Homework is often a hot topic of discussion in schools. Many parents feel that their children are given homework far too early or that they are given too much homework. As a child progresses through their school life, the homework tends to increase in volume and frequency so it may be better to get them used to it from an earlier age. When children first start reception there is a lot to take in. It may be the first educational setting that they have been to and therefore giving them homework immediately may be too much. After the first few terms children often see ready to be doing extra work at home and some even look forward to it. In reception, home (if given) is usually quite light hearted and fun and often involves a lot of parent interaction.
Examples of home work for a reception child may be to find letters or numbers around their home and photograph them or to write a letter to Father Christmas. Helping your child with these tasks are important but never do their homework for them without their input as this will not offer them any value and can also not help in teaching them responsibility.
It is well known that teachers are being given more and more work to do and very little time to do it. Not only is a teacher expected to teach his or her class but also to plan and mark work along with organise trips, parents evenings and attend training course etc.
This can put a lot of stress on a teacher and without the appropriate support can often mean that many people leave the profession due to stress.
Often meetings over running, run ins in the corridor or parents who want to chat at the end of the day can delay you and mean you end up staying later at work. This can have a knock on effect on your whole evening and mean you may find that you are having to stay up late to complete work you wanted to get done earlier. If this is the case, write down what is holding you up and try and find ways to combat it such as planning a day a week where parents are welcome to come and talk to you or asking them to book a time slot in advance.
With the school year about to come to an end, it is the right time to evaluate your teaching practices and make some new school year resolutions. You may be having a whole new class and this is the perfect time to analyse what happened the previous year and take from it the good and the bad.
If you found that there was a particularly way you taught a topic that worked well then you will want to make sure that you use this again. If there was something that you did that didn’t work well you may need to rethink about how you teach it and try alternative ideas. Ideally every week you should go back through your weekly plan and highlight lessons that worked well. You can then carry these lessons forward to the next year which will also save you time when it comes to planning.
We recently carried out some research to find out which unis are amongst those that are the hardest to get in to when applying for a position. The university league table for entries for 2017 show that Cambridge uni and Oxford uni are the two hardest uni’s to get in to in the UK, this will probably come as no surprise, but then following on from these two Imperial College in London, Durham and St Andrews also make it in to the top 5. Cambridge uni was given an overall score of 1000 out of 1000 when looking at factors such as student satisfaction, employment opportunities following the course and research quality.
Oxford closely followed with 998 – only 2 points behind with the other three following a little further back between 927 and 938 overall.
When deciding on what uni to go to, you should take all of this in consideration but also the particular course you want to study and the reviews and ratings that it has been given by students who have already completed the course.
When deciding on what school to send your child or children too, analysing an Ofsted report will give you an insight in to how the school is performing in the eyes of the Department of Education. Schools that have been previously rated as Good by an Ofsted inspection will be rechecked within three years. There is often little notice to a school of an Ofsted inspection so that the inspector can get a real view of how the school is ran and how it is performing.
For a parent, an Ofsted can be a great insight in to a school and I would strongly recommend that all parents read these reports when they are issued if your child already attends or if you are thinking of enrolling them. Ofsted reports give an overview of the schools performance in different areas such as achievement of pupils, quality of teaching, behaviour and safety of pupils and leadership and management. These levels are then combined to give an overall achievement level.