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Tes 13 August 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

“Mummy’s sad.” This was the first time my two-year-old daughter had named an emotion. It was bathtime. She was staring at me, with concern, from a mess of bubbles and toy boats. “Mummy’s not sad,” I almost replied, because that is what you do – you try to protect your children from bad things. This will have been on the minds of many parents this week, with GCSE and A-level results being released. There will be students who are bitterly disappointed, and plenty of parents wishing they could shield them from that feeling. But according to Camilla Rosan, head of early years and prevention at mental health charity the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families, trying too hard to protect children from negative emotions doesn’t do them any favours. In this week’s wellbeing…

2 min
is there any point to your classroom summer spruce-up?

In schools, spring cleans come late: it is not until deep in the summer holidays that teachers will rearrange, replenish and redesign the space in which they will teach. Whether it is an act of cleansing or practical necessity, as in spring, it is usually a marker of renewal – only this year, it might not feel as clean a cut between one stage and the next. For those who teach exam groups, for example, this week will have provided no reason to doubt that the fallout of teacher-assessed grades in England and Scotland will be felt for some time yet. And while the effects of the vaccination programme on the behaviour and impact of Covid may be starting to give us reason for optimism, in schools, varying degrees of disruption to…

2 min
let’s face it: there’s no substitute for reading pupils’ body language

When I look back to teacher training, I don’t recall facial expressions being covered at all. The focus was on lesson planning, behaviour management and how to get through a lesson. But I have come realise that observing our pupils’ facial expressions is a key element of classroom management. Here’s why. 1. It helps with behaviour management There is always body language you can read right away. For example, the students who smile, make eye contact and greet me when they arrive are probably happy and, dare I say it, excited about my lesson. However, the ones who barge in, ignore my worksheet and rush to steal their mate’s pencil case are probably not so ready to learn. Cue behaviour management tips. 2. It shows understanding When I give instructions, I want my students to be…

2 min
why silence is golden – even in music lessons

Have you tried teaching a lesson without talking? It sounds mad and I did it only by accident, but the impact was remarkable. Let me explain. I am a music teacher, and just before a lesson with Year 1, my throat was really sore so I decided to talk as little as possible. Usually, my lesson starts with a warm-up in which the children move in time with the music. This was easy enough to teach without talking: on goes the music, I start dancing and the children copy. I then usually ask “what is a pulse?” and point to my heart. This time, I just pointed to my heart. The children shouted out: “The heartbeat of the music!” I was amazed. A simple gesture and they understood what I was asking them. We then moved…

6 min
10 questions with… christina mcanea

Christina McAnea is the first woman to lead the UK’s biggest union, Unison, which represents school support staff, including teaching assistants, cleaners, caterers and caretakers. The mother-of-two, from Drumchapel, Glasgow, left school at 16 and worked in the civil service, the NHS and retail before going to university at the age of 22. She has worked at Unison since its formation in 1993, becoming its most senior negotiator, as well as holding a number of other senior positions, before her eventual promotion to general secretary. So, how did she get on when faced with Tes’ 10 questions? 1. Who was your most memorable teacher and why? My history teacher, Mr Reid. He made history come alive for me. He made it leap off the page, he made it about individuals and people and not…

12 min
what works for wellbeing?

As the start of term approaches, many school leaders will be thinking about how to help students overcome the wellbeing challenges of the pandemic. But how much do we know about what works in this area? Wellbeing expert Willem Kuyken, Ritblat professor of mindfulness and psychological sciences at the University of Oxford, tells Simon Lock that although more research is needed, the evidence does give some clues about the best bets. Simon Lock: After two very disrupted years, looking after the mental health and wellbeing of students will be high on the agenda for many school leaders in September. What sort of challenges do they face? Willem Kuyken: The big challenge is that it’s a really mixed picture. One of the things the pandemic has exposed is that we actually had something…