Classic Literature for Children – A Divisive Issue

This morning I embarked on one of my favourite termly tasks: choosing the books for next term’s book groups.  I have been facilitating book groups for eleven years for children ages 8-16, and my lists lean almost exclusively to classic texts.  As well as praise from parents on the books I include, I regularly get questioned onContinue reading “Classic Literature for Children – A Divisive Issue”

In Defence of Grammar

An article in the Guardian this week has caused quite a stir.  (Here in case you haven’t seen it  In this article, a best-selling novelist who teaches creative writing observes how “joyless” children’s learning of writing has become as it focuses on grammar.  She states that as a writer, she has found “nothing of value” in it.   AsContinue reading “In Defence of Grammar”

Public Speaking – Why Are We So Scared?

I really enjoy public speaking.  I never realised I was actually in the minority in feeling this way until I was well into middle age.  I just assumed that everyone enjoyed sharing their opinions as much as I did!  As I became aware of how many adults fear standing up and speaking in front of others, I lookedContinue reading “Public Speaking – Why Are We So Scared?”

Reading Aloud to Older Children: a Lost Art

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” ― Albert Einstein In the course of my work with families, I am often asked by parents to provide book lists for their children.  I leap gladly at the opportunity to share myContinue reading “Reading Aloud to Older Children: a Lost Art”

Online Lessons: Preparation is Key

Funniest online teaching moment of young children during lockdown? Child disappearing mid-lesson only to hear “Dad, I need you to wipe me!” over the still connected sound.  We can laugh at such online moments but on a more serious note, how many times have you got to the end of an online session feeling frustration overContinue reading “Online Lessons: Preparation is Key”

Assessments: Inform Practice or Determine Outcomes?

This week, as offers are being received for entry into schools in September, I had cause to stop and reflect on two students in particular.  Both students have received offers from highly selective schools.  But more than a year ago, when I carried out assessments on these students, my judgement that they were capable of receiving offersContinue reading “Assessments: Inform Practice or Determine Outcomes?”