Planning an assembly

If you are a teacher in a primary school then the chances are you will have to plan class assemblies from time to time. Trying to coordinate an assembly can be quite stressful and the key is to give yourself plenty of time. Firstly you need to work out what you will be focusing on in the assembly. It may be that the children have been doing work on a topic that you want to talk about or their experience on a recent school trip from example.

Have a look online for ideas that you may be able to use and materials that may be useful. Once you have an idea start to think which children will have which role. It is best to give the most confident children the roles that involve a lot of interaction or speaking but be sure to give everyone the chance to say something. It is often nice to get the children to whole up a piece of work they have completed or read it out if it is a poem for example.

For younger children, often including a song can make it fun and enjoyable and will help the children who find it hard to stand up in front of others, have more confidence.

Even holidays don’t make up for teachers long hours

Many teachers are often told how lucky they are to have the school holidays off and that they only work “part-time”. This can frustrate many people in the teaching profession and for good reason too. The TES has recently stated that even with allowing for all the school holidays, on average teachers work longer hours than people in many other professions. Although they may actually only teach from nine till three (or thereabouts) their day often starts around 8.15am and usually they do not go home until around 5 pm. Even when they are home and during the weekend’s teachers have to find time to do marking and planning which can often take up a few evenings a week.

On top of the day to day tasks they have to do, there will be a time when they need to participate in extra work such as meetings, out of school hours’ trips and parents evenings/report writing. Often teachers are only given one morning a week to fit all this in and it is virtually impossible to get it all done in that time.

During the school holiday’s teachers will often go back into school to sort out their classroom or for teacher training as well as planning at home.

 

Does music make a difference to learning?

In the age of austerity, most educational systems have seen dramatic cuts to arts schooling, with music amongst the areas worst affected owing to the high equipment costs. Arts are often seen as non-essential, a ‘nice-to-have’; something that is done more for recreation than for economic productivity, but increasingly many are asking ‘are we missing the point’?

Speak to any musician and they will tell you that not only is music a language, but it is also mathematics and physics in application – and they’re right. There is now clear evidence that learning a second language boosts an individual’s learning capacity and is linked with higher intelligence. More recent studies have begun to show that the brain does indeed see music as a language, and thus learning an instrument can deploy many of the same mental benefits.

Less studied is the benefit that this can have on understanding of mathematics and physics, but when you consider that music is noted in fractional time signatures and transposition is based on numerical intervals, it’s easy to see where there are links that can aid learning. As for the physical element – the production of a note serves as a perfect living example of waveforms and frequency in action.

What to do with your A-Level results

The day is fast approaching when thousands of students will receive their A-Level results. This year, the results will be released on the 16th of August but many students may not actually know what they need to do with them once they have them.

The results can be collected from 6 am but you need to check with your school or college to find out what time they are opening. UCAS are automatically notified of your results but this isn’t usually until around 8 am. Once they have the results you can then start to log in and view any offers you have had from universities etc. The system is usually very busy and so you may have to be patient to go to the site and see what is happening.

If you have not received the offers you wanted, you can go through what’s called “clearing” this doesn’t happen until about 3 pm but you may contact the university prior to this by phone.

If you have not received the grades you wanted and needed, do not panic. You can try and contact the university and ask them if they would accept you on the course with the grades you have (this is often only successful if you missed the grade by a few marks, and even then there are no guarantees) or go through clearing to find another university course.

 

 

Preparing your child for starting school

Starting school can be an exciting and nervous time for both children and parents. But with a little preparation and encouragement, most children will settle in easily at school.

Some parents worry if their child should be able to read or write before they start school but children start school at all different abilities and it is important for parents to spend those first few years prior to school playing games, singing songs and having fun with their child, building up their confidence and teaching them about relationships.

It is important to talk to your child before they start school. Ask them what they think it will be like, what they are most excited about and also find out if they have any worries.

Most schools offer the opportunity for you and your child to go in for a visit. This will allow the child to have a look around the setting and familiarise themselves with it, meaning that the first day won’t be so daunting.

If you have any photos of you or family members starting school, then show these to your child and talk to them about fond memories you had. If you did not enjoy school, try not to pass your worries on to your child.