Blog

Is the internet of real value, or real danger, to children?

TODAY’S children have the world at their fingertips, it’s called a smartphone, or maybe a tablet or computer.

For children to grow up having the world at their feet, too, it is essential that they are able to make sense of it. They need to be able to distinguish between the information and the misinformation that is coming at them 24/7, thanks to a constant evolution in digital technology.

No generation before them has had to deal with this overload of information. Nor have they needed to grow up with a huge dollop of cynicism to understand that not everything they read is fact, that there may be distortion of the truth or, even, mere fictiontargeting them from every angle.

Building sustainable schools for the future

Martin High School

 

Shortage of space is becoming a fundamental issue for many schools across the country. Recently, it was revealed one in six secondary schools are already at or over capacity, with forecasts predicting there will be more than 300,000 additional secondary school pupils by 2020.

In particular, a shortage in pupil places is placing a huge burden on schools to increase classroom sizes, numbers and implement redevelopment projects to make better use of existing structures. With budgets under threat, finding the best building products to use at the right price and with minimal disruption to class time is no easy task.


Summer Camps – Supporting STEM During Summer

Arts and Craft at summer-camp

 

Karen Baynes, Director of Barracudas Activity Day Camps, looks at activity day camps and how they can encourage and inspire the next generation of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) professionals.

Activity day camps are a great place for kids to unwind out of school. The more relaxed atmosphere of a summer program encourages children to try new things. The right camps and activities can even help a child develop leadership skills and a sense of independence, which are important building blocks for future academic and personal successes.

Jeni Eastlake talks about her Monkey Music business in Putney

Jeni Eastlake, Monkey Music

 

Monkey Music Franchise Case Study: Jeni Eastlake What is your career background? I was an Early Years and Key Stage 1 teacher and music co-ordinator in primary schools for almost 10 years. Although I enjoy playing the piano, I don’t have any formal music qualifications, (although I do have grade 5 on the trombone!). However, I’ve always been passionate about music and loved being in charge of the music at my school. (Anyone who has been involved in education will know that this involves far more than just playing the piano during assembly!). Monkey Music was a great way for me combine music, teaching and family life, and I haven’t looked back!  

Banish homework horrors: how to make homework meaningful and deepen learning

Sam Blyth

 

Plenty has been written about the horrors of homework. A negative impact on leisure time is high on the list of concerns, as is an uneven playing field, where some students benefit from more parental help or access to learning resources than others.

Many students also find the marking process problematic as they are often left with little or no feedback on their work, or get a mark they don’t fully understand. But homework can no longer be seen a much maligned ‘add on’ to the school day.

Too much data is “misused” and “pointless”, says leading assessment provider

study of teachers by GL Assessment, image of 3 school pupils

 

Two fifths (43%) of teachers are spending more time administering pupil assessments than interpreting and acting on the data, and a minority run more than 10 or more assessments every year. The findings, from a study of teachers by GL Assessment, indicate that some schools are unnecessarily adding to teacher workload by running too many assessments and focusing colleagues’ energies on administration rather than analysis.

Some 43% of teachers say they spend 60% or more of the time administering assessment rather than interpreting what it means for individual students, with 15% saying the proportion of time spent on administration is 80% or more.


Mind Full or Mindful? Exam prep for kids, parents & teachers

Mind Full or Mindful?

 

In Hitchhiker's Guide, we're told that, as a child, Zaphod had been diagnosed with ‘ADHDDAAADHD (ntm) ABT' which stood for ‘Always Dreaming His Dopey Days Away, Also Attention Deficit Hyperflactulance Disorder (not to mention) A Bit Thick'. The majority of children aren't ‘thick', but in the modern world, they're incredibly distracted.

As we enter the silly season, when kids get stressed about exams, teachers get stressed about kids not living up to expectations and parents getting stressed about trying not to nag too much about revision, it's important to stay calm and positive.

Consolidate learning with ThinkFun’s range of educational games

Code M Hi Res Spill

 

Keeping learning exciting and fresh, ThinkFun games are used by teachers in classrooms and workshops around the world. They introduce children to new concepts, as well as consolidating their existing learning in a way that’s fun.

