• 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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  • Nurturing the University Transition
    Nurturing the University Transition

    The move to university represents a major life change with all of the excitement, but also some of the worry, that change brings about. As you prepare to make that move, your A Level exams just around the corner and UCAS offers in mind, getting the grades is your main focus (and rightly so). Your grades become your passport to university, to a new way of learning and living, and to future career opportunities.

    This move, however, is about more than just the brown envelope in your hand on results day. It may be the first time you have lived away from home, dealing with the challenges that life throws up without your usual support network. With it will come a new set of opportunities: meeting and living with new people; making new friends; joining new clubs; and experiencing new ways of learning. It’s important, therefore, to think about using other skills that will prepare you for university life, to cope with new pressures and thrive in a different, academically challenging environment.

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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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