EDUCATION AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 • £5
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019
How to help pupils ﬂourish
GAME WHY HURST COLLEGE HAS GONE FLEXI
Z E S T. L O N D O N AB ED_COVER_AW19.indd All Pages
The advantages of bilingualism
BUSINESS E N C O U R AG I N G E N T R E P R E N E U R S H I P
Mayﬁeld A N I N D E P E N D EN T B OA R D I N G A N D DAY S C H O O L FO R G I R L S AG E D 1 1 TO 1 8
“THE QUALITY OF THE PUPILS’ ACADEMIC AND OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS IS EXCELLENT”
“ONE OF THE FINEST SCHOOLS IN THE LAND”
INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE
SET IN THE BEAUTIFUL AND EASILY ACCESSIBLE SUSSEX COUNTRYSIDE
MAY_TDA33333 A3 DPS Absolutely Education AW2.indd 1
Sixth Form Open Evening
THURSDAY 19 TH SEPTEMBER TUESDAY 5 TH NOVEMBER
THURSDAY 26 TH SEPTEMBER
FOR GIRLS IN YEARS 10 AND 11 SATURDAY 7 TH DECEMBER
A MAYFIELD EDUCATION COMBINES ACADEMIC RIGOUR, BREADTH OF OPPORTUNITY AND A STRONG SENSE OF COMMUNITY. The School has an excellent academic record, exceptional pastoral care and an extensive co-curricular programme. Every girl is encouraged and supported to find her strengths and develop them in an inspiring learning environment, which encourages independent critical thinking, determination and resilience. Mayfield girls develop a lifelong love of learning, a range of transferable skills that will prepare them for their futures and friendships that will last a lifetime. Mayfield’s ethos reflects its Catholic foundation and encourages integrity, initiative, respect and a desire to be the best you can be within a vibrant and inclusive community. For the past 150 years, Mayfield has nurtured generations of enterprising, purposeful young women with the skills and confidence to make a positive difference in the world. To experience all that is special about Mayfield, visit us on an Open Morning. To reserve a place or to book an individual visit, please email email@example.com. We look forward to welcoming you.
FACILITIES INCLUDE • Equestrian Centre on-site with facilities for up to 28 horses • Olympic sized indoor and outdoor sand schools • Heated indoor swimming pool • Tennis Academy • Fitness Suite and Dance Studio • Concert Hall • State-of-the-art Sixth Form Centre • Extensive daily minibus service covering large areas of Kent and Sussex • Weekly bus service to and from Central London • Close proximity to London airports
TO ARRANGE A VISIT OR RESERVE A PLACE ON THE CERAMICS MASTERCLASS, PLEASE CONTACT OUR REGISTRAR, MRS SHIRLEY COPPARD, REGISTRAR@MAYFIELDGIRLS.ORG
2019 16:11MAY_TDA33333 A3 DPS Absolutely Education AW2.indd 2
We l c o m e
ur school-leavers are facing ever-changing challenges as they leave the world of education. With traditional career paths increasingly becoming things of the past, a school’s task of preparing pupils for life is harder and harder to define. What skills will they need? What type of workplaces will they find themselves faced with? So many unknown factors are at play, yet schools must find ways to prepare pupils for all eventualities. Whatever the future holds, it is clear that the skills held by successful entrepreneurs – skills such as innovative thinking, charisma, creativity, originality and courage, to name a few – are ones that will always give people advantages in
Also on the subject of preparing for the future, we have Barnaby Lenon enthusing about the new T-levels, which are aiming to bridge the eternal gap between academic and vocational study, and Lisa Sanders of the Laurels School on the importance of character. Developing character is often taken for granted as a by-product of equipping students with knowledge and analytical skills, but it is important to focus separately on personal flourishing and wellbeing. The positive effects of speaking two languages on brain development, intelligence and empathy are examined in our focus on bilingualism, while other elements said to encourage personal growth include, diversely, taking control over your own finances as a teenager and wearing dungarees. And finally, the main school focus of this large autumn
“THERE'S NO SINGLE ROUTE TO NURTURING ENTREPRENEURSHIP” life. It’s clear too, that without these skills, the next generation is going to struggle in an unpredictable job market. Michael Doherty of Canford School has aptly dubbed them ‘career chameleons’. So we have themed this issue around concepts of business and entrepreneurship, and invited schools to contribute their thoughts on how these skills can be taught. There’s no single route to nurturing entrepreneurship. Pupils can be encouraged to be flexible in their thinking, commercial in their mindset and proactive in their behaviour in countless different ways, as seen in our Talking Point feature on page 78.
