All posts tagged: education

Education news: Playing Out

Nicola Price, teacher in charge of Forest School at Alleyn’s Junior School, talks about the benefits of unstructured play outdoors. As a child of the 70s I had the experience of ‘playing out’ with a group of neighbouring children. We spent days exploring, building, and experimenting – always working together and keeping an eye out for the younger ones. We made ramps for bike jumping, a proper raft to fish from, and climbed trees to imitate birds and experience a bird’s eye view. We would often be out all day without interruption or adult direction, only stopping for lunch. These days children can miss out on the benefits of active learning in the environment; time spent listening, looking closely, thinking, imagining, problem-solving, risk-taking, team work and perseverance. Forest School is doing much to bridge this gap for children, offering them time for child-led activities in the natural environment. Your children might have a Forest School session at their school or nursery but do not despair if they don’t. You can foster the resilient, confident, independent …

Ben Jones, Director of Science at Alleyn’s, tells us how to introduce our children to astronomy

Stephen Hawking once said that ‘to confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit,’ and all must agree that there is little more mind-bogglingly wonderful than thinking about the scale, structure and order of the universe. So what better way of exciting our children about Science – and indeed perhaps even what it means to be human – than by introducing them to Astronomy? Here are some ideas on how we can encourage and feed curiosity: Birthday stars When we look into space we are looking back in time. While light travels very fast, given the scale of the universe, it can take many years for light to travel from stars to us. This means that there are stars that emitted the light we see today, in the year we were born! Use this site to find such a star Toilet paper solar system Even our modest solar system is huge with a scale that is difficult to imagine. And this is where toilet paper comes in. Using several rolls …

Education news: Yoga for children

Sarah Thomas, Junior School teacher at Alleyn’s, and qualified Hatha yoga practitioner, on the benefits of Hatha Yoga for children and adolescents. As the inimitable ‘Mr Magorium’ in the film bearing the same name, Dustin Hoffmann says: “Your life is an occasion – rise to it!” In other words, live life well and as fully as possible. In order to ‘rise to the occasion’ however we need to be physically, mentally and emotionally well so we have the resilience to deal with all that life throws at us. Childhood Stress It is well-documented that our busy lives leave us stressed and children too are party to this. Busy home lives, school lives, homework deadlines, and revising for exams all contribute. Add the intrusion of social media, peer pressure and messages from society as a whole into the mix, and children can be bombarded from all sides at a vulnerable stage in their lives. How Can Yoga Help? As a ‘mindful’ practice, Yoga belongs in the ‘wellbeing toolkit’, providing practical exercises to strengthen the body, calm …

Education news: Establishing Positive Habits

It is the right time of year for you and your children to establish positive habits, says Simon Severino, Headmaster at Alleyn’s Junior School. September has come around again; the nights will begin to draw in, and the cycle of the school year begins afresh. Whether your child is new to school or moving up through the age groups (Year 5 already – how did that happen?), now is the perfect time to consider how to introduce or refine positive habits before the daily schedule glides into autopilot. A relaxed start is a positive start A consistent routine is a great help, and preparation is key. Activities such as packing school bags the evening before can help the morning run smoothly. Ensuring your child arrives on time to school, without rushing, provides a relaxed start that can have a very positive knock-on impact for the rest of the day. Establish a precedent for homework Encourage your children to write down their homework as accurately as possible, and do check their homework/contact books every day. Keeping …

Education News: Exciting Science

Ben Jones, Director of Science at Alleyn’s, on how to use the Scientific Method to encourage and feed children’s curiosity. It has become a mantra within the Alleyn’s science department that our aim is to encourage and to feed curiosity. But what makes our job as science teachers so enjoyable is that children are born curious. It stands to reason, therefore, that exciting children about science at home should be simple. Give your child a slinky spring and that should keep them occupied for the day and lead them to a complete understanding of the cosmos! Or not. A starting point when considering how to excite our children in science may well be to refer to the birth of modern science itself, and the development of the scientific method. So, in the style of Francis Bacon, here are some top tips: Encourage questions The scientific method starts when you ask a question about something that you observe, so listen to your child’s questions about the world around them and encourage them to ask more. Encourage …