Category: beauty

Bailey Matthews and the power of joy

Bailey Matthews is clearly loving life at the moment. If you did not watch the UK’s BBC TV’s Sports Personality of the Year (SPOTY) Awards on Sunday night, or are not one of the 80 million plus people who have viewed the video online showing Bailey completing a triathlon earlier this year, then you need …

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The wonders of the unseen world

Visiting the world-leading Science Museum in London last week, I was lucky to be able to attend a showing of a relatively recent (2013) addition to their collection of IMAX films, ‘The Mysteries of the Unseen World’. If you haven’t seen it, do try to see it at some point; at the very least, look …

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‘Periodic tales’: what the chemical elements remind us about education

As part of this year’s uplifting Oxford University Alumni Weekend, a panel of speakers led an engaging session inspired by Hugh Aldersey-Williams’ new book, ‘Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements’. The author himself spoke, and explored how artists, sculptors and poets across the ages have used the elements, imbuing them with meaning and …

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Singing out for a bright – and shared – future: the Dloko High School Choir

The annual Edinburgh International Festival came to an end last night with a bang – literally, in fact, as explosions of fireworks rained down on the castle, watched by thousands. The night before, however, there were explosions of a different kind, as the Dloko High School Choir gave the last of its vibrant and powerful …

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Why we need the Arts in a STEM world

I am a great believer in the power of technology – in its broadest sense – to take the human race forward. I appreciate the power of innovation and creativity in science, technology, engineering and maths, and I know that we must invest in teaching our young people about the value of these subjects, because …

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What sort of schools do we need? Reflections on a debate at the Wellington College Festival of Education

What a stimulating day! It was a pleasure to discuss wide-ranging educational issues at the Wellington College Festival of Education; I sat on a panel debating the question: What sort of schools do we need? For me, the answer is simple – we need great schools. There are, I believe, three main elements to this …

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Why should girls’ schools have to make their case? A riposte to Lord Lucas

If you read today’s Times or Telegraph, you will see headlines that suggest that girls’ schools are a dying breed: ‘Pull your socks up or you’ll die out, peer tells girls’ schools’; ‘Girls’ schools ‘going out of fashion’, expert warns’ – although the print edition of The Times has the rather more accurate headline “Girls’ …

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Parent power at work: ensuring excellence in independent schools

A great article on independent schools appeared in last week’s Times newspaper. Written by the thoughtful and insightful Greg Hurst, Education Editor of the Times, it posed the question ‘Just how good are independent schools?’ and proceeded to look at the evidence. The article quite rightly acknowledged that independent schools come in many shapes and …

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Partnership in action: schools working together across the sectors

I had the real pleasure on Tuesday of this week to give a speech and present the prizes at the Annual Awards Evening of one of our local state schools, Abbeyfield School in Chippenham – a Business and Enterprise Specialist College for 11-18 year olds. Its motto is ‘Aspiration, Attitude, Achievement’, and this resonates so …

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Heads of Girls’ Schools: making a real world of difference

I returned yesterday from the annual Girls’ Schools Association which I was leading in my capacity as this year’s President, and I can report that it was an amazing occasion. The programme – based on the theme of ‘Making a World of Difference’ – was extremely full, packed with speakers who stimulated and challenged, and …

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