THE KEY TO YOUR CHILD’S SUCCESS
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST INTERVIEWS INCLUDE:
• Emma Beamish, ex-Irish cricketer
• Rosemead Prep merger
• ‘Porn, Sex and Educating for the Difference’ at St Dunstan’s College
• AI at Sir William Perkins’s School
• Professor John Mullan, Head of English at UCL
WHAT IS AI AND WHY SHOULD IT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY?
PLUS - Summer activities, children’s books, London property update and design tips UNIVERSITY FOCUS - AN ECM UNIVERSITIES LISTING
SUMMER 2023 | £3.50
Thousands of London’s 14-18 year old students will be researching schools, universities, training, apprenticeships and careers at Step Up Expo Join the conversation. 30 June - 1 July 2023 Olympia London
careers Register now at stepupexpo.co.uk inpartnershipwith
Teen choices for education and
We are celebrating the twelfth edition of Education Choices Magazine and have recorded nearly fifty Education Corner Podcasts featuring many leading figures in education and experts on EDI and social mobility. Our readership is global and we have received some wonderful messages. We are grateful to all our clients and the many schools and universities we work with. Have a relaxing summer!
Chloe Abbott (Founder)
EDUCATION BOOK CORNER
The future of technology - Books on AI
Chat(GPT): Navigating the Impact of Generative AI on Education Theory and Practice - Stefan Bauschard Teachers worldwide are intrigued by generative AI (GAI) tools like ChatGPT but worry about what it means for their classrooms. Is this the end of the essay? This 665-page book is written by educators for educators as we navigate the new GAI classroom.
The Fourth Education Revolution: Will Artificial Intelligence Liberate or Infantilise Humanity?
- Sir Anthony Seldon
Highly respected British educational scholar Sir Anthony Seldon explores the most important issue facing education (and humanity at large): the fast approaching revolution in Artificial Intelligence. This book is a call to educators everywhere to open their eyes so we can begin shaping the future of education around the world.
Impromptu - Reid Hoffman
Impromptu: Amplifying Our Humanity Through AI offers readers a travelogue of the future, exploring
how AI, especially large language models like ChatGPT-4, can elevate humanity across key areas like education, business and creativity.
Life 3.0 - Max Tegmark
This book explores the current questions and research that is involved in the emerging field of AI.
is Faster Than You Think
- Peter H. Diamandis
A book on how converging technologies are transforming business, industries and our lives.
- Stuart Russell
Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control is a 2019 non-fiction book by computer scientist Stuart J. Russell. The book explores the risk AI poses to humanity and proposes an approach to control the AI problem.
The Future of Work
- Darrell M. West
Looking for ways to handle the transition to a digital economy? As these tools advance deeper into everyday use, they raise a vital question: how will they transform society, the economy and politics?
AI in 2024 - Kai-Fu Lee and Chen Quifan
This is a work of speculative fiction which provides an analysis of the ways AI could alter the world over the next twenty years.
The Economic Singularity
- Calum Chace
Artificial intelligence is overtaking our human ability to absorb and process information. Robots are becoming increasingly dextrous, flexible and safe to be around. It is our most powerful technology and you need to understand it.
Leadership by Algorithm
- David De Cremer
With artificial intelligence on the rise, the way we run our organisations will change, and drastically. But what exactly will that future look like?
FROM THE FOUNDER
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 3
“A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.” Alan Turing
03 Education Book Corner: The future of technology
Books on AI
06-07 Nursery News
Updates from Cameron Vale and The White House Prep School
08 Reading Eggs
How this important test is catching reading difficulties early
09 Bedtime Stories
Boosting imagination and emotional intelligence in children with AI technology
10 Parent Power
Sacred Heart High School wins ‘New PTA of the Year’ Award
11 Sunningdale’s Cricket Programme
Where legends are forged
Teaching mindfulness through yoga
14 Dolls with a difference
How Barbie with disabilities teaches kids of all abilities
15 The EPIC Project
Understanding and supporting neurodivergent children
16-17 Summer recipes
Summer BBQ Chicken and Summer Fruit
18 The Invisible String Backpack
Teaching children about their inner strength
19 How your mind works
Wonderfully Wired Brains and A Boy and His Mirror
20 Self-love in children’s literature
Creating a praxis of self-love and fighting anti-fat bias for the very young
22-23 Writing an inspirational children’s book
SF Said’s Tyger
24-25 Advice for the 11 plus exams
Top tips for parents
26-29 Coronation Celebrations
How schools celebrated the Coronation
30 Celebrating Teachers
Charlie Mackesy supports National Thank a Teacher Day
31 Transforming mental health outcomes for young people
Using the Tellmi App
32-35 Mr. Graeme McCafferty
Rosemead Preparatory School, Dulwich
36-38 Mr. Chris Muller
Sir William Perkins’s School, Surrey
40-43 Emma Beamish
Retired Irish female cricketer
44-45 Mr. Nick Hewlett
St Dunstan’s College, Catford
46-49 Professor John Mullan
Head of English at UCL
26 22 4 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST
In the Summer issue...
50 Developing transferable skills
Preparing for the workplace whilst at school
52 Bold Voices
Pupil-led programme to tackle sexism and misogyny in schools
53 Combining the traditional and the unconventional
Year 9 provision at DLD College London
54-55 What is AI?
Why AI should be taken seriously
56 Is AI a cause for concern?
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman talks at University College London
57 Step-Up Expo
Secure your ticket to the UK’s first teen expo
58-59 Preparing for an Oxbridge application
Top tips on what to consider
60 Applying to university
Top tips to keep in mind
61 University societies
The English Society and student life at University College London
62-63 Overseas Universities
Making the right choices
64 Using the internet safely
Equipping children with skills to flourish in the digital world
65 Moving out How to choose your ideal university accommodation
66 Settling in Life as a 20-year-old History student at Bristol University
67 University insights
Student perspectives on Edinburgh and Exeter
68 Why choose Exeter University?
Enjoying student experience and quality of life
69 Creative, connected and courageous
Life at Falmouth University
70-71 London Property Market Update
Will there be a housing market crash?
72-73 Inside out
Bringing the sunshine indoors
74-75 Summer activities
How to spend your time once exams are over
76-83 UNIVERSITY FOCUS
Education Choices Magazine’s recommended universities
84 Summers with Gotoco
Fully-funded and free TEFL adventures abroad
Co-editors: Chloe Abbott and Ella Maria
Assistant Editors: Emily Parsons and Rohini
Magazine design: www.petercharlesdesign.com
Podcast Editor: www.emmacharleston.co.uk
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE is now available to purchase both online and paper copy. Please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 5
The Chelsea Nursery
A new baby room opens
Just off King’s Road in Chelsea there is a wonderful nursery which feels like home: The Chelsea Nursery! Here we offer an approach to your child’s development which encourages development of individual strengths through thought-provoking, curiosityinspired play areas. Our unique educational experience is designed to help children’s natural curiosity guide their learning experience in a truly magical environment inspired by nature and the interests of the children. We have small, mixed age group classes, and endeavour to ensure that each child receives personal attention
while they create, play, learn and discover.
Our baby room has a maximum of five little cherubs under two years old, and our nursery is a buzz with eighteen toddlers ranging between 2-4 years old. Once our children reach Reception age, they then naturally transition upstairs to our Reception class. This forms part of Cameron Vale School and extends to Class 6.
Looking for a school with a difference? The Chelsea Nursery at Cameron Vale school is the answer.
Restyling The White House Prep
Making a school feel like a home
the last 40 years of the school with thoughtful details such as every play the school has ever done and the renowned school smock. This refurb has also seen the launch of a custombuilt Library, where each class will have dedicated library time to relax and enjoy this new part of the school.
The Early Years department has been developed to create an inspiring place for the children to start their White House journey. Entering through The Meadow and into The Den, our two Pre-Reception classes each have their own strong identity with fantastic resources to spark their imagination and encourage more creative learning.
The White House Prep has undergone a beautiful restyling throughout to keep the rooms bright and airy whilst also making some modern changes to elevate the interior design and make the school feel more like a home. The highlight has been the mural spanning the top floor of the building. It celebrates
Looking forward, Summer will see the school redevelop the Art and Science rooms to create The Innovation STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) Room and a Senior Block locker room for Years 5 and 6.
TURN TO PAGES 26-29 to see how schools celebrated the coronation of King Charles III
NURSERY NEWS 6 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
LARA VAN ROMBURGH Head of The Chelsea Nursery at Cameron Vale School
Celebrating in Style
Coronation Celebrations at Churcher’s College Junior School & Nursery
The Coronation was marked with a very special celebration at Churcher’s College Junior School and Nursery. The children wore red, white and blue outfits and joined together for a street party lunch that was not dampened by the weather! The children spent the morning offtimetable and worked together to prepare songs and crowns for a competition to be judged at the afternoon celebration. The Coronation Celebration Afternoon was an opportunity to come together as a community, eat cake, BBQ and take part in a ceilidh. The children were thrilled with the arrival of two
ice cream vans! Each class prepared a stall to help raise funds for our school charity, to support the development of a sensory room at the Rachel Madocks School, and it was with great excitement that the children went around their stalls spending their 20ps!
On Tuesday 9th May, CCJS were thrilled to welcome Alan Titchmarsh. As a much-loved and well-known gardener, some Year 6 pupils had written to invite him into the school to talk about gardens and how
The perfect place to ﬂourish and grow
they are important for native wildlife and combating climate change. From Nursery to Year 6, every pupil had the opportunity to go out and help plant bushes to create a ‘Coronation Maze’ in our Sensory Garden. Alan Titchmarsh kindly got his welly boots on and hands dirty as he gave pupils tips on how to plant small privet hedges, so that they grow successfully.
We are certain that the children will have lovely memories of marking the Coronation of King Charles III at Churcher’s College Junior School & Nursery in years to come.
CELEBRATING THE CORONATION
As Year 1 pupils in England prepare to take the Phonics Screening Check, parents are being reminded of the importance of catching reading difficulties early on. The Phonics Screening Check is an informal test to assess a child’s progress in phonics and reading. It is done one-on-one with a teacher and the child is asked to read a set of words made up of both real and nonsense words. The aim is to assess how well they can use their phonics knowledge to decode unfamiliar words, evaluating their reading progress and identifying areas where they need support. The ten minute test is set to take place in June.
To help your child prepare for this important test, subscribers to the award-winning online program Reading Eggs also have access to the Fast Phonics systematic synthetic phonics program, which has been expertly designed for children aged between five and ten.
By breaking down reading into sets of sounds through engaging and interactive games and activities, Fast Phonics helps children learn to decode words rapidly and improve their reading accuracy, fluency, vocabulary and comprehension. From their very first lesson in Fast Phonics, children can practise matching letters and sounds, recognise rhymes and listen to how sounds work to make words.
“The Phonics Screening Check is a vital assessment to pick up any difficulties early on and Fast Phonics in Reading Eggs is designed to help young children overcome these worries, build crucial confidence and make it easier for parents to support literacy development at home,” said the Head of Product at Reading Eggs.
The importance of nurturing a
love for reading in young children cannot be overstated.
According to the 2022 Annual Literacy Survey conducted by the National Literacy Trust, which collected data from 8,210 children aged 5–8, reading can positively impact mental wellbeing in children. The results were impressive, with 75.4% of children aged five to eight expressing enjoyment in reading. Additionally, two-thirds of eightyear-olds said reading made them feel better, while 64.1% said it helped them relax and 64% said it brought them happiness. These findings illustrate the tremendous benefits of encouraging children to read and the importance of providing them with the tools to do so.
The Phonics Screening Check is an opportunity for parents and teachers to identify reading struggles early and provide children with the support they need to succeed.
Fast Phonics in Reading Eggs gives your child the resources they need to improve their reading faster and build crucial confidence.
Available online or as an Android or iOS app, Reading Eggs makes learning to read fun for children aged 2–13, with alphabet and spelling games, phonics activities, word puzzles, nursery rhymes and storybooks. Don’t wait until it’s too late to catch reading difficulties in your child.
TURN TO PAGES 22-23 to read about what inspired SF Said to write his latest book Tyger
PHONICS 8 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
How this important test is catching reading difficulties early
Boosting imagination and emotional intelligence in children with AI technology
For generations, bedtime stories have been a cherished tradition for families around the world. However, their value extends beyond providing comfort and relaxation to a child. Bedtime stories play a crucial role in the development of a child’s imagination and emotional intelligence.
The ability to imagine is one of the most important skills that a child can develop. Imagination helps them think creatively, solve problems and explore the world around them. When children hear a story, they are not just listening to words on a page; they are creating images in their minds. Additionally, bedtime stories can help children develop their emotional intelligence; hearing stories about characters who face challenges, make mistakes and learn from their experiences can help children develop empathy and understanding.
However, for parents, coming up with new stories every night can be a daunting task. Fortunately, AI technology offers a solution. One app in particular, called ‘Oscar Personal Bedtime Stories’, offers parents a unique and convenient way to make
bedtime fun again. The app utilises artificial intelligence to generate personalised bedtime stories tailored to each user’s preferences and input, providing endless possibilities and an exciting new story every time.
Developed by two Viennese entrepreneurs, Oscar is designed to provide an interactive and engaging experience for both parents and children, encouraging parents to engage their child in the story. With Oscar, children can be the main characters in their own personalised story, choosing different traits and characters to make the story truly their own. With cutting-edge AI technology, Oscar creates engaging stories that will captivate the children’s imagination and make bedtime a fun and exciting time for everyone.
The kids can even include their parents and friends in the story, making it a truly personalised experience. This
not only helps to develop the child’s imagination but also strengthens the bond between the parent and child.
Whether you prefer a traditional book or a modern app, bedtime stories are a great way to help your child fall asleep while nurturing their imagination and emotional intelligence. With the Oscar app, parents can make bedtime stories a fun and convenient part of their nightly routine.
TURN TO PAGES 46-49 to read about the importance of reading EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 9
MATTHIAS NEUMAYER AND DIMA RUBANOV Founders of Oscar Personal Bedtime Stories
Sacred Heart High School wins ‘New PTA of the Year’ Award
The Sacred Heart High School’s PTFA was completely defunct until November 2022, when a new committee of six, led by Sue Clancy, was voted in. Never did we think that only a few months later we would be winning the ‘New PTA of the Year’ National Award.
Since being elected, we have created an online pre-loved uniform store. For the first time, we’ve given parents the opportunity to get second-hand uniforms several times over a term, ensuring affordability so that every family (irrespective of their means) can have the full uniform without the financial impact of buying new.
We celebrated love for Valentine’s Day with a balloon sweet cup sale, creating an impressive display of over 150 cups. Recently, we organised a fundraising auction, canvassing all our amazing local community for donations, as well as families for personal pledges. We then put together a party (the first since 2019) attended by 120 parents and staff to close the auction. We raised £12,000 for Sacred Heart High School overall!
We have been thrilled with the Brook Green/Hammersmith community who have really welcomed the opportunity to support Sacred Heart. This
Reading programmes for your pupils
We are Bookmark, a children’s literacy charity. Our reading programmes offer support for children in Years 1 to 5 who are at risk of not meeting the expected standard.
Our six-week programme provides two, 30-minute, one-to-one reading sessions each week, with a trained volunteer. These sessions take place online through our secure, interactive platform, alternatively face-to-face sessions are optional.
REGISTER YOUR INTEREST and we will be in touch
has been the most rewarding outcome, especially after years of the pandemic. We are also very fortunate to have amazing schools in our area and are fostering partnerships with them. But the icing on top of the cake was definitely winning ‘New PTA of the Year’ at the Parentkind’s National PTA Awards 2023.
MARIA MONTEIRO Communications Committee Member at Sacred Heart High School - PTFA www.sacredhearthigh.org.uk
We offer schools high-impact, low-admin reading support
HIGH SCHOOL PERSPECTIVE
Registered Charity No. 117768 Volunteerwithus! bookmarkreading.org/ volunteer-edu
Sunningdale’s Cricket Programme
Where legends are forged
When it comes to cricket, Sunningdale has always held its head high.
At the helm of our cricket programme is a former professional cricketer, supported by a team of coaches who’ve had their fair share of time on the field. Sunningdale doesn’t mess about when it comes to cricket. Winter doesn’t equal downtime - we keep our boys on their toes with cricket nets throughout those chilly months, ensuring they’re primed and ready for the summer.
Setting Sunningdale apart is our commitment to giving every boy a chance to play for a team. We believe in inclusivity and making sure that each individual gets their
moment to shine, whatever their role may be.
Our facilities are top-notch. We’ve got two indoor nets, four outdoor nets and a couple of bowling machines to boot. Our boys get to practise and finesse their skills in an environment that’s second-to-none.
We also organise a fantastic cricket course during the Easter holidays. It’s like a boot camp for cricket, where our boys receive
specialised coaching, refine their techniques and absorb cricketing wisdom. It’s a wonderful experience and the boys come out of it with an extra skip in their step.
Let’s not forget our match teas! We take enormous pride in making sure spectators and players are treated to an amazing spread in between the innings and that spectators are kept refreshed with drinks and snacks.
Cricket has an important place at Sunningdale and we are very keen for it to stay that way.
MR. TOM DAWSON Headmaster at Sunningdale School
TURN TO PAGES 40-43 to read about Emma Beamish, a retired Irish women’s cricketer
SUNNINGDALE SCHOOL Curiosity | Kindness | Wisdom www.oratoryprep.co.uk Scan here to view our upcoming events Independent day and boarding Catholic school for children aged 2-13 Set within 65 acres of Oxfordshire countryside Located 20 minutes from Reading and 1 hour from London
Make Friends Grow In Confidence Learn New Skills CHILDRENS HOLIDAY Sports Star Performing Arts Creativity Focused Camp 07596 851 374 CAMPS Bop Stars www bopstars co uk Multi Sports Activity Based Camp Ages 5-9 bopstarsclub Ages 4-9 ACTIVE KIDS ARE HAPPY KIDS email@example.com Fulham Palace Bishop's Avenue Fulham West Hill Primary School Merton Road Wandsworth
Teaching mindfulness through yoga
Like many Education Choices readers, my son will be joining Reception in September - not long to go now! I’m excited to empower him with the skills he needs to thrive in school. Along with learning numbers and sounds, practising tying our shoes and working on sitting with “school legs”, I’m sharing some simple mindfulness techniques to help him feel in control as he enters a new environment. My son is joining a small class with a fantastic teacher, but there will still be moments when he feels overwhelmed or unsure. The quickest way to cool these feelings is to use a breathing technique. Animal breaths are
always the most popular with little ones, so we are practising ‘Humming Bee Breath’ and ‘Bunny Breath’ at home.
‘Humming Bee Breath’ is great for calming the nervous system: inhale deeply then exhale while making a humming sound for as long as you comfortably can.
The ‘Bunny Breath’ is a super tool for calming down your child if they are upset. Inhale with three sharp sniffs like a bunny, then exhale, long and slow.
We are also practising taking quiet moments in our day and noticing our emotions - do I feel happy now or do I feel nervous?
How do I know?
If children are feeling “fizzy” in the morning, moving into a few yoga poses can help them feel calm and focused. Balances like the ‘tree pose’ or flows like ‘sun salutations’ are great for thisyou can find plenty of resources to help with child-safe poses on my website.
