• 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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  • Reaping the benefits of the 10+ exam
    Reaping the benefits of the 10+ exam

    If you are considering putting your child forward for the 11+ grammar testing then you will understand the fierce competition and pressure these examinations can cause for 10 year olds and parents alike.

    The 11+ grammar tests follow the state Primary KS2 SATs, these SATs results are used to track your child’s progress, but they are also useful for teachers to compare how well each child is doing with their peers, both in their school and across the country. Teachers tend to put a lot of emphasis on the importance of these tests and last year it was reported that 27% of children were “stressed” about their SATs tests(source: ComRes).

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