issue is Hurstpierpoint, a school that has grown enormously in size and scope under head Tim Manly. Its dedication to flexi-boarding and to helping children of all abilities to flourish makes it a happy and dynamic environment. Manly’s college produces robust individuals who are accomplished in a variety of fields, having consistently achieved their personal best along the way. And what more can anyone ask of a school?
Pendle Harte ACTING EDITOR
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 9
CONTE AUT U MN•WINTE R 2019
18 NEWS What's going on in the world of education
38 SCHOOL FOCUS Hurst School, West Sussex, by Amanda Constance
N u r s e ry & P R E P
46 BOTTOM OF THE CLASS When your child struggles, by Libby Norman
51 ALL-IN-ONE APPEAL Why dungarees are conducive to learning
176 106 ROOM TO GROW
78 TALKING POINT
Putney High School's biophilic classroom
Schools in their own words on fostering business and entrepreneurship skills
98 FASHION HOUSE How Heathfield School has forged ahead in the business of fashion
110 RIDE ON Equestrian activity is an important option at several schools. We discover where to go for kids who love horses
127 WHEEL OF FORTUNE Ceramics is a popular specialism at Mayfield School. We throw a spotlight on the studio
s c h o o l l e av e r
144 GABBITAS ADVICE Demystifying vocational qualifications
149 ENTFEST Careers advice from the Peter Jones Foundation
au t u m n b o o k s
160 BOOK REVIEWS Andrea Reece's roundup of new releases
164 THE MAKING OF ME Author Robin Stevens on her days at Cheltenham Ladies College
10 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | AUTUMN • WINTER 2019
180 ACTING EDITOR
EDITOR IAL ASSISTANT
A DV ERTISING M A NAGER
EDITOR I A L IN TER N
COMMERCI A L DIR ECTOR
SPECI A L IST CONSULTA N T
GROUP SA L ES DIR ECTOR
MID-W EIGHT DESIGNER
M A R K ETING M A NAGER
FINA NCE DIR ECTOR
Jerrie Koleci DIR ECTOR S
Greg Hughes, Alexandra Hunter, James Fuschillo PUBL ISHING DIR ECTOR
38 school's out
For advertising enquiries please call +44 (0) 20 7704 0588 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Subscriptions are available simply by emailing email@example.com
ZEST MEDIA PUBLICATIONS LTD 197-199, City Road, EC1V 1JN 020 7704 0588 ZEST-MEDIA.COM
Zest Media Publications Ltd. cannot accept responsibility for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts and photographs. While every care is taken, prices and details are subject to change and Zest Media Publications Ltd. take no responsibility for omissions or errors. We reserve the right to publish and edit any letters.All rights reserved.
176 SHAKESPEARE LIVE A new pop-up theatre dedicated to the bard
180 VALLEY ADVENTURES Family activities in Wales
187 NIMBL Introducing children to financial management
l a s t wo r d
214 60 SECONDS... Katy Tassell, Framlingham
F RO NT COV E R Hurst College, College Lane, Hurstpierpoint, Hassocks, BN6 9JS 01273 833636, hppc.co.uk Photograph by Millie P ilkington
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 11
THE KEY TO YOUR FUTURE
• A B S O L U T E LY E D U C AT I O N ’ S •
CON T R IBU TOR S
Kent College Canterbury
Helen Peters Author, Anna at War
Helen Peters grew up on an old-fashioned farm in Sussex, surrounded by family, animals and mud. She spent most of her childhood reading stories and putting on plays in a tumbledown shed that she and her friends turned into a theatre. After university, she became an English and Drama teacher. Helen lives with her husband and children in London, and she can hardly believe that she now gets to call herself a writer.
Chairman, Independent Schools Council
Barnaby Lenon taught at Eton for 12 years, was the deputy head of Highgate School, head of Trinity School Croydon and head of Harrow for 12 years. He then helped establish the London Academy of Excellence in East London, one of the most successful state sixth form Academies, where he is chairman of governors. He is also chairman of the Independent Schools Council and has been a governor of 16 state and independent schools.
