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CONTRIBUTORS


CONTRIBUTOR S


Curiosity is key to building a future workforce


In his regular column for Education Today this month, GRA


RAHAMCOOPER, head of education at Capita SIMS, reflects on the


challenges our current school systemfaces producing students who are ready for the workplace of tomorrow.


A slightly odd headline caught my eye recently, which appeared to be calling for the editing ofWikipedia to become a subje national curriculum. However, on closer inspection, it wa referring to the need for education to ensure that pupils are provided with the skills needed to thrive in today’s, digital first workplace. This encouraged me to think about the subjbjects we currently teach in schools and how they could change in the future. Since 2014, children as young as five have learnt how to write code in schools as part of an effort to address knowledge and skills gaps, as well helping to prepare pupils for the digital world we now inhabit.Many of us think of digital familiarity stretching only to the use of smart phones, apps and this week’s latest social network, but there’s a vast amount of work that goes into creating the content and software that populate these channels and devices. By teaching children the fundamentals of computer science, rather than the old school approach of how to operate word processors or spreadsheets (I was an ICT Teacher in the earl 1990s), there exists a potential to help pupils learn how digital technology actually works, how to use it creatively and how to make it work for you.


s actually ct on the


y


Admittedly, updating aWikipedia page might not cover the basics of creating lines of code, but it does present an opportunity to teach other fundamental skills: effective communication, accurate research and an understanding of the importance of copyright. This highlights the way that teaching ICT in schools ha over time and it’s significant that we’ve recently seen the web reach the tender age of 30 years. During that time, PCs have gone from being an expensive and rarely-available toy to being essential tools of just about every walk of life, with most of us owning one, two or more devices capable of accessing the internet and tapping into just about anything in practically no time. Making sure that pupils are provided with the skills they need to succeed in workplaces that we can’t even imagine might be a tough task that could change significantly and rapidly. However, by focusing on building confidence around expressing themselves via digital platforms and feeling comfortable with testing out new ideas and adapting to the outcomes, when the children of today become the workforce of the future, they’ll have all the skills needed to effectively teach themselves when the need crops up.


world wide s shifted


In my opinion, the hunger to continually investigate and search for solutions will become hugely important in the workp lace of the future, with automations and artificial intelligence likely to take up much of the heavy lifting in many businesses and organisation. And regardless of the technology being used, attributes such as inquisitiveness, enterprise and acting on evolving feedback will never become obsolete – even if the boardroom executives and industry leaders of the future never have to familiarise themselves with PowerPoint.


1 8 www .education-today.co.uk.co.uk www Homework needn t be a chore !


Homework needn’’t be a chore! Thismonth, regular Education Today


This month, regular Education Today contributor KIRSTY BERTENSHAW offers some helpful tips on making homework more interesting.


contributor KIRSTY BERTENSHAW offers some helpful tips onmaking homeworkmore interesting .


AW


Homework is always a contentious issue.Whatever a teacher feels about homework, most schools require homework to be set. Here are some helpful hints to make homework more interesting and (hopefully!) motivate students to benefit from their home learning.


Reward system Reward system


Schools usually have a reward system already in place, but if this isn’t motivating all students, try a reward that will tempt them. For ex homework is completed, invite the students to a film


and popcorn treat session. ample, if a half term


For science, how about a fun experiments session for those students who have produced above average pieces of homework?


Projects Projects


Longer project-style homework has more purpose than a single worksheet, for example, the food, culture, religions and climate of a country, or the life and work of Archimedes. Explore how Pythagoras discovered his theorem, or how he determined that he Earth was round. This style of encourages independent learning, but also allows stu theories are formed and proved.


Revision games Revision games


If preferred, app quiz cards.Well


For exam groups, set the challenge of designing a revision game. Blank board games templates are available online, or provide a pack of index cards or sliced craft card. Simple snap or matching card games are easy to make, or a set of quiz cards. Well made revision games can be copied and shared across the class. If preferred, apps can be made for revision too!


For exam groups, set the challenge of designing a revision game. Blank board games templates are available online, or provide a pack of index cards or sliced craft card. Simple snap or matching card games are easy to make, or a set of made revision games can be copied and shared across the class. s can be made for revision too!


