School and Education

A Level Results 2020 – Next Steps

Students celebrate getting A Level predicted grades

From the moment 2020 exams were cancelled due to Covid 19 I’ve worried about year 11 and year 13 kids. I’m SO relieved that neither of my children have been affected, but the rug has been pulled out from under these teenagers’ feet so many times that I’m surprised any of them still have the energy to get up, never mind to move forward with their lives. But they must, and every new development in the A Level saga brings new processes to navigate, and new decisions to make. I’ve been chatting with Jemma from The Education Hotel, who is …

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School Shoes that Cope well with Playground Antics

I am rocking at parenting today. Today, I sorted out my son’s school shoes for next year. And they look tough enough to withstand 9 months of kicking around the playground as top dog in year 6. Provided he doesn’t grow in the next 9 weeks. School shoes that can handle the worst school run I’m actually thinking of putting a complaint in to his headteacher. In five years, he has never had to wear school shoes. He’s had to own them, but he’s never actually had to wear them. They’ve had this indoor:outdoor shoe policy, whereby they change from their outdoor …

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What’s all the Fuss about 13 Reasons Why?

Everyone is talking about 13 Reasons Why. Have you seen it? Have you deliberately avoided it, not wanting to go to that place where your child is 17 and no longer tells you anything? Has your 12 year old seen it? Did you ban her from watching it? 13 Reasons Why – the take-home message for parents If you don’t know what I’m talking about here, chances are you don’t have a child somewhere between the ages of 11 and 18. 13 Reasons is the Netflix drama about a girl who commits suicide, and the 13 tapes she records to …

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Minecraft or Minefield? Essential Help with Parental Controls

Parental Controls – Simplified It’s a nightmare, isn’t it? Knowing what your kids are doing online, and more importantly, knowing that they’re safe. Our children have grown up intuitively knowing how to operate devices, seeing them as sources of fun, interaction with friends, and even – as they get older – educational tools. They’re not scared of them, they’re not nonplussed by technology, and so it stands to reason that they’re not worried about living their lives online. But for parents – many of whom have had to learn alongside their children, and with media horror stories in mind – …

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How not to Worry about School

Starting school. Changing school. Changing classes. Applying for school. Starting secondary school. Starting to twitch yet? As parents, the process of getting your child through the education system can seem daunting, and that’s before you even start thinking about all the different stages. Will they make friends? Will their teacher be good? Will they be bullied? Will they get homework, and how much? What on earth are SATs and why is everyone so stressed about them? And don’t even get me started on the secondary school transfer process! Before our eldest started school, we were fortunate enough to be surrounded …

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5 Decades of School with M&S

I’m buying school uniform. I’m in Monkhouses, the shop I only visit once a year, to queue, and queue, and queue – or so it feels, to a ten-year-old desperate to cling on to the last days of summer. The shop feels vast, though I know it must be ordinary, in its ordinary precinct location. It smells of newness, and stiff, shiny leather shoes. It fills me with apprehension for next week. When I ‘left’ school in 1983, this was the motley take on our uniform. As long as it was some kind of brown, with some shade of cream, it passed. …

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Back to School: 5 School Uniform Mistakes, and how to avoid them

Making sure you get the right school bag is an essential part of uniform shopping

This is how the Bug looks today. It’s hot, they have a non-uniform day, and a water fight on the field, so he’s in his coolest new t-shirt. I love this final week of the summer term, with teachers finishing off admin while kids let off steam and have fun after all the hard work. But nonetheless, mean mother that I am, I made him put on his brand new winter uniform trousers and shoes, just so I could show our readers, and get you thinking about adding school uniform to your summer to-do list. You’re welcome. Common School Uniform …

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Affordable First Laptop for Kids