Find out more at our SENIOR SCHOOL OPEN MORNING 28th September 9am - 12.30pm
SIXTH FORM OPEN EVENING 18th November 6pm - 9pm
Adrian has worked in secondary and further education for over 20 years, having led the Advanced Skills Teacher Network as an AST for Inclusive Learning for the London borough of Sutton, where he was a regular contributor to the Roehampton PGCE Programme, and ran the largest ever project for London Gifted and Talented. Adrian has also spent over a decade serving on school leadership teams in state and independent education, and he has been a member of the ISA since 2012.
Book your place online at kentcollege.com or Call 01227 763231
09/09/2019 17:19 13/09/2019 11:23
• A B S O L U T E LY E D U C AT I O N ’ S •
CON T R IBU TOR S Each day, discovery
Former Head of Mill Hill, Rodean and Heathfield
Frances King is a highly experienced leader and educational thinker. She has recently taken a sabbatical to focus on innovation, enterprise and play in education. She writes about the Danish model on page 98. If you had to add one compulsory subject to the curriculum what would it be? I would include creative play
Education consultant and journalist
A Canadian by birth, Lisa Freedman remains fascinated by the bizarre intricacy of the English education system, and is currently completing a PhD in the History of Education at UCL. She writes about single sex schools on p.88 Who is your favourite leader from history and why? My favourite leader from history is Frederick William Walker, headmaster of Manchester Grammar School, 18591876, and St Paul’s School, London, 1877-1905.
Whole School Open Day Saturday 21 September 2019 10.00am – 1.00pm Book your place: www.elthamcollege.london/book
Master, Magdalen College School, Oxford
Grove Park Road, London SE9 4QF
Educated in the state sector, Helen read Modern History at the University of Oxford, was a postgraduate student in the USA, and taught at the University of Warwick. She began her school teaching career at Westminster, then spent many enjoyable years in pastoral and academic roles at City of London School, St Paul’s, and RGS Guildford. From 2013-16 she was Headmistress of South Hampstead High School. She is also a novelist and academic editor.
Does your child need a school which offers specialist learning support? Come along to the Cavendish Education Schools Fair Saturday 21 September 2019, 10am-1pm Staff from each of the Cavendish Education Schools will be on hand to answer your questions and discuss how to help your child to reach their potential. Also attending: The Child and Adolescent Development Centre, Dulwich Speech & Language Therapy, Chelsea Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Therapy, Numberella and Ruby, Red & Crimson Art Studios, and more... Register your interest today firstname.lastname@example.org Refreshments provided.
W QUE HICH S STIO C NS A HOOL? NSW ERE D
ANC D I U G
PROFESSIONAL ADVIC E AND SUPPORT CAVENDISH EDUCATION ADMISSIONS PROCESS
CHILDREN WELCOME ACTIVITIES PROVIDED
To be held at: Cavendish Education 23-31 Beavor Lane, Ravenscourt Park, Hammersmith W6 9AR
Up Front NEWS P . 18 WHAT ARE T-LEVELS? P . 29 V&A INNOVATE P . 30
St Nicholas School encourages sport and physical activity for active learning and development. Here, two prep gymnasts show off their skills.
AUTUMN â&#x20AC;¢ WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 17
Gamers' Glor y
R I S I N G STA R
More than 100 students gathered at Cambridge Regional College this weekend to compete in FXP Festival, a games design and development competition for young people in East Anglia. Winners included teams from West Suffolk College, North Cambridge Academy, Parkside Community College and Stephen Perse Foundation.
Albie Marber, a student at Portland Place School, has showcased his admirable acting abilities while starring in the newly released biographical drama film, Tolkien. Albie commenced his professional career at the age of 11, during which he has taken on a plethora of diverse roles from acting as the ‘young’ Tommy Cooper in ITV’s Tommy Cooper, and more recently assuming roles in Amazon Prime series Outlander and ITV's Trauma.
“Albie commenced his professional career at the age of 11”
PROUD PA R T N E R S H I P
As part of Forest School’s ongoing commitment to strengthening Forest and its community through collaboration, the school is delighted to announce that it is the proud partner of Hackney Empire’s Creative Futures programme reaching 4,000 disadvantaged young people every year.
