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Updated: 16 hours 55 min ago

Head in English teaching storm says pupils will be taught differently

Sun, 30/03/2014 - 01:13
With 300 pupils speaking 50 languages at City of Leeds school, Georgiana Sale says teaching English as a foreign language is simply a pragmatic solution

Wog lover, Paki lover. Georgiana Sale, the headteacher at City of Leeds School, has been called them all. Ever since it was reported, wrongly, that her school was to give all its pupils English as a foreign language (Tefl) lessons, her phone has been ringing off the hook.

"People are saying that I should be sacked for spending British taxpayers' money on educating foreigners," she says in a bluff, northern voice. "Somebody said to me: 'Why don't you just send the foreign children away?' As if I have any choice. These children are like family. You can't choose them."

Categories: Education news feeds

Concern as big business goes into the classroom to tackle recruitment crisis

Sun, 30/03/2014 - 01:13
Since the coalition axed the Connexions careers advice service, big firms such as BAE Systems have stepped in to encourage children to take up engineering and science jobs

The chatter is rising as more than 100 girls wait for the show to begin. The 11- and 12-year-old pupils of St Marylebone CE School for girls in London are about to get a rather unusual physics lesson. Rather than dry diagrams on a whiteboard and dog-eared handouts, the pupils of this state school watch a stage show that blends smart situation comedy with references to Olympic skeleton champion Amy Williams, Alton Towers and a guest appearance generating many aahs from Dancing on Ice star Laura Hamilton.

But in between, a trio of engineers smuggle in Newton's third law of motion, Archimedes's Eureka moment and fluid dynamics. The hall is electrified. Hands shoot up. "Me, me, me," bounces off the walls, as almost every girl vies to be the next to experience centrifugal force.

Categories: Education news feeds

Ofsted chief to deliver 'must do better' warning to nurseries

Sat, 29/03/2014 - 22:54
Sir Michael Wilshaw to demand that early years providers prove they are preparing under-fives for academic rigours of school

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the chief inspector of education, will this week warn childminders and nurseries that they will need to show more evidence to parents that they are preparing young children for the academic rigours of school.

He will insist that parents be given proof of progress in key areas, and is also expected to usher in new standards for providers of early years education. A source close to Ofsted said Wilshaw believed that there were "serious weaknesses in the information provided to parents, meaning it is difficult to hold providers of early education to account".

Categories: Education news feeds

A lesson in Russian politics via Skype

Sat, 29/03/2014 - 10:03
In her second Skype lesson learning Russian, Anna Parkin learns more about her tutor's political persuasions than vocab

More on the Guardian's online language learning challenge
How Anna is attempting to learn Russian through Skype

My first Skype class learning Russian had me discussing sandwiches, so by lesson two my appetite was whet for talk of cream cakes or maybe a fresh fruit salad. But my conversation with Olga has switched from finger food to the revolution.

Despite the latter being of particular relevance at the moment, it's merely coincidental that it comes up in class Olga begins our lesson by giving me an English word and making me guess how to translate it into Russian.

Categories: Education news feeds

Almost £1bn in grants and taxpayer-backed loans to go to private colleges

Fri, 28/03/2014 - 14:08
Government reveals 2,100% increase in sums funding private college students after policy was liberalised

Grants and taxpayer-backed student loans going to fund higher education at a handful of private colleges will balloon to £900m next year, the government has revealed.

Categories: Education news feeds

Should sixth-form students do an extended project qualification?

Fri, 28/03/2014 - 12:26
An EPQ can help your university application, but don't do it just because you can't think of anything else to do

I'm in year 13 and I recently completed and submitted my extended project qualification (EPQ). I studied conspiracy theories about the moon landings and gained skills like time management and critical thinking. But I'm not convinced that an EPQ was the best use of my time.

The EPQ is a self-motivated project that carries the same Ucas points as an AS level, and is increasingly popular with students over 30,000 did it in 2013. There are several types of EPQ: you can write a research-based report, put on an event like a fashion show or charity fundraiser, or make something like a piece of art or a game.

