• 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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  • Future Proofing Students
    Future Proofing Students

    In an increasingly sophisticated and fluid job market, schools will have to adapt their thinking to prepare their students for an uncertain future. The landscape of the traditional labour market has shifted, the era of the lifelong career is changing, there is a shift from corporate career ladders to project based careers. We have to prepare young people for the jobs that don’t yet exist, to exploit opportunities and to create their own jobs and careers.

    More and more employees today are temporary, contract, freelance, part-time or external. We may mourn the loss of pensions and the safety net that they represented, the loss of a predictable career path makes it hard to form plans but also allows for opportunities to pivot and change direction and provides ownership – future career paths will be made by having transferrable skills, being flexible and moving.

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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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  • 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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