Malvern College has reinforced its close links with an investment to Abberley Hall, a significant feeder school which will secure a bright future for the two schools. Both Headmasters believe this will put them in a stronger position to deal with the demands of a rapidly changing market sector.
LO N G LO ST Deep in the grounds of Beaudesert Park School in Gloucestershire, a forgotten Victorian lake has been brought back to vibrant life. After decades of being cordoned off, the lake has been beautifully restored. Dragonflies, newts and butterflies have already taken up residence, and from September pupils will be exploring the new nature haven.
“I think private school children on the margins are no longer going to get in [to Oxbridge]. I think that is perfectly fine, even if you are a pupil at my own school.” R I C H A R N C A I R N S O N FA I R AC C E S S T O OX B R I D G E , S U N DAY T I M E S
18 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | AUTUMN • WINTER 2019
ABED A/W19_NEWS_USE.indd 18
UPFRONT / NEWS By ABBIE SCHOFIELD
Career Guidance King Edward’s Witley has appointed Moira Davies as the Head of Careers and Higher Education. Having previously worked at schools in Zimbabwe and Mauritius, she has been running her own business as an independent Career Coach since returning to the UK.
B R AV E D O G Britain’s bravest police dog Finn, who was stabbed in the line of duty, visited Heathfield School, Ascot, with Finn’s Law campaigner and owner PC Dave Wardell. PC Wardell discussed with students aged 11-18 life in the police force, the role of police animals, facing adversity and the importance of perseverance and resilience.
SKY’S THE LIMIT Repton School’s 1st XI football captain Matthew Bowman has signed a professional two-year contract with Dunfermline Athletic FC. The club currently plays in the Scottish Championships after being promoted in 2016. Matthew was part of Middlesbrough and Hull City’s youth academy before he joined Repton School to combine studying for his A-levels with an excellent football programme.
P L AY O N Cheam School has announced that its recently established Foundation is now funding its first dedicated music bursary for a child aged 8-13. The Cheam Foundation was launched in 2019 in order to offer life-changing bursaries to as wide a cross-section of children as possible.
Farming and Food The Food, Farming and Environment competition, managed by leading education charity LEAF Education, saw teenagers from six schools from across the UK take part in a broad range of activities designed to give them hands-on experience with the science and technology used in farming.
“Teaching children about healthy eating is just as important as teaching them English and Maths” T H E G R E AT B R I T I S H B A K E O F F ' S P R U E L E I T H
SOMETHING THEY SAID
“We need to start exciting girls and young women about technology subjects as early as possible.” TO N I S C U L L I O N I N T E S D I S C U S S E S T H E G E N D E R I M BA L A N C E I N T EC H
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 19
ABED A/W19_NEWS_USE.indd 19
UPFRONT / NEWS By ABBIE SCHOFIELD
R eal Talking
Taunton School has been recognised for its environmental achievement with a Green Award in the Independent Schools of the Year Awards. It was awarded following the success of the ‘Zero to Landfill’ campaign, where it became the first Somerset school to recycle all its waste.
Pupils from Kings Monkton School in Cardiff debated peers at a public school in New Delhi, India. The Skype debate was centred around issues of abortion, LGBTQ+ rights and Trump’s wall. It was the second in a series of debates between the two schools.
R ecord Breaking Sixth Form students at ArtsEd celebrated the school’s best ever results in BTECs with a superb 100% Triple Distinction and above, with 85% achieving Triple Distinction. A-levels also saw a 100% pass rate with 30% of all A-level results at A*/A, and overall 78% of all results were A*-B, which is their highest figure on record.
Oakfield Preparatory School in Dulwich have started the new school year in sustainable fashion. They have implemented Meat-Free Mondays across all their school lunches for Years 2-6. Moyra Thompson, Acting Head, said, “Our catering is fantastic and it’s important our decisions both in the classroom and lunch hall are going to help our local community and the planet."
ART SUCCESS Student Mia Dyson from Blackheath High School has had her artwork selected to be displayed at the Royal Academy of Arts in their summer exhibition. From over 6,000 works submitted, two of Mia’s pieces were selected to be amongst the 329 that form the prestigious online exhibition. Another piece of Mia’s was chosen to be exhibited in the Royal Academy itself as part of the inaugural Young Artists’ Summer Show.