VICTORIA TSO Child and Teen Yoga Teacher www.innerchildyogaschool.com
A s f e a t u r e d i n :
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Get involved with volleyball!
The Little Giants Volleyball Club
Little Giants Volleyball Club is based in South London with a number of training sessions for Under 18s, 16s and 15s categories for both boys’ and girls’ teams across various venues as well as U13 training that is aimed at beginners and experienced players. The club is currently welcoming new members into its teams as well as their developing members groups. The club is open to both experienced players and complete beginners in all age categories. The club caters for young athletes from as young as eight years old. The club also has a number of adult groups, along with training sessions every day of the week.
A whole-school approach to gender equality
Early Years and Primary Years specialists
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whole school training
a full programme of resources sessions for parents and carers
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Dolls with a difference
How Barbie with disabilities teaches kids of all abilities
Global toy manufacturer, Mattel, recently launched a Barbie doll with physical features resembling someone with Down’s Syndrome. But this isn’t the first time Barbie has ventured into the disability space. In years prior, we’ve also seen Barbie in a wheelchair. Better still, other toy brands with similar dolls have included a diverse range of disabilities - from dolls with prosthetic legs, to those with guide dogs.
As a person with disabilities, I was delighted to see the dolls, not because I wanted one to play house with - I’m an adult now and I have grown out of dolls - but I was, and still am, so excited for all the young people who can now feel ‘seen’ and represented. I hope they feel like less of an ‘alien’, as I’ve heard one person describe their disability,
and not feeling like they fit in.
I’m not just excited by the positive changes this can bring about for children with disabilities. Through my work, I know the power of visibility and seeing or hearing about disability, whether that’s on a television screen, on a podcast, on social media, in a toy box or somewhere else. Let’s not forget that those non-disabled children may be future employers or leaders who are making decisions that involve people with disabilities. If they’ve grown up in an environment where disability and education about disability is normalised, they are less likely to become an adult with unconscious biases and discriminatory attitudes at school or in the workplace.
Sometimes, when I think about the changes that need to happen in the disability sector, I become overwhelmed. Yes, a lot of things aren’t happening, but over the years I’m honoured to have witnessed and sometimes taken part in some of the things that are working and moving forwards.
Sure, people with disabilities – the world’s largest minority, according to the UN – still have a long way to go before we achieve equality and equity. These ‘smaller wins’ (a doll with disability features) might not be a massive education or healthcare reform, but they are still a win.
All of these small wins add up to create enormous societal shifts and changes in public perception. Learning about disability inclusion is something that children can now begin at a very young age and that has the power to affect things like employment outcomes and more in the future.
LISA COX TEDx Speaker, author and award-winning consultant www.lisacox.co
DIVERSITY IN DOLLS
TURN TO PAGE 20 to read about I Love My Body Because… MATTEL, INC 14 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
The EPIC Project
Understanding and supporting neurodivergent children
Neurodivergent conditions, such as autism, ADHD and DCD/ Dyspraxia, are common. Around one in five children in mainstream primary school classes are neurodivergent. These conditions are associated with a high risk of poor developmental outcomes in areas of academic learning, relationships and mental health. These children can thrive, though, if there is an understanding of their difficulties and support in place tailored to their individual needs.
Support programmes and interventions have traditionally focused on parenting and changing a child’s behaviours. Research has shown that neurodivergent children have underlying difficulties in their thinking skills, termed ‘executive functions’, that contribute to the behaviours we see. This can include difficulties in memory, attention flexibility, control of responses and planning and organisation.
Children who are neurodivergent differ in the pattern of difficulties they have with executive functions. These conditions are highly cooccurring, for example, autism with ADHD. Sometimes a second condition is not at a diagnosed level, but the co-occurring symptoms may still affect the type of difficulties the child has. Therefore, we need to take an individualised approach rather than being solely guided by a diagnosis to fully understand and support a child’s thinking and learning difficulties.
My research shows the type of a child’s thinking difficulties relates to their performance in literacy and maths. These thinking skills are not only important for reading but also broader literacy skills such as spelling and oral expression. Putting the right support in place for their thinking skills can improve a child’s academic attainment. Again,
this is individual to the child - for one, this may mean an emphasis on verbal memory support, while for another it may relate to planning.
I have led on the development of EPIC (Edinburgh Psychoeducation Intervention for Children and Young People) which provides services and resources for parents and teachers to better understand and support neurodivergent children in relation to this evidence base. EPIC activities empower the child with an understanding of themselves and upskill them with a toolkit of strategies they can apply in familiar and new situations, supported by their parents and teachers.
The EPIC project is being formed into a social enterprise community interest company ‘EPIC Think Learn’ to enable us to provide our services and resources more widely. For information on EPIC Think Learn, please see our website and blog. You can be kept updated by joining our register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and/or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
SINEAD RHODES Senior Research Fellow at University of Edinburgh and Lead of EPIC Think Learn
TO PAGE 19 to read
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 15
Boy and His Mirror
Summer BBQ Recipe
Corn on the cob and quick slaw
Maximise oven space and use the energy to its full potential with this flavour-packed fakeaway. Here, I’m filling up the oven with sticky, glazed BBQ chicken, paprika-spiced wedges and golden corn on the cob. By making the most of store-cupboard and freezer ingredients, this is not only healthier than your average takeaway, it’s much cheaper, too!
TOTAL TIME: 1 hour
COST PER PORTION: 99p (prices correct as of January 2023)
75ml tomato ketchup
2 tablespoons runny honey
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
Red wine vinegar
6 chicken thighs, bone in, skin on 1.2kg potatoes
750g frozen corn on the cob
250g red cabbage
100g natural yoghurt
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Place the ketchup, honey, Worcestershire sauce, most of the smoked paprika and 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar in a snug-fitting roasting tray and mix together. Add the chicken and toss to coat. At this point, you can either leave the tray covered in the fridge to marinate, or season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper and set aside while you prep the potatoes.
2. Scrub and quarter the potatoes lengthways and place in another large roasting tray. Drizzle in 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season and sprinkle over a pinch of smoked paprika, tossing until coated. Arrange the potatoes skin-side down in one even layer. Place the potato tray on the middle shelf of the oven and the chicken tray on the top shelf to roast for 20 minutes.
3. Once the time’s up, carefully spoon off any fat from the chicken and add to the potatoes, tossing to coat. Baste the chicken in the remaining juices, scraping up any sticky bits from the bottom of the tray. Return both trays to the oven to roast
for a further 25 minutes or until the chicken pulls away easily from the bone, placing the frozen corn straight onto the bars of the bottom shelf to cook alongside.
4. Meanwhile, trim the cabbage and carrots and peel the onion. Coarsely grate it all using a box grater. Place in a bowl with 1⁄2 a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon of oil and the yoghurt. Mix together and season to perfection.
5. Serve the chicken and potatoes alongside the slaw, rolling the corn in all the lovely chicken tray juices before plating up.
Helpful hint: Use this BBQ sauce as a principle recipe – it works great as a glaze on pork, beef or fish.
JAMIE OLIVER British Chef and Restaurateur
RECIPE © JAMIE OLIVER ENTERPRISES LIMITED. PHOTOGRAPHY: JAMIE OLIVER LTD 2023 16 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
Summer Fruit Frangipane Tart
A Tasty Summer Treat
For the sweet pastry:
1. Heat your oven to 170°C.
2. Cream together 133g icing sugar and 266g unsalted butter.
3. Slowly add 3 eggs, being careful not to overmix. Add in 400g soft flour and 133g hard bread flour and mix slowly until roughly combined. Work the mixture gently on the work surface until it has a smooth surface.
4. Form into a small flat ball, clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 minutes (this is where you can make your frangipane).
5. Take out the fridge and roll out with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface to 5mm thick.
6. Place gently into your 8-inch tart ring, gently pressing in the sides. Make sure the dough is cold - if it has warmed up slightly, put it back into the fridge (in the ring) for 10 minutes.
7. Gently prick with a fork and blind bake (rice or baking beans in clingfilm) for 20-30 minutes.
8. Carefully remove the baking beans and brush the tart with one egg yolk and put back in the oven for a further 5 minutes.
9. Remove from the oven and allow to cool - keeping it in its tart ring. Pipe in the frangipane mix to fill half way up the tart case in a spiral formation and bake for a further 30-40 minutes until the frangipane is golden brown.
For the Frangipane:
1. Cream together 100g unsalted butter and 100g caster sugar.
2. Slowly add 2 large eggs to the mixture.
3. Add 100g ground almonds and mix until combined.
4. Keep in a piping bag until use.
For the pastry cream:
1. Heat 330g milk and one vanilla pod. In a separate bowl, mix 5 egg yolks, 80g sugar and 24g cornflour.
2. Once the milk is boiling, slowly pour 3⁄4 of the mix over
the egg mix, whisking immediately to ensure there are no lumps.
3. Once combined, pour the mixture back into the pan and slowly bring back to a boil, cooking out the eggs and cornflour for two minutes. Make sure you are constantly whisking so you don’t burn the bottom of the mix.
4. Add 30g softened butter and 60g mascarpone cheese and whisk until combined.
5. Pour into a tray or boil and cover with cling film to touch the surface and leave to cool in the fridge.
6. Before use, give it a good mix with a whisk.
7. Smooth over the top of your frangipane so it meets the top of the tart case and is nice and smooth.
1. Cut your seasonal fruit and arrange it on top of your pastry cream.
2. Toast your almonds in the oven at 180°C for 10 minutes until golden brown. Do a light sprinkling over your fruit.
3. Gently warm the apricot jam with a splash of water over the hob. Carefully brush it over the chopped fruit to create a beautiful shiny glaze.
JESS STOCKELL Head Pastry Chef and Co-Founder of Knead a Little Love Bakery
JESS STOCKELL FROM KNEAD A LITTLE LOVE
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 17 SUMMER RECIPES
TURN TO PAGE 31 to read about the Tellmi app
The Invisible String Backpack
Teaching children about their inner strength
they only remember to look for them. The story began to quickly write itself as I pondered these ideas.
Using the idea of a little girl on her first day of school and the many worries that she might face during such a monumental moment in her life, I pondered what fears she might have and what tools might she be able to use to help her feel courageous and confident, as she braved her way through this pivotal experience.
I have been beyond blessed to experience the incredible success of my book about the power of love and connection, The Invisible String, around the world, with over 1.5 million copies sold and translated into seventeen languages.
So, I am thrilled to share my newest book in The Invisible String series, The Invisible String Backpack.
All of my Invisible books have been written with the goal and vision of helping children and those that love them deal with big issues in comforting, reassuring and relatable ways. The idea of an Invisible String Backpack came to me one day as I was thinking about the concept of how everything that we really need is actually right inside of us. So many of us have heard that
notion before, but what does it mean on a practical level? I wanted to write a book that would empower children to realize that they have many tools that can help them throughout their lives, in a multitude of ways and in many different situations. These tools are utterly accessible to them, if
And so, on Mila’s first day of school, many worries pop up, including: what if she can’t find her classroom? What if no one likes her? What if she’s too nervous to speak up? With some advice from her brother, she learns that she has everything she needs right in her Invisible Backpack: an Invisible Microphone to help her find her voice, an Invisible Flashlight for when she’s feeling lost, an Invisible Net to catch her if she falls, and much more. Her pack is bottomless!
What she ultimately learns is that she has the tools to confront any obstacle that may come her way and that she can hold onto her own inner strength.
The Invisible String Backpack is a book I wish I had been able to read when I was growing up and experiencing fear, uncertainty and self-doubt. Especially in these uncertain times, my hope with the book is that it will inspire children everywhere to do what Mila does, as she puts on her Invisible Wings and begins to soar!
PATRICE KARST Author www.patricekarst.com
INSPIRATIONAL CHILDREN’S BOOKS 18 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
Our brains are wonderfully unique in the way they function, work and think. Written by neurodivergent author Louise Gooding, a loud and proud advocate for neurodiversity inclusion, Wonderfully Wired Brains challenges misconceptions and shows how neurodivergent brains work a little differently. Combining neurodiverse experiences with science, history, extraordinary facts, accessible text and wonderfully colourful illustrations by Ruth Burrows, this is an informative and inclusive guide to the brain and
Wonderfully Wired Brains
Teaching children to celebrate all brains
neurodiversity, which inspires and informs all children, whether they have a neurodivergent experience or not.
It is common for neurodivergent people to feel as though they don’t fit in, but all humans are different and everyone’s extraordinary neurodiversity should be embraced. This supportive book shows children the incredible abilities that neurodiverse people have and introduces them to advocates who are challenging neurodiversity stereotypes, from British gymnastic champion Evie Meg Field, to artist Stephen Wiltshire. Most importantly, it gives children a safe space to feel accepted and appreciated.
Wonderfully Wired Brains details all the different neurodiversities that people
A Boy and His Mirror
Celebrating each other for who we are
Marchánt Davis – an actor, writer and producer hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – has released his picture book debut with A Boy and His Mirror, illustrated by bestselling illustrator Keturah A. Bobo, whose stunning illustrations bring the book and its message to life.
A Boy and His Mirror follows the story of Chris, a young boy who learns to celebrate his unique hair with the help of his mirror. Chris’ classmates tease him about his hair, even though he loves it, and he is confused by this. Seeking answers in his mirror, a lady appears from where Chris’ reflection should be and gives him the advice he is looking for.
Feeling like a king, Chris
returns to school with newfound confidence, but it turns out that this advice changes the way he treats others, and he is disliked by the other children. Returning to the mirror for more answers, Chris learns that he should offer respect to others and be less judgemental. Chris takes these lessons back to school with him and spreads the message to his peers, and his willingness to put himself out there helps Chris make some new friends, while feeling good in the knowledge that he has demonstrated empathy and is able to say how he feels, staying true to himself.
A Boy and His Mirror serves as a crucial reminder that we should look past our external
might have, from ADHD, to dyslexia, to anxiety, and teaches awareness through colourful and engaging illustrations and positive, informative language that allows everyone to feel seen and included.
Whether your child has a neurodivergent experience or not, this book will inspire inquisitive young readers whilst educating everyone, and show them that no two brains function in the same way and that everyone’s different brains should be celebrated.
Louise lives in Norfolk with her family, and as she and her family are neurodiverse, she is passionate about increasing visibility in children’s books.
LOUISE GOODING Author
appearances and celebrate each other for who we are, which never goes out of fashion no matter how much our styles change.
MARCHÁNT DAVIS Author
HOW YOUR MIND WORKS
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 19
Self-love in children’s literature
Creating a praxis of self-love and fighting anti-fat bias for the very young
Infants and young children have an infectious sense of joy and wonder about their bodies. As they grow, they discover the many amazing things our bodies can do, like picking up a toy, eating yummy food, crawling or listening to a loved one tell them a story. This love and appreciation for our bodies is something we wanted to capture and hold on to in writing our picture book, I Love My Body Because, a 2023 Rise Honoree.
In the summer of 2018, we began talking about the need for a practice that children, and the adults that read to them, can return to when they are faced with doubt, insecurity or even just general curiosity about their bodies and the bodies around them. Inspired by our own experiences as girls in a world intent on eroding this sense of joy and wonder about our bodies, our book, I Love My Body Because, takes the reader on a journey of self-love.
This journey begins with a celebration of how our bodies move us through the world, both physical and imagined. We describe how
our bodies take us where we want to go, whether on the playground, the beach or deep in a story we pick up from the library.
Secondly, we explore various ways to take care of our bodies, from seemingly simple actions like brushing our teeth to self-care practices like journaling. We emphasise how our bodies are changing and ever evolving and that we make mistakes but can still honour and love our bodies just as they are.
Thirdly, we explore and celebrate the diversity of all bodies. By taking the discussion from the individual level to the community level and beyond, we hope that children will practise loving and respecting not only their individual bodies, but all the bodies around them.
We are honoured to be included in the amazing and growing bodies of work focused on celebrating all bodies and fighting against ableism and fatphobia. I Love My Body Because, an ode to our bodies, is meant to shift the near constant shaming of people who are fat or disabled, and celebrate the fact that everybody has a body and that all bodies are good!
SHELLY ANAND AND NOMI ELLENSON Co-authors
TURN TO PAGES 24-25 to read a parent’s perspective on preparing for the 11 plus exams
20 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
CO-EDUCATIONAL EXCELLENCE IN A CARING COMMUNITY For children aged 11 - 18 www.alleyns.org.uk 020 8557 1500 • Townley Road, Dulwich, London, SE22 8SU We offer a range of scholarships and means-tested bursaries. Dr Anni Seaborne BDS, MSc, alumna 2011, Sports Dentistry, Harlequins RFC GSA Day & Boarding School since 1885 | 4 - 18 years | Near Guildford FROM SWIM SQUAD TO PROTECTING SMILES IN THE SCRUM. stcatherines.info Self-belief from St Cat’s
Writing an inspirational children’s book
SF Said’s Tyger
It took me nine years to write Tyger. I worked on it year after year, draft after draft, until it was the very best book it could be. And I know nine years is a long time to spend on a book, but I believe that children’s books are too important to give them anything less than your absolute best.
My top priority as a writer is always to make my books as page-turning and exciting as I possibly can. I want to write thrilling adventures that readers will not be able to stop reading; stories that will hold an audience spellbound when read aloud. But at the same time, I want my books to be full of big questions and ideas that will resonate long after you’ve finished them. And so I put everything I know and love into every book I write.
Tyger is a story about a boy, a girl and a tyger. It’s set in London, in the present day, but in a strange alternate world. In this world, the British Empire has never ended. Slavery has never been abolished. Further to this, a huge number of animals have been hunted to extinction. Yet, it’s in this world that a boy called Adam and a girl called Zadie find a mysterious, mythical, magical animal: the Tyger. When Adam first meets this tyger, she is wounded, and all he wants to do is help her. But she has powers that he can’t begin to imagine. The tyger begins to show Adam and Zadie that they too have powers, and can do anything
they dream of doing - maybe this boy, this girl and this tyger can save the world.
The roots of Tyger go right back to my own childhood. I remember reading William Blake’s poem The Tyger when I was at school. “Tyger Tyger, burning bright” - I was mesmerised by those lines. The poem had the power of a myth for me, and I love mythology as much as I love tigers!
I have to admit, though, I wasn’t always that engaged when I was at school. Back then, in the 1970s, reading for pleasure was not a big feature of schoolwork. However, I remember one teacher who just read to us. He read us ancient Greek and Roman myths: stories of gods, heroes and monsters. I was absolutely spellbound and so was everyone else. Those lessons had a bigger impact on my life than anything else in my education. That teacher gave me a foundation course in the mythic that underlies everything I write. Without him, I would never have written the books I’ve written.
My favourite book as a child was Watership Down by Richard Adams, which remains my
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favourite book today. Perhaps the thing I loved most about it was the fact that the rabbits’ legendary ancestor, the hero of all their myths, was called El-Ahrairah. This name looked a lot like Arabic to me. And this struck a very deep chord, because my own name is Arabic. My family’s origins are all over the Muslim world: my ancestors were Iraqi, Egyptian, Kurdish and Circassian. I was born in Lebanon and lived briefly in Jordan before coming to live in London with my mum when I was two years old.
