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Tes 3 September 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

At some point during the summer holidays, my son became convinced that Velcro would no longer be acceptable come September and so, last week, I found myself teaching him to tie laces. I started out confident. You can’t edit the leading education publication in the world and not pick up some tips. So I chunked my material, I scaffolded, I used worked examples and I ensured deliberate, spaced practice. What could go wrong? Well, first up, my son’s motor skills. The finer movements involved in tying laces were slightly beyond him – it looked like he was trying to eat noodles holding the very ends of the chopsticks. Then there were the distractions: siblings orbited his lessons, enticing him with “fun”. And, surprisingly, motivation was a factor: I had presumed he would…

3 min
how much more ‘back to normal’ can it get?

It’s fair to say that top of most people’s wish-list for the next academic year is for a return to the usual sights and sounds of working in education: buzzing classrooms, sports days, staffroom chats, trips out, assemblies and everything else in the jamboree of school life that has been lost to the pandemic. This is clearly how the Department for Education (DfE) sees it as well, as it promotes its Back to School campaign across digital and social channels, celebrating all that is great about school and college life, with input from students and staff on what they are excited about for the term ahead. But why stop there? So excited is the DfE by this chance to put a positive spin on education once again that it has also added…

2 min
from cover to cover: the surprising benefits of teaching a different class

We’ve all been there: you rock up to work, the day planned around lessons, marking, lesson prep and even time for some lunch. Then you get into school and find out that you’ve got a lesson to cover. And just like that, everything is disrupted. It’s easy to groan at this but actually there are plenty of ways in which covering a lesson adds value to your teaching practice. 1. Interacting in a different environment Normally, I only ever see students in my maths lessons or during their tutor periods. When I’m covering, it’s brilliant to be able to interact with them around a different subject and set of skills. It’s a good reminder of what else is going on in the school, and seeing them as more rounded learners can help with relationship…

2 min
instructions for assembly

I’m a firm believer that assemblies are a critical part of our school day and, even in the schools that have them regularly, I worry they are undervalued and underutilised. So, why are they so important? And how could yours be improved? Assemblies are the best place for delivering key messages While assemblies are good for delivering whole-school administrative messages – for example, about a new one-way system at lunch or an upcoming non-uniform day – they are also a brilliant space for talking about themes that show your school’s priorities and values. When it comes to shaping a school’s ethos, I believe assemblies hold a position like nothing else. They embody your school community Schools are relational places where the people matter far more than the facilities. But when people are spread out…

5 min
10 questions with… gabrielle

Gabrielle is a singer-songwriter whose pop career began in 1993 with the hit single Dreams. She continues to make music and recently appeared on the ITV show The Masked Singer as Harlequin. She is also participating in The Big Sing, an initiative to get children in primary and secondary schools singing again after the coronavirus restrictions temporarily paused group singing. She spoke to Tes about her time in school, the impact that poetry lessons had on her songwriting, how an American exchange led to her picking psychology for her A levels, and playing Danny Zuko in a production of Grease – minus the leather trousers. 1. Where did you go to primary school? I went to a school in Brockley, southeast London – it was called John Stainer. 2. Where did you go to secondary…

5 min
practical steps to boost air quality and keep classrooms covid free

The issue of ventilation has hit the headlines repeatedly over the past three weeks, from academics running trials of ventilation technologies in Bradford primary schools to the news that all schools are to be given carbon dioxide monitors. Many of these developments are positive, showing that the issue of ventilation, and how it can help keep classrooms safe from Covid-19, is being taken seriously. However, many have questioned why it has taken so long for trials and device rollouts to begin. For example, long before researchers in the UK began their work, academics in Germany had conducted and published findings from their own experiments into how efficient air purifiers in classrooms are at reducing particle transmission. The study, led by Joachim Curtius from the Institute for Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences at Goethe University, involved…