Features and opinion for independent school parents

Parenting

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Making transitions easier

Transitions are significant for all of us, whatever our age. Vivienne Durham of GSA explores the wide range of factors which help determine stress-free transitions for school or on to university.

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Parenting for resilience

We are all tested by bullying at some stage in our lives. Julie Robinson of ISC offers some suggestions, and appropriate strategies, to help your child cope if encountering bullying at school.

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Encouraging happiness

You cannot expect your child to always be happy but, as Beth Kerr of Cognita explains, there are vital things you can do as a parent which help encourage healthy patterns of sleep, diet and exercise.

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Embrace something new

There is a growing tendency for children to specialise too early. Bill Sawyer of Yarm Prep argues that children should regularly embrace something new in order to ensure they maintain breadth.

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Spoilt for choice?

Children have extraordinary opportunities available to them at prep school but how can they keep their feet on the ground and not take these for granted? Alastair Speers of Sandroyd offers some advice.

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The rise of Sindependence

Too many parents think that throwing money at a problem will solve it. Tim Hands of Winchester College shares his concern about parents who view anything other than Oxbridge as second best.

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Cheering from the sidelines

Schools rely on parents being aspirational for their children but this can sometimes go too far. James Priory explores the line between parental encouragement and unhealthy vicarious ambition.

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Good manners cost nothing

As adults, we should all take our responsibility as role models very seriously. Julie Robinson of ISC explores the challenges of being a role model and why teaching good manners is vital.

Curriculum

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The importance of play

James Priory investigates the role of play and how it offers the chance to be spontaneous, to express oneself, to solve problems, to see the world and oneself differently.

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The importance of creativity

For too long, creative subjects have been viewed as 'soft' options. Victoria Rose and Alun Pickford of Dauntsey's explain why there needs to be much greater understanding and investment in creativity.

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The super-curriculum

As pupils progress, the tendency to specialise should always be balanced with ensuring breadth of study. James Priory, Headmaster of Tonbridge, examines how 'super-curriculums' can help.

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Going beyond exams

No longer is examination success the passport to a successful and fulfilling life – it's more complex than that, as James Barnes, PSB General Secretary, explains.

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What is English?

Tim Hands looks at English and explains it is not just a language, with a magnificent literature written in it, but an evolving construct which draws the globe together.

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Time for a school dog?

Specially trained school dogs can have a hugely positive impact on a prep school community. Mark Hammond, Head of Skippers Hill Manor Prep, explains the benefits.

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Variety and choice

Christopher King highlights why curriculum freedom is so important for prep schools.

Politics

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One small step

Matthew Smith argues that for independent schools to really lead on environmental awareness, parents will need to play their part.

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Going back to our roots

It's time to move away from past notions of 'development', argues Dr Felicia Kirk of St Mary's Calne. Schools must reflect the original ethos of 'public schools' and broaden access through charitable giving.

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The value of partnerships

Christopher King explores why pupils are the biggest beneficiaries of partnerships, rather than schools.

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The value of money

Matthew Smith looks at why we live in a society where spending money to educate your child is seen as buying 'privilege'.

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Creating opportunity for all

Social mobility has stagnated for far too long, says James Turner of the Sutton Trust. It’s time for the Government to enable independent schools to be within reach of bright pupils from all backgrounds.

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Views from Edinburgh

Ten Edinburgh independent schools commissioned a report showing the contribution they make to the local economy. John Edward, Director of SCIS, discusses the findings.

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Mind the funding gap

Julie Robinson looks at the teacher pensions shortfall and its impact on our schools.

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Strength in numbers

Julie Robinson highlights the findings of a report on the value of independent schools.

Thinking

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Sustainable futures

Sustainability is very much a way of life for today's children. Kay Goldsworthy of St Ives explores the wide range of changes both schools and parents can make to develop a more sustainable outlook.

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Women are not small men

Gendered stereotyping is all around us and its impact is far from benign, explains Jane Gandee of St Swithun's. From an early age, it can affect the choices our children make and their future careers.

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The truly beautiful game

The traditional image of chess is wrong says Richard Cairns, Head Master of Brighton College. Chess offers pupils an opportunity to grow in confidence and learn new skills.

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A voice in society

Pupils have long sought to express their views through a school council but as Sue Hincks, Head of Bolton School Girls' Division discovers, the debates today are firmly focussed on big global issues.

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Valuing friendships

Charlotte de la Peña, Deputy Head (Pastoral) of St James Senior Girls', looks at a fresh approach to the difficult issue of trying to solve pupil friendship problems.