I can’t remember ever reading a story with someone like me in it when I was a child, and so it was incredible to find El-Ahrairah in Watership Down. It gave me a feeling of seeing myself reflected, which I’d never had before in a book.
When I re-read Watership Down as an adult, I thought it was even better than I had as a child.
I’d seen it as a thrilling adventure story about rabbits. As an adult, I could see it was also a story about us, and the big questions of human life. Who are we? Where do we come from? Where do we belong? How should we live, and treat others who are different to us? It was still thrillingbut now I saw it was full of thrilling politics, philosophy and mythology. It dealt with the most profound themes, but in a totally accessible way.
This was the kind of book I wanted to write myself: books that might reward a whole lifetime’s reading because they were so exciting, but also had other levels and dimensions, dealing with those big questions and ideas. I think they can be found in all my books, from Varjak Paw onwards. But with Tyger, I wanted to explore them more deeply than I ever had before. I wanted to write a story with main characters who happen to be Muslim, as Adam and Zadie are. I also filled the book with characters from all sorts of backgrounds, beliefs and identities, to make space for all readers to imagine themselves in
the story, to see themselves reflected or enter other points of view.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to visit many schools where they were reading my books. I’ve seen for myself the lifechanging impact that teachers have when they share whole books with their classes, and develop a culture of reading for pleasure.
You may notice among the settings in Tyger a school run by teachers who want to help every child do the things they dream of doing, and an Underground Library run by Underground Librarians who hold the secrets of the world. These are inspired by some of the extraordinary teachers and librarians I’ve met in my time, and some of the magical classrooms and libraries I’ve been lucky enough to visit.
We authors do our best to create books that will thrill children, igniting their imaginations with magic and wonder. But I think the real magic happens in those places where adults bring stories to life for children, changing their lives forever. And if a book like Tyger can play a part in that, then all the hard work is more than worthwhile in the end!
SF SAID Author www.sfsaid.com
TURN TO PAGES 46-49 to read about studying English at UCL
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 23
Advice for the 11 plus exams
Top tips for parents
Navigating the 11 plus exams for independent schools is daunting for both parents and children, but, like most things, is much simpler in retrospect. I have been through it twice with my children, two years apart, and while it is challenging, there are some things that I have learnt that I wish I had been told upfront.
Start a shortlist of schools in your area during Year 5 and start to think about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. If you have no idea, visit the schools anyway and see what you think. London offers a wide range of schools, each with its own distinct character and ethos and, in my experience, you will have fairly strong preferences after visiting a few.
It is best to have seen the schools before your child enters Year 6, as the exams are now starting earlier in Year 6 - in some cases as early as the Autumn Term. Your child’s preference of school, however, may be heavily influenced by the quality of the snacks supplied on the Open Days. So, I would caution taking them to all the schools you see, though it is best if they have visited the schools they intend to apply for.
It’s also not all about academics, or at least I don’t feel it should be - a well-supported and happy child will thrive in most places. Think about what else is important to you and your child. Reflect on factors such as sports facilities, what sports does your child enjoy? Not all sports are core sports in secondary school. Also think about your child’sas well as your own - preference for single-sex or mixed-gender education, and if you are unsure, talk to your primary school for their opinion. In my mind, the most important thing to consider is pastoral care and guidance. Ensure the school you choose provides comprehensive support and an environment to help your child overcome any difficulties that may arise, both educational and social.
Distance to the school is a practical factor that many parents worry about too. While it may seem challenging in the initial year, children grow quickly and by Year 8, the distance often becomes less noticeable. Don’t let that be the deciding factor. The right school is worth a little extra travel time if it checks all the other boxes.
Once you have narrowed down your options and chosen a short or even a longlist then it’s time to look at the specifics of each school’s exam
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requirements. Pay attention to the exam dates, as they can be spread over several months. If they clash, there is always a second sitting. Let them know early and they should give you another date.
In my mind, the most essential bit that is not communicated is the importance of understanding the specific format of the exam, whether that is written, multiple-choice or AI-based adaptive testing. Not all schools test verbal reasoning and non-verbal reasoning, which may be important if your child has strengths or weaknesses in these areas.
Sadly, there is no standardised format for all schools, although several schools may use a similar format. Find some past papers or information about the online tests and go through it with your child. This doesn’t need to be pressured, but simple measures such as chatting through it before the exam will make the whole experience less stressful. For example, if the exam is multiple-choice and your child is running out of time, they may not know how to make educated or even random guesses. The ISEB online adaptive test prioritises accuracy, so slow down on the first few questions, as you can’t change the answers. Other AI tests are the complete opposite, needing speed to get through them and get a good mark. The information provided about the exams varies between schools. Some are very open about their type of exam and provide past papers and marking schemes, while others have multiple parts to the exam with vague or no information provided.
Interviews can be before or after the exam itself. These are often more daunting than the exam itself for some children, but other than knowing why they want to go to that school (a question which is always asked), it is best they answer truthfully and enthusiastically rather than preparing answers.
I felt this stage was also useful for the school to determine if your child would be happy at their school, and so it is important for them to be themselves.
At the end of the day, they are only exams and are as stressful as you make them. Try not to have a favourite school, or one that you communicate to your child. Remind them that all they can do is their best; the school selection is a bit like the Sorting Hat in my opinion. The right school will find them.
PREPARING FOR 11 PLUS EXAMS
NATASHA LYKOPOULOS Wandsworth-based parent
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 25
TURN TO PAGES 76-83 for university options
We are thrilled to feature the coronation celebrations held at the many schools we work with.
KING CHARLES III
26 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
Cameron Vale School
CELEBRATING THE CORONATION
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 27
TURN TO PAGES 32-35 to read about Rosemead Preparatory School merging with St Dunstan’s College
Ibstock Place School
CORONATION CELEBRATIONS 28 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
Queen Anne’s, Caversham
Putney High School
Surbiton High School
The White House Prep
CELEBRATING THE CORONATION EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 29
Charlie Mackesy supports National Thank a Teacher Day
The creator of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, Charlie Mackesy, is supporting this year’s National Thank a Teacher Day on 21st June 2023 by sharing an illustration to be featured on a limited edition e-card for families and children to send free-ofcharge in appreciation of their teachers.
In a touching tribute to teachers, Charlie’s illustration in his signature emotive style features an adult reading with his much-loved characters of the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse.
Charlie has included a quote in the card: “To teach a child is
to give them something precious, even though they may not realise it at the time.”
Charlie is one of many known British names that support Thank a Teacher Day, the UK’s largest annual celebration of educators, when schools, teachers, support staff, children and families come together to pay tribute to every member of staff that makes our schools so special.
Celebrities behind the initiative include Dame Helen Mirren, Sir Michael Morpurgo, Edith Bowman, Bobby Seagull, Ore Oduba and Nadiya Hussain to name a few.
“The people who support us through education, not just the teachers but the support staff too, have such a lasting impact on who we become, they inspire, empower and support so many young lives. Thank a Teacher Day, like Mother’s or Father’s Day, is a chance for us to express our appreciation and recognise the positive impact teachers have on us as individuals and society as a whole.”
MARY PALMER CEO of The Teaching Awards Trust
THANK A TEACHER DAY
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Transforming mental health outcomes for young people
Using the Tellmi App
Think about a child or young person close to you - do you think they would be likely to turn to you if they were struggling with their mental health? We would all like to think so, but last year Comic Relief found that 64% of children in the UK rarely or never speak to their parents about their mental health. Young people need support before, rather than after, their mental health deteriorates.
Tellmi was created to address this issue. With the right tools, young people can help themselves and each other. The multi-awardwinning app uses guided peer support, allowing young people to anonymously connect to others who have had similar experiences in a fully pre-moderated environment.
The reality is that one in six young people has a diagnosable mental health issuethat’s approximately five children in every classroom - but many more suffer from mild to moderate distress, and while most of the time they don’t meet the threshold for diagnosis, it doesn’t mean that they don’t need support. Tellmi creates a space for young people to talk. Anonymity makes it easy to be open and 100% premoderation by humans makes it safe. Pre-emptive counsellor intervention means that anyone who makes a high-risk post is automatically supported by a qualified counsellor without having to ask.
Tellmi is suitable for children aged eleven and up; the app is age-banded, meaning that young people are always talking to peers within two years of their own age. Their feed can be filtered by topic tags making it easy for young people to connect with peers who understand what they are going through, for example if they have autism or are in the LGBTQ+ community. In the Tellmi directory, young people can access over 600+ resources along with integrated signposting and access to local services. Tellmi is available 365 days a year, with no referrals and no waiting lists.
To date, Tellmi has been used by over 80,000 young people. Data insights provide transparent metrics on engagement, impact and mental health outcomes to help the NHS, and the education sector to provide better, more targeted support to the young people in their care.
Tellmi can be commissioned by the NHS or independently by schools.
EMMA FRENCH Growth Marketing Manager at Tellmi www.tellmi.help
MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING
TURN TO PAGES 44-45 to read about the St Dunstan’s talk EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 31
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH HEAD
Mr. Graeme McCafferty
FROM ROSEMEAD PREPARATORY SCHOOL, DULWICH
Mr. Graeme McCafferty speaks about life at Rosemead Preparatory School, using AI in the classroom and merging with the St Dunstan’s College group of schools.
To begin with, can you introduce yourself and tell us a little about your personal background leading to your recent appointment as Head at Rosemead Preparatory School?
I’m Graeme McCafferty and I am Head at Rosemead Prep School. I am a recent appointment - I took over as Head in February in 2023. I’ve had quite an interesting and varied career to date leading up to the appointment. I am Scottish, so I worked in Scotland for the first two years of my career. After working abroad for a few years we decided to move back to London, which was another new city for me. I joined Dulwich Prep, London at that point and had various roles over my five years there: I was Assistant Head of Lower School, at one point I was Director of Studies, developing their curriculum at the Prep. I then moved over to Rosemead as Director of Studies, which quickly turned into Deputy Head (Academic). I’d been Deputy Head (Academic) for about two and a half years, which led up to the exciting development in February of taking on the headship.
Can you tell us about the points of entry and requirements for children and families considering applying to Rosemead Preparatory School?
We market ourselves as a selective school, but
we are not necessarily an academically selective school. When we bring children in for interview or assessment days, we are really trying to tease out what that child is like and what type of learners they are, to see if we can cater for their needs. We’ve got two traditional points of entry. We’ve got a big intake at 4+ for traditional Reception, 4+ style assessments, such as stayand-play sessions. However, it’s a very informal session with the members of the leadership team on our Pre-Prep site observing the children.
We do have a nursery as well, so we take children in from
two and a half. If somebody applies at two and a half, they are with Rosemead all the way through. However, we do expand a little bit when we get to that 4+ area, so we’ve always got a little bit more intake. We have two-form entry in Year 1 and Year 2, and then our next big entry point is Year 3, 7+ entry, where the school expands from two-form entry to three-form entry for Years 3, 4, 5 and 6.
We are a little bit different from the other schools in the area in how we do the assessment at 7+. We are not huge fans of the formal assessment process, so we have as normal a day as we can with them. Usually, the children will begin an assessment day at 9am and have a music lesson with our Director of Music. They then have an Art lesson in our arts specialist room with our Head of Art and Design. Meanwhile, the Senior Leadership Team is making notes and observing the children. We do a little bit of writing, Maths and English throughout the day, but we try not to make it seem like an assessment.
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST 32 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
The children go out to play, mixing with some of our existing children, and then they have a P.E. lesson with our Director of Sport. They then stay for lunch, which is always a highlight of the day. We then make offers based on what we see on the day.
We do have ad hoc places throughout the school as well - we have certain year groups where we are not at capacity yet. They follow more or less the same structure as a 7+ day on more of an ad hoc process as and when there is demand.
Can you tell us about the values and ethos of Rosemead? Why are these important to your school community? Do you have a school motto?
Since I took over in February, our identity and who we are is something I’ve been talking quite a lot about with staff, children and parents. We are currently in the process of rebranding our values system in school, which will all be ready for a September roll-out. This will be called the ‘Roots of Rosemead’, which will have two branches –we’ll focus on five words which showcase our pastoral care and aims of the school, and five words which encapsulate the academic aims. Our pastoral words that will be ingrained in planning, teaching and learning, in school certificates, assemblies and everything else from September are: we will be kind, we are respectful, confident, honest and responsible. Then, expanding on that, we have our academic words. What we’re trying to teach children is how to be learners and effective communicators, because we want our children to be curious, creators, risk-takers and thinkers. We’re kind of in the infancy of ‘Roots of Rosemead’ and we’re really just working with the parents and children to nail down what
the words actually mean before it’s embedded in everything we do next year.
All of that links into our motto: “Inspiring Brilliant Futures” and that is what we try and live for and what we’re trying to instil in children. We want them to have inspired, brilliant futures, we want them to inspire each other in their brilliant futures and we want the ‘Roots of Rosemead’ to be the thing that underpins that overall motto. So, our children are kind, respectful, confident and all the other words I described, which ultimately come together in inspiring their brilliant futures.
Rosemead Prep recently joined with St Dunstan’s College in a merger. What opportunities and possibilities do you foresee in your future with St Dunstan’s going forwards? I think we are at a really exciting and crucial point in Rosemead’s 80-year history. Rosemead started with a group of parents who invested in the school and bought the school building, so it’s always been a very community-driven school and parents have always had a vested interest. I’d say the merger with St Dunstan’s is the most exciting evolution of the school yet. In terms of opportunities with St Dunstan’s, there are a huge number of possibilities. We are looking at bigger five- to ten-year projects, and now that we are part of a bigger organisation, we can look at economies of scale and work with St Dunstan’s to make things happen in the future that weren’t always possible for Rosemead.
We are currently working on initiatives to bring
“I’d say the merger with St Dunstan’s is the most exciting evolution of the school yet. In terms of opportunities with St Dunstan’s, there are a huge number of possibilities.”
Rosemead Prep, Dulwich
» EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 33
the schools together. Rosemead are joining forces with St Dunstan’s for St Dunstan’s festival and we are doing some singing with them. We are exploring opportunities for our Year 5s and 6s to use some of their DT labs in the next academic year because we don’t have them onsite. We have members of staff who are trained in 3D printing, we just need the facilities to be able to do it and St Dunstan’s offers us that. There is the opportunity for some of our older pupils to use science labs as well. We’re talking about doing our swim galas at St Dunstan’s pool. We’re also doing a lot of staff training together from September and we’re pooling resources, which will benefit both schools.
There will be a change to the Rosemead transition process into St Dunstan’s, too. Rosemead’s branding on 11+ will always be that we will work as hard as we can to get your child into the school that is right for you, and if the right school for you now is St Dunstan’s, there’s a nicer process than the 11+ for Rosemead children. For the current Year 5s, we are mirroring St Dunstan’s Junior School’s process for entry into the Senior School: in the Summer Term of
Year 5, the children will sit an internal assessment, as part of the usual battery of assessments we do in the Summer Term - there is no change in how we run our curriculum and run our assessment process at Rosemead. Then, my leadership team sits on a panel with St Dunstan’s’ leadership team and we discuss the children from both an academic data and pastoral point of view, and decide if they get an offer at the end of Year 5 to St Dunstan’s. Traditionally, Rosemead parents would have had to have gone through the 11+ process, so this is a much nicer process.
Merger with St Dunstan’s College
Introductory meeting to get to know your family and your child/children
Assessment when required to establish your child’s levels
School advice for both primary and secondary in the London area and beyond
Support and advice on suitable school choices
Booster sessions in key exam skills
your rising stars in our hands...
07738238273 email@example.com www.cjaeducationalconsultancy.com
“CENTURY Tech enables a very immediate, reactive approach to what’s happening live in the lesson, rather than a lot of data coming in from assessments at the end of the lesson and forming the next lesson.”
The topic of artificial intelligence and what it means for the future of teaching is something the magazine has been focusing on - we’ve been to the seminar at Cottesmore and also at the Institute for Education. It’s something that schools have been discussing and I noted that you are, as a school, using CENTURY Tech as part of the preparation for the 11+. Can you tell us about what this involves?
We made a decision, about eighteen months ago, to start exploring using AI in the classroom and start exploring using CENTURY Tech as our platform to do that. We have extensively trialled various different models and we really like how CENTURY works - it uses an AI programme to target bespoke individual learning for the children. For example, during a parent tour, we went into a Year 6 Maths lesson and the children had CENTURY Tech on their Chromebooks open (we have one-to-one devices in Year 5 and 6 – Years 4, 5 and 6 next year). They were doing a lesson on fractions and the teacher had set them a ‘nugget’ (which is what they’re called on CENTURY Tech) for the first five minutes, just to ascertain where they were and where the gaps in their learning were. So, the teacher was getting real-time feedback on what the children were able to do before the lesson started, which means the teacher can immediately start to group the children while in the lesson, determining who needs a little bit of extra teaching and who is ready to move on.
We have a very fluid approach in our classrooms at the moment and using AI to help us do that. In that lesson, after that diagnostic assessment at the beginning, the teacher allowed certain children to further their learning by pushing them on to higher content while the teacher grouped other children that had missed a couple of concepts and maybe needed a bit of extra help together. The Chromebooks weren’t seen again for the rest of the lesson and the teacher was very analogue and practical in making sure they understood before they went on to do their task. The ones who were doing the extension on CENTURY Tech in their individual recommended pathway were then brought out and the teacher moved them on even further. CENTURY Tech enables a very immediate, reactive approach to what’s happening live in the lesson, rather than a lot of data coming in from assessments at the end of the lesson and forming the next lesson. It’s quite hard work for the teachers, but they are embracing it and it’s going really well. If you are interested in learning more about what we’re doing, there are
two case studies on CENTURY Tech’s website at the moment featuring how we are using it to prepare children for all the assessments as well.
What are your thoughts on the use of AI and technology in classrooms going forwards? Do you have any concerns?
As I said, I think it is about balance - everything in moderation. At the moment, the way we are using AI to inform teaching and learning has massively helped with teacher workloads and assessment-targeted teaching. I’m not concerned with using it. Nobody knows what the future is going to bring. If we go back five or ten years, everybody was panicking that Google was going to mean that nobody thought for themselves, but it’s now just part of society. You go back further than that and computers were going to take over the world. It’s opened up new possibilities and new horizons, and I think we’re just at the cusp of seeing what happens next. It’s a really interesting transition point in the world, not just in education. I think that as educators we need to think about practice, we need to stay on top of our game and we need to be thinking about these things, but there comes a point where we do become concerned about certain things, and that’s where we pull back and re-evaluate.
We would like to thank Mr. Graeme McCafferty, Head at Rosemead
School, for giving up his time to speak to us.
Using AI in the classroom
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 35 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST TURN TO PAGE 54 to read about AI
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH HEADMASTER
Mr. Chris Muller
FROM SIR WILLIAM PERKINS’S SCHOOL, SURREY
Mr. Chris Muller speaks about their ethos, school motto, their socially and ethnically diverse community, welcoming AI into the curriculum and the benefits to staff and pupils of being forward thinking as a school.
To begin with, could you tell us a little about Sir William Perkins’s School?
Sir William Perkins’s School is situated in Chertsey, we’re an 1118, all-girls’, academically selective school and we currently have around 600 students.
Do you have a school motto? Can you explain the significance of this to your school’s community?