GG is off to secondary school. It feels like yesterday that I photographed my 4 year old in her first school dress, book bag clutched to her tummy, precious despite its emptiness. And now she is leaving. Now she wears mirror sunglasses and lip gloss, listens to Meghan Trainor and likes to tie dye – because it’s a bit different. I have a nearly teen, and she knows more about some things than I do. She knows how to code, and how to spot a phishing attack, what to say to strangers, and where the best sales are. So she needs …

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Helping Kids to Make Healthy Friendships

Healthy Friendships

I’ll never forget the year my best friend send me to Coventry. There were six of us in our group, and I was completely oblivious of our status of ‘top dogs’ in the classroom, though I can see it now. We occupied the centre of the room, three double desks set together, making everyone else satellites to our clique around the edges. We’d been together right from the start, though Kaye and I were best friends. Both strong personalities, we probably vied for position, although conveniently, I remember her being the most confident. I’m the classic boiled egg – what …

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Safer Internet Day: Should children have social media accounts?

The average age of a cyber criminal is 17 One in ten 16-19 year olds know someone who has engaged in a criminal activity online A third would be impressed if a friend hacked a bank website and replaced the logo with a cartoon One in ten would be impressed if a friend hacked an air traffic control system. (Research findings from internet security software provider Kapersky Lab). I once had an argument with a secondary school teacher about children and social media. She was unequivocal: children of any age have no place in social media. It’s too dangerous, they’re …

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Teen Fiction: Possessed

Teen fiction - Possessed

Teen Fiction Rising out of bed, as if in a trance, Poppy slowly staggered over to the door; slowly, but purposefully. Reaching out for the doorknob, she turned it and proceeded down the stairs. Not acknowledging the frantic shouts from her parents’ bedroom, she unlocked the front door and stepped outside into the frosty night. The darkness wrapped around her while she trudged down the icy pavement. Suddenly, her soot black eyes focused on a curved dagger resting against a wall. With her eyes sparkling with danger, she stretched out an arm to retrieve it, while the bitter winds swirled …

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School: The most stressful days of your life?

Does your school look after your child's emotional wellbeing?

 School stress image courtesy of Shutterstock. Does your school prioritise wellbeing and emotional health? On the school run I walk past two schools: the primary, where my children spend their days; and the local secondary school, which churns out hundreds of blazered adolescents attached to phones, bikes, and in some cases, to each other. Overall, these teenagers are pretty well-behaved; their headteacher often operates the pelican crossing, so they need be, at least until they’re over the road and round the corner. They will move aside for your buggy – if they see you. They will nod, and maybe even smile, if …

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School: Inspiring Teachers

  The power of inpsiring teachers I’m posting this image because I’m hugely self-indulgent. I’m indulging myself because this short piece of work came home with J this week as she signed off from Year 5, and I confess it caused a small tear. It caused a tear because though I’ve always known she was capable of good writing, it’s only this year that she has found within herself the motivation to actually prove it to herself. This was written by the girl who, aged 6, in Year 2, scribbled all over her work in frustration when asked to improve …

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Shoulda Woulda Could Of

How terrible grammar on social media makes it difficult to learn English

  If you’re anything like me, the title of this post makes your blood boil. It doesn’t? Read on… As my children get older, I am increasingly concerned about social media. Ah! my family (and that teacher I met once) exclaim. At last, she’s seen the light! All that grooming and online bullying, not to mention the the dangers of accidentally clicking on something no young eyes should ever see. Thank goodness. But it’s not that. I still firmly maintain that the earlier a child gains supervised access to social media, the more likely it is that he will learn …

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My kids made a computer! Kano review

Kano on screen

My children scare me. They are only ten and seven years old, and yet they baffle me on a daily basis. And I’m not just talking about their command of the French language, or their impressive grasp of binary arithmetic (who ever uses that beyond primary school anyway?)! No, these kids know how to code a computer. They tell me weekly about some new game they’ve made in their lessons, using Scratch, or a trick they learned to floor their opponents on a game they created. I confess it makes no sense to me, so I nod vacantly and pray that the …

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