In January 2017, the UK government outlined its latest plan to tackle childhood obesity. The initiative places importance on children getting active and having more time and quality facilities to participate in sport, with the money from the sugar drinks levy invested into children’s participation in sports. Sport plays a vital role in so many aspects of our formative years, not the least their chances of being fit and healthy.
The benefits of physical exercise on academic learning have long been documented, yet three years after Public Health England issued a report detailing the positive link between pupil health and wellbeing and academic attainment, young people’s participation rate in physical exercise is still falling.
Haverstock School in Camden was re-built by Kajima in 2004. This was done with a central focus, by the local authority, to make the school a true community institution; operating as an integral part of the local area and fostering a sense of community cohesion. In the 13 years of close collaboration since, the school’s community access has been managed by Kajima Community. The results have been spectacular...
The UK forest schools programme is rapidly gaining momentum, and is fast becoming an increasingly popular and recognised method of teaching outdoor learning skills. However, as these designated sites can sometimes be somewhat remote from the main school building, there is usually a need to provide for some sort of an outdoor shelter or outdoor classroom facility for the children to both seek refuge from the elements and to be taught in. And as forest schools education is practised all year round, this building has to be used in all seasons - ideally with some sort of basic electricity, lighting and heating provision.
Every teacher surely thinks of Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, in Dead Poets’ Society, who said, “There’s a time for daring, and a time for caution, and a wise man understands which is called for”, who then dreams of standing up on the desk and generally being truly inspirational in an effortless, lesson-plan-thrown-out-the-window kind of way (or is it just me?). That sort of maverick behaviour is perhaps possible when it’s the last few weeks of the summer term, or when the government inspection has just finished and nobody is looking to observe anything beyond the speed limit on the driveway out of school. But surely the rest of the time is ‘a time for caution’, right?
Can PE and Maths be mixed to achieve first rate teaching and learning? Surrey headteacher Steve Tindall has implemented the Maths of the Day programme throughout his whole school, to the benefit of teachers, support staff and pupils alike.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that teachers are under pressure to produce value-added results, follow an ever-changing curriculum and teach to inspection standards with limited amounts of planning and preparation time. With multiple lessons planned for the week, short-term, mid-term and long-term it is easy to fall into the same pattern of activities: the worksheets, the interactive whiteboard presentation that isn’t always interactive, and the card sort that is creased from its annual usage at the same stage in the trusty scheme of work. And let’s not mention the marking. The 10 mugs of coffee a day is a habit that’s hard to kick.
The Premier League has launched a poetry competition for children aged five to 11. Backed by names from the worlds of football and literature, Premier League Writing Stars open to all Primary schools in England and Wales, and aims to get young people writing poetry in different creative forms.