Our school motto, like most school mottos, is in Latin: “A Spe in Spem”, which means ‘from hope to hope’. Parents and students have asked what it actually means, and how I’ve interpreted it is that it’s saying to look at the future with hope, with expectation, with optimism. After all, the alternative is a pretty bleak affair. So, our students are filled with hope and optimism and are justifiably ambitious for the future as well.
What are your scholarship and bursary programmes?
We have Academic, Sport, Music, Drama and Art scholarships in Year 7, and again at the beginning of the Sixth Form. The academic one is an interview of those who have come top in the entrance exam. Sport, Music, Drama and Art are all done either through a portfolio, performance or some sort of sporting demonstration.
What does your school do to support children from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds?
We’re very lucky at this school – we’re a former old grammar school and we had that ethos still there. To put it into context, we have a very socially and ethnically diverse community. Half the students who join us in Year 7 will come from the state sector, half from the independent sector, so that really enables the teachers and the community to feel that we’re very nicely linked to our local community.
We have a generous bursary scheme, which enables and provides support for those parents and students who we know would really benefit from the education here, and also provides support for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Our students are also engaged in the community at large, which we feel is hugely important. For example, just this week our Year 9s are going into a local primary school to talk to the Year 5s in Spanish. Similarly, our Sixth Form students go into local charities to work and support them. Many of our staff are involved in local schools, whether that’s in terms of supporting them or as governors – we’re very keen to support governorship amongst our staff to primary and secondary schools. We’re very much part of our local community.
We recently attended a conference on AI at Cottesmore School, in which speakers discussed the strengths and weaknesses of AI and how it could be used in the classroom through tools
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such as ChatGPT. How is your school preparing its students for the digital age?
It is going to be a digital age. We’ve talked about careers, and it is used in every profession and will continue to be used even more, so we can’t run away from it or hope to close everything down and pretend that students can’t access it. We have a digital strategy: all our students have iPads, which expand the learning opportunities for them. We don’t see the iPad as the be-all and end-all, it’s a tool in their educational toolbox that they can bring out and use. It enables them to do a range of different things; for example, they can use spreadsheets to input data from experiments, they can share pieces of work when doing collaborative working, they can throw up their answers on the screen in class, it enables lots of things and broadens opportunities for learning. After all, we are preparing them for life. It looks like 40% of jobs currently being done may well not exist by the time many of my students go into the workplace, so it is really important for us to keep our eye on what is happening and make sure they’re fully prepared, in terms of the digital learning they’re receiving, for their eventual entry into the world of work.
Do you have any concerns about the use of technology and AI in the classroom?
I’m a classicist by background, and I’m reminded of a wonderful story from 2,500 years ago where the philosopher Socrates was lamenting about a new form of technology which he thought would destroy the world – that was people writing things down. His argument was that if you wrote things down, you wouldn’t remember and your memory would become weak. This was a great fear for him. In some ways, what I’m implying is that we’ve been here before in a way, you can look through history and see that every new piece of technology causes this existential angst about what is going to happen: “Where will the jobs come from?” That’s a very
common refrain throughout history, what happens if we mechanicalize, the industrial revolution did exactly that. The word ‘saboteur’ comes from people throwing sabots into mechanical machines to prevent progress. The question, I think, that people are asking is whether AI is a different level of change, whether it will change so much that we can’t control it or don’t understand it, and I think that’s where some of the fear is coming from.
There’s always a worry about how to deal with new technology in schools, and we’ve been here before with mobile phones. What we have to do, as we have done with mobile phones, is educate students about how to use these things appropriately and respectfully, because they’re not going away. They will use their mobile phones in the world of work, as we all do. What we need, therefore, is to make sure that we’ve taught our students how to be safe online, how to use this technology sensibly, so that they’re comfortable and safe using it going forward. It is an opportunity, AI - of course it is - I suppose the most extraordinary thing is the speed of change, and that’s very disconcerting. You may have read that some of the concern is surrounding things like homework: if things can be produced by ChatGPT, where is the sense in which this is somebody’s work? What about cheating, and using the computers to do your homework and do your exams for you? These are things that we’re going to have to think hard about, and I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but there will be questions and discussions that we’re going to have to think really hard about, in terms of what education will look like in the coming years, and what it will be for – what are we actually doing in education in the next five, ten years? Perhaps ChatGPT will be the driving force behind us making a real change to education.
The Oratory Prep School, Oxfordshire
Sir William Perkins’s School, Surrey
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 37
“Half the students who join us in Year 7 will come from the state sector, half from the independent sector, so that really enables the teachers and the community to feel that we’re very nicely linked to our local community.”
TURN TO PAGES 6-7 to read about nursery news
Further to this, speakers mentioned how schools are currently designed to prepare students for the 20th Century in 2023. Do you feel that the current education system is slightly outdated?
That’s a really difficult question. It’s interesting that we say that the system was devised in the 19th Century and I suspect that if I were to bring someone from 1883, they would still see rows of classrooms, they would have a teacher and a blackboard, perhaps, but the essence isn’t that different. I don’t think our time traveller from 1883 would necessarily be completely ill at ease with what they’re seeing in the classroom - I think it would be familiar to them. The question is, is it going to be fit for purpose as things develop?
One of the things that did happen after the pandemic that really interested me, once we had all been online, was that teachers’ and students’ comfort levels with things like Zoom went through the roof. Prior to the pandemic, we wouldn’t have been as comfortable – we knew it did happen, but we probably wouldn’t have gone on and done this. Necessity, being the mother of invention as it is, drove us to work like this, and we suddenly found out that this is really quite convenient. So, we are seeing lots of changes in that way. A good example is parent evenings – we see many parents online now, which means we have a much better take-up, parents can access teachers more easily from their home rather than coming into school, which they may not have the time to do. AI may well be another one of these driving forces in education which forces us to think really hard about what we want to do and what education is about.
However, the one thing the pandemic taught us is that the human element is essential. We can talk about AI as much as we want, but human intelligence, human interaction, the sense of being physically
together, is crucial. I think that’s something which, whatever the education system of 2050 looks like, will have to be retained. It might well be the case that we’re looking more at mentors and coaches rather than teachers, but the human element of the interaction will have to remain the same.
And computers can make mistakes. That’s right, and so can humans. I mean, the argument is that humans might make more mistakes.
How do you think the curriculum should adapt, embrace or change for the benefit of the future generations?
I had a feeling you were going to ask me that, so I asked ChatGPT! ChatGPT gave me five answers, all of which I think are pretty good – and this comes back to: “Can I outsource my thinking to ChatGPT?” The five things that ChatGPT gave me were: critical thinking, real-world skills, projectbased learning, emotional intelligence and environmental education. Those are the things ChatGPT thinks the curriculum will require as we go into the future. In some ways, I had hoped it wouldn’t say that, as I’d like to disagree with ChatGPT, but I think something like that will be how things develop in the future for education as things move in the direction of us embracing these new technologies.
We would like to thank Mr. Chris Muller, Headmaster at Sir William Perkins’s School, for giving up his time to speak to us.
AI in the curriculum
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“The five things that ChatGPT gave me were: critical thinking, real-world skills, project-based learning, emotional intelligence and environmental education. Those are the things ChatGPT thinks the curriculum will require as we go into the future.”
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH
Emma Beamish is a retired Irish cricketer, who was the opening batter. She gained 29 international caps for Ireland between 2003 and 2012. She made her international debut at the 2003 IWCC (International Women’s Cricket Council) Trophy, where Ireland won the tournament qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa in 2005. Emma also won a number of European 20/20 championships. In addition, she played domestic cricket for Surrey, representing their second XI in the 1999 and 2000 at the County Championships. She played for Surrey U21 in the inaugural match of the MCC Women and has been a playing member of the MCC Women since.
To start at the beginning, could you tell us your story and about when you first started playing cricket?
I started playing cricket when I was at the tender age of nine and only because my primary school, Castle Park, in Dublin offered cricket. They had fantastic links with Merrion Cricket Club, so the school and the club worked together and I continued playing. I’m actually still a member of the club today. I just loved playing; the coaches, the support and the club atmosphere were all fantastic, so it was a lovely way to spend your summers. From there, I continued to play at secondary school, at the King’s Hospital
School in Ireland, and again, they were very supportive of girls’ cricket and had great set-ups, so there were many summer evenings where I got to get off homework and play cricket instead!
I moved to the UK at fourteen and I was very lucky that the UK had fantastic set-ups as well. I started playing at Shepperton Cricket Club in Surrey and then, through there, I got involved with the Surrey County setup, and they have the most incredible underage set-up, and from there I went from strength to strength. I was selected for the England U17 development squad and actually the Irish U17 squad at the same time, and I ended up playing for Ireland when I wasn’t selected for England. That sort of put my future to bed, really. I then ended up playing for Ireland U21 and that went on to the national level.
I understand that you went to Reed’s School. How did Reed’s help support your career in cricket?
I was very lucky to be part of Reed’s. I was actually part of the very first full cohort of girls at Reed’s. There were no female sports because there weren’t girls there before. The headmaster knew how important sports was to me, so he wasn’t quite sure how to navigate this hurdle. He asked Alex Balls, who was the Director of Sport at that time (now Deputy Headmaster): “How on earth would this work?” Alex’s response was something that, to this
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST
RETIRED IRISH FEMALE CRICKETER
40 | EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023
day, I still think was instrumental for me. He just said: “If she’s good enough, she’ll play.” It was that simple. Based on merit: “if she’s good, she’ll play.” My gender didn’t come into it and it was just such an open-minded response. Especially as a woman playing in a male-dominated sport, it was fantastic!
What I loved about Reed’s then and now is that they have always opened doors instead of closing them, and that has made all the difference in the world to me. As a girl, there is no better way to improve in sport than to play with the boys. Generally, they’re more physical, they’re quicker and you have to adapt to this and get better. You also have to get mentally stronger if you’re the only girl playing with the boys. But, to be honest, in all of the sports that I’ve played over the last few decades, those are some of the fondest memories that I have.
How has this continued at Reed’s School since you left?
They’re great, I’m always in touch with them because the Old Reedonian network is always alive and well. Girls’ cricket at Reed’s has really taken off. It was formally introduced four years ago and it’s now a major sport for girls in the summer alongside tennis. They field three teams and a lot of the girls there are new to cricket, and they play matches against other schools. Reed’s have a fantastic pitch, that Surrey CC also use, but they also have an amazing indoor cricket centre with five lanes. This means that they can train throughout the winter. The girls just love it and they’re very capable, and again, still, if they’re good enough, they play with
the boys’ team. There is still that open-door policy where it’s all based on merit, which I just love.
What do you feel are some of the biggest challenges that you have faced throughout your career?
This is a funny one, because parts of my challenges no longer exist anymore, which is fantastic! I was an Irish girl playing cricket. This, to most people, was hilarious. You’d tell people what you do and, even when I was playing for Ireland, people still, sort of, look at you sideways, going: “You’re a girl, and you play cricket?” They couldn’t compute. The recognition of women in cricket and in sport has now changed dramatically, so people no longer give you that sideways glance - it is now… normal. When I was growing up it was totally different, and it’s funny to look back on now. Myself and others owe a debt to the women who came before us and blazed trails, and also to the women who have now gone ahead of us and demanded equality. We’re in a beautiful place in women’s sports where our voice is getting louder. For example, the Irish women’s football teams were demanding equal pay; the American women’s football team were also doing it; the cricket teams were demanding contracts and prize money. Australian sport teams are also trailblazers in this, really trying to increase women’s equality in terms of the pay.
How did Surrey County Cricket support you with your journey?
I would not have reached the heights or had the incredible experiences that I had without Surrey Cricket, and I am very aware of that. There are a couple of people who stand out to me: Sharon Eyers
Emma Beamish, Irish cricketer
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 41
“What I loved about Reed’s then and now is that they have always opened doors instead of closing them, and that has made all the difference in the world to me. As a girl, there is no better way to improve in sport than to play with the boys.” »
was the Women’s Development Officer for Surrey when I was playing. She was and is one of the most selfless, funny people that I know. She was so fun and just so passionate about girls’ cricket. She kept pushing and pushing for us to have more and more, she was our voice. It’s something that I didn’t get until I was much older and she championed us. There are many of us at Surrey cricket who are very lucky that we had her for our journeys.
Another one is the coaches. He still makes me laugh, Jeremy Greaves - fantastic coach, with an infectious energy. But most of all, my teammates: a number of those girls actually went on to represent their country. They were the best girls and, not only did they represent their country, other girls have blazed trails in other areas of life. And again, I think this comes back to why sport is so incredible: it gives you the confidence and the skills to go out and do things, it gives you your voice. Growing up would not have been the same without them.
Likewise, what was your experience like playing for Ireland?
I think there’s nothing in the world that can explain the pride of pulling on the jersey for your country. There are highs and lows that you can only experience that come with really, really wanting something. Every cap you gain for your country is special, because there are no guarantees in international sport. You never know when it’s going to be your last cap. You fight for your position
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all the time, you’re contending with injuries, illness, poor form and the mental side of it is out of this world. You learn to dig pretty deep at times.
But ultimately, I find that I still pinch myself, because I got to do it. I have that shirt with my name on it, with ‘Beamish’ on it, number 36, and it’s something that I’ll treasure forever. My cap is sitting framed, it will be gathering dust as well, but it’s very special and I’m very privileged to have played with the girls that I have done and worked with the people that I did.
Do you feel that having a career in sports for a woman is harder than it is for a man?
Short answer: yes. I think until recently, it wasn’t a real option. I mean, growing up, the only sports that I knew where there was a career for women were golf and tennis. Especially in Ireland, realistically it was practically all amateur sport. But a lot of that has changed – Irish cricket women now have contracts, they started a couple of years ago, I think. There’s still a way to go, but it is getting there.
It feels like the time has kind of come for women’s sport. There are better contracts available – you see them talking about it in England, you see them talking about how now, in English cricket, women and men get the same match fee. Contracts aren’t the same, but they’re getting there. Women and men get the same prize money in Wimbledon. In Australian cricket, as I mentioned before, they’ve taken real strides to try and close the salary gaps between the male and female cricket players.
But I think for women’s sport now, it’s getting there. Is it completely there? No. We’re still having to fight for equality, but people are listening more and more now. It’s such a joy to watch that we’re moving in the right direction.
Do you feel that cricket is a relatively accessible sport for people from minority and disadvantaged backgrounds?
I don’t think it’s as difficult as it used to be. People have their hang-ups about cricket being an elitist sport, but truthfully, I think that’s perception and culture. Don’t forget, I was an Irish girl playing cricket, you know, these things did not compute. But it just happened that the school I attended played it, and I loved it. There have been huge, huge investments at grassroots level in Ireland and in the UK. Equipment used to be a blocker but now Kwik cricket equipment, which is a plastic blue
set of stumps and yellow ones, is widely available for free. That equipment can now be put into any playground in the country and you can play on any surface. You no longer need the mowed lawns and the cricket crease which is very expensive to keep.
I think it’s just a mindset. It’s new, it’s different, but like everything I think if you keep showing up and giving people the opportunity to play, you allow them to make up their own minds. There are so many clubs around that people can join. The cricketing community is so welcoming, they love new cricket players, everyone’s passionate and nuts about the sport.
For example, at Surrey, Ebony Rainford-Brent - who I played with at U21 and also a World Cup Winning player - set up the ACE, which is the Afro Caribbean Engagement programme. This gives a great opportunity to engage young people of African and Caribbean heritage, at the grassroots level, which is incredible.
Cricket is for everyone, and whether it’s a ball made out of electrical tape and sticks for wickets, trust me, the kids will be competitive. For me, I think it’s all about just having someone to keep turning up for them, and to give them access and opportunities.
We would like to thank Emma Beamish, retired Irish cricketer, for giving up her time to speak to us.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST TURN TO PAGE 52 to read about Bold Voices working on gender equality EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 43 Giving girls a chance
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST
INTERVIEW WITH HEAD
Mr. Nick Hewlett
FROM ST DUNSTAN’S COLLEGE, LEWISHAM
Mr. Nick Hewlett speaks about their conference on Tuesday 20th June titled: ‘Let’s Talk about… Porn, Sex and Educating for the Difference’ in an effort to raise awareness as to the current growing teen pornography crisis.
Given the findings of the recent Children’s Commissioner’s Report in January, do you believe that there is a growing cause for concern at the moment with regards to the use of pornography among young people?
I absolutely do and I have for a very long time. The Children’s Commissioner’s Report really just compounds and echoes my previously existing thoughts, which is that young people are living in a cyber space with accessibility to unregulated pornography that I believe is unprecedented. Certainly, it’s a totally different space to the one I occupied as a young person, and the impact of that on this generation of young people coming through is hugely significant and worrying.
I believe that we have an absolute imperative as educators to tackle that proactively, to facilitate a dialogue among young people so that they can make corrective choices online and build a values base from which they can make active decisions as to what they want to engage in and what they don’t want to engage in. But to set out the extent of the problem in the way that the Children’s Commissioner’s Report has done showcases to us that actually there is an enormous issue that must be tackled.
It cannot be right that in this country, the majority of young girls expect pornographic imagery to contain violence from men towards women, and it cannot be right that that violence is routinely associated with the strangulation of women, and it cannot be right that when we know that nearly 50% of young people are accessing
pornography before the age of thirteen, that that level of violence and unregulated violence associated with it is what’s going into our young people’s minds.
Can you tell us a little bit about what the St Dunstan’s conference will cover?
The real premise of this conference: it’s a first, so what I want to try and do is use it as an opportunity to educate educators as to the extent of the problem, because I feel that for too long, we’ve had our heads buried from this subject. We’ve been far too British about it and felt as though we can’t talk openly about sex and porn,
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when we know that’s the lived experience of the vast majority of young people under our care.
So, the first thing I want to do is just to get it out in the open, acknowledge the extent of the problem, understand the extent of the problem and, quite frankly, be mature, adult and professional about it in saying: “Yes, this is a very real issue, this is what it could mean or what it does mean, actually, for the development of these young people in impeding their development?” and then to move the conversation on to: “How do we tackle it? What can we do in schools?” because in that lies risk, we know in the current climate that there is risk, and there’s risk not least because there is a lack of consistency and clarity in the guidance from the Department for Education in what we should and shouldn’t be teaching.
There’s increasingly a willingness to engage and a recognition that something needs to be done in some of these areas, but without real clarity, you risk inconsistency in the way that this is approached. You risk inconsistency in how we’re pulling in third-party providers and how it’s being taught, in how we manage stakeholders in the teaching of this particular subject, all of whom have different views as to what should and shouldn’t be taught.
The second part of the conference is really about saying: “Well, within the realms of what we can do, how do we share best practice in this area? How do we, together, try and collectively lobby for some sort of greater clarity from the government as to how we might approach teaching this?” But, first and foremost, we need to recognise that we must teach it because we have a duty to protect young people and help them make the right choices online in this particular space.
What can parents do at home to try to address these issues?
There’s obviously a spectrum of what parents feel comfortable talking to their children about and I totally understand that. For me, that is why the consistency needs to come from schools – the third party, if you like, for the families. The only way you can ensure consistency in educating around these values is by relying on schools.
