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.
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.
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.
Many parents have recently been informed of what school their child has been offered a place at. The school is normally selected for the child based on a number of factors such as preference order from parents if they have other siblings at the school and distance the school is from the child’s home. If too many people apply for a position at the same school then the council will often have to give preference to the children who have more of a need to be at that school and the other children will usually be offered a place at their 2nd or 3rd choice.
If your child has not been offered a place at your first choice of schools then you may feel worried as often parents haven’t had time to look at other places. There is still time to book a visit and look up at Ofsted reports/league tables etc before you accept the place.
If you are not happy with the choice of school that you have been offered then you will need to speak to the council to see what other schools are available to you.
As a teacher you will be aware of how much you can influence a child’s education. You may feel that you are confident in teaching the subjects on the syllabus but may need to also check that you are teaching them important life skills as well as academic ones.
Punctuality is something that is important all through life and especially when you go on to have a job. If you cannot make it in to work on time on a regular basis then you may find yourself very quickly on a warning or if you are late for an interview, may not even get the chance to show off your skills. This can be taught from an early age, ensuring that children understand how important it is to be on time and to allow enough preparation time if needed.
Another life lesson that can be taught at school is about being smart and tidy. Again this can have a big impact on your life going forward as you may end if in a job where you are expected to wear a uniform or dress in a smart manner such as in an office. Although these things may not seem a big deal, they are important skills that children can be taught early on to help them throughout their adult life.