Features and opinion for independent school parents

Latest Features

demystifying-finance-in-the-classroom

Demystifying finance in the classroom

5 min read Financial illiteracy is a problem for many adults. Ensuring pupils leave school confident in managing a budget, investments and pensions is crucial for the years ahead as Fionnuala Kennedy, Head of Wimbledon High School GDST, explains.

the-reform-of-assessment

The reform of assessment

5 min read HMC asked 800 educators for their views on both the current curriculum and models of assessment. Dr Simon Hyde, General Secretary of HMC, looks at the findings of this survey and why the majority of respondents want to see reform happen urgently.

wheredoesitallgowrong

Where does it all go wrong?

5 min read Are schools doing enough to promote diversity, tolerance and equality? Jason Whiskerd, Headmaster of Brentwood Preparatory School, explores what is being done to make sure the lessons learnt in school last a lifetime.

trust-and-you-will-find

Trust and you will find

5 min read The past year has seen the rise of The Three Marketeers: Covid, Consultancies and Conundrums. Tim Hands, Headmaster of Winchester, reflects on choosing schools in the new normal.

Parenting

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Choosing schools in a virtual world

7 min read Open Days are a key part of the admissions process for independent schools but the pandemic makes this impossible. Olivera Raraty of Malvern St James Girls’ School explores how the virtual admissions process has adapted in the pandemic.

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Making more time

5 min read Modern family life means that quality time together can often end-up squeezed. Samantha Sawyer of Staines Preparatory School argues the ‘new normal’ is the right time to look again and try to make more time for family.

lessons-in-perseverance

Lessons in perseverance

Perseverance is a critical life skill which is best learnt outside of the classroom suggests Charles Fillingham of Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park. And, ironically, these self-taught lessons can sometimes be some of the most valuable of all.

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Trampoline parenting

Clemmie Stewart and Rebecca Glover of Surbiton High School outline their concept of ‘trampoline parenting’ – where children are allowed the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from these, whilst being supported by their parents when they fail.

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Preparing to return

The new school term will be a uniquely anxious time for children, parents and staff. Sarah Segrave of Eaton House The Manor Prep offers ten suggestions to help ease the return to school.

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Hitting the ground running

Transitions test us and the challenge of starting at a new school should never be underestimated. Tim Hands offers some advice on how to get secondary schooling off to the best possible start.

Curriculum

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Moving the classroom outside

5 min read It's time to rethink our classroom environments, argues Matthew Bryan of Longacre. The skills identified for the future – problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and coordinating with others – are best developed outdoors.

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Learning about our brains

An understanding of how our brains function reveals the need to approach learning in the right way. James Barnes of the PSB explains why strong 'executive function skills' can make all the difference.

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Don't overlook the library

Children have vivid imaginations and there is nothing like reading and becoming aware of other people, worlds and circumstances. Vivienne Durham explains why the school library should be at the heart of every good school.

therisksoftutoring

The risks of tutoring

There is a significant risk attached to tutoring which any parent considering the options would be wise to remember. Christopher King looks at the pros and cons of employing a tutor for your child.

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The super-curriculum

As pupils progress, the tendency to specialise should always be balanced with ensuring breadth of study. James Priory, Headmaster of Tonbridge, examines how 'super-curriculums' can help.

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Going beyond exams

We live in challenging times which have inevitably had an impact on education. No longer is examination success the passport to a successful and fulfilling life – it's more complex than that, as James Barnes explains.

Politics

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Oxbridge blues?

The landscape of Oxbridge admissions is changing but what does this mean for pupils applying to colleges from independent schools? James Dahl of Wellington College looks at the background.

thevalueofpartnerships

The value of partnerships

Independent schools are doing increasing amounts to support the state sector but, as Christopher King explains, it is often pupils who are the biggest beneficiaries of partnerships, rather than schools.

thevalueofmoney

The value of money

Society is becoming ever more polarised and parents can find themselves criticised for choosing a private school for their child. Matthew Smith looks at why independent education is seen as buying 'privilege'.

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Views from Edinburgh

Ten Edinburgh independent schools commissioned a report showing the contribution they make to the local economy. John Edward, Director of SCIS, discusses the findings.

mindthefundinggap

Mind the funding gap

For most parents, teachers' pensions are unlikely to be something to which you would have given much thought. Julie Robinson looks at the significant issue of the teacher pensions shortfall and its impact on schools.

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Strength in numbers

Parents who have opted for an independent school have no doubt found themselves challenged to justify the decision in an awkward social situation. Julie Robinson highlights the findings of a report on the value of independent schools.

Thinking

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Rethinking the school gate

The drastic changes needed for socially-distanced pick up and drop off has had unintended positive consequences, explains Susan McLean of Kitebrook Preparatory School. Is it time to rethink the school gate permanently?

rethinking-education

Rethinking education

Our education system is skewed too much towards assessment. John Attwater of King's Ely outlines how it could shift to place a far greater emphasis on equipping pupils with the right skills for the future.

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Women are not small men

Gendered stereotyping is all around us and its impact is far from benign, explains Jane Gandee of St Swithun's. From an early age, it can affect the choices our children make and their future careers.

thetrulybeautifulgame

The truly beautiful game

The traditional image of chess is wrong says Richard Cairns, Head Master of Brighton College. Chess offers pupils an opportunity to grow in confidence and learn new skills.

goodfuturecitizens

Good future citizens

All schools have rules. Sometimes it seems that the older the school, the more rules it is likely to have accumulated. Tim Hands examines the ethos and wisdom underlying the rules at prep schools.

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A voice in society

Pupils have long sought to express their views through a school council but as Sue Hincks, Head of Bolton School Girls' Division discovers, the debates today are firmly focussed on big global issues.