Category: parenting

What is work, anyway?

A fascinating recent Australian study about the effects of working beyond the age of 40 achieved some press coverage last week, and it prompted me to reflect carefully on what work actually means in our society. The study analysed cognitive test results for 3,000 men and 3,500 women above the age of 40 in Australia, …

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BOOK REVIEW You want to send your child to a UK independent school. Where do you go for the best advice?

I was recently sent a copy of Independent School Entrance by Victoria Barker, the latest in the series of ‘Parent Brief’ books published by Gresham Books, and I was impressed. The author – who has two children of her own, one of whom has passed through the UK independent school system and the other of …

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Tiger or Dolphin – the politics of parenting

Prime Minister David Cameron makes the front page of The Times in the UK today with a headline that throws down the gauntlet in the battle to conquer disadvantage and inequality, beginning with social mobility – specifically, children’s potential in life, as determined by the start they get. Setting out his ‘bucket list’ of what …

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Schools leading the messages we need to hear in our world

I have been thinking a lot about the role of schools recently, and I have come to a very firm conclusion. All schools need to educate and to communicate, but this role should not be restricted to communicating and educating within the environs of a particular school; as schools, we need to speak out, more …

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Protecting our young people from alcohol-related violence

It can often be tempting for schools to focus inwards – on the timetable, on academic examinations, and on practicalities associated with making sure that our students are well-organised and have everything lined up for them to take the next steps in their educational career. Good and great schools, of course, recognise that their responsibilities …

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What Every Parent Should Know About School: Book Review

The author of this new book, Michael Reist, has spent his working life in education – in schools for 30 years and then, for the last 10 years, in tutoring children one-to-one. There is no doubt that he is passionate about the subject of schools and their failings, and while the book reads in parts …

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Why it is important to want to be different

It is a tradition at Ascham that in the run-up to Easter the youngest children make hats out of newspaper, decorate them themselves, and then show off their creations to their parents in a ‘Grand Parade’. Teachers enter into the spirit of the occasion and create their own hats, as well as encouraging their charges …

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Stop telling girls untruths about Maths

Many international brows are beaten on a regular basis about why girls do not seem to choose to study Mathematics with the same enthusiasm or to the same level as boys, and the most recent manifestation of this was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald. A recent Australian study has shown that …

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Schools: places of amazing professional learning

Schools are at their essence about students – the student sits (or should sit) at the heart of all endeavour in the school; schools are there in order to educate students and to assist in guiding their personal development and growth. Schools were invented to ensure that young people were well-prepared to play a role …

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Why every school should have a school song

In our first senior school Assembly of term last week, the very first thing we did was to sing the school song. This song refers to the history of Ascham (which was named after the tutor to the great Queen Elizabeth I, Roger Ascham), and then continues with these words: With heart and soul we …

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