Categories: Education news feeds

The role of schools in building community links through languages

Fri, 28/03/2014 - 08:01
Schools play a key role in the community, but the devolution of budgets has put funding for specialist language services at risk

London has a proud tradition of embracing its many different cultures and languages. Within neighbourhoods, schools often fulfil the role of "community hubs", engaging families across cultures, supporting newly-arrived families and those with English as an additional language to overcome barriers, and encourage their children to achieve and contribute their skills and talents.

Until recently, this important role was supported via local authorities in the form of the ethnic minority achievement grant, which funded a range of interventions aimed at narrowing achievement gaps amongst ethnic minority and pupils who speak English as an additional language. However, with the devolution of budgets to schools, funding for specialist, extended services and family learning is no longer ring-fenced, and it is very much up to each individual school how much of a "community hub" they wish to be.

Categories: Education news feeds

White students get better degrees than minority peers with same entry grades

Fri, 28/03/2014 - 01:05
Research raises concerns that English universities are failing to adequately support black and Asian undergraduates

White university students at English universities receive significantly higher degree grades than their peers from minority ethnic backgrounds with the same entry qualifications, research from the Higher Education Funding Council for England has revealed.

The report found that 72% of white students who have grades BBB at A-level went on to gain a first or upper second-class degree, compared with only 56% of Asian students and 53% of black students. The figures from the most comprehensive study of its kind raise concerns that universities in England are failing to support black and Asian undergraduates during their student career, despite improved efforts to recruit them.

Categories: Education news feeds

Schools will be allowed to test four-year-olds from 2016, government confirms

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 17:25
Tests for children in reception are designed to give baseline measure of abilities upon entering formal education

The government has confirmed it is to introduce a new type of test for four- and five-year-olds at the start of their school career in England but will allow an elite group of primary schools to opt out of the tests if they are confident of meeting tougher targets in later years.

Categories: Education news feeds

Enduring homophobic bullying at school led me to teach

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 15:43
Primary school deputy headteacher Shaun Dellenty took years to recover from being bullied as a gay teenager, but the experience inspired him to promote inclusion

Shaun Dellenty is deputy headtecher at Alfred Salter primary school in Rotherhithe, London. In 2010, he launched the Inclusion for All initiative to tackle homophobic bullying in his school and now hosts in-house training days for external teachers and leaders to learn how to implement similar schemes in their schools. You can follow him on Twitter @ShaunDellenty.

Categories: Education news feeds

Car crash German: will I be able to get by in Berlin?

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 13:35
As the impending Berlin trip looms, Anna Codrea-Rado is starting to panic that her German isn't up to scratch

In the very last driving lesson just before my test, I made a couple of monumental errors. They were so bad (might have involved trying to go round a fellow learner who was reversing around a corner), my driving instructor made me pull over and severely reprimanded me by the side of the road. I panicked. Maybe I wasn't ready for the test after all. I hadn't actually driven for that long; what if I failed? My world was going to end in an implosion of embarrassment.

When it came to the test day, I passed. My instructor later told me that there was no doubt in his mind that I would I was definitely ready but I just had a case of the pre-test jitters. He told me that he had given me such a royal telling-off (something he'd never done before) because he was worried I'd let the nerves take hold and that I needed reminding that I could do the test I just needed to approach it like it was an ordinary lesson and not let it get the better of me.

Categories: Education news feeds

Students in North Korea reportedly required to get a Kim Jong-un haircut

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 12:41
Reports suggest that male students in North Korea are now required to wear their hair like their leader but is this true?

Male students in North Korea are required to get the same haircut as their leader Kim Jong-un, according to reports from Radio Free Asia and the Korea Times.

The papers report the leader's shaved undercut and floppy curtains style was introduced as the sole hairstyle choice for male students in the capital Pyongyang about two weeks ago. The state-sanctioned guideline is now being rolled out across the country.

Categories: Education news feeds

NUT leader warns of further action after day of teachers' strikes

Thu, 27/03/2014 - 10:00
Christine Blower calls on schools minister to persuade education secretary Michael Gove to take part in negotiations

The general secretary of the National Union of Teachers warned of further industrial action later this year if progress was not made in negotiations with the government, after a day of strikes saw thousands of state schools closed or disrupted in England and Wales.

Christine Blower, the NUT general secretary, said the strike was "a clear demonstration that teachers are thoroughly tired of the intolerable pressures they are being put under by the coalition government.

Categories: Education news feeds