Workspace, Learnspace, Brainspace

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I’ve just been watching Channel 4’s The Secret Life of Buildings. The presenter’s an acquired taste but there are some fascinating bits to it. The main take-aways for me are : buildings and spaces actually change the way the human brain works. (more complex, interactive spaces make for more engaged brains. Fred Gage’s research on this is stunning.) too much … Read More

Co-operative schools

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Almost unnoticed, Co-ops are thought to have increased in number so they now make up the third largest association of schools in England, after those run by the Church of England and by the Roman Catholic church. They easily outstrip more publicised groups such as Ark Schools or the Harris academy chain. via guardian.co.uk . Bit stunned by this, and … Read More

Mixed ability: academically & socially better

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Academic Jo Boaler followed two groups of young adolescents in the mid-90s, one separated into rigid ability groups, the other taught in mixed-ability groupings. Not only did the mixed-ability students outperform those who had been put into separate groups in national examinations, but when Boaler tracked down a representative sample from both schools, she found the mixed-ability group had achieved … Read More

How to listen better

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Worth a watch. Almost wish TED could rebrand itself so I don’t feel I’m always watching TED. The 5 steps are: Silence. 3 minutes a day helps recalibrate your ears The Mixer. See how many channels of sound you can hear. Savouring. Enjoy mundane sounds, e.g. tumble dryer. Listening Positions. Move to different positions to affect filters to your listening … Read More

It is Sir Ken not Saint Ken

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Will Orr-Ewing has a thoughtful post here, and it says a lot of things that needed to be said. Very much worth a read. [Update: George Haines has more to say on Sir Ken and the Kool Aid problem – thanks @surreallyno]

Sex and Relationships Education in School

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Ahem. I’d be lying if I said part of me doesn’t cringe at having to do this. At the same time, there is a far greater part of me that thinks the Dutch approach is infinitely healthier than going bright red at the mention of the word “nipple”. [see e.g. here and here for comparisons] Anyway, I do believe Sex … Read More

“Not another gym”

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Geelong Grammar School is Australia’s largest co-educational boarding school, It is over 150 years old, and full of tradition. I’d never heard of it until recently. Its mission statement (as found on its website) is not a million miles away from any of the school mission statements you find here in England: Geelong Grammar School offers an exceptional Australian education … Read More

Blending virtual and physical schools

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Virtual education should not be “the end of school.” Rather, it is one great opportunity to re-imagine school. Please, don’t make your alternative to the boring classroom a bunch of kids sitting home alone. SpeEdChange has written a wonderful, thought-provoking post on how schools could cope with “the future”. I think it’s spot on to try to keep the physical … Read More

Penn Resiliency Program

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OK. This is frustrating. The Penn resiliency Program looks like something I’d like to try at school, but I can’t find any people who offer courses for staff and schools. There seem to have been some pilots in the UK. The Young Foundation has a good writeup of the Government’s trail version of the scheme (“The UK Resilience Programme”). The … Read More

Mixing up lessons for boys

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Mr Levin added: “At City of London, we are conscious that boys learn differently so we have been looking very closely at the way in which lessons are conducted. “For instance, we advise our teachers at City to vary what happens in class as much as possible and ensure boys are not just cocooned with a book. “We want to … Read More