Creative choices Creative choices


Instead of written work, offer a creative choice to represent knowledge learned. A colleague of mine once held a bake-off challenge representing a historical event, with the winner showingWorldWar One in icing.Make a menu of meal choices from certain countries in geography or food technology, or for a health y eating topic. Perhaps ask students to explain the nervous system using art, poetry or drama.


Instead of written work, offer a creative choice to represent knowledge learned. A colleague of mine once held a bake-off challenge representing a historical event, with the winner showing World War One in icing. Make a menu of meal choices from certain countries in geography or food technology, or for a healthy eating topic. Perhaps ask students to explain the nervous system using art, poetry or drama.


Cross curricular themed projects oj Cross curricular themed projects


Themed projects are common in primary schools, but cross-curricular learning tends to be lost by secondary school. Combine curricula over a term and design a themed project which joins all aspects of the curriculum. For example, observe the number of vehicles passing a main road (safely) and plot a graph of the results for maths. Then research pollution issues with exhaust fumes for science. Represent the pollution in art, and write a news article using the research fo r English.


ICT tasksICT task s


For those more technically minded, design websites that deliver information for the public on a particular topic area. Computer games or games apps can be created in programs such as Scratch.


For those more technically minded, design websites that deliver information for the public on a particular topic area. Computer games or games apps can be created in programs such as Scratch.


Catch up television and YouTube Catch up television and YouTube


Videos can be harnessed for good and watched anywhere at any time! Prepare a playlist of revision videos for exam groups to watch (on repeat), this way you can assure the quality of revision videos and ensure they are the right specification for the student’s exams. Use videos to reinforce difficult concepts or explore concepts further. Set catch up TV programs as homework, such as watching a nature series when investigating food chains and habitats, history documentaries relevant to the topic content, science documentaries on the human body, etc. Ensure all videos have been viewed first to check they are appropriate. For anyone struggling to access them, a classroom could be opened during lunchtimes or after lessons.


can assure the q a playlist of revis


specification for the student’s exams. Use videos to reinforce difficult concepts or explore concepts further. Set catch up TV program watching a nature series when investigating food cha


ins and habitats, history s as homework, such as


documentaries relevant to the topic content, science documentaries on the human body, etc. Ensure all videos have been viewed first to check they ar e appropriate. For anyone struggling to access them, a classroom could be opened during lunchtimes or after lessons.


Kirsty is the founder of STEMtastic, an education consultancy with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths www.stemtastic.co.uk


KiKirsty isis th Science, Te


rsty


Enthusiasm and interest leads to learning, so everyone benefits! the fo


de TEMta tic, tastic, an educa Technology, gy y, Engineering andMath


Enthusiasm and interest leads to learning, so everyone benefits! founder of STE


cation consultancy with ths www. tew.stemtastita tic.co.uk


ta cy with a fo focus on Apri l 2019 2019


Videos can be harnessed for good and watched anywhere at any time! Prepare ion videos for exam groups to watch (on repeat), this way you uality of revision videos and ensure they are the right


Themed projects are common in primary schools, but cross-curricular learning tends to be lost by secondary school. Combine curricula over a term and design a themed project which joins all aspects of the curriculum. For example, observe the number of vehicles passing a main road (safely) and plot a graph of the results for maths. Then research pollution issues with exhaust fumes for science. Represent the pollution in art, and write a news article using the research for English.


Longer project-style homework has more purpose than a single worksheet, for example, the food, culture, religions and climate of a country, or the life and work of Archimedes. Explore how Pythagoras discovered his theorem, or how he determined that he Earth was round. This style of homework not only encourages independent learning, but also allows students to think about how theories are formed and proved.


dents to think about ho w homework not only


Schools usually have a reward system already in place, but if this isn’t motivating all students, try a reward that will tempt them. For example, if a half term homework is completed, invite the students to a film and popcorn treat session. For science, how about a fun experiments session for those students who have produced above average pieces of homework?


Homework is always a contentious issue. Whatever a teacher feels about homework, most schools require homework to be set. Here are some helpful hints to make homework more interesting and (hopefully!) motivate students to benefit from their home learning.


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