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Tes 9 July 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.

United Kingdom
Tes Global Ltd
51 Issues

in this issue

3 min

“Not another Severs.” This was how my younger sister was welcomed into the “close family community” of our secondary school. Three of us had arrived before her, and two of us were still there on her first day. I’d never really considered how she must have felt that chilly September morning until I read this week’s cover feature on the “sibling effect” (see pages 16-21): the process by which an individual’s school experience can be shaped – both negatively and positively – by their siblings, regardless of whether they attend the same school or not. My education was definitely positively affected by my older sister, who was three years ahead of me. Teachers were convinced I would be a hardworking, sociable clone of her. Being a shy, anxious child didn’t seem to sway…

2 min
can we cure the yearly headache of school timetabling?

Does any event in a secondary school calendar cause such a mix of fear, anger, anticipation and excitement among staff as the release of the coming year’s teaching timetable? Strong emotions are, of course, understandable: being handed the most difficult class in the after-lunch spot on a Friday would make most teachers nauseous, while an end-of-day planning, preparation and assessment slot is the gift that keeps giving all year round. Whether you end up in either scenario is down to the timetabler – that elusive master of the spreadsheet who dictates the rhythms of the school day. Feted or hated depending on the hand you have been dealt in previous years, this person is usually fully aware of the power they wield, as experienced timetabler John Rutter explains. “As a senior leader, writing…

2 min
want better academic results? let pupils wield the red pen more often

That teachers spend a lot of their time marking should come as no surprise – every workload survey that has been conducted in the past five years has indicated that wading through student work with a red pen is one of the biggest wellbeing issues for the majority of the profession. That schools are trying to fix this issue is also unsurprising – schools need healthy, happy teachers if children are going to reach their potential. But what has come as a surprise to Gregory Adam, a primary teacher at Nord Anglia Chinese International School in Shanghai, is that peer marking and pupil self-marking have not been more prominent among the solutions mooted. “Research has actually indicated that getting students to self- or peer-assess is something we should be doing,” he argues.…

2 min
taking a fledgling teacher under your wing is a big ask

Being a mentor to a trainee teacher for the first time is much like being a first-time parent. And the analogy is a useful one for finding your way through the role if you are new to it. For example, there’s a moment, on becoming a mentor, when you suddenly realise that you are responsible for the development of this newborn teacher. At once, the shrieking headlines detailing the rising recruitment and retention crisis fill you with fear. You feel an overwhelming responsibility to protect that trainee from everything. It’s the same as being a parent: there is an onslaught of advice when you first take your child home and every single thing is highlighted as a potential danger. As the parent, you spend your time worrying about every small detail. It is…

4 min
failure to learn covid lessons may mean more school ‘chaos’ next term

The final term of this year is ending much like the first one did – with schools engulfed in coronavirus chaos. Each week, the picture has got that little bit bleaker, with widespread reports of class, bubble or whole-school closures due to rising cases of Covid-19. The disruption caused by the pandemic has now reached the point at which we have more than one in 10 secondary school students absent and around half a million pupils nationally away from the classroom for Covid-related reasons. Uncertainty has been ever present. On the brighter side, teachers will have been grateful that the government decided to release its plans for September much sooner than it did for other school terms during the pandemic. Alas, while we now have some answers, we also have more questions. And…

5 min
10 questions with… ben ainslie

Olympic sailor Sir Ben Ainslie won five consecutive Olympic medals from 1996, including four golds between 2000 and 2012. He is the founder of the 1851 Trust, a charity supported by the Duchess of Cambridge, which seeks to engage young people with science through the cutting-edge technology used in high-performance sport. He chatted to Tes about his time in school, the teachers who had a big impact on his life and how he turned his packed lunches into a money-making enterprise. 1. Where did you go to primary school? I grew up in Cheshire, just south of Manchester, and when I was about 8 years old, my family relocated to Cornwall. It was quite a big shift at that age, to go from growing up in the North of England and then moving…