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Tes

Tes

15th January 2021

Tes is dedicated to supporting the world’s teachers. Our mission is to enable great teaching by helping educators find the tools and technology they need to excel, supporting them throughout their career and professional development.

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Country:
United Kingdom
Language:
English
Publisher:
Tes Global Ltd
Frequency:
Weekly
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51 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
editorial

As my son wobbled towards independent cycling, my hand gently pushing him on his way after hours of practice, I slowed down my breathless jogging and indulged in a small moment of pride. This was the wrong choice. What I should have done was maintain my pace and keep an eye out for cats. “Oh look, a cat!” exclaimed my son suddenly, twisting his head in a way that also twisted his arms, which twisted the bike, which left both bike and boy embedded in a bush, which left a small boy crying and an adult man feeling like a failure. Surely, I thought, I should have been there to catch him? But perhaps not. Perhaps there are some lessons that need to be learned through experience. Perhaps these are the lessons that…

3 min.
the spotlight’s glare lands on ‘live’ lessons

Pre-pandemic, a debate about whether teaching should be “live” would have been rather odd: teachers were always “live”. While Silicon Valley has long promised artificial intelligence-powered virtual teachers tailored to every pupil, no one has got close to making that a reality. During the latest national lockdown, though, we are all suddenly arguing about whether teaching should be live or not. It comes after the government made clear that remote learning should be as close to face-to-face learning as possible and, for some, that has been interpreted as teaching pupils via a video-conferencing tool, as if you were in a normal lesson. Indeed, in some quarters it has come to be seen as the gold standard of remote teaching. Mark Enser, Tes columnist and head of geography and research lead at Heathfield Community College,…

2 min.
for successful video lessons and calls, you need to go back to basics

Some are in a classroom (though not necessarily their own), some are in their kitchen, some are lucky enough to have an office, some are in whatever room is quiet enough and some are in their shed. But wherever they are, teachers are all teaching. The shift to remote teaching is old ground now, of course. In the first national lockdown, much time was spent in a stressful period of trial and (network) error as teachers got used to being nomadic and teaching online. This time around, it should have been an easier adjustment. However, it is worth revisiting some key principles of your remote teaching set-up to ensure that easy mistakes are avoided. First up, check your background. You, no doubt, have a location at home that you used for video lessons…

2 min.
are gaming consoles the answer to laptop poverty?

The idea of asking a pupil to use a video-game console during lockdown may not sound, at first, like a good idea – hours spent Fifa-ing, Fortniting or whatever the latest game du jour is would surely not constitute remote learning, or at least not as the government guidelines define it. But it turns out that devices such as the Xbox and PlayStation have some hidden depths: with a few tweaks, they can help pupils access online learning resources. The key to unlocking this “secret level” is utilising the console’s built-in web browsers – a fact highlighted by William, a student from Birchgrove Comprehensive in Swansea. His school tweeted his discovery back in October, and so good was this idea that it became official advice from the Welsh government’s Hwb team and was…

2 min.
reduce the risks for staff and students still in school

Trainee teacher and former virologist Shetal Arjan-Odedra writes about staying safe in the classroom during face-to-face teaching with vulnerable and key-worker children this term. Considering the increased transmission of the new Covid variant and the rising infection and death rates, it is vital that schools are given guidance to minimise viral transmission to key workers’ and vulnerable children during this lockdown. Many of the following strategies were recommended by the Independent Sage group as part of its report on safer schools. 1. Social distancing Social distancing should be a priority in classrooms. Bubble sizes can be determined based on distancing requirements and classroom capacity. Revert to the 2m guidelines where possible. Steps should be taken to minimise contact between bubbles outside the classroom, such as at break and lunchtimes. In secondary, students should…

3 min.
tuesday: moved school online. saturday: beat derby in the fa cup

For many teachers, it’s not the traditional seventh day that brings rest but the sixth. While some planning or marking may sneak into a Sunday, Saturday is considered sacrosanct: it’s rest time – and that’s final. During the pandemic, though, it’s been increasingly hard to keep that up. With government guidance shifting so frequently and there just being so much to do, Saturdays as a day of rest are in danger at the very moment that teachers need them most. So you would think any external stressors that might put extra pressure on those Saturdays would be avoided at all costs. For example, as a headteacher, you wouldn’t want to manage a football team against a side several divisions above your own on your first weekend of term, after leading a last-minute…