Schools and parents working together in education

Schools like to see parents and carers taking an interest in what the pupil is learning about at school and encourage them to continue this at home. This may be as simple as asking your child what they have been doing that day and trying to integrate part of it into their home life. For example if they have been learning their two times table, then you may make a game when it comes to dinner time where you ask them a times table question and they have to count out the correct number of peas on their plate to give you then answer.
Reading is a very important skill for a child to grasp. Being able to read will not only help them understand books but can also improve their spellings, imagination and manage their feelings. You should try and listen to your child read at least every other day, even if it is just the ingredients on the back of a packet of the information on a poster.
Working closely with the school will help the child learn new tasks quicker and give them continuity. If your child is struggling with a particular subject at school, then you could ask the teacher if there is anything you can do at home to help.

Are you thinking of giving up teaching?

Teaching can be a very rewarding job but it is also often highly stressful and demanding. There may come a time when you feel that you no longer want to be a teacher but still would like to work in education. One option you have is to be a teaching assistant. Teaching assistants often have less responsibility such as marking and lesson planning but may still get to work with a small group of children teaching them a topic or even covering the class teacher when he / she is out on other duties.

Stepping down from teaching and going in to a teaching assistant role can be quite hard for some people as it may feel like you are taking a step backwards. You will not have as much say as what goes on in the classroom and will have to do what the teacher asks you to.

The other option you have is to become a supply teacher. You can pick your own days and may decide that working a few days a week is enough to help you financially, as often you get paid more per day for supply work, but still gives you that much needed break from full time teaching.

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.

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.