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Introducing the new RSE Curriculum in schools

Acronyms are commonplace in schools (think PSHE, DT or STEM), but the shorthand way of referring to this entire curriculum as ‘RSE’ may be causing anxiety in many parents, and perhaps nervousness in some teachers too, because it implies that if all schools must teacher RSE, then primary children as young as 5 will be taught sex education. Such a prospect may yield attention-grabbing headlines and ignite some lively debates on social media, but the truth is quite different. 

‘From Around the World’ Special

In many parts of the world, teachers use violence against their students. This can become routine, and the school transforms from a nurturing into a harmful environment for millions of children. Students exposed to violence are at risk of health problems later in life, such as depression, alcohol abuse and lower educational achievement. Because of this, the United Nations has declared that all violence against children is a violation of human rights. But violence still happens.

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.

Getting to the root of meaning - Entertaining Etymology

There are four year olds who are fluent in dinosaurs. Some of them even know that dinosaur comes from the Greek for scary lizard. And can tell us that tyrannosauros rex means tyrant king lizard. So what? I reckon it’s something we could be capitalising on – children’s interest in and playfulness with big words. Something happens along the way where we feel that we have to water things down, make them accessible, instead of giving young people difficult words and talking to them about where they came from. Teachers do not need to be experts in Latin and Greek themselves to do this. What they do need to do is ask a few questions: where does this word come from I wonder? Who would like to find out?

The ladder of Inference

Teachers; throughout your working day you will be under constant time-pressure to observe what is happening, interpret situations, and then make decisions. Unfortunately, this time pressure can have some quite detrimental effects and may lead you to jumping to conclusions about what is happening and the actions that need to be taken.  This in turn may place you in conflict with pupils, colleagues, parents and stakeholders who may have a quite different view as to what is going on and the actions required.

Teachers on Twitter

It’s fair to say that teachers are cruelly generalised. We are often portrayed as a miserable bunch, constantly striking and always angry about the latest injustice imposed on our education system. To many, the word “teacher” conjures an image of an exhausted, underpaid and overworked drone, counting down the years until retirement. If you’re already a teacher on Twitter, you will already be feeling the benefits. If you’re not, I hope this blog has convinced you to join; it will be worth it.

But this is not the case. Teachers of all ages and nationalities come together on Twitter and they are excited about the profession, their subjects and the students they teach.

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