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Children starting school ‘cannot communicate in full sentences’

The Guardian – Pippa Crerar

“More than a quarter of children starting primary school are unable to communicate in full sentences as concerns grow about the amount of time they are spending in front of screens, the education secretary will say in his first major speech on social mobility. Damian Hinds is expected to say on Tuesday that he wants to harness technology so parents can do more to help their children’s early language development.” (more)

Parents urged to set boundaries around children’s use of the internet

The Guardian – Sally Weale

“The culture secretary has said it is up to parents to set boundaries around their children’s use of the internet and has condemned unlimited and unsupervised access to smartphones. Matt Hancock, whose brief includes digital issues, agreed parenting in the digital era was difficult but he said it was not impossible and he urged parents to set boundaries around new technology in the same way they have always set boundaries for their children.” (more)

Flexible Classrooms: Research Is Scarce, But Promising

Edutopia – Stephen Merrill

“There are plenty of studies that isolate the effects of light, acoustics, or air quality on learning. But the research on flexible classrooms is frustratingly scarce. There are good reasons for the apparent lack of interest. Variables like natural light and acoustics lend themselves to single-factor experiments that can be conducted in a laboratory setting. Give subjects a task to complete in a room with ample windows, for example, and then administer the same test in a room without them.” (more)

How to build empathy in the classroom, one story at a time

The Guardian – Jon Biddle

“With the pressure on teachers and schools to prepare students for exams, or – as in my case – getting them ready to move from primary to secondary school, it’s easy to lose sight of the values pupils learn in our company. I was reminded of this recently, after a project about refugees prompted one to tell me: “I used to think that refugees were different from us. Now I don’t.” Another said, “This was probably some of my favourite work that we’ve ever done. We’re learning about the real world and how we’re all part of it. Like, everyone, not just us and the people we know.” That work was part of a pilot project my school, Moorlands primary academy in Norfolk, was trialling for EmpathyLab.” (more)

Restorative justice in UK schools ‘could help reduce exclusions’

The Guardian – Sally Weale

” Campaigners are urging the government to support the introduction of ‘restorative practice’ which prioritises conflict resolution over punishment in schools following alarm at an increase in the number of pupils being excluded. The Restorative Justice Council (RJC), best known for its work in the criminal justice system bringing offenders face to face with their victims, wants to expand its existing work in schools as a means of reducing the number of exclusions.”(more)

Learning new language popular resolution for 2018, says survey

The Herald Scotland – Staff Writer

” With Christmas over-indulgence out of the way, thoughts are turning to resolutions – and for many, that means learning a new language, a survey suggests. Around one in five (21%) are planning to make language learning a goal for 2018, according to a poll commissioned by the British Council.”(more)