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School’s Out...beware the summer slide

The summer is a time for fun and relaxation but research has shown that many children’s academic abilities drop over the break, therefore undermining all the hard work they, and their teachers, have done over the year.

“While it can seem a little daunting at first, it’s very important for parents to actively encourage their children to keep learning to avoid the negative impact it can have on their return to school in September.

Getting children cycling to school - how can we do it?

Only 2% of pupils in England cycle to school, even less than the 3% of adults who cycle to work. Similarly low rates can be found in other wealthy countries, like the US and Australia, although some European countries have much higher levels. The analysis shows that if children in England cycled to school at the same rates as Dutch children do (for trips of the same distance and hilliness), more than two in five children would do so.

School children and physical activity

A third of children in the UK are overweight or obese by the time they reach primary school. Many other countries are facing the same issue, with a tenfold increase in the worldwide prevalence of childhood obesity over the past four decades. Governments worldwide are attempting to tackle the growing problem of obesity by increasing the amount of physical activity young people are doing on a daily basis. But while this all sounds well and good, robust evidence for the effectiveness of existing school-based physical activity programmes is lacking. It is also unclear whether all children – irrespective of socioeconomic status – benefit equally.

I don’t believe it - What schools are banning now!

What’s on the ‘banned from schools’ list for 2019? Some schools in the UK have banned using toilet paper tubes for craft projects in fear of spreading germs and bacteria. So you won’t see any toilet paper rolls in the classrooms. What next? A ban on sticky back plastic? A UK school has banned TEACHERS from using red pens when they grade students’ work. Apparently, red-inked tests look more upsetting for some individuals. Is this just a way to reduce the marking workload?

Children with problems or problem children?

Research also shows that “naughty” behaviour in schools can be because children lack aspirations and a drive to do well. This can stem from many factors such as low self-esteem and high anxiety – as well as growing up in a low income household. Children who are in care, children with disabilities and children from Afro-Caribbean backgrounds are also more likely to be excluded from mainstream school if they live in deprived areas.
Stop blaming children.

The only thing that is certain is uncertainty!

Things just don’t get done and people become afraid to make bold decisions; for that matter decisions of any kind. Like pouring sand into a clock this will make things slow down, until time just stands still. Almost any plans beyond six months become hypothetical. Yet schools have to be seen to plan three years in advance. Education thrives in the dull, boring, predictable years of national stability and that’s not the times we live in.

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