But of course, parents have a role to play, they have a role to play in all elements of education, in supporting it, in affirming some of the things that are being taught in the classroom, and some will feel more comfortable than others. I personally feel as though parents should be creating an
environment at home where these kinds of honest and frank conversations can take place. That doesn’t mean to say that it’s always easy, nor does it mean to say that parents should feel guilty if they are not able to have that conversation, or indeed if they don’t feel comfortable having that conversation, because different families interact differently for all sorts of different reasons. Young people feel more comfortable or less comfortable talking to parents about different things. But of course, I would encourage families to have that conversation.
I think what is really important is that parents understand what is being said in schools, and that schools are transparent about what it is that they’re talking about in these classrooms: which third-party agents, if they’re bringing those in; what is the resourcing around this and how can parents understand that better; not be taken by surprise when their children come home and talk to them about it; and how can they engage supportively in that? This is about transparency from schools to parents in these more challenging issues, so that everybody can work together in trying to tackle it.
We would like to thank Mr. Nick Hewlett, Head at St Dunstan’s College, for giving up his time to speak to us.
“I believe that we have an absolute imperative as educators to tackle that proactively, to facilitate a dialogue among young people so that they can make corrective choices online and build a values base from which they can make active decisions as to what they want to engage in and what they don’t want to engage in.”
‘Let’s Talk About Porn’ Conference
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 45 TURN TO PAGE 14 to read about diversity in dolls
EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST INTERVIEW WITH
Professor John Mullan
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENGLISH AT UNIVERSITY COLLEGE LONDON
Professor John Mullan is the Head of the Department of English at UCL. He studied for his BA and PhD at the University of Cambridge and was a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. John then became a Lecturer at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge, before he came to UCL in 1994. He has been Professor of English since 2005, and was appointed Lord Northcliffe Chair of Modern English Literature from 1st October 2016.
To begin, you are the Head of the English Department at UCL, which was one of the first universities to offer English Literature as a course. Can you tell us a little more about how this came to be?
What is funny is that lots of people tend to assume that English Literature has always been studied at universities and schools, but this is not so! Its existence as an individual subject is a relatively modern invention, by my standards anyway. When UCL was founded in the 1820s, it was very unusual in that there was a Professor of English Literature who gave lectures on literary topics. However, you couldn’t do a specific degree in English in those days, you could go to lectures on great authors as a part of your general education, but it wasn’t until the end of the 19th century that UCL offered
what we would call an English degree. Even though it was the late 19th century, UCL was rather ‘go ahead’ in doing that. For instance, Cambridge, which became the home of English studies in the middle of the 20th century, didn’t offer an English degree until the 1920s. It is a 20th century subject; most other universities in Britain didn’t offer English until the 1920s. English Literature only became a subject to study in schools in the 19th century. It was for young men who were going to work in the civil service, or run the empire, or perhaps who came from backgrounds that were too modest to allow for them to study the traditional subjects of Latin or Greek. It only really became a university subject in the 20th century. In doing so, it knocked those traditional literary subjects of the classics to one side. It is a relatively recent import to the higher education world.
Why do you think it is important for students to study English Language and Literature? What do you hope for them to take away from their degree at UCL?
It is so often the case that if you listen to somebody’s account of how they first discovered
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the joys of education, of learning things, it will often be through their discovery of the pleasures of reading when they are young. Ninety nine times out of a hundred, that usually means the pleasure of reading fiction, but sometimes it’s the pleasure of reading poetry or something else. Very often, people who might not actually end up studying English at university will first discover the excitement of learning things for themselves through reading fiction. It takes you out of yourself, it allows you to imagine other lives in a way that no other reading experience does. It also introduces you, crucially, to the subtleties and the potential of language and how it is best being used. I hope that by the end of their degree at UCL, students are able to take away not just intellectual self-confidence; the ability to speak and think for themselves, not just a critical scepticism; the ability to read or listen to what others say and analyse it, but I also hope that they go away with literature in their head, with shards of what has best been expressed. Even, I tell them, with quotations in their head. When you read someone who writes well, or when you listen to someone who speaks well in the English language, it is invariably full of what they have actually learnt from reading and from literature.
Most recently, you published a book about Charles Dickens, The Artful Dickens (2020). Could you tell us a little about it? Do you think that Charles Dickens was a social progressive?
I wrote my book about Dickens because I think that he is a wonderfully inventive, audacious and a terribly funny writer. Ever since he first burst onto the scene in the 1830s, he became an almost overnight sensation; he has been looked down upon by critics and other writers as a mere entertainer. You can’t deny the fact that he is entertaining.
Equally, his contemporaries can’t deny the fact that he is the most popular writer in the world from the mid 19th century.
The fact that he was so popular and entertaining became a reason for condescending him; he wasn’t taken seriously as a literary innovator. I think that this has sometimes been the habit of critics and readers in the 20th and 21st century. I wanted to show how artful he was. The title is a joke about the artful dodger, obviously, but it also has a point, which is to show and take pleasure in his literary skill. As a writer, he had the ability to electrify the consciousness of his Victorian readers, and his work can still do that to modern readers to this day. I don’t think that we read him because he is a political or moral sage. I think that we read him because if you open any Dickens novel at any page, randomly, you’ll find the sentences are fizzing on the page with the characterisation
SPECIAL FEATURE University College London
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“I think that we read him because if you open any Dickens novel at any page, randomly, you’ll find the sentences are fizzing on the page with the characterisation of each character.”
of each character. The voices of the characters are immediately alive to you.
Dickens very much liked to think of himself as a sort of political and moral sage, but I think that often his lessons are quite simple ones, particularly when you compare him to a novelist such as George Eliot. I also don’t want to put aside Dickens’s achievements in Nicholas Nickleby, through which he alerted his contemporaries to the scandal of these Yorkshire schools where children were packed off to wither or even to die. I don’t want to diminish his ability to say to readers: “Look at this! This is what is happening in the world around you.” However, I don’t think that that is why I read Dickens. It is certainly not why I wrote the book about him.
In 2012 you published a book on Jane Austen, What Matters in Jane Austen? Why do you think Jane Austen is still so popular amongst students to this day?
Jane Austen is an extraordinary writer. I think the main reason Jane Austen is so popular with readers, particularly with students, is that she is so good at crediting the intelligence of her readers. It is a delight to study or teach Jane Austen, because as soon as you start looking at what is going on in a chapter, in a page, in a paragraph, you start seeing
all of the tiny wheels that are spinning round. I think that she shares with Shakespeare this extraordinary ability to make minute connections between everything that is going on - in her case in a novel, in his case in a play.
I think lots of people have this experience: I have read some Jane Austen novels over fifteen times in my life, but I know that if I sit down with Emma with a class of undergraduates, some of whom will have read it for the very first time, as soon as you start looking at particular episodes in the novel, undergraduates will start pointing out things that I had never seen before. Austen is extraordinarily rewarding like that. There is nothing inert or bland in any sentence or any word that a character says. She said very little about what she wrote and why she wrote, but she said to her sister once in a letter: “I do not write for such dull Elves as have not a great deal of Ingenuity themselves.” She activates our ingenuity, doesn’t she? While we’re reading, she makes us - if we want to be - as clever and witty and perceptive as her. But then, unfortunately, we then have to go back to life afterwards.
Do you have any advice for students who wish to study English Literature at university? Do you feel that there are any books or pieces of literature that students should be considering?
The best advice one could give is what the narrator from Tristram Shandy says rather admonishingly: “Read, read, read, my unlearned reader, read!” When we are trying to choose from applicants for my department to study English, more important than anything else is
Why study English?
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“The best advice one could give is what the narrator from Tristram Shandy says rather admonishingly: “Read, read, read, my unlearned reader, read!” When we are trying to choose from applicants for my department to study English, more important than anything else is that the person has got an appetite for reading, that they don’t just read what they need to get A’s in their A Levels or exams.”
that the person has got an appetite for reading, that they don’t just read what they need to get A’s in their A Levels or exams. It almost doesn’t matter what they are reading. I remember when I was in my teens I had an incredibly boring time. I lived in the countryside; I had nothing to do in the school holidays. In those days there was no internet, there was no daytime television to speak of. I read because it was my escape into a more interesting world. I realise now, looking back, that I read in slightly random ways, in terms of my choices in what to read. I think that that is fine, there isn’t a list that you have to tick off. Although I think it is better to read well-written things rather than poorly written things. Having an appetite for reading is the most important thing, it feeds itself. There are people who end up doing English at university who don’t necessarily like reading that much. If that is the case, I think they have probably chosen the wrong subject.
The UCL English Department is well-known for having produced some very famous script writers and producers, including Christopher Nolan. Why do you think students have gone on to do so well and many into film production and script writing?
That is a very interesting question. I know Christopher Nolan slightly and asked him exactly this question in terms of what he learned from the somewhat traditional English Literature course that we teach and how that helped him with his filmmaking career. I’m not sure that my answer to that was the same as his, but perhaps I can give an example that can illustrate what I think somebody studying the course will learn. In the first year, all of our students have to study a course called ‘Narrative Texts’, which consists of a sequence in chronological order from the oldest to the most recent great works of literature, all of which tell stories in very different forms and genres. Some of them are poems, such as Paradise Lost or Wordsworth’s The Prelude. Some of them are novels like The Mill on The Floss or Tony Morrison’s Beloved. Some of them are satires, such
as Alexander Pope’s The Rape of The Lock. Some of the poems rhyme, some of the poems don’t. The students and those of us who teach the course learn the different ways in which narratives can be structured; how stories often don’t start from the beginning, but at the end and go backwards; how narrators such as George Eliot or John Milton employ time shifts or shifts of perspective. If you see Christopher Nolan’s films, it seems to me as if he has learnt it all from ‘Narrative Texts’. His films are all about extraordinary flashbacks and flashforwards - they all do things with narrative time. You never start at the beginning and work all the way through to the end. You never start at the end and work your way all the way back to the beginning. You sometimes have some of the same bits of a story shown to you more than once from different perspectives. These are all, if you like, bits of narrative trickery that writers discovered before filmmaking or TV filmmaking ever existed. It is no accident, I think, that TV and film, Hollywood in particular, indefatigably keep referring back to literature! It is not just because of the funny costumes or the quaint manners of the past, it is also because some of the narrative trickery was developed by literature before film and TV could ever get a hold of it, and I think this is something that Christopher Nolan learnt through literature too.
We would like to thank Professor John Mullan, Head of the Department of English at University College London, for giving up his time to speak to us.
CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL PODCAST
Benefits of books
TURN TO PAGE 61 to read about societies at university EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 49
Christopher Nolan visiting UCL Film & TV Society
Developing transferable skills
Preparing for the workplace whilst at school
Employers often talk about the shortage of transferable and work-ready skills when young people join them directly after school or from university. This can be confusing for young people - they might be thinking: “What are transferable skills and how do I acquire them?”
Good academic grades are, of course, essential. However, employers are looking for more: the ability to articulate additional skills relevant to the workplace will be more likely to secure an interview and the subsequent job.
Transferable skills are just that: the skills that have utility in every job, no matter the field or the title. Some transferable skills are ‘hard’, like coding or data analysis, and some are ‘soft’ skills, like communication, relationship building and teamwork. Think of transferable skills as things that can be developed throughout the school years by volunteering, joining local clubs, work experience and internships. They are the skills that you will use in any professional setting and will give any employer confidence in a person’s ability to quickly fit into any role.
An example of a school-based activity that can help develop transferable skills is charity fundraising, when a team is working together to identify a cause to support, plan the fundraising and communications campaign, agree who takes on what roles within the team and reconcile the funds raised. Writing this up for a CV, the
skills acquired in this instance can be referred to as: team working, ability to communicate, organisational skills, decision making, problem solving, working to a deadline and financial awareness. This would equally apply to being involved in a play, musical concert or other school event.
Many young people are involved in clubs or local groups such as Scouts or after-school clubs. These also provide important opportunities to learn work-ready skills such as teamwork, problem solving, creativity and leadership.
When writing a first CV, young people should bring in these activities as a central element after listing school and academic achievements in a section entitled Activities and Employability Skills. They can list projects and write a few sentences linking the activities undertaken alongside the skills developed.
Taking part in activities beyond academic studies becomes an important way to build and enhance a CV over time. These, when identified and explained in the language of transferable skills, become the crucial points that ensure that a CV immediately stands out to an employer.
Lancing College, an independent school in Sussex, gives students an opportunity to achieve their best academically and offers over 100 different co-curricular clubs and activities in which to gain many important skills for work.
DIANA CREE Executive Director of External Relations at Lancing College www.lancingcollege.co.uk
LIFE SKILLS AT LANCING COLLEGE
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BOOK YOUR VISIT AT LANCINGCOLLEGE.CO.UK Be inspired Be brilliant Be you »
Being at Lancing has allowed me to be my best self.
Pupil-led programme to tackle sexism and misogyny in schools
“I truly believe we’ve started a shift in attitudes. It doesn’t mean that students didn’t want to change, but we provided a voice and model to show them they can speak out and they aren’t alone.”
Student Rep, 2022-23 Cohort
At Bold Voices, our mission is to give school communities the knowledge, tools and space to come together to challenge sexism, misogyny and a culture of gender-based violence. That’s why we created the Ambassador Programme, a year-long virtual course in which participating pupils, staff and parents are given the opportunity to gain in-depth knowledge about gender inequality, space to come together to have productive conversations about genderbased violence, and the skills and confidence needed to run pupilled projects which challenge gender inequality in their own communities.
The foundational learning at the core of the programme is to
recognise that all the ways in which gender inequality shows up in the world are connected and sit within a culture where issues like misogyny and sexism are trivialised, normalised and accepted; a culture of genderbased violence and gender inequality. The Bold Voices Programme empowers pupils to recognise that, within this culture, they have more agency than they realise to make real change, starting with issues like sexist language, banter or harmful attitudes in their own schools. We’ve seen pupils’ projects take this understanding and lead incredible projects ranging from hosting a gender neutral sports day, to surveying the whole school on sexism, to presenting assemblies to younger years.
The programme is designed to meet three primary goals: Inspire student voices to lead creative and engaging projects which tackle sexism and misogyny in schools. Establish a nationwide community to create tangible, sustainable change.
Provide space for students, staff and parents to connect with other schools and begin a ripple of change throughout the education sector.
The programme’s second cohort has just finished, with 100% of students agreeing that they would recommend the Ambassador Programme to another school. Bold Voices are an award-winning social enterprise bringing school communities together to learn, discuss and tackle gender inequality and gender-based violence. Whether you’re a parent, staff member or pupil, we are here to support you in fighting for an education free from gender inequality and gender-based violence for the next generation.
TURN BACK TO PAGES 44-45 to read about the talk on porn and sex education at St Dunstan’s College
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Combining the traditional and the unconventional
Year 9 provision at DLD College, London
DLD college, London is preparing to open its doors to Year 9 students from September 2023.
Central to the pioneering new Year 9 offering is a curriculum designed to spark a love of learning, preparing students for the careers of tomorrow and providing a solid bedrock of knowledge and skills. The programme will deliver an invaluable hybrid of the traditional and unconventional, introducing students to the rigours of grammar and algebra, while also learning about topics such as NFTs and cryptocurrency.
An exciting part of the
programme, which maximises the college’s unique location on the South Bank, once a week students will work on crosscurricular projects whereby London truly becomes their classroom. Students will have the opportunity to get involved in the community in which they live, developing their research, inquiry and reflection skills, actively using everything that the capital has to offer.
Year 9 students will then progress on to an exciting new GCSE programme, continuing the theme of tradition combined with innovation, as BTEC subjects such
as Esports and Entrepreneurship will be offered alongside traditional GCSEs. This forwardthinking approach will help prepare students for the careers of the future and will be supported along the way with DLD’s awardwinning pastoral system, building their confidence, independence and resilience, further preparing them for the future.
SAM AYERST Marketing and Communications
DLD COLLEGE, LONDON
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
What is AI and why should it be taken seriously?
One of the hottest topics within the education sector at the moment is that of artificial intelligence (AI) and the impact it could have on both teachers and students.
The recent development of ChatGPT leaves us in no doubt that we are entering a new era of technology. At the current rate of advancement, it is likely that AI could have a greater impact on society than the invention of the internet, computers or smartphones.
Many experts within the field have noted the significance of AI, with Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google, famously claiming that it is more profound than “electricity
or fire. ” With this in mind, it is important for us to understand exactly what AI is and how it works.
Put simply, AI refers to a machine’s ability to perform a task which previously would have required human intelligence. AI can be divided into three subcategories: narrow AI, general AI and super AI.
Artificial Narrow Intelligence (ANI):
ANI includes intelligence systems which have been designed to carry out specific tasks or solve specific problems. This form of AI is most commonly used in voice assistants
such as Alexa and in general image recognition systems. ChatGPT is another example of ANI.
Artificial General Intelligence (AGI):
AGI is a stronger form of AI than ANI, remaining a hypothetical concept in which a machine has the ability to understand and perform vastly different tasks based on accumulated experience. This form of intelligence is closer to that of human intellect.
Artificial Super Intelligence (ASI): This is considered the strongest form of AI. It would be able to outperform humans in every possible function and have the ability to learn and improve itself. However, it comes with great risk and needs to be treated with caution.
What is ChatGPT?
One of the most notable developments of AI recently has been the release of ChatGPT 3.5 and 4. ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that has the ability to generate ‘natural’ language, answer questions, and is currently one of the most accessible forms of AI.
‘GPT’ stands for ‘Generative Pre-trained Transformer’, and it is the largest language model in existence at the moment. It can assist with tasks such as composing emails, writing essays and coding.
The software is currently free and open to the public as it is still in its research phase. It was made
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by a research company called OpenAI, of which Elon Musk was originally a board member. Commenting on the significance of ChatGPT, Musk notes that: “Chat GPT is scary good. We are not far from dangerously strong AI.”
The impact of AI in the classroom:
With ChatGPT in mind, it is becoming apparent that AI may be useful not only for completing mundane tasks, but for enhancing human learning. For example, ChatGPT is able to provide students with instant feedback for their work and can be used to expand their knowledge on specific subjects. Unlike textbooks, which schools regularly have to invest in to keep up-to-date with the rapidly changing syllabus, ChatGPT would be able to update itself, saving schools both time and money.
A number of schools are beginning to train teachers in the use of software such as ChatGPT to enhance their students’ learning. There are a variety of ways in which ChatGPT can be used, including: the creation of specific question worksheets and their answer keys; marking exam questions; coming up with exemplar exam answers; writing essays; marking student work; brainstorming for essay and project titles, and much more. Needless to say, ChatGPT could be used to save teachers a lot
of time on mundane tasks, allowing them to focus on supporting students with more complex topics. However, it is important to note that ChatGPT is not without limitations and can by no means be used to replace human teachers. There are a great number of risks that come with the acceptance of AI within both society and the classroom and it is important that we try to control its usage.
ChatGPT has already proven to be incredibly popular, despite only being in early stages of development. According to the Swiss bank UBS, ChatGPT is the fastest growing app of all time, accumulating over 100 million active users in January (two months after its launch). To put this in perspective, it took TikTok nine months to reach the same number of users. Consequently, we must ask ourselves why ChatGPT is so popular and if it will truly benefit society in the long term. When using AI, it is important for us to consider questions such as:
Given its accessibility, could ChatGPT be used to encourage laziness, particularly amongst students? How do we ensure that they learn to think for themselves?