SONGS OF PRAISE
New Head Cumnor House in Sussex has announced Fergus Llewellyn as their new Headmaster with effect from July 2020. Fergus is currently the Headmaster of the renowned St Andrew's Prep School in Turi, Kenya, where he has been since August 2015. Prior to that, he was at Cheltenham College for 10 years, serving as Housemaster and Head of English and Drama.
Francis Holland School were finalists at the BBC Songs of Praise Young Choir of the Year 2019. Their incredibly talented Senior Chamber Choir, comprised of 27 girls from Years 9 to 13, stunned judges and viewers with their heartfelt performance of Doerksen’s ‘Faithful One’ and were heavily praised for their technical assurance, expressive nuance and confidence.
“I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained” WA LT D I S N E Y
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 21
ABED A/W19_NEWS_USE.indd 21
UPFRONT / NEWS By ABBIE SCHOFIELD
Emmanuel Jal – a former child soldier, TIME magazine figure of the year and spokesperson for Amnesty International and UNESCO – spoke to and performed for pupils from schools across the Borough of Southwark at Dulwich College this term. He delivered a message of encouragement and an invitation to pupils to understand and empathise with different perspectives.
The Board of Governors are delighted to announce the appointment of Ben Evans as Headmaster of Windlesham House School on the retirement of Richard Foster in summer 2020. Ben is currently Head at Edge Grove School, where he has been since September 2012, and has previously worked as Head of the British School Colombo (Junior) and as Deputy Head at Bramdean College, Exeter. Ben will be joined by his wife, Alex, who is looking forward to playing a full role in school life, and their two boys. They look forward to the opportunity to continue Windlesham’s development as one of the country’s top co-educational boarding schools.
W E L L D E S E RV E D Gresham’s School has awarded two places to talented and deserving Year 11 students from eastern England, Shahd Abdelrahman and Jasmine Loades. Gresham also welcomed alumnus Sir James Dyson's donation of £18.75 million to enable a new centre for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.
Graduating In Style Departing Year 13 and Year 14 students from DLD College London are the only students to ever to have their Graduation Ceremony at the Houses of Parliament. The students processed across Westminster Bridge to the ceremony along with a police escort to obtain awards for all their exceptional achievements.
S H I N E AT SHAKESPEARE Pupils from Falcons School for Girls have improved their arts abilities during a Drama and Music workshop at the RHACC Theatre in Richmond. Budding young actresses in Year 5 and 6 from the Putney-based school joined the boys from Falcons Prep to explore the iconic Shakespeare play, Romeo and Juliet.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” NELSON MANDELA
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 23
ABED A/W19_NEWS_USE.indd 23
UPFRONT / NEWS By ABBIE SCHOFIELD
E L I M I N AT I O N OF FEE
CA P T U R I N G C R OY D O N The Whitgift Foundation is thrilled to announce the 30 shortlisted images taken by local children for the Capturing Croydon photography competition. The shortlist has been selected from 146 schoolchildren for a chance to win top photography prizes. The competition inspires children to explore Croydon’s urban landscape.
“The shortlist has been selected from 146 schoolchildren”
As part of a focused effort to reduce financial barriers for students and schools to participate in its unique programmes, the International Baccalaureate has announced that it is eliminating the $172/£138 'candidate registration' fee that students traditionally pay. In May 2019 more than 77,800 students participated in exams, an 8% increase compared to the previous year.
NEW APPOINTMENT E N E R GY I N SCHOOL Samsung has announced its initiative 'Energy in School' which will impact more than 20 schools around the UK. The initiative is in partnership with the Centre for Sustainable Energy, My Utility Genius Commercial and Lancaster University, teachers and students taking part in the initiative will learn how the Internet of Things can be used to help reduce energy consumption and the carbon footprint of their school.
To p St o r y
The Governors of Bishop’s Stortford College are delighted to announce the appointment of Kathy Crewe-Read as their next Head. Only the 10th Head to be appointed in the 150 year history of the College, Mrs Crewe-Read will be joining the College on 1st September 2020. Kathy Crewe-Read has enjoyed a very successful career in education, working in multiple very successful schools.
