Features and opinion for independent school parents

Parenting

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The problem of worry

Families glancing at the news find much to potentially worry about, especially during the current pandemic. Julie Robinson explores how parents can help children tackle their worries through greater perspective.

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Hitting the ground running

Transitions test us and the challenge of starting at a new school should never be underestimated. Tim Hands offers some advice on how to get secondary schooling off to the best possible start.

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Singing the praises

Knowing when to praise, and how much, is a delicate art explains Dominic Floyd of Mount Kelly. The motivating power of praise cannot be underestimated but it needs to be appropriate and proportional.

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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.

Curriculum

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Learning about our brains

An understanding of how our brains function reveals the need to approach learning in the right way. James Barnes of the PSB explains why strong 'executive function skills' can make all the difference.

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The love of languages

Too often, learning a language is seen in a utilitarian way rather than enjoying it for the experience. James Priory argues this traditional view on language learning puts value above cultural experience.

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Don't overlook the library

Children have vivid imaginations and there is nothing like reading and becoming aware of other people, worlds and circumstances. Vivienne Durham explains why the school library should be at the heart of every good school.

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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 risks of tutoring

There is a significant risk attached to tutoring which any parent considering the options would be wise to remember. Christopher King looks at the pros and cons of employing a tutor for your child.

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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

We live in challenging times which have inevitably had an impact on education. No longer is examination success the passport to a successful and fulfilling life – it's more complex than that, as James Barnes explains.

Politics

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Oxbridge blues?

The landscape of Oxbridge admissions is changing but what does this mean for pupils applying to colleges from independent schools? James Dahl of Wellington College looks at the background.

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One small step

There has no doubt been a seismic shift in environmental awareness recently. 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

Independent schools are doing increasing amounts to support the state sector but, as Christopher King explains, it is often pupils who are the biggest beneficiaries of partnerships, rather than schools.

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The value of money

Society is becoming ever more polarised and parents can find themselves criticised for choosing a private school for their child. Matthew Smith looks at why independent education 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

For most parents, teachers' pensions are unlikely to be something to which you would have given much thought. Julie Robinson looks at the significant issue of the teacher pensions shortfall and its impact on schools.

Thinking

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Announcing our Fresh Thinking podcast

Join Attain’s Editor as he talks to leading Heads, as well as other special guests, about the issues affecting schools and parents today. Our 'Fresh Thinking' podcast is all the best aspects of Attain but in a convenient audio format.

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The journey ahead

Deciding how to tackle the educational issues of our time requires some reflection. Simon Larter-Evans of St Paul's Cathedral School looks at how the past decade has shaped the educational issues ahead.

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Rethinking education

Our education system is skewed too much towards assessment. John Attwater of King's Ely outlines how it could shift to place a far greater emphasis on equipping pupils with the right skills for the future.

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Roll out that magic carpet

Teacher recruitment is an area which few parents will have spent much time thinking about yet it is hugely important. Tim Hands reflects on the best ways of appointing staff and what this means for parents and pupils.

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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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Will robots replace teachers?

Artificial intelligence is already in use in schools across the country and often in unseen ways. Vivienne Durham of GSA discusses the role of AI and wonders whether machines will replace teachers.

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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.

thetrulybeautifulgame

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.