How can a teacher differentiate between an essay written by a student and one written by an AI? Should access to such software be more controlled? How do we set limits?
If AI is to be used within the classroom, how do we monitor how many hours a child spends looking at a screen?
Given the impact which the development of technology has had on our brains, what damage could this do to children’s
physical and mental health?
The list could go on. The most important question we must ask ourselves is: how can we ensure that we use AI for the benefit of humanity while mitigating any potential consequences?
With the world developing at such a rate, it is our responsibility as educators to ensure that the future generation is prepared for a world dominated by technology. It is integral that students understand how to make use of its benefits without becoming dependent upon it, and know how to think for themselves without becoming reliant upon a machine to do the work for them. So long as it remains regulated, AI could wholly revolutionise society.
We would like to thank Mr. Tom Rogerson, Head at Cottesmore School, for inviting us to their conference ‘AI in Education’ in May.
TO LISTEN TO TALKS BY:
Sir Anthony Seldon CLICK HERE
Pirya Lakhani OBE CLICK HERE
ELLA MARIA Co-editor and English student at UCL
WHAT IS AI?
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 55
SAM ALTMAN, OPENAI CEO
Is AI a cause for concern?
On May 24th, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, spoke at University College London in a highly anticipated on-stage conversation, first between Altman and Azeem Azhar, before being joined by Margaret McCabe (Founder and Group CEO of Debate Mate), Professor David Barber (Director of the UCL Centre for Artificial Intelligence) and Professor Yvonne Rogers (Director of the UCL Interaction Centre, UCL Computer Science).
Altman spoke about the fact that, while people are justified in their worries regarding the effects of AI, the benefits of its utilisation largely outweigh the concerns surrounding it, and that the correct kind of regulation - a little, but not too much - is also something to be welcomed: “something between the traditional European approach and the traditional US approach.” However, aside from regulation, Altman believes that: “the real solution is to educate people about what’s happening” in order to ensure people understand the ins-and-outs of AI and what it is capable of. This way, they can comprehend the risks for themselves, the same way that the general public understands that the use of any kind of technology has its own risks.
Altman also expressed his hope regarding the future of AI and its role in the reduction of inequality, adding that this “technological revolution” will open the doors for many more jobs in the future. He stated that the world will be lifted by this new technology: “My basic model of the world is that the cost of intelligence and the cost of energy are the two limited inputs,
sort of the two limiting reagents of the world. And if you can make those dramatically cheaper, dramatically more accessible, that does more to help poor people than rich people.” He went on to state that he is: “pretty happy about the trajectory things are currently on.”
In a series of tweets posted earlier this year, Altman wrote that while moving forward into a future involving AI could happen as swiftly as the one from: “pre-smartphone to the postsmartphone era”, society would need time to adapt and to figure out how best to regulate AI, as we are: “potentially not that far away” from scarier models and regulation is: “critical”.
ROHINI BHONSLE-ALLEMAND Assistant Editor blog.samaltman.com
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman talks at University College London
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Secure your ticket to the UK’s first teen expo
STEP UP EXPO, held at Olympia London, 30 June - 1 July, is the UK’s first Expo for teens designed to support teenagers through the minefields of education, career and life choices.
This is a unique opportunity for families to explore choices together.
This ground-breaking event aims to inspire and educate teenagers and parents with a compelling programme covering all the key decisions teenagers are asked to make: from GCSE and sixth form choices, to deciding whether to go to university, to getting that first job, to opening a bank account.
Inspirational speakers such as Dr. Alex George, Radio 1 DJ Jack Saunders, Celebrity MasterChef Sabrina Gidda, environmentalist Bella Lack, alongside student and career ambassadors from sixth forms, colleges, universities and employers, will be discussing their choices and sharing their journeys.
Expert-led workshops cover essential topics such as how to revise, organise work experience, write a personal statement, get your first job, apply to highly academic schools and universities and choose what to study.
Meet 150+ sixth forms, FE colleges, universities and employers, plus the UK’s leading careers advisors, tutors and mentors.
120 + speakers, 60+ workshops
Fri Jun 30th – 9.30am – 4.30pm Sat Jul 1st – 10.00am – 5.00pm
STEP-UP EXPO - INSPIRING TEEN CHOICES, 30 JUNE - 1 JULY 2023
Education Choices Magazine is thrilled to be a marketing partner with the Step Up Expo working in collaboration with the Evening Standard.
PLUS - Summer activities, children’s books, London property update and design tips UNIVERSITY FOCUS - AN ECM UNIVERSITIES LISTING
THE KEY TO YOUR CHILD’S SUCCESS SUMMER 2023 | £3.50 EDUCATION CORNER PODCAST INTERVIEWS INCLUDE: • Emma Beamish, ex-Irish cricketer • Rosemead Prep merger • ‘Porn, Sex and Educating for the Difference’ at St Dunstan’s College • AI at Sir William Perkins’s School SPECIAL FEATURE • Professor John Mullan, Head of English at UCL WHAT IS AI AND WHY SHOULD IT BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY? Artificial Intelligence STEP UP EXPO EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 57
Preparing for an Oxbridge application
Top tips on what to consider
Consider what the academics are looking for in the application Oxford and Cambridge suit students who are absorbed by the subject for which they are applying and who are prepared to question and challenge issues around it. This level of study suits thinkers - those with opinions. Students who stick up for themselves and their opinions will stand out, if they are also adaptable. Can you address issues in a logical fashion, reasoning from premise to conclusion? Consider your subject’s place in the wider world in order to understand and value its importance, which will allow you to understand why we study it. Discuss it with others. Thrash out opposing points of view as often as possible. If you absolutely love the subject and can’t get enough of it, you’re already halfway there! You will now need to show them evidence of this love through focusing on super-curricular activities rather than extracurricular ones.
Focus your super-curricular reading on your own interests in the subject
Whatever you do, don’t read a book on a reading list just because you think it’s what you should be reading. It’s not that helpful to you or your application if you are not particularly interested in it. Remember that you’re making an application to read a subject for the next three or more years of your life. In order to convince yourself to do it and to go some way to convince the university to let you, it’s important that you
investigate areas which excite you and which you can discuss with knowledge and enthusiasm in your statement and, if asked, at an interview. You won’t convince anyone of your passion and potential by referencing a topic which you find dull. And don’t forget that there is more than just reading to be done. Look at online lectures, online courses, work experience placements (real or virtual), podcasts, documentaries, essay competitions, professional journals, magazines and research papers (you can find the latter in JSTOR and Google Scholar). When you are writing about your interests in your statement, you need to reference evidence of those interests with a good variety of research.
Starting your personal statement
Students often try to answer the question: “Why do you want to study this subject?” as an opener for the personal statement and, indeed, that can be a great way to start. For some, however, that can
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be tough to answer succinctly. If you are struggling to get things started, an alternate and often interesting way to open the statement is by explaining how your initial interest started. Was it a book, a Year 9 lesson, a work placement, a conversation, a journey? Because the answer is entirely personal to you, this ought to give you a unique set of opening lines. I have seen things from memories of a grandfather in France swearing at the French election results on TV, to preparing the accounts for Hogwarts, to an obsession with an eccentric cartoon inventor! You don’t need to make it into a grand narrative and you should certainly
move on quickly to the present day, but when you’re stuck for an opening, this can be a good way to launch.
Structuring your personal statement
There is, of course, no magic formula for a successful statement, but a good plan is to aim for three to four paragraphs, being sure to have a good structure within each of them. This should make the statement logical and easier to read. Each paragraph could cover one or two topics of interest, referencing evidence of your research into them. There might be links between the topics, showing a sort
of academic journey. For example, how you went from an A Level Economics lesson to a book on the economic role of government during downturns, to a lecture on behavioural economics through to an essay competition, explaining how each linked to the next and what you took from them, agreed with, disagreed with and so on. Don’t write too much about what you did (they’re not looking for a shopping list); focus more on what you thought about what you were researching.
Mixed subject/university applications
Some of the degrees offered by Cambridge and Oxford are unusual or unique to them, such as Land Economy or Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic. Or you may be applying to the Philosophy, Politics and Economics course at Oxford, but just Economics elsewhere. The universities are aware that this can cause you some consternation, but try not to worry. I recommend that you focus the statement on the subject for which you are applying at the majority of universities and, in the case of Cambridge, you use the supplementary application form to discuss further your research specific to their degree subject.
There is plenty of advice on the Oxford and Cambridge websites. You can also find similar advice and information curated in the latest Trotman edition of Getting into Oxford and Cambridge.
SARAH ALAKIJA Educational Consultant/ University expert
TURN TO PAGES 66-67 to read student perspectives
WRITING A PERSONAL STATEMENT
EDUCATION CHOICES MAGAZINE | SUMMER 2023 | 59
Applying to university
Top tips to keep in mind
Choose your A Level subjects wisely
Aim for three consistent grades, as top universities often require similar grades across subjects. Select subjects that you both need and excel in.
Your degree doesn’t have to be directly related to your career
Many graduate careers are open to any degree. For example, History graduates can work in city banks or law firms.
Research career requirements
If a career path requires a specialised degree, look into the career destination and consider gaining relevant work experience or volunteering. For instance, aspiring medics could mentor younger students.
Explore the wide range of options
Use study interest software like Morrisby or Unifrog, or browse course pages to discover related courses. For example, a Biology course may also have links to biomedical science or biochemistry.
Engage in academic activities beyond your A Levels/IB
Immerse yourself in your proposed degree subject by exploring extracurricular resources. Consider using resources like a “SuperCurricular Bible” to strengthen your applications.
Don’t overlook Oxbridge
Don’t let assumptions about pressure or ability discourage you. Seek advice from teachers, Oxbridge students and academics. Explore a range of subjects, as some may be less oversubscribed than others.
Consider the international angle
Start researching early if you’re interested in applying to universities in the US or other countries. The application and selection process can vary significantly. Look into
scholarships and explore options in countries like Canada, Australia and European universities offering English degrees.
Remember alternative routes
Traditional university isn’t the only path. Apprenticeships are increasingly available and can lead to highly skilled careers such as law and accountancy.
Hopefully, these tips will help you navigate the university application process and make informed choices for your future. Best of luck!
TERENCE MCDERMOTT Director of Careers and Head of Oxbridge at Surbiton High School and Cambridge graduate
JON OWEN Assistant Principal and Director of Sixth Form at Surbiton High School
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The English Society
Student life at University College London
Societies have been a part of university life since universities were first opened. At many universities, multiple societies that were established when the university first opened still exist to this day, and have become an increasingly important part of student life. In fact, some societies are so popular that they act as a deciding factor for students choosing to attend certain universities. For example,
Christopher Nolan, an English BA graduate from UCL, was famously the President of the Film and TV Society before he went onto become an award-winning writer and director - many students with an interest in film have chosen to go to UCL for the opportunities that the society has to offer! In many cases, societies are a chance for students to meet peers with similar interests, socialise and develop skills for their CV.
It is likely that the English Society has existed since UCL was first established in the late 1800s, however, it was only officially established by the Students’ Union in 2021. The society is a space for creative exploration where students often gather to discuss literature and the arts. The society hosts monthly workshops on various literary skills, such
as scriptwriting, playwriting, poetry, literary analysis and much more! They also host weekly social events which range from theatre trips, art gallery visits, café writing sessions, talks from guest speakers, film screenings and museum tours! The society is entirely student-run and welcomes students of all ages from every course at UCL. They are also in the process of developing a bimonthly magazine and podcast in which students can support each other in their exploration of literature.
University societies are always a great way to get involved in different activities and make new friends, and there’s bound to be something for everyone!
ELLA MARIA Co-Editor and President of English Society at UCL
SOCIETIES AT UNIVERSITY This is unmistakably Unleashed Discover more at surbitonhigh.com An independent School for boys aged 4 - 11 and girls aged 4 - 18 | Surbiton High School is part of United Learning.
Making the right choices
The most discerning school leavers will be aware that a tremendous wealth of choices and opportunities await those who are prepared to consider pursuing their undergraduate studies abroad. There has long been a healthy interest in international destinations among sixth formers at Godolphin and Latymer, reflecting in part the broad perspectives shaped by the global city they call home. US and Canadian universities have traditionally led the way among those leavers moving abroad; however, in recent years the range of destinations has broadened considerably, both within the US and Canada, but also in continental Europe, where an increasing number of more accessible and affordable options in countries such as Italy, Spain,
the Netherlands and Germany are attracting interest.
For students considering international opportunities, there has never been a more exciting range of courses and experiences on offer, and we have set out some basic principles to bear in mind through the application process.
Finding the right fit
Students should always build a balanced college list in order to maximise their chances of success. This could involve applying to more than one country; we have recently seen an increasing number of students applying to Europe and Canada alongside
their applications in the UK or the US. It should also include a range of aspirational and less selective choices. In the US, there are many outstanding global research universities which are not ‘Ivy League’ such as The University of Chicago, Georgetown or Duke University. There are also colleges with a specific focus, such as Babson College - known for their entrepreneurship programme - or St John’s College - best known for their Great Books curriculum. Students should not fall into the trap of thinking it is not relevant to look closely at what is taught simply because the US offers a broad based education.
Financial fit is also an important factor to think about during the college search process, with tuition and fees varying considerably from country to country. While students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Europe can typically complete their degree in a specific subject in three years, a US degree is completed over the course of four years and offers more flexibility.
Building a compelling application
What makes an application compelling is the extent to which it reflects the student’s readiness for university-level academic work and the qualities they demonstrate, such as
APPLYING TO INTERNATIONAL
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leadership, intellectual curiosity, resilience and willingness to collaborate. The application should be a reflection of who the student is both in and outside the classroom, and the ways they would contribute to the university community if admitted. Each student has their own strengths, so each application is unique - the admission officers’ job is to evaluate all the components to see if the student is a good match for their community.
Many overseas universities will ask for a motivational letter or a personal essay. For
European universities, the essay will focus on what they would like to study and how well their experiences so far have prepared them for advanced study in their field of interest. For most US universities, the essay should reflect the student’s voice through the description of a milestone, event or activity which has had a significant impact on their personality and values.
US colleges use the personal essay to find out more about who the student is beyond their grades and test scores. One of the best ways to think about it is:
if someone found this essay in a school corridor, could they, just by reading it, identify the essay as belonging to a specific student - hence as uniquely theirs? Another good consideration for a college essay is ensuring that the student has been reflective. A long list of extracurricular activities is exactly that - a list. What makes an essay strong is reflecting on what the student has learned through their life experiences. By being reflective, students demonstrate their ability to think flexibly and avoid pre-conceptions, and a willingness to learn from others and the experiences they encounter.
One final aspect of the process is to be aware of the different deadlines and requirements for international applications. Some European universities have rolling admissions and others have multiple rounds of applications, whereas most US colleges have strict deadlines through the early and regular cycles. Even within the US, different states and regions may have different application forms and timelines - for example, the University of California campuses have a separate process where students are asked to self-report their grades. Therefore, it is important to get bespoke advice on the different application requirements based on the student’s goals, interests and aspirations; if in doubt, reach out to your school for guidance.
JAMIE CARTER Director of Sixth Form at Godolphin and Latymer
ANNA ARMSTRONG Head of Higher Education and Careers at Godolphin and Latymer
DEBBI ANTEBI US, Canadian and European University Applications Specialist at Godolphin and Latymer
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Using the internet safely
Equipping children with skills to flourish in the digital world
The Online Safety Bill’s return to the House of Lords has re-ignited debate around how exactly we can keep children safe online. The answer lies in equipping them with the skills to not just survive, but thrive in the modern and increasingly digitised world.
There is a plethora of effective safeguarding software that supports schools’ online safety strategies and protects pupils online, including solutions that monitor online activity for keywords that can indicate when they may be at risk. However, these should always be used in tandem with empowering children with the skills to safely thrive in the online world –multiple layers and approaches are always better than one!
A holistic approach to
education which considers the ‘whole child’ is the key. Beyond digital competency, educators must consider how to embed digital citizenship skills across the curriculum and prepare young people to interact in the online world safely and respectfully.
Using technology across different subjects teaches students to engage with each other, collaborate and communicate responsibly online, whilst developing countless additional skills including problem solving and critical thinking. As highlighted within the Online Safety Bill’s debates, media literacy and the ability to engage critically with resources - instead of consuming without questioning anything - is a vital
skill for all young people.
It’s also vital that we develop young people’s understanding of data privacy, encouraging them to be aware of when their personal data is collected, how it is used and, above all, how to exercise greater control over who has access to it.
As it becomes more ubiquitous, technology is challenging the traditional separations between education, work and life. Media literacy and digital citizenship skills are just one aspect that must be considered as part of a wider approach that considers the ‘whole’ child and what they will need to flourish beyond academia.
AL KINGSLEY Chair of Hampton Academies Trust and NetSupport CEO www.netsupportsoftware.com
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How to choose your ideal university accommodation
Packing up your life and moving somewhere different, as is the experience of a huge number of students every year, is certainly no easy feat. To make this process easier, there are a number of things to keep in mind when choosing your university accommodation for the academic year ahead.
Set a budget
Perhaps the most crucial first step is working out how much you can afford to or are willing to spend. So, be realistic and be careful when looking at rental costs, as utility bills are often a hidden expense that catch people out. If you can find somewhere that includes bills in the rent, this is often the more stress-free option!
Consider the location
Consider what you want to prioritise: are there supermarkets nearby? Would you prefer to be close to the university facilities? If you are opting to live further away from a city centre or university campus, ensure that you’ve considered public transport links and commuting time, too.
Choose your housemates
Whether you get to choose your housemates yourself or you are placed randomly into shared accommodation, make sure you consider how many people you want to share your living space with. Many universities now ask you to fill in a short form detailing your personality and living habits to try to
match you up as best they can with other students.
Visit before committing
Don’t trust the pictures on an online listing to give you a completely accurate view of the place you’re interested in. Contact the landlord for a viewing and make sure that you check the overall condition of the building and any included appliances, the size of the rooms and the common spaces, as well as potential security measures. Make sure you try to speak to the previous tenants too, if possible, to get a truthful account of the accommodation and the landlord’s capabilities.
Read the contract carefully
Before signing anything, ensure you have read the tenancy contract through in its entirety. There may be things that catch you out – for example, houses with bills included within the rent often have a monetary cap, so you have to pay for any bills that exceed this amount. Also be aware of your rights regarding your deposit, as many landlords often try to claim money from your deposit at the end of your tenancy for any perceived damages to the property.
Accommodation is often considered something that can make or break your university experience, but given that university tenancy contracts are often only a year long, this is not necessarily the case. So, try not to stress, but do take your time, do your research and make sure that you trust your instincts during the process too. Happy house-hunting!
EMILY PARSONS Assistant Editor
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Life as a 20-year-old History student at Bristol University
The transition to university is something that no one can really prepare you for. I have now come to the end of my second year at the University of Bristol. Looking back, I feel that I have learnt a lot about myself. Starting university in September 2021, I was so nervous and definitely struggled with the transition. The beginning of university is so much fun as you have a new level of freedom, you meet new people and make so many friends. However, there is the transition of living in a new city and being away from home that can also be very lonely and my anxiety was definitely heightened.
