• Girls’ Schools and STEM: a Creative Chemistry
    Girls’ Schools and STEM: a Creative Chemistry

    The figures for the engagement of women in careers in Science and Technology are stark. Research published earlier this year revealed that women make up only 14.4% of those engaged in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers in the UK.

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  • Making the Most of School Open Days
    Making the Most of School Open Days

    The BBC Parents’ website offers advice for ‘Making the Most of School Open Days.’ Amongst the top ten tips are ‘Find out about the lunch’ and ‘Pay attention to the pupils.’ Wise advice, no doubt, but nowhere is there any mention of the curriculum. The curriculum matters. What is actually taught, day in day out, in the classrooms of independent schools is a much more significant differentiator from the education offered in the state sector than imposing buildings or broad acres of rugby and hockey pitches.

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  • Sport for all starts early at Croydon High
    Sport for all starts early at Croydon High

    There is an on-going debate amongst educationalists and in the media generally about young people’s participation in sport and whether or not schools do enough particularly to encourage girls to get active.

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  • Creativity Takes Courage
    Creativity Takes Courage

    Henri Matisse said that ‘Creativity takes courage.’ Just as significantly, creativity in the curriculum inspires courage in young learners. In a world where the landscape of traditional professions is set to be transformed by the ever advancing march of technology, we need to enable our pupils to become innovative and creative thinkers, at ease with unexpected perspectives and fresh ideas.

    The creative industries contribute almost £90bn net to the UK’s GDP and more than 10% of British workers already work in this expanding sector of the economy. In a complex, unstable, exciting world, it is those young people who are able to blend technological understanding with creative energy and intuition who will flourish in the second half of the twenty first century.

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  • The Value of Homework
    The Value of Homework

    Homework has been with us for as long as we have had schools and it seems always to have been the subject of debate.

    Yet even in the relatively recent past, homework was not as universal as it is now. Only twenty years ago, just 60% primary schools made their pupils do homework but as pressure for results has increased, so has the ubiquity of homework.

    Of course, there are always rebels, particularly amongst primary school heads. Every year there are headlines in the education pages of the newspapers reporting that a head teacher somewhere has abolished homework in favour of allowing children to relax and enjoy the freedom to play in their childhood. Opponents of homework often cite the American academic Alfie Kohn in support of their argument. Kohn wrote the influential study “The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing.’ Reflecting on his research Kohn observes, ‘What surprised me is not the downside of homework, but the fact there appears to be no upside. No study has ever shown an academic benefit to homework before high school.’

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