A H E A D STA R T
I N T E R N AT I O N A L NEWS Brighton College, in partnership with leading global schools group Cognita, is delighted to announce the plan to open a new international school in Singapore in September 2020.
Millfield Prep School has appointed Mike Jory as Head of Millfield Pre-Prep, beginning in September 2019. Mike will bring a lot of experience from his 15 years in education and in various roles.
BREXIT Brexit is the 2019 Children’s Word of the Year by Oxford University Press for BBC Radio 2’s Breakfast Show 500 Words competition.
SOMETHING THEY SAID
“Education is a holistic process and a focus on test results represents a narrow measure of achievement. ” TA N YA B Y R O N C H A M P I O N S E M O T I O N A L I N T E L L I G E N C E OV E R T H E O B S E S S I O N W I T H I Q
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 25
ABED A/W19_NEWS_USE.indd 25
UPFRONT / NEWS By ABBIE SCHOFIELD
NEW HILDEN HEAD
Carpe Diem Duolingo – the world's number one way to learn a language – is launching a Latin course created in partnership with the renowned Paideia Institute. Learning Latin is thought to improve children’s ability to learn other Romance languages such as French or Italian and, according to Mary Beard, is essential for studying Classics. The linguistic app is available on iOS, Android and at duolingo.com.
“Learning Latin is thought to improve children's ability to learn French”
This academic year, Sherfield School, in Sherfield-on-Loddon, Hook, are excited to introduce an exciting new enrichment programme to pupils and parents. The ethos of enrichment at Sherfield centres around the school’s motto Ad vitam paramus, or AVP, meaning ‘Preparing for life’. The AVP Diploma will broaden and deepen the curriculum, giving children the opportunity to develop new skills such as problem solving, creativity, critical thinking and people management.
Gold Rush The summer of 2019 was golden for recent Pangbourne College leaver, Dan Atkins, as he won gold medals at the Junior World and European sprint canoeing championships. He started with a K1 Junior Men 200m gold at the Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint European Championships in Czech Republic and followed this by winning the World Junior Championship in the 200m sprint event at the Junior and U23 Canoe Sprint World Championship in Romania.
To p St o r y
Mr Malcolm Gough has been named as the new Head of Hilden Grange School in Tonbridge. Mr Gough was previously Executive Head of Benedict House and Wickham Court schools, Head of Sutton Valence Preparatory school and Director of Studies at Somerhill, where he oversaw the academic provision at Yardley Court, Derwent Lodge and Somerhill Pre-Preparatory school. His first job in teaching, after arriving from South Africa in 1989, was at Winchester House where he was a Housemaster, Head of History, Head of Hockey and Director of Studies
N U R S E RY N E W S Annette Elstob has taken up her post as the new Head of Rolfe’s Nursery School, the Ofsted ‘outstanding’ Notting Hill nursery. Miss Elstob gained a BA Hons Performing Arts in 2009 and completed her PGCE in Primary education, with a specialist focus on Early Years, at the University of East London, Stratford.
B R A I N CA N D O L I ST E N U P Dauntsey’s School has announced an impressive line-up of speakers for their renowned Mercers’ Lecture Series. The Mercers’ Lectures are central to encouraging our pupils to engage with the outside world and think beyond the confines of their academic curriculum.
Queen Anne’s School has released a BrainCanDo revision guide to help students dive deeper into the science of the learning brain. BrainCanDo, a cognitive psychology and educational neuroscience research centre, was set up six years ago by Queen Anne’s Headmistress Julia Harrington and working on some fascinating projects since. Find out more about the BrainCanDo revision guide at qas.org.uk.
