• 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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  • Surviving National Offer Day – Appeal advice
    Surviving National Offer Day – Appeal advice

    Secondary state school offers are already out there and with the Primary offers recently issued, this is an apprehensive time as it gets more difficult to secure one of those desired school places. It can be tough surviving National Offer Day when the realisation hits home that the best performing state schools are massively oversubscribed.

    If you have not been offered a place for your child at your preferred school there are routes you can take. You can appeal and put your child on waiting lists for any other school you have applied for.

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  • Entrance Exam Preparation – When To Begin?
    Entrance Exam Preparation – When To Begin?

    When your child is busy with homework and after-school activities it is tempting to wait until the last few months to concentrate on preparation for these tests – but this can be a mistake.

    Building familiarity takes time
    Despite all the stories about new tests that cannot be revised for, we are all aware that familiarity with a new subject or situation is the key to facing the challenge with confidence. Unsurprisingly, the 11+ and pre-tests are no different.

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  • Russell House Make Record-Breaking Donation to the Charity Shine.
    Russell House Make Record-Breaking Donation to the Charity Shine.

    Russell House parents have made a record-breaking donation to the charity Shine. They presented a cheque for £9,000 to the charity which supports individuals living with Spina Bifida or hydrocephalus and their families, friends, and professionals. The money was raised at the Russell House School Parents Association’s Phantom Masquerade Ball, attended by more than 150 Russell House parents, staff, friends and family.

    Naomi Marston, Shine’s SDW Manager and Services Coordinator, said: “To have raised so much money is an incredible achievement, and is the largest amount ever raised by a single school fundraiser. The £9,000 will go a long way towards supporting children and adults with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, two complex, life-limiting conditions.”
    Emma Boyes, head of the Parents Association Ball Committee, said: “We are delighted to have been able to make this donation to Shine Charity. We chose to support Shine because we wanted to assist them with their extraordinary work, which fosters a greater understanding of spina bifida and hydrocephalus. A former pupil of Russell House School has spina bifida, so it is a cause very close to our heart.”

    Naomi Marston from Shine received the record-breaking cheque from Russell House
    parents Judith Hurst, Emma Boyes and Kristina Pappa. Also pictured are Russell House governor Yvonne Lindsay and Headmaster Craig McCarthy.

    Russell House is a family-oriented, independent prep school for girls and boys aged 2-11 near Sevenoaks in Kent.

    Find Russell House School, Otford Kent on our interactive schools map


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  • Blackheath Prep pupils get close to nature
    Blackheath Prep pupils get close to nature

    In response to the growing evidence of the fundamental importance of nature to children, Blackheath Prep School implemented a whole school Nature Week earlier this term. Every class went out for a day to explore the natural world and learn about the environment in which they live.

    Greenwich Park, Hyde Park, Kew Gardens and Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve provided some of the habitats they explored. The children learnt how to identify trees, calculate their height and age and create their own trees using natural materials. Representatives from each class shared their experiences of being ‘out and about’ in a whole school assembly at the end of the week. Additionally, the Gifted and Talented focus this year is Science and the most able scientists in the school investigated nature in the local area and created journey sticks.

    Blackheath Preparatory School is an independent junior school for both boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 11. It is located in an attractive area close to Blackheath Village. The beautiful five acre site includes two large playgrounds and extensive playing fields, tennis courts and cricket nets.

    The culture of the school is one of immediate warmth and friendliness. The pupils are bubbly and focused within a purposeful and energetic environment in which boys and girls grow up to regard learning as fun.

    They achieve outstanding academic results at 11+ where our children receive numerous offers and many scholarships from both independent and selective grammar schools.


    Find Blackheath Prep School on our interactive schools map.

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