Career direction

It’s best to know where you’re going – and why Some years ago I was working in a school running a Self Managed Learning project. In the group with which I was working there was a talented 13-year-old girl musician. She said that she would like to have a career as an orchestra musician. We looked at the life of an orchestra musician and also looked at some research on job satisfaction. The results of the research showed that orchestra musicians had a level of job satisfaction on a par with that of a prison warder. The reasons for orchestra […]

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What is a parents’ role in education?

What is a parents’ role in education?

Much has been written about how important parents are to a child’s education, but often the advice is not all that helpful. Here are a few thoughts on the what, how, when, where and why of education that parents might consider.   WHAT. The press and the education establishment go on about GCSEs, grades, exams and so on as the most important areas for parents to assist their children. A recent research report suggested that children doing Saturday jobs could get lower grades at GCSE. What the report did not mention is that if school students want to learn about […]

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GOING TO THE BIG SCHOOL? Choices in secondary education.

GOING TO THE BIG SCHOOL? Choices in secondary education.

SIZE MATTERS The transition from a small primary school into secondary education is an issue for many parents. There are serious choices to be made for children at this age. We know that many children feel nervous about going into a large, more impersonal school where they do not feel known by teachers. In a typical secondary school a teacher might see over 250 children in a week and cannot get to know all of them really well. In addition the national data show that schools are getting larger year by year. This issue of size is serious. The research […]

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How young people manage their own learning at SML College

Take yourself back to your schooldays. Did you learn everything that you were taught? Or did you sometimes daydream in class? Perhaps there were subjects that you didn’t like so you paid less attention to them – or you were even disruptive in such lessons. For whatever reason, it’s likely that the teacher ‘covering the syllabus’ did not always result in you learning everything that they wanted you to. We know that people – of all ages – like to learn in different ways. My favourite teacher in my traditional boys grammar school was the geography teacher. Because he never […]

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WHAT IS A 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION?

Some people have suggested that the only change from Victorian schools to those of today is from black to white – blackboards have changed to whiteboards. We still have classrooms that are not much different from the 19th century with curricula that have progressed little since then and with lessons of standardised times delivered in (increasingly) large institutions. Indeed there is an argument to suggest that the school is possibly the only institution that would be recognisable to a Victorian who might be transported to the current time. Factories now have robots and offices don’t have clerks working in serried […]

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