Supporting STEM education, Code Master cleverly gets kids to work through challenges using logic.  The game has a simple premise of navigating an avatar to its destination, collecting power crystals along the way.  

Top 5 places to get a free business education online

Top 5 places to get a free business education online

 

It is never too late for knowledge. Anyone can return to school, if they want to. But, some people may be too shy to attend, especially if they find they’re too old or it’s been a long while since they were in a classroom.

Thankfully, you can now get an education online and for free. Find out what online education is all about and where are the best places to attend.  

What is online education? Online education is a means to educate or provide educational information through the use of the internet, with the absence of a physical classroom and teacher.  


Easing the load: Managing teacher workload, Denise Inwood, Managing Director, BlueSky

Former Assistant Head Teacher Denis Inwood and Managing Director of BlueSky

 

In the DfE’s Workload Challenge 63% of teachers stated that the excessive level of detail in the tasks they were required to carry out made them burdensome. Nicky Morgan, Minister of State for Education has since announced the formation of three workload review groups covering marking, planning and data management.

Having been an Assistant Head, I’m all too aware that over scrutiny of professionalpractice and relentless tracking of performance generates a huge volume of data which is hard to aggregate and makes real-time feedback and insight into professional performance impossible.

5 Tech Tools You Can’t Teach Without

Education is not an exception to the way technology has changed our lives. In fact, the proliferation of educational technology has inundated teachers with so many tools, that it makes it very difficult to choose the right ones to incorporate into their classrooms. The challenge teachers face is finding the right, slim set of tools that enhances classroom learning, rather than distracting from it. Below is an example of how teachers can use 5 tech tools as part of today’s modern classroom. Introducing a Lesson/ Activating Prior Knowledge Every lesson needs a good hook to pull its audience in and a good video has the ability to quickly generate interest and activate prior knowledge.

The Importance of Early Intervention

Five Minute Box banner test

 

Children need to be engaged in a teaching system for early literacy skills as soon as they enter school. While most children will acquire the phonic skills, sight vocabulary and handwriting skills they need from regular class lessons, there are always a few children who just need more time.

These children really do need a few minutes a day to ensure mastery and retention of skills. The main reasons for early intervention through a system such as The Five Minute Box are:

6 Secrets to Planning a Great Easter Break for Teachers

SciShow

 

Somehow Easter is already upon us and exam season just a short break away. So, it’s time to relax and enjoy a well earned break. Here’s 6 ideas to take your mind off the classroom, but keep you inspired and, without you even knowing it, get ready for the summer term.

Netflix is your friend - Netflix will have the usual flurry of Easter treats available towards the end of March. But, talking history, there’s two powerful documentaries set for release, India’s Daughter and Jumbo Wild, looking at cultural out-cry in two very different contexts.

We’re backing National Apprenticeship Week! Supporting teaching and learning in schools By Fleur Sexton,

Fleer Sexton joint Managing Director PET XI 2

 

Fleur Sexton, a former teacher, is joint managing director of PET-Xi, a national training provider working with hundreds of schools across the UK to deliver intensive, immersive, motivational and inspirational interventions that have a positive impact on learner progress.

PET-Xi’s joint managing director Fleur Sexton. Here at PET-Xi we are backing National Apprenticeship Week (14-18 March) by officially launching our own PET-Xi Apprenticeship Scheme. Apprenticeship opportunities make a huge impact both on individuals and businesses – as well as the wider economy of course.  

How women can succeed in male dominated industries

Judy Verses, President of Global Enterprise and Education at Rosetta Stone, has tips on how women can succeed in today’s global marketplace. “There are more opportunities for women in the workplace today than ever before. Staying ahead of the game is key to success and preparing for the role you’ll play in achieving business goals is critical,” said Verses. Please find below some of her top tips on how women can succeed in today’s global business environment:         

•  Success is all about people. You need to create a positive culture of positive people and an environment that respects people, challenges them and empowers them to be successful.