Tag Archives: education

The ten second challenge goes viral

Over two decades of teaching I have practised the ten second challenge which gives pupils who commit occasional minor misdemeanours (such as forgetting a book) the opportunity to talk their way out of a punishment.  Rather than copying out lines, … Continue reading

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Can boring be good?

Many twenty-first century children live highly structured lives with their waking hours carefully allotted between improving activities.   Pre and post school care have effectively extended the school day, and many children move straight from school to evening clubs.  There is … Continue reading

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Talking tough on teacher standards

Rigour is a word that Michael Gove likes.  We are to have rigorous public exams, rigour in the teaching profession, a rigorous approach to school accountability, perhaps even the Department for Rigour. As Head of a leading independent school I … Continue reading

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Children should be seen and heard

Most of us of a certain generation had one… a formidable great aunt who believed that “children should be seen and not heard”.  My great aunt Mildred was a classic of the genre; she had a kind heart but it was … Continue reading

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Social mobility or rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic?

Two islands, two very different outlooks.  This summer I was in Singapore where virtually everyone I spoke with from taxi drivers to headteachers accepted the mantra that Singapore as a small island lacking natural resources depends on human endeavour for its … Continue reading

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Degree of success and the importance of Computer Science

As the cost of a university education rises, students want to know whether investing in a degree is worthwhile.  The answer is nearly always yes.  Irrespective of financial gains, a three or four year undergraduate course stimulates the mind, develops high … Continue reading

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Mixed ability classes are ‘a curse’ on bright pupils

So said the Daily Telegraph.  This is a fairly predictable headline for a right wing paper.  The ‘news’ in the story is that this is the view of Sir Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools who has a refreshingly no … Continue reading

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