Tag Archives: Education

My thoughts on education Part 1

GCSE results are out today and I’m sure these will be met with the usual many mixed emotions across the country.  The moment you open that envelope will stay with you for many years, in fact, I remember the day I received my results quite clearly.

When we look at the news surrounding ‘education’ there are a plethora of articles about our education system (the framework as opposed to actual learning).  What can be seen quite clearly is that our system is going through many changes at the present.  We have free schools, the uprising of academies, a new curriculum on the way, with all the arguments about whether our GCSEs and A-levels are too easy, the debate about how and whether phonics is taught, as well as how successful all the different teaching strategies are and which ones to use, a new Oftsed framework and now a new criteria from September.

The big questions are: What is it we want from our schools? What do we want our schools to achieve? Is it all about results?

Ultimately we want our schools to equip our youngsters with the skills and resilience to survive and prosper in a, lets be frank, turbulent and complex world.  We want what goes on in our schools to be instilling in young people a confidence to take risks, we want them to challenge and be challenged and so to thrive in life.   We then need to be thinking about what our children are going to need in order to achieve this and without doubt this conversation needs to involve teachers, parents, the community and not forgetting the pupils themselves.

I believe there needs to be much more independent learning happening our classes.  ‘Building Learning Powers’ in schools is becoming much more widely talked about and is concerned with helping young people to become better learners in school and, just as importantly, out of school. It is about preparing children for being lifelong learners – of course we are all learners! The ethos is: ‘It is about creating a culture in classrooms – and in the school more widely – that systematically cultivates habits and attitudes that enable young people to face difficulty and uncertainty calmly, confidently and creatively’.

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Sport and Education

What a great few weeks it has been for sport in Britain.  I don’t know of many people who have not watched any of the Olympics or been impressed with how well our country has performed in the games.

We are third in the medal table which is fantastic news.  Naturally, the more success our Olympians have achieved, the more people have really caught the Olympic fever.  As many have said, it is now imperative that we capitalise on this interest in sports, particularly in our schools.

As a teacher, I would like to see schools spending more time thinking about Games and Physical Education.  I know that there are many pressures on schools to deliver results for our youngsters, but sport is key for so many reasons.  I would also like to see all schools spending the total amount of time on PE in their timetabling.

I have heard it said that we are doing well at the sports where ‘money is involved’; namely rowing and equestrianism.  A recent article in the ‘Times Education Supplement’ discussed this point further, pointing to the England Rugby team, the world’s best cricket side – England – and recent Olympic success in cycling, equestrianism, rowing and sailing largely having their roots in the Independent sector’.

Competitive sport is healthy (both physically and mentally) and should not be only experienced by only those who have money.  If Head teachers and governors want PE to be key in the curriculum, they will ensure that they have the resources, staff and time for this.

I believe sport plays a crucial role in life.  You do not win everything in this life, an important lesson that can be learned early on. In sports (whichever you choose to follow), it is the individual/team that works hardest that can achieve.  When you suffer disappointment on the football pitch, that can help you deal with disappointment in other areas of life.

When I was growing up, I didn’t have access to PS3s, Xboxes and the like. I had a park up the road and my friends and I played sports. In these times when we hear of the obesity problems our children are suffering, its great to see so many youngsters sit up and take notice of our athletes and the effort and sacrifice they have put in to be at the Olympics.


Filed under 2012 Olympics, Education

Letter to the Echo

Dear Editor,

So, we learn from Ed Balls that primary school children are to be taught lessons on how to manage their finances, including how to save and budget. Am I the only one to spot the irony of this? We can only hope that the curriculum is left well alone by the Labour Government.

Can you imagine the following question: Your expenses are greater than your income and you are well into your overdraft facility; what do you do; a) try to reduce your expenses; b) spend a lot more?

It’s a pity such lessons were not in place at Gordon Brown and Alistair Darlings primary schools!

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