Memory

Rightly or wrongly, examinations are partly a test of memory. Students must thoroughly learn vocabulary, factual details in case studies and technical terms to the point that they can be recalled without effort.  Beyond simple recall of information, students need to completely understand but also remember techniques for solving problems and recall idea …

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The Magnificent Seven

Character education is a crucial component of a good education. A large research study of good repute looked for the character traits that correlate most highly with success in life.  The study identified the top 24 t …

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MOOCS

Every summer I try to learn something new. Sharing my experiences and thoughts with the Birkdale community at the first assembly in September seems a fitting way to begin the new academic year for a school that prides itself on promoting learning.  Past summers have seen me tackle, with varying degrees of success, the tenor saxophone, the harmonica, 4- …

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Waving Goodbye

The process of waving goodbye to the Upper Sixth students is well underway. Over the last 3 weeks, I have met with all the students in small groups to chat through their plans f …

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Class Sizes

One of the top three questions I am asked by prospective parents is ‘How big are the classes?’. The other two are concerned with university destinations for Sixth Form leavers and with st …

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Practical Work

A recent story about the paucity of practical work in science lessons in schools caught my eye this week. What struck me was not so much the point of the article, that pupils in poorer ar …

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Post-Truth

The Oxford English Dictionary has decided to make ‘post-truth’ the word of 2016, defining it as 'relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influen …

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Potential Fulfilled

It is quite understandable that we hope that children will ‘fulfil their potential’. As a parent, it is a comforting thought that my children will achieve as much as they possibly can, …

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Homework

‘Why do we have to do homework?’ asked one of my more outspoken Year 9 Physics students as I announced the details of the weekly assignment. Impressively, he followed up with the assertion …

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Kindness

Aside from an assembly on ‘Learning’ at the start of term, my other assemblies since September have been on the theme of kindness: how it benefits us, how …

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