SOMETHING THEY SAID
“If they know Stormzy lyrics, they can memorise poetry” S A R A H L E D G E R O N W H Y S T U D E N T S S H O U L D L E A R N Q U O TAT I O N S F O R E X A M S
AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 27
ABED A/W19_NEWS_USE.indd 27
Co-education for ages 10–18
Registration for entry at 10+, 11+, 13+ and 16+ in 2020 Closes Friday 18th October 2019 at 12.00pm
Fee-assistance and scholarships available www.emanuel.org.uk
“ Pupils’ personal development is excellent.” (INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS INSPECTORATE) EMANUEL.indd 1 autumn 2019.indd 1 Absolutely Education
09/09/2019 17:01 04/09/2019 08:39:19
UP FRON T / T-LE V ELS
From A to T Barnaby Lenon on the introduction of T-levels BARNABY LENON
ince the late 19th century, England has been struggling with vocational education. It became clear that countries like Germany, France and Japan were eating away at the industrial lead England had established between 1750 and 1850, and this was partly because of their superior training. England has faced several barriers to successful vocational training: snobbery about nonuniversity courses, an inability to decide whether the Government or employers should be taking the lead, a proliferation of huge numbers of vocational courses which are unknown to the general public, and changes in government policy so frequent that vocational courses never took root. In order to try and improve the situation, the current Government is introducing a set of new technical courses called T-levels. Many competing vocational courses will be swept away in order to simplify the system. The T-levels will be high-quality and should be a viable alternative to A-levels for those students who know the career path they would like to pursue.
"A challenge for the Government will be persuading students and parents that a vocational education is of the same value and esteem as an academic education"
2023 across the 11 main areas. The 11 T-level subjects are broad so they will each be broken down into separate ‘occupational specialisms’, each of which can be a T-level. In other words, there will be many more than 11 T-levels – probably 40-60. For example, the ‘digital’ route could be broken down into three: IT support and services, software and applications and data and digital business services. Each T-level will have several elements: A common core of useful knowledge, skills and behaviours that may be examined on paper ABOVE Barnaby Lenon, A specific vocational course Chairman, (called a Technical Qualification), Independent Schools Council which assesses someone’s ability to do things – called ‘competences’ Employability skills such as T-levels are being planned for the computer literacy, reliability and following areas: attitude A 45-to-60-day work placement Agriculture, environmental and Maths, English and digital requirements animal care Any other occupation-specific Business and administrative requirements/qualifications Catering and hospitality Childcare and education There are a number of reasons why the Construction new T-levels might fail. In England, what Creative and design universities and further education colleges Digital offer is demand-led. What individual Engineering and manufacturing students want determines which courses Hair and beauty are offered. So courses can be offered, Health and science but they fail if demand is not there. Many Legal, finance and accounting 16-year-olds may not be willing to opt for one particular career (a T-level pathway) These two-year T-levels will be offered to at that age, preferring to keep their options students aged 16+ and phased in after 2020. open by taking A-levels or applied generals. Three T-levels in Construction, Digital Skills Another challenge for the Government will and Childcare will be delivered by a small be persuading students and parents that a number of providers from September 2020. vocational education is of the same value A further seven T-levels will be available and esteem as an academic education. from September 2021, with the remainder However, we should support the T-level rolled out from September 2022 onwards. reform. We need to improve our vocational The Government’s current aim is for all provisions and this qualification is very T-levels to be introduced by September well-conceived. AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 29
AB ED_AW19_T LEVELS.indd 29
“V&A Innovate is a free online teacher resource hub with toolkits, animated videos and a range of inspiring activities” ABOVE V&A Innovate hopes to re-engage schools with design
30 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | AUTUMN • WINTER 2019
AB ED_AW19_V&A.indd 30
UP FRON T / V& A
Designs for LIFE V&A Innovate is a school-based initiative conceived to inspire young people about the value of design skills to solve real world challenges
early a year ago I blogged on the role of design thinking in underpinning V&A Learning. The key principles of user-centred approaches, applied creativity, problem solving and iteration, are essential to ensure that the V&A is a relevant, impactful and transformative force for creative change for all learners from early years across the life course. These principles are now integral to our programmes – a timely example being V&A Innovate, our new, digital first, national flagship programme for schools which drives forward our national remit and ambition for design education for the 21st century. Amanda Spielman, Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector, Ofsted, said: “Your pupils, I’m sure, will do great things with a challenge like this. And as they grip this challenge, I hope to see schools re-engaging with the design and technology curriculum.” V&A Innovate launched in July with an inaugural teacher conference at the museum. Designed to be as flexible as possible, V&A Innovate is a free online teacher resource hub with toolkits, animated video guides and a range of inspiring activities to unlock the creative potential of the next generation of designers, makers and creatives. Within the AUTUMN • WINTER 2019 | A B S O LU T E LY E D U C AT I O N | 31
AB ED_AW19_V&A.indd 31