It took some time for me to settle in and get used to this new life; I definitely still struggle sometimes, but for the most part I love university now. I have made some amazing friends and I have become so much more independent. I currently live in a house of seven girls and in my third year I will be living in a house of five girls. I have loved living in a house with my friends and also being so near to all my friends in other houses. I love the
social side of university and I have particularly really enjoyed the past couple of weeks now that my exams are done, as I have been able to go and sit in the sun in pub gardens with my friends and chat away for hours or dancing away with them in the club - something I feel we missed out on because of COVID during sixth form.
As an undergraduate History student, I have been enrolled on some really interesting modules - my favourite so far being European Fascism in the 20th
and 21st century. It is definitely a lot of work (as shown during my recent twelve-hour stint in the library during the exam period), but I am so happy that I chose to do History: it’s something I really enjoy learning about, which is so important when choosing a university course.
Finally, I would say sometimes it can be hard to balance work and socialising at university and I have definitely found it hard at times to motivate myself to work when I don’t have a teacher setting work like we had in school. However, the independence and freedom of university is amazing. I am so glad I decided to go to university and I can’t believe that I only have a year left!
EMMA CONAGHAN History Undergraduate at the University of Bristol
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The Edinburgh Experience
The different seasons of student life
Being a student at the University of Edinburgh is much like being a student everywhere else - it’s full of its challenges as well as highs. The students are lovely and it’s amazing to be studying in a capital city which offers a whole world of opportunities that can’t be found elsewhere.
Of course, with the summer months approaching and the harsh Scottish winters feeling far away, it’s easy to love university life. May, with its glorious weather and the end of exams, hails in endless barbecues, beach trips and simply sitting in the meadows enjoying life surrounded by seemingly the whole student population. It seems to me to be that quintessential student experience.
Of course, August brings with it
the Edinburgh Fringe! For a month, Edinburgh is invaded by tourists and street performers from all over the world blocking the streets. It’s both an exhilarating time to be a student in Edinburgh, with plenty of job opportunities and weird and wacky shows, and infuriating to be surrounded by so many tourists who are in love with Scotland, despite not knowing how to pronounce Edinburgh. Edinburgh comes into its own in
Studying Marine Biology
The student experience at the University of Exeter
Watching nature documentaries from a young age and learning about the weird and wonderful creatures in our oceans is what initially piqued my interest in marine life; this was developed by experiences in the field and a growing interest in science as I began to think about my future education and career. After visiting the University of Exeter’s Penryn campus, surrounded by the stunning landscapes of Cornwall, I was excited to begin my degree in Marine Biology back in 2019.
Throughout my degree, I have had some incredible experiences and have been taught by worldleading researchers. From learning about marine ecology to the biology of aquatic vertebrates
to ocean management and conservation, there is something for everyone. A particular highlight for me has been the invaluable opportunity for global fieldwork, which allows students to experience the ecosystems and species we learn about first-hand. In my third year, I had the amazing opportunity to visit Canada and Alaska and conduct fieldwork in a unique environment, as well as receive lectures from local experts and enrich my cultural understanding.
I am now near the end of my integrated master’s year where I have been conducting research on human-wildlife conflict with herring gulls and their food stealing habits in coastal towns. I also had the opportunity to
Autumn and, before the deadlines hit, you feel once more like a true student. As a History and Classics student, my study space is home to a large collection of random statues which the university thinks will somehow enhance our ability to study. They’re not exactly wrong, though. The winter is somewhat unforgiving; there’s sun for about three hours a day and it’s easy to sleep through it or spend all that time in the library.
The University of Edinburgh is a unique space to study and, as cliche as it sounds, you truly are surrounded by history at every corner.
FLEUR O’REILLY MA History and Classics student at Edinburgh University www.ed.ac.uk
conduct fieldwork in Scotland which focused on the rewilding and conservation of UK species, learning from some fantastic researchers and lecturers.
MEG HART MA Marine Biology Student, University of Exeter, Penryn Campus
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Why choose Exeter University?
Runner-up in the 2023 Times and Sunday Times University of the Year, the University of Exeter offers a Russell Group experience in a beautiful part of the world. With campuses in Devon and Cornwall, the university is rare in combining academic and research reputation with outstanding student experience and quality of life.
The university has a steadfast commitment to sustainability, improving health and tackling inequality, and has been ranked first in the world in the ‘Clean Water and Sanitation’ category of The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023, as well as number one in Europe in the ‘Climate Action and Zero Hunger’ categories and 18th overall.
Set in stunning grounds, Streatham and St Luke’s campuses are near the centre of Exeter, a cathedral city on
the River Exe. You don’t need to venture far to be in the heart of Dartmoor National Park or the seaside resort of Exmouth.
Less well-known is the University’s Penryn Campus in Cornwall, which offers a more personal student experience. Located in the county with the longest coastline, it is near to beautiful beaches which offer a variety of sporting activities, fun and relaxation. Falmouth boasts an eclectic mix of restaurants and bars and a laid-back vibe that attracts people away from the cities.
Issues related to the environment and sustainability underpin much of the campus’s ethos; these themes recur throughout our degree programmes as well as in student societies, clubs and the running of the campus. Students here benefit from a ‘living laboratory’ where classroom studies are complemented by field research
in the rich, natural environment of Cornwall.
Harry, BSc Environmental Science student at Penryn Campus, says that: “The most enjoyable aspect of my course is how personal it is. As Penryn is a small campus, you very quickly become familiarised with your peers and lecturers, and this leads to a relaxed yet engaging atmosphere in lectures and practicals. Another bonus of my course is the focus on field-based learning. Within the first two months, I had already been on my first residential trip to the South West of Cornwall. Since then, I’ve undertaken numerous field days as well as a week-long residential trip in the Isles of Scilly at the end of my second year.”
RACHEL CAUNTER Head of Marketing www.exeter.ac.uk
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Creative, connected and courageous
Life at Falmouth University
Deciding where to go to university can feel like a huge decision, weighing up the pros and cons of different courses, facilities, locations and lifestyles.
Falmouth is a specialist creative and technical university, based in a town that’s often named as one of the best places to live in the UK.
With more than 120 years of experience, professional-standard facilities, teaching excellence, peerless connections and a vibrant creative community, we’re not afraid to do things differently.
Sitting within a regional coastal town yet internationally recognised as a hub of creative innovation, Falmouth University needs to be experienced to be believed.
A lifestyle a little beyond the ordinary Cornwall has been inspiring creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs for centuries. Today, our on-campus students enjoy the county’s rare balance of a laid-back, surf-side lifestyle and a maverick spirit that’s pushing for a better, bolder and more connected future. From
The UK’s No 1 Arts University
- The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide
Top 3 for graduate startups
- Tide 120 years of creative innovation
world-class beaches and wild landscapes like no other, to a lively music and arts scene, Falmouth provides a truly unique student experience. Falmouth might not be a city, but when it comes to weird and wonderful events, festivals, activities and nights out, our vibrant creative community constantly pushes the boundaries of what a town can do.
Our creative and inclusive community is spread across two campuses in neighbouring towns: Falmouth and Penryn. There are easy links between both campuses and
the course you choose will determine where you spend the majority of your time.
Flexible online study
We also have a growing portfolio of online courses designed for those who are looking for the same expert teaching and industry connections, but with flexibility to mix study with work or to fit around other life commitments.
Creativity as a force for good: find your future with us
Creative thinking is vital in all areas of the future economy - from product design to AI, events management to marketing and communications. It’s the key to unlocking new innovations, finding solutions to global challenges and engaging people to think, act and feel differently.
Whether you study Computing, Architecture or Business, our online and oncampus students fuel each other to push the limits of what creativity can do.
We support our students to harness their skills and expertise to work on live projects while they study, so they can graduate ready to make an impact in their chosen industry.
Our alumni are a successful, globally connected community who still call Falmouth home.
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London Property Market Update
Will there be a housing market crash?
Factors affecting housing costs
From the pandemic to the costof-living crisis, Ukraine to the supply chain, rising interest rates to the inflation rate and not to mention politics, it feels like it’s been a never-ending conveyor belt of problems for buyers, sellers, landlords and renters over the past few years. Some people have benefited, others have suffered and everyone in the middle has a lot of questions to help ensure their next move is the right one for them.
Regardless of where you live and what your plans are for the rest of the year, one of the biggest questions on everyone’s lips is: “Will there be a housing crash in 2023 or 2024?” We know in the last month of 2022, the Bank of England further increased interest rates to a fourteen-year high of 3.5%. In February 2022, they raised it again for the tenth consecutive time to 4%. The latest
rise was in May 2022 to 4.5%. This is having a material effect on the housing market, with higher mortgage prices affecting many people, including prospective buyers and those on fixed rate mortgages that will be looking to remortgage this year. These additional outgoings combined with the cost-of-living crisis will put a lot of people’s plans on hold, whether they’re first-time buyers or looking to move up the property ladder.
Are borrowing costs a concern?
Further Bank of England data estimates more than two million borrowers with fixed-term deals will need to remortgage between now and the end of 2024. The Week reports that analysts at Pantheon Economics calculated an average household refinancing a two-year fixed-rate mortgage in the first half this year would see monthly repayments jump from
£863 to £1,490. While some broad strokes trends will be the same wherever you are in the country, London has - and always willmove to its own rhythm, and this is no different when it comes to property.
Kensington and Chelsea are performing very well
New analysis reveals where residential property sales are holding up the strongest. Despite showing some unexpected resilience in the early part of 2023, a combination of limited mortgage availability, higher interest rates and stretched affordability has taken the wind out of certain sections of the property market’s sails. Overall transaction volumes dropped in April, but a number of micromarkets are bucking the trend, with deal numbers well up on their pre-pandemic average. A leading agency’s data suggests confidence has made a swift return to the capital’s innermost districts post-Covid. Kensington and Chelsea (up 36% from 2019) and Westminster (up 22%) have seen marked increases in sales, along with Islington (up 19%) and Hammersmith & Fulham (up
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10%). It’s noted that these areas are synonymous with cash and equity-rich buyers who are more immune to interest rate hikes and have also been cushioned from the affordability concerns governing lower value markets.
Is Bayswater the area to keep an eye on?
One of seven neighbourhoods surrounding central London’s biggest park, the postcode of W2 has historically seen precious little top-end development activity. Values in general have previously lagged those of other, more glitzier enclaves, but that’s now all changing. A leading agency found the median £’s per sq. ft. in Bayswater was just over £1,300 based on sales in 2022, compared with an average of almost £1,800 elsewhere around the park. That’s an increase of around a third over the past decade, however, with price growth accelerating more recently. The agency points to key drivers including proximity to the new Elizabeth line at Paddington and, crucially, a £3bn private and public regeneration programme. The Whiteley and No. 18 Porchester Gardens are “game changers,” says the leading agency, offering aspirational living, revamped retail and a world-class hotel and spa – and developers are eyeing up further opportunities.
Chelsea SW3 seeing strong numbers…
Prices are on the rise in the Chelsea district, with JLL reporting that the average price paid for a home in Chelsea during the first quarter of 2023 was £2.5mn. This represents a 20% increase on Q1 2022, and a 37% jump since the start of the Covid pandemic (Q1 2019). Over the past ten years (20132022), there has been an average of 690 transactions in Chelsea per annum, with homes sold
over £1mn making up 61% of total transactions during 2022. 2022 saw the highest number of £1mn+ transactions since 2015, representing a 25% increase compared to 2019. There was a 20% increase in transactions of homes over £1mn from 2020 to 2021 (330 to 396). “This reflects the ‘race for space’ trend we saw over the pandemic, as houses and larger homes became more popular than flats,” notes the JLL team, adding that the return of international buyers and an easing of travel restrictions also boosted high-value deal numbers. The supply of homes available to buy within Chelsea is improving, with 5.5% more properties on the market in Q1 2023 than a year earlier.
Is the rental market cooling off?
New data has hinted at a shift in Prime London’s lettings market, although we’re unlikely to see a return to normality any time soon. Demand and supply levels remain well out of balance and activity is still heavily constrained by the lack of stock, but it’s worth keeping an eye on the levels of discounting going on right now. The average discount to asking
price reached 2.4% last month, according to the leading trade site LonRes, which remains low in a historical context but is down noticeably from late 2022, when properties were achieving above asking price on average. Meanwhile, the proportion of homes discounted before being let hit 25.9% in April, the highest level seen since August 2021. The rate of annual rental growth was still high, at 7.4% – pretty much in line with the past three months, but down from the extraordinary 25+% seen in Summer 2022. The number of new lets agreed was down 26.2% in April compared to the same month last year. Underoffer totals were lower by 23.7% on an annual basis, while new instructions showed a 12.2% fall. Compared to longer-term trends, new lets, new instructions and under offers all remain more than 50% below their pre-pandemic levels, said the LonRes report.
JEREMY CREASOR Founder Agent at Moveli
KENSINGTON AND CHELSEA
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about choosing accommodation at
Bringing the sunshine indoors
The long-awaited warmer, longer and brighter days are upon us. As our mood lifts, our interiors call for more sunshine, colour and joy and, whenever possible, for the boundary between indoors and outdoors to be softened, so that we can extend our living space. How can we achieve a smooth link between our indoor and outdoor spaces, be they Juliette or step-out balconies, terraces or gardens?
Our first consideration would always be materials. There are many options available for the ground, the furniture or the equipment, offering a wider variety of colours, textures and
great features for durability, maintenance and sustainability. Consider flooring: can we use the same or similar materials between both spaces, so the transition is seamless and easy to maintain? Choices go from wood flooring to decking and composite materials; über-versatile polished concrete inside, with a slightly rougher, anti-slip finish outside; porcelain or ceramic tile or natural stone, again ensuring a suitable texture to avoid slippage. Another option, especially if you have the space, is to have grass (real or fake) as an outdoor surface, and materials inside that complement it well, whether in matching colour or contrast - think of a funky tile or tinted poured micro-cement, a wonderful, deep anthracite slate or a honey oak flooring. Whichever of the materials above has your vote, it is then lovely to complement it with potted plants or flower beds, an herb garden or some fruit (olive, orange, lemon) trees that bring a life-affirming, colourful and organic contrast to a structured, perhaps geometric (think decking slats or tiles and stone slabs) and potentially urban context.
When the backdrop is set with the choice of materials and their natural counterparts, setting the scene with furniture and accessories is key. Will you be entertaining? Will you be meditating? Reading, exercising, suntanning, working, cooking, having breakfast? Will the kids be playing, friends coming over for a heart-to-heart or to watch the game? Will the two of you snuggle up as the sun comes down? Answering these questions will inform your choices, in terms of space, sizes, finishes, colours… you could have a day bed that doubles up as a sofa or a bench, with a bunch of colourful cushions that are easy to take out and put away in a lidded flat-topped ottoman trunk that serves as a coffee/ dining table. You could have a couple of comfortable Adirondack chairs with comfy throws and foldable, stackable chairs for company or upholstered pouffes that you use as footstools or additional seating. You could have a built-in bench that can be covered with a mattress and cushions for lying or sitting on or, when uncovered, can be sat next to as a casual dining or
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buffet table or even a work surface. The smaller the space, the more versatile and modular the furniture, accessories and equipment should be, so as to allow a variety of scenarios to unfold. You can play with colour, contrast, patterns, textures, neutrals and soft hues or deep, saturated tropical tones, perhaps even a colour scheme for each season or type of moment - have fun, create a little world out there!
When the furniture and equipment (hammock, barbecue, fire pit, pizza oven, tree house, etc.) are chosen to be given pride of place, the crucial finishing touch to truly make your outdoor space is lighting. As for all spaces, whether indoor or outdoor, layering is key. Think of all of the above activities and how to cater to them. Should you be cooking, you will need bright, task lighting (obviously suitable for the outdoors), focused enough to work well under, while not blinding others who are sharing the space. Should you be eating, you will want moody but bright enough light, not directed at you but ambient and even, coming from evenly spaced outdoor hanging lanterns, storm lamps or planted directional spike lights, which will also be great to create focal
points and set the mood. And whether you are celebrating, lounging, enjoying sundowners or setting the world right, nothing quite creates the right atmosphere, adding a dream-like quality to any space, better than candles. But I suggest you also think of and allow for permanently installed (outdoor) fairy lights, mini lanterns or hanging string lights. These come in a plethora of shapes, colours, levels of brightness and solar, batteryor mains-operated models, which can provide flexibility, possible dimming or varying intensities to tick a few of the necessary boxes in terms of efficiency, brightness and focus.
The scene is set, the cushions plumped, the drinks await, condensation glistens on the glasses and colourful tiny umbrellas add pops of colour against the lush green backdrop - have a seat, take in the view and let the sun kiss your cheeksummer is here, finally!
MARIE-NOËLLE SWIDERSKI Galuchat Design
SUMMER PROPERTY TIPS
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MARK WEEKS PHOTOGRAPHY
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How to spend your time once exams are over
After a jam-packed few months filled with revision and exams, you can finally breathe a sigh of relief once your exam timetable reaches its end. Only one question remains – now what? You’ve got a few months stretching ahead of you before you begin your next endeavour, so you might be wondering how best to spend your time. Hopefully, this article will give you a few ideas!
Pick up a new hobby
There’s likely many new hobbies you’ve considered picking up but decided against, or maybe, in the run-up to exams, you thought of something you’ve always wanted to try, but had to put aside in favour of revision. Now is the perfect time to pick it up – you’ve got nothing to lose! It might be an artistic hobby like painting, drawing or crocheting, or perhaps you’ve never been particularly sporty but want to give it a go! Summer is the perfect time to join a tennis club or try out badminton. Who knows, any new
hobby you pick up could serve you well if you’re attending university in the Autumn: there are all sorts of clubs and societies available and picking up a new hobby could be the key to joining a society you’d never thought of, meeting some amazing people in the process!
Get a summer job
Getting a summer job is a great way to spend time during your holidays. You’ll earn some extra money, get valuable work experience, gain useful skills for your CV and you might even form new friendships with your co-workers! If you already have a particular skill or hobby, this could help you get work, whether that’s your tennis proficiency enabling you to become a tennis coach, or your knack for mathematics allowing you to become a GCSE or A Level Mathematics tutor.
If you have some spare time over the
summer, why not help out in your local community? You could volunteer in a charity shop, help out in nearby food banks, or even do something on a smaller scale, like helping a neighbour with their shopping or offering to feed their pets while they’re on holiday. There are so many ways you can help your community on smaller and larger scales, and it is definitely a valuable use of your time.
Complete online courses
With the rise in remote work that took place over the pandemic, online courses have become easily accessible, with many available for free or at minimal cost. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) are a great way to learn an array of new skills in areas like economics, law, engineering, communication and electronics – all for free! Harvard University also offers free courses on topics like game development, history and astrology. If there’s something you’ve always wanted to learn more about – whether that’s something beyond your A Level topics or perhaps something you’ve never learned about before – now is the perfect opportunity to dive in and expand your knowledge.
After an intense period of revision and exam stress, an ideal way to spend your time is
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to get out of the house and see some new places! If you want to travel somewhere completely new and different, travel agents like G Adventures offer group tours for ‘18-to-Thirtysomethings’, allowing you to make new friends and travel to places like Morocco, the Baltics and Costa Rica – their tours are planned out for you, so all you’ve got to do is show up and be excited! If you want to try something a bit more independent, interrailing is always a popular choice for students; a study by Bounce revealed that the top ten best European cities for interrailing this summer are Barcelona, Porto,
Paris, Amsterdam, Milan, Lisbon, Valencia, Athens, Bordeaux and Florence. Or why not explore the UK? There’s bound to be areas you haven’t explored – grab a friend, plan a route, whether that’s using the bus, train, car or a combination, and get going! There’s so much to see, even in places that feel closer to home.
