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Education Blog

Closing the Digital Skills Gap

How many mobile phones have you confiscated this term alone? An annual computing education report from the University of Roehampton has found that only 12% of this year’s GCSE students have opted to study Computing to GCSE level; more worryingly, only 2.7% have continued this through to A-Level. This may seem like an odd statistic when you consider the small stack of impounded phones sitting in your desk drawer. Almost all children enjoy the benefits of modern computing technology, but it seems that very few of them are actively engaging in learning how to advance computing and use it to create something...

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Promoting Football in Schools Without a Budget

Health and wellbeing is a key issue in today’s schools, and its importance is supported by a wealth of pedagogical publications. Schools are turning towards health and wellbeing programmes to help them boost attainment and students’ grades, but without the proper funding, these attempts often fall short of the mark. Culturally, Britain is sport-obsessed, but this doesn’t always translate to a school environment. There’s no doubt that more can be done to address this, but how can we improve sports provision – and, in turn, student health and wellbeing – without breaking the budget? With the advent of the FIFA World Cup,...

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Supporting GCSE and BTEC Students Through Examination Stress

We spend so much time focusing on the outcome of examinations and students’ results, it’s easy to forget about the impact this is having on their mental health. In this country, 80% of young people believe that exam pressure has significantly impacted on their mental health. When you consider that three quarters of long-term mental health issues start in childhood, that’s indicative of a huge problem facing today’s youth. Recent and ongoing reforms to GCSE examinations are compounding the issue, and many pupils feel they are left in limbo by the confusion this has caused. Unfortunately, it looks like the situation...

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Five School Funding Grants You Should Know About

School pursestrings are getting tighter, and we’re all looking for alternative sources of funding. Fortunately, there are ways to raise non-statutory school income, whether by hiring out school premises or by hosting fundraising events. Grants and funding pools offer a handy third option. But which grants should you be looking for to supplement your school funding? Here’s a quick rollup of some of the funding schools can apply for that you may not have heard of:   Education Endowment Foundation The EEF provides funding for trial projects designed to raise attainment for 3-18 year-olds – particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds. What’s more, once your project is...

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Teacher Survival Kit: The Essentials

What’s in your desk drawer? The marking you’ve been putting off? An assortment of paperclips and rubber bands? Maybe it’s the staff handbook you’ve never opened? It’s time to take back control of your desk. Stock it up with the right stuff, and that drawer will be transformed into an irreplaceable teacher survival kit. We’re not going to recommend pens and sticky notes – you already know you need those. Instead, here’s some genuinely helpful tips and tricks you may not have thought of. You can make these kits for yourself, but they also make a great gift for your partner or...

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Hiring Out School Premises: Everything You Need To Know

Looking to let out your school premises? Unsure of where to start? Here’s our comprehensive overview of what to do. The Whys, Whats, and Whos Why Hire Out School Premises? At this point, you might not be convinced that you even should hire out your premises. However, not to do so would be a huge missed opportunity. By hiring out your premises, you are building links with the local community. This has a positive effect on community awareness, student intake, and, most importantly, student’s overall development and achievement. It can be a huge psychological boost to know that you are part of a community...

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What the Critical Window of Language Acquisition Means to Education

It’s usually agreed that the earlier children acquire a second language, the better their cognition and language acquisition skills in later life. In support of this, the findings of a journal recently posted to online news outlets suggests that, to acquire native fluency, it is best to start before the age of 10. This period of development is often referred to as the critical window of language acquisition; the implication is that the ability to easily pick up on grammar and its intricacies begins to decline through a person’s teens, and drops right off as they enter their twenties. So what...

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A Sixth Former’s Experience Working at SPC

I’m a sixth form student in year 12, and when I heard we were expected to do more work experience (since my last experience in year 10), I groaned like everyone else. This meant more worrying about finding a placement, more making phone calls with receptionists who broke promises to follow them up, more disinterested members of human resources. And so, this was what I initially got; research a place near enough, call them up, wait for a follow-up, follow them up myself where I find that they ultimately refused me. That was until I came across Mimeo; a printing...

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A Student’s Perspective on Setting Homework and Marking Tips

Today's blog was written by Chris Walsh, a Year 12 student visiting the SPC offices on work experience. He's presented some interesting and potentially helpful points on setting and marking homework.   The debate over whether or not homework is useful has raged on for quite possibly over a century, and will continue to be debated for another. Even I myself made a presentation about it for English Language class. Any stakeholder in education has an opinion: parents, teachers, students, even inspectors. But none of this actually helps teachers; schools rarely address the issue, and some issue minimums for how much homework is...

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The Ultimate Guide to Teacher Stress Relief

We are in the grip of a teacher stress epidemic. 3,750 teachers were signed off on long-term sick leave last year due to stress. That’s one in every 83 teachers, so chances are, you already know somebody who’s at the tipping point. In fact, 75% of teachers report high levels of stress, which is a significant margin over other occupations. The outcome is clear: teachers – particularly NQTs – are leaving the profession in droves. All statistics point to teacher stress being a negative thing, but the fact is, being subjected to some stress can be good for you. It can push...

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