that they had a good work-life balance and the amount of work they were expected to do was the most common reason for disliking their jobs. Other factors that made those starting out in teaching think about a change of career included “teacher bashing” in the press and a lack of respect for profession (30%). Around 26% blamed an increasing expectation to take part in out-of hours activities for their reservations.”(more)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Concerns about parenting in poorer families ‘misplaced’

The Telegraph – Staff Writer

” Common perceptions that poorer mothers and fathers are likely to be less involved in their children’s lives are unfounded, according to research. A new study argues that less well-off parents are just as likely to help with homework, play games and read with their children as those from wealthier backgrounds. Researchers from Bristol University and Cardiff University analysed data on 1,665 UK households looking at how often mothers and fathers were involved with their children’s leisure activities and those that have been linked to success at school. The findings show that overall, more than half of parents said that during the previous week, they had read to their child and played games with them on at least four days. The proportions were similar for helping with homework, eating together and watching TV together.”(more)

Monday, January 19, 2015

School reforms: OECD calls for evidence on what works

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“Trillions of dollars are spent on education reforms around the world without any effective evaluation to see if changes have worked, says the OECD. The economic think-tank is warning there is too much political investment in announcing new policies, rather than checking on what they achieve. Only about one in 10 education reforms launched since 2006 have been assessed for their impact, the OECD says. The report was launched at the Education World Forum in London. This international conference of education ministers and experts was told that schools policy needed more emphasis on long-term evidence rather than short-term, politically driven changes of direction.”(more)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Parents hold the key to children who are on the money

The Guardian – Rohan Boyle

“Shopping has never been so easy. The ubiquity of smart phones and tablets, and the boom in online retailing, has ramped up pressure on everyone to consume. As children are particularly vulnerable to such influences, parents and carers face the challenge of ensuring they impart the right knowledge and experience to help them avoid the biggest pitfalls. The Money Advice Service, a UK government-backed initiative, urges parents not to underestimate the effect their own good (and bad) money habits have on their children. In 2013, it published a report by two Cambridge academics (pdf) who concluded that adult money habits are set by the age of seven.”(more)

Five ways teachers use Lego creatively in class

The Guardian – Sarah Marsh

“Hearing a child say they spent their school day playing with Lego may not go down well with parents. But these little bricks could become a fixture in maths lessons thanks to a new programme devised by the toy company. Primary schools have long used Lego informally to teach. However, this month Lego Education is launching a new programme, MoreToMaths, a global scheme especially designed to help teachers tackle key stage 1 maths on the national curriculum using the toys. The MoreToMaths kit, including lesson plans and teaching guides, costs £750 for a class of 30. While some may be sceptical about Lego’s move into education – and the price that may deter state schools – many teachers have already found cost-effective ways to use Lego in lessons.”(more)

Monday, January 12, 2015

How to teach … drawing and illustration

The Guardian – Staff Writer

“Drawing lessons might feel like a nightmare for some teachers, but with the 81st birthday of illustrator Raymond Briggs approaching later this month, it’s time to sharpen your skills – and pencils. The Guardian Teacher Network has a collection of ideas and resources to boost teachers’ and students’ confidence with drawing and illustration. Quentin Blake is one of the best-loved illustrators of children’s fiction. This lesson by Access Art uses Blake’s work to inspire pupils to experiment with a variety of drawing techniques. There are three simple exercises for students to try: using continuous line drawing to create a picture without lifting their pen from the paper; building a picture from a series of separate, straight lines; using a watercolour wash. The aim is to get pupils taking risks with their drawings and trying new ways of working, as well as widening their experience of drawing and getting them away from the idea that a particular way of drawing is right or wrong.”(more)

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Headteachers believe pupils are ‘let down’ on mental health

The Guardian – Jamie Doward

“A survey of headteachers, the first of its kind, has found significant gaps in the “critical” treatment of their pupils’ mental health needs. The survey, conducted by the CentreForum thinktank’s mental health commission, found that headteachers at more than half of schools in England believe the referral system for sending their pupils to child and adolescent mental health services (Camhs) is not working. Experts say it is vital to identify pupils who need support with mental health issues early on.”(more)

Friday, January 9, 2015

More pupils turning up to school ‘hungry and unable to concentrate’

The Telegraph – Staff Writer

” Rising numbers of children are arriving for school hungry, according to a poll of teachers. Almost two fifths of school staff say that every day, they see pupils turning up for class who have not had enough to eat, while a similar proportion see it between once and four times a week. And nearly a third suggested that a child has blamed falling asleep in class on being hungry or thirsty.”(more)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Survey Shows 20% of UK Teens Think Churchill is Fictional

Education News – Sherlynn Summers

“A survey commissioned by British television channel Gold uncovered 20 percent of the teen population in Britain believing former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill to be a fictional character. On the contrary, many teens accepted imaginary characters such as Sherlock Holmes, King Arthur and Eleanor Rigby as real people in history. The survey, which was carried out with around 3,000 British people below 20 years old, concluded that a large number of British teens possessed an astounding lack of basic historical knowledge – knowledge which was well embraced by older generations…”(more)