Posted in Finland, Uncategorized

Is Finland ahead of the game?

For years, Finland has been the by-word for a successful education system, perched at the top of the international league tables for literacy and numeracy.

Only Far Eastern countries, such as Singapore and China, outperform the Nordic nation in the influential Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) ─ an international standardised test for 15-year-olds in language, maths and science.

It seems this isn’t the only league table in which Finland is coming out on top, as they are known for producing some of the most physically fit children in Europe. Continue reading “Is Finland ahead of the game?”

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Posted in SEND, Uncategorized, yoga

Yoga for autism: does it work?

Specialist yoga teacher, Michael Chissick, has been teaching yoga to children in primary mainstream and special schools for two decades.

Last month, during a Commons debate, Education Minister Edward Timpson said that children should be taught Buddhist meditation techniques and yoga in schools to help them “unplug from their online world”. He suggested that lessons taught as part of the PSHE curriculum could enable children “to enjoy good mental health and emotional wellbeing”.[1] Continue reading “Yoga for autism: does it work?”

Posted in Assessment, research, SEND, Uncategorized

Dyslexia: overlooked and left behind?

Every year, SATs results and other national testing shows that too many children and young people are not meeting expected levels in literacy, with 1 in 5 children leaving primary school below the national expected levels in reading, writing and mathematics.[1]

If you cannot learn to read, you cannot read to learn, and too many children are unable to access the curriculum due to poor reading skills. It is these children who then become disengaged and leave school with few, or no qualifications, resulting in significantly reduced opportunities. Continue reading “Dyslexia: overlooked and left behind?”

Posted in charity events, learning, reading

The Fantastic Mr Dahl

Roald1

Sitting in an old and battered armchair in a worn-out shed at the bottom of his garden, one man changed the face of children literature for future generations. The 13 September will mark the biggest ever global celebration of this renowned author, the one and only, Roald Dahl.

Armed with a specifically designed writing board on his lap and a HB pencil on a yellow legal paper pad, Dahl spent around four hours a day bringing his wonderful and creative world to life. With characters ranging from witches to talking foxes, his stories have fascinated children for several decades and encouraged thousands to enjoy reading. Continue reading “The Fantastic Mr Dahl”

Posted in relationships, Uncategorized

Sexism in schools: A misrepresented issue

When Dr Mary Bousted, the General Secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers, spoke out early this year about sexist bullying in school that prevents girls participating fully in the classroom, there were several issues that she failed to touch upon.

Dr Bousted stated that girls often feel they have to decide between being attractive or clever because of sexist name calling in schools, and that there are multiple pressures on girls to be thin, attractive and compliant, making bright girls feel unfeminine. Continue reading “Sexism in schools: A misrepresented issue”

Posted in curriculum, education, National Curriculum, Uncategorized

The death of Mickey Mouse courses?

Balloon artistry, marzipan modelling and self-tanning could be among a number of courses running on borrowed time as ministers prepare to scrap these vocational qualifications widely derided as “Mickey Mouse” courses.

It has been revealed in the news recently that, under new government plans, up to 20,000 vocational courses are to be scrapped and replaced with 15 new qualifications for teenagers in England. Continue reading “The death of Mickey Mouse courses?”

Posted in creativity, education, National Curriculum, Uncategorized

The end of the road for creativity?

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would have seen, or at least heard, recent news stories focussed on changes to the curriculum. What some of you may not know is that academies are not required to offer any arts or creative subjects in order to be seen as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Continue reading “The end of the road for creativity?”