All posts tagged: education

Education news: Sharp Thinking Skills

Matt Neil, teacher at Alleyn’s Junior School, tells us how to encourage sharp thinking skills in our children. How many uses are there for… a brick? I recently showed my form a picture of a house brick and asked them to think about different possible uses for it. The variety of responses was astonishing. Alongside the more obvious suggestions were a plethora of abstract and imaginative possibilities, including using it to squash (juice) fruit or heating it up to make a bed warmer! I asked this question to stimulate thinking skills. Learning lists of facts can be impressive but actually, knowledge-based learning techniques require the least amount of thought while good thinking challenges children to take their minds beyond what they already understand. Most children love the chance to think creatively and in doing so they will have to use more ‘brain power’. There are so many ways to do this: Get creative Encourage your child to invent a machine or a new product, design a building or a book cover, write a TV show, …

Education news: Computer Whizz Kids

Robert Payne, teacher of ICT at Alleyn’s, on how to bring on our child’s knowledge of ICT. “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” (Benjamin Franklin) Knowledge and experience of using computer systems is important in an ever-changing information society. Our children use a variety of computer-based technologies ranging from tablets, phones and games consoles and while they often seem to teach themselves some of the core computing skills, it is important to encourage them to use these tools effectively, creatively and most importantly, safely. Here are a few ways that may help to develop ICT knowledge in older primary school age children up into the early years of secondary school. Computer literacy Children can develop their creative skills through software applications, and if you follow your child’s particular interests in choosing how they do this they will engage fully. They might choose to design animated stories, games or scientific simulation using software such as Scratch, remix music using GarageBand, or use PowerPoint to create animated presentations …

All Children are Artists

Sally Reynolds, Head of Art at Alleyn’s, tells us how to encourage our children’s artistic development. Why is Art so good for us? Art has a unique place in the human psyche; combining both the intellectual and emotional faculties. Engaging in the creative process can be a deeply personal and rewarding one in which art allows a space for reflection and for making sense of the world. “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso Making art is serious play and is an important expressive outlet for children, giving them the freedom to experiment, develop their imagination, and providing fun and relaxation. For teenagers, it is a tool they can use to explore their own identity and interests, often making work about personal and social issues they feel strongly about. Art also encourages independence and critical awareness, with children from GCSE level onwards becoming used to researching and directing their own projects. Developing your child’s interest in Art London is a brilliant city for children …

Education news: Texts that Tempt

Mandy Reid, Librarian at Alleyn’s Junior School tells us how to encourage a love of reading in our children. “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss) This promise captures perfectly the potential a story can offer a child; a journey that will fire the imagination and introduce weird and wonderful worlds. For many of us there can be no greater pleasure than sitting down with a good book, but we cannot assume our children feel the same way. Some may enjoy reading passionately but others may feel daunted; if we can get them off to a good start, reading can become a lifelong pleasure. Finding Inspiration Encourage children of any age to explore a wide range of books. Your local library is a great place to find a huge array of books. Your child might choose anything from a picture book or a quick read to a graphic novel or a classic. Reluctant readers may find listening to audio books …

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 …