Learn another language
Why not use some time this summer to learn another
language? Now that you’re not restricted to the GCSE curriculum, you have the opportunity to learn any language you want! Language learning apps like Duolingo and Babbel are an excellent starting point – Duolingo offers over 40 languages, from Spanish and German to Swahili and Vietnamese. Even YouTube has some amazing video lessons available from experienced language teachers – have a look around and see what you can find! Or why not try a more traditional learning route? Take some language classes, find books on language learning in your local library or even just surround yourself with the language by travelling to its country of origin! You’ll be amazed at how much you can learn by using one or a combination of these methods throughout the summer.
Now that your exam stress is over, take some time to rest! You’ve worked so hard the last few years, and you’ve now got this summer to have a bit of peace before university begins. While you’ll definitely want to prepare yourself for university and make the most of the summer, make sure you take some time to just do nothing! Watch some Netflix, curl up with a nice book, take a walk in the sunshine – relax and recharge your brain after what was most likely a stressful period of exams and revision. Don’t forget that you should be so proud of yourself - congratulate yourself for all of your hard work!
ROHINI BHONSLE-ALLEMAND Assistant Editor
TURN BACK TO PAGE 16 to read a Jamie Oliver Summer BBQ recipe
FUN IN THE SUN
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Bath Spa University
Offering a variety of unique and inspiring courses, Bath Spa is particularly focused on arts and humanities subjects. Students can choose from traditional courses such as Law or Psychology, but can also take less traditional subjects such as Creative Writing, Ballet or Children’s Publishing. The University has been offered the Social Enterprise Gold Mark –the fifth university in the UK to have received such recognition. www.bathspa.ac.uk
The beautiful beachside location of Bournemouth is just one benefit of studying at Bournemouth University. 94% of their research was found to be internationally-recognised in 2021, with 19% considered world-leading in quality. In particular, the university is known for its expertise in the media industries, as it is the home of the only Centre for Excellence in Media Practice (CEMP) in the UK. www.bournemouth.ac.uk
One of Britain’s leading research universities, Cardiff’s diverse student population - from more than 100 countries - benefits from the university’s stimulated learning environment. Students benefit from research-led teaching and 96% of their graduates were in employment or further study 15 months after the end of their course. With a strong emphasis on innovation, Cardiff prepares students for successful careers with their stateof-the-art facilities, extensive library resources and supportive community. www.cardiff.ac.uk
City, University of London
With the Lord Mayor of London as the university’s Rector and 86% of their research rated world-leading, City supports business and the professions, as well as their 20,000 students. Named as the greenest university in London, student life at City is centred around interaction with the local London community. The range of opportunities available in London for both academic and personal growth are endless, with sites such as the British Library and free museums at students’ doorsteps. www.city.ac.uk
With a strong recent performance in the prestigious QS World University Rankings by Subject 2023, twelve of Durham’s subjects ranked in the world top 50. The university’s collegiate system allows for lively student life and inter-collegiate competition through sports and a wide variety of student societies. Its unique historic city setting blends centuries-old architecture and tradition with modern facilities and teaching, fuelling students’ ambitions and fostering a culture of creative innovation. www.durham.ac.uk
Considered the number one arts university for the creative industries in the UK, Falmouth University is a vibrant, creative community that provides a truly unique student experience and constantly pushes the boundaries of what a town can achieve. Their undergraduate courses range from Computing to Creative Advertising, Architecture to Fashion Styling. Given its location within the heart of Cornwall, students at Falmouth also always have access to the beautiful countryside and landscape of South West England. www.falmouth.ac.uk
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Imperial College London
As the only university in the UK to focus exclusively on science, medicine, engineering and business, Imperial was ranked 1st for graduate employability in 2022. It was also ranked 7th in the world and 3rd in Europe according to QS World University Rankings in 2022. Generations of Imperial staff, students and alumni have contributed to solving problems on a world scale, allowing incoming students to become part of a global community.
King’s College London
Committed to educating the next generation of change-makers, King’s College London has produced 14 Nobel Laureates and currently teaches more than 33,000 students from over 150 countries around the world. In addition, the university is 100% powered by UK wind energy, with the aim of being net zero carbon by 2030. Their strategic vision builds upon their history of making a full contribution to society by working with their local communities in London as well as fostering global citizens with an international perspective.
As one of the top universities in London for subjects such as Interior Design, Graphic Design, Mental Health Nursing and Midwifery, Kingston University’s School of Art is also home to among the best fashion degrees in the world in Business of Fashion listings. Kingston is passionate about enhancing its students’ life chances by equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed for the demanding modern workplace. www.kingston.ac.uk
Lancaster University is ranked 1st in the North and 8th in England for student satisfaction, as well as being 7th best in the UK for sustainable impact. It is also one of the top 25 most-targeted universities by employers. Students stay in one of nine colleges in their first year, which acts as a vibrant centre for study, socialising and support throughout their time there. The campus occupies a beautiful 560-acre parkland site just three miles from Lancaster city centre. www.lancaster.ac.uk
With a world-class and unrivalled sporting reputation, Loughborough University offers not only excellence in research and teaching but also opportunities for both recreational and elite sporting performance. Research at Loughborough is committed to delivering meaningful impact, driven by society’s need for solutions to real-life issues. The university is one of the top 10 in the UK, with a campus full of idyllic green open spaces.
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Newcastle University aspires to be people-focused, harnessing academic excellence, innovation and creativity to benefit individuals and society as a whole. The university is one of the top 20 most-targeted universities in the UK in terms of graduate employment and Newcastle itself ranks in the top 10 most affordable cities in the UK. As well as the 50-acre campus in Newcastle city centre - allowing a thriving culture for the theatrical arts, sports, local music and history - the university also has campuses in Singapore and Malaysia.
Oxford Brookes University
Having started as a small School of Art, Oxford Brookes has grown into one of the UK’s top modern universities. They are committed to providing an outstanding student experience through delivering globally relevant challenges within a collaborative and inclusive community. Their graduates are known for their employability, which is reflected by the popularity of their vocational courses, such as Hospitality and Leisure Management.
Queen’s University Belfast
With 99% of their research environment considered world-leading or internationally excellent, Queen’s University offers a promising student experience on both the academic and social fronts. In its location within the vibrant capital city of Northern Ireland, the Russell Group university aims to inspire their students to be tomorrow’s global citizens through leadership and citizenship, with wellbeing, inclusivity and cultural diversity at the forefront of everything they do.
Royal Agricultural University
The RAU has been at the forefront of agricultural education and a key contributor to the land-based sector for more than 175 years. More than 1100 of their students are studying agriculture, business, environment, equine science, farm management, food, real estate and rural land management. The RAU prides itself on their links with industry, as their courses are all designed to meet the demands of the employment market for land-based expertise, both in the UK and worldwide. www.rau.ac.uk
Royal Holloway, University of London
Ranked 15th in the UK for the overall quality of its research output, Royal Holloway is often considered to have the most beautiful university campus in the world. The university began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, a spirit for which lives on today in its commitment to inclusivity. As a research-intensive university, their academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence in both research and teaching.
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SOAS, University of London
SOAS is the leading higher education institution in Europe, specialising in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. With more than 300 academics, the university also provides the largest concentration of specialist staff for these areas of study. Their decolonial outlook on education allows them to challenge perspectives in their teaching and find solutions to the issues facing the world today. SOAS is also ranked 6th in the UK for employment outcomes and has one of the only five National Research Libraries in the UK. www.soas.ac.uk
The London School of Economics and Political Science
LSE specialises in the education of social science and has a world-renowned academic reputation. Students can learn from internationally respected experts in public policy, political theory, political economy, comparative politics and conflict studies. The university ranks 2nd in Europe and 5th in the world for its social science and management subjects, and this year was ranked the top university in London for the 11th year running by the Complete University Guide. www.lse.ac.uk
University College London
UCL is London’s leading multidisciplinary university, ranking 2nd in the UK for research power. Their powerful collective of individuals and institutions work together to create a home for the thought leaders of today and tomorrow - UCL students are directly involved in current research. The university was the first in England to welcome women, the first to welcome students of any religion or social background, and the first in England to teach English, German, Chemistry and Engineering. www.ucl.ac.uk
University of Aberdeen
Ranked 4th in the UK for overall student satisfaction in 2022 and 13th in the UK in the Guardian University Guide 2023, the University of Aberdeen is committed to four key areas: being inclusive, interdisciplinary, international and sustainable. The beautiful buildings of Old Aberdeen date back to the 15th century, and the university balances its commitment to the wider region with its multi-million-pound investments in its student and research facilities.
University of Bath
Ranked in the top 10 of UK universities, the University of Bath is also often known for its historical setting in a UNESCO World Heritage city. The campus is on top of a hill, offering beautiful views of the city. Each of their courses offers the opportunity to undertake a work placement or study abroad initiative. A number of degree apprenticeships are also available, combining the development of vocational skills with academic study too. The University has also been one of the first universities in the country to be awarded a national police-approved security award. www.bath.ac.uk
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham - the original ‘redbrick’ university - prides itself on its students being persuasive, persistent and bold, empowering them to turn their ambitions into reality. The university’s green and spacious campus is brimming with things to do, such as visiting their museums, galleries, concert halls and their botanic garden. They can count 10 Nobel Laureates among their staff, and alumni have contributed to some of science’s greatest discoveries, for example, the Higgs Boson and Gravitational Waves. www.birmingham.ac.uk
University of Bristol
The University of Bristol has a reputation for innovation, enabling students to wholly fulfil their academic and personal potential. Students work on real-life projects with academics who are experts in their respective fields, supported by continual investments into new and existing facilities, training and technology. The university is small enough to allow for the cultivation of a warm and friendly atmosphere for all, whilst city life in Bristol was voted the best in Britain in a survey of 20,000 students in 2015. www.bristol.ac.uk
TURN BACK TO PAGES 68-69 to read about Exeter and Falmouth
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University of Cambridge
World-renowned, the University of Cambridge uses a collegiate system through which students live, eat and socialise in one of the university’s 31 separate colleges. Small group teaching sessions - known as supervisions - also take place within the colleges, and are regarded as one of the best teaching models in the world. Students’ academic terms are shorter than that of usual universities at just eight weeks long, meaning student life is jampacked with both academic and social occasions such as formals and balls. www.cam.ac.uk
University of East Anglia
UEA places 13th in the UK for the quality of their research output, with their world-leading research covering science, health and medicine, social sciences and the humanities. Having gained the University of Sanctuary accreditation, UEA demonstrates an ongoing commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming atmosphere for all. Young people are given a platform within the campus to share their ideas and have their voice heard. www.uea.ac.uk
University of Edinburgh
With a rich history of world-renown, the University of Edinburgh was the second-most popular university in the UK by volume of applications in 2021. It was also ranked 4th in the UK for research power, with the highest rating possible for their student learning experience. Scottish undergraduate degree programmes include four years of study rather than the traditional three in England, meaning students have an extra year to enjoy the vibrant cultural scene of Scotland’s capital. www.ed.ac.uk
University of Exeter
With coastal beaches never too far away, the University of Exeter combines its state-ofthe-art facilities with an academic excellence that has seen it placed in the Top 150 in the Times High Education World University Rankings. Split across campuses in both Exeter and Cornwall, Exeter has consistently been among the leaders for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey. The university was also awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for combatting the effects of marine plastic pollution and shares its Penryn Campus with Falmouth University, creating a vibrant community of students with diverse backgrounds. www.exeter.ac.uk
University of Glasgow
Ranking 2nd in the Russell Group for student satisfaction, the University of Glasgow is located in the world’s friendliest and second most affordable city according to Time Out. Students are taught by dedicated and passionate academics in a flexible and innovative learning environment, supplemented by the opportunity for students to access the university’s 12-storey library, which houses one of the largest collections in Europe. www.gla.ac.uk
University of Leeds
One of the largest universities in the UK, the University of Leeds is globally renowned for the quality of their research and teaching. With the campus just a short walk from Leeds city centre, more than 39,800 students currently study there and 29 of their staff have been awarded National Teaching Fellowships. The university intends to harness expertise in research and education to help shape a better future, working through collaboration to tackle inequalities, benefit society and drive change. www.leeds.ac.uk
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University of Manchester
The only university in the UK to have social responsibility as a core goal, the University of Manchester is one of the top 10 universities in the UK and the 27th most international university in the world. Teaching staff are recognised internationally at the forefront of their subjects and incorporate the very latest thinking directly into their courses. The university also has strong collaborative links with industry and public service, ensuring all courses are tailored to the needs of future employers. www.manchester.ac.uk
University of Nottingham
7th in the UK for research power, the teaching at the University of Nottingham is always shaped by the latest ground-breaking research. A large number of courses include a placement or work experience element, ensuring that students receive first-hand experience in professional environments. The university utilises both its world-class facilities and bustling city life to create an overall fantastic student experience. www.nottingham.ac.uk
University of Oxford
As the oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford is a worldleading centre of learning, teaching and research. On average, they receive over seven applications for every available place, with both the admissions process and the student experience being heavily influenced by Oxford’s 44 colleges. Teaching takes place over short eight-week terms, during which students have access to incredible collections of books, manuscripts and academic materials within the university’s picturesque libraries. www.ox.ac.uk
University of Plymouth
The University of Plymouth is one of the top 25 in the UK for teaching quality and has strong research credentials as a world top 25% for research citations as of 2022. Situated in a coastal city between Devon and Cornwall, it is no surprise that the university has an excellent international reputation for its marine institution, placing 4th in the world. In terms of student life, Plymouth is also ranked as one of the safest places in the UK for a night out.
University of Portsmouth
With over 94% of their graduates in work and further study, as well as access to full careers advice and support throughout study and up to five years after graduation, the University of Portsmouth is also one of only four universities in the South East of England to have achieved a gold rating in the Teaching Excellence Framework as of 2022. Portsmouth city itself is home to a fantastic range of independent shops and green spaces, ensuring a great student experience overall. www.port.ac.uk
University of Sheffield
As a world top-100 university, Sheffield is renowned for the excellence, impact and distinctiveness of their research-led learning and teaching. Their Students’ Union has been voted the best in the UK for six years running by the Whatuni Student Choice Awards, reflecting the university’s commitment to the student experience. Sheffield city is also right on the edge of the Peak District national park, so there is ample opportunity for students to access the beautiful countryside and surrounding nature. www.sheffield.ac.uk
TURN BACK TO PAGES 30-33
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University of Southampton
The University of Southampton is ranked 12th in the UK and 78th globally, with a diverse community of students from over 130 countries. With over 350 courses to choose from, degrees can be customised and explored beyond a student’s chosen subject. The city of Southampton is friendly and walkable, filled with lots of parks and waterside walks to relax among, as well as being one of the warmest and sunniest places to study in the UK due to its south coast location. www.southampton.ac.uk
University of St Andrews
With seven centuries of history linking the students with the town, this ancient yet modern university is a unique location to study. The institution was Scotland’s first university and is the third oldest in the English-speaking world, meaning it is steeped in traditions still enjoyed by current students year after year. St Andrews was also named the top university in the UK this year by the Guardian University Guide 2023. www.st-andrews.ac.uk
University of Surrey
A vibrant campus encompassing a global community of ideas and people, the University of Surrey dedicates itself to life-changing education and research. The university was among the top 10 in the UK for highly skilled employment, whilst their University Careers Service was considered the best in the country by the National University Employability Awards 2022. It also ranks first in the UK for its courses in Information Technology Systems and Tourism, Transport, Travel and Heritage Studies. www.surrey.ac.uk
University of Warwick
One of the top 10 universities in the UK, the University of Warwick was born out of boldness, imagination and collaboration. Warwick graduates are ranked within the UK top 10 for highest earnings five years after graduating in over eleven subjects. Surrounded by beautiful green spaces as well as city life, students and staff are consistently making an impact, and Warwick prides itself on providing a tireless yet supportive environment. www.warwick.ac.uk
University of York
York’s beautiful and historic city setting alongside their safe and inclusive campus environment ensures that students can truly make the most of their university experience. This Russell Group university is ranked 17th in the UK and has also been awarded the Athena Swan Charter in recognition of their efforts for the advancement of gender equality. All students become members of the college system, which provides a valuable sense of community for all. www.york.ac.uk
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TURN BACK TO PAGES 62-63 to read about applying to international universities
Teaching English around the world
Fully-funded and free TEFL adventures abroad
Imagine what it would be like this summer to swap out the hustle and bustle of life in the UK for a tranquil morning in Thailand, where you start your day under the serene gaze of a golden Buddha, surrounded by lush tropical greenery. Picture yourself amidst the historic cities of Europe, tracing the path of one of many roads to Rome, all the while absorbing the rich tapestry of cultures that have shaped the continent. Or envisage a vibrant, bustling marketplace in Colombia, where you’re enticed by the chocolateybitter fresh coffee, the pulsating rhythm of music and the warmth of the locals. This could be your summer with Gotoco.
Gotoco is a social enterprise. Our mission is to offer global adventures that are financially inclusive and we only advertise opportunities where we have funding pre-arranged - so, students essentially go for free (flights and all!). Our summer programmes are a unique blend of teaching English, learning
foreign languages and cultural immersion. Best of all, our experiences are fully integrated elements of TEFL qualification courses - so our Gotoco’ers graduate with skills that can be used to bridge the gap between education and the workplace.
For us, inclusivity is not just a fashionable term, but a central belief. We welcome students from all walks of life, and the result is a rich, vibrant mix of personalities, perspectives and narratives that foster mutual understanding and respect.
Joining a Gotoco summer programme doesn’t just mean visiting a new country, it means becoming part of it. You’ll enjoy travelling, connecting with locals, gaining insights into their lives, traditions and customs, and even picking up a bit of the local language. By living and learning in a new environment, you’ll develop adaptability, empathy and global consciousness.
Acquiring a TEFL qualification through our
programme also opens up a world of opportunities. It could be your ticket to teaching English around the globe, turning your passion for travel into a meaningful career.
Gotoco could be your avenue for adventure, a doorway to diverse cultures and a stepping stone to global citizenship
This summer, we invite you to step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary. Let Gotoco be the stepping stone to your global journey of learning, selfdiscovery and unforgettable experiences.
MRS. LISHA TANG Company Director www.goto.co
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Discover University for Parents and Supporters
Our online Discover University platform provides information, advice and guidance for prospective students, parents/guardians, teachers and advisers about studying at university.
We understand how important it is for parents and supporters to be well-equipped to support their young person’s journey to higher education. Our dedicated Discover University webpages and social media feeds will provide the key information needed at each stage of the journey.
We also run regular webinars, speci cally aimed at parents and supporters, covering a range of topics such as:
• Preparation for University
• Student Finance
• Support for Results Day
• Support Services for Students
Sign up for our free webinars aimed at parents/supporters: exeter.ac.uk/undergraduate/ applying/accessexeter/parents
Follow us for regular updates, links to events and resources:
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