Our schools are run by the world’s best headteachers…(it says here)

Across the country, Claires Court Schools have been participating in all sorts of ISA collaborative events, most notably drama and sports competitions as well as the Area meetings.  This time of year seems to be so full of activity, it’s difficult to know how to fit it all in, but pleasingly, as the OECD reports this week, since our schools are run by the world’s best headteachers, it’s actually a breeze for them.  Hem hem.

Suffice it to say that our Under 16 boys and girls won their respective national titles in sporting competition last week in Rugby 7s and Netball, now that’s an amazing turn-out!  You can find our contributions to BBC school report on the main school website and here – http://www.clairescourt.com/news-and-media/bbc-school-report/2012.  The amazing work of Felipe Foy and Anna Hitchin and their committee on the Ridgeway PTA not only delivered an amazing Easter Egg hunt at school on Saturday, but also permitted the rapid development and installation of Castle Watkins – http://goo.gl/CsPRf

Anyone who has heard me speak in recent months knows I am totally fed up with the obsession that now exists in the Press for highlighting that it’s the top secondary schools that make the difference in education.  Now this is such arrant nonsense, it makes my blood boil, so it’s just as well I am not reading the weekend Telegraph with its list of the top 120 secondary schools etc or indeed even reporting it.

And the arrival of Super-Sats papers for 11+ candidates is just more of the same isn’t it.  My school really does have some really able children of this age, but if they are to enjoy the childhood I expect them to have, then their curriculum needs to show breadth as much as it does depth, though we are now being warned that younger teaching entrants to the profession might not have the skills to develop curricular materials.  I dread reading next year that state primary schools are now cranking up the pressure further so that their most able get to solve quadratics etc., yet haven’t actually read widely, used maths in creative ways such as programming or waved a wet paintbrush in creative endeavour or spent more than 1 hour that week on athletic activity.  Oh, and the template for effective primary education so obviously visible in our schools is simply thrown away as state primary schools are allowed to grow to absurd super-sizes.

Anyway, rant over.  The blogosphere has been far more interesting this week, with the 300+ tweeters I follow reminding me (and therefore you) of some lovely pupil centred ideas (in the main).

  1.  LinkedIn – a place where professionals go looking to air their CV and get a better job have now 50 Great LinkedIn Groups for Academics http://t.co/5cbiyJvp
  2. Make your day and bring a smile to your face – they may be shutting Libraries in the UK, but here’s a charming lo-fi video – http://t.co/c0wn0kof – from the Public Library in Shutesbury, Massachusetts encouraging their community to gather around and help.  Fantabulous!
  3. In case you missed it first time around, here’s really what makes a Good Teacher – created by their pupils http://t.co/XYV3Vg9g
  4. This last week so the biggest viral hit ever make news – Kony12 plus some background can be found here – http://t.co/gRWufdDi
  5. Michael Rosen always brings a smile to my face when he writes.  He is now suggesting Headteachers write to parents to tell them about the benefits of books and reading – utterly brilliant idea – http://t.co/5HjMXBnt – Do it now!

A couple of ideas on the Techie-side

  1. Do you ever need to help someone down the phone and think “if only we could share screens”? – you can here – http://goo.gl/twPjM
  2. Five Awesome Virtual Field Trips for Students of All Ages – http://goo.gl/sPEfk

And finally, in a world that talks more about losers than unfortunates, here’s a small dose of Alain de Botton to guide you gently towards a kinder, gentler philosophy of success – http://goo.gl/DwbTc

Have a great last week or so of term!

Best wishes

James Wilding

jtw@clairescourt.com

james.wilding.wordpress.com

@james_wilding

About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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