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VIEWS & OPINION


VIEWS & OPINION


Beware the t utored chil d Comment by BEN EVANS, Headmaster at Edge Grove School


For many years schools have competed in climbing higher and higher up the GSCE and A- level league tables by becoming increasingly academically selective (and in many cases taking only children with the highest test and


standardised scores). Unfortunately though, this has proven to be a very short-sighted strategy because it profits neither the pupils nor the school long term. It has however, been extremely lucrative for the ever-popular private tutoring industry.


Parents have flocked in their numbers to


engage private tutors of varying qualities in their persistent quest to increase their child’s scores and to acquire places at the country’s most prestigious and selective schools.What is


places with children worrying, is this has


resulted in schools filling their who have high CATs scores


but who cannot t hink beyond the obvious or at least not without the constant direction and reassurance of their tutors. These children have often sadly spent little time enjoying learning for learning’s sake, being excited and enthused by the curriculum, being encouraged to be creative or to ask questions and discuss their thoughts and


ideas. In short, this popular desire for t the ‘best’ has resulted in vast numbers


of children he being


who can absolutely pass tests but who do not necessarily possess the basic skills to be successful in life.


Children who are too used to being spoon-fed with their learning often lack the courage or determination to take risks and to learn positively from the mistakes they make.What is starting to happen now though, is that schools are finally waking up to this potentially dire situation and are making radical changes.Many are now determined to spot the tutored child by redesigning their entire assessment process. Gone are the traditional, more predictable tests and exams that we once saw and in their place are varied assessment days filled with group activities, collaborative problem solving, Harkness discussions and other innovative opportunities for children to demonstrate their higher level thinking skills. Children need to be able to demonstrate their leadership attributes, their confidence and their ability to think beyond the obvious, and to have something original and interestin None of these skills can be acquired i n


Saturday g to say.


morning tutoring sessions or in last minute directions by over anxious parents.


This new wake up call will allow schools to teach an innovative and academically rigorous curriculum using methods, which require children to think creatively, take risks and communicat e their understanding. Teachers can encourage risk taking, use innovative teaching methods and go beyond the restraints of the examination syllabus when necessary. Children can be given greater opportunities and experiences to enrich their learning and further develop their resilience, curiosity, confidence, independence and wellbeing.


Ultimately, we will be producing accomplished and well-rounded individuals who will go onto their senior schools with much to offer and achieve well in their public exams. Academically successful yes, but also able to think, play a musical instrument proficiently and with


enjoyment, participate in sport with enthusiasm, be able to think outside the box, debate with intelligence, be healthy and above all, value their education for education’s sake. A much needed breath of fresh air f or us all ?


Why we need to get young people talking


about mental health Comment by KATE MAJID, CEO, Shaw Mind Foundation


Comment by KAT ATEMAJ


Did you know that one in five children will experience a mental health difficulty before the age of 11? And that the number of young people going to A&E with a psychiatric condition has risen by 106%since 2009? This has to stop!


The UK can become a world leader in fighting mental illness, so that it no longer blights the lives of children, adults, and families.We can help stop mental health issues putting a strain on our NHS, industry and economy.


We will only achieve this, however, if mental healt made compulsory in our schools, and not kept as a b Educating the next generation about the importan will have a long-lasting, positive effect on our society.


in school.My mum dropped me off every morning, and just to make sure she wouldn’t be knocked down and killed on the way home, I began to do little “rituals”. I would try to get my friends to lo ok up at the clouds and see the shapes I was seeing, and if I managed to make them see, then that would mean my mum wouldn’t die. It grew worse and worse from there and I had no idea what was happening to me. I felt 100% responsible for making sureMum didn’t die.’


Imagine growing up with those thoughts in your head and feeling completely trapped, with no way out.


2 4 www .education-toda y.co.uk.co.uk www


Imagine growing up with those thoughts in your head and feeling completely trapped, with no way out.


He said: ‘My first really debilitating memory stems from my earliest days in school. My mum dropped me off every morning, and just to make sure she wouldn’t be knocked down and killed on the way home, I began to do little “rituals”. I would try to get my friends to look up at the clouds and see the shapes I was seeing, and if I managed to make them see, then that would mean my mum wouldn’t die. It grew worse and worse from there and I had no idea what was happening to me. I felt 100% responsible for making sure Mum didn’t die.’


He said: ‘My first really debilitating memory stems


from my earliest days ve Compulsive


We will only achieve this, however, if mental health education is made compulsory in our schools, and not kept as a box-ticking exercise. Educating the next generation about the importance of mental health will have a long-lasting, positive effect on our society. Adam Shaw, founder of the Shaw Mind Foundation, first experienced symptoms of mental illness, specifically OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) when he was just five years old.


Adam Shaw, founder of the ShawMind Foundation, first experienced symptoms of mental illness, specifically OCD (Obsessi Disorder) when he was just five years old.


ce of mental health ox-ticking exercise. h education is


The UK can become a world leader in fighting mental illness, so that it no longer blights the lives of children, adults, and families. We can help stop mental health issues putting a strain on our NHS, industry and economy.


Did you know that one in five children will experience a mental health difficulty before the age of 11? And that the number of young people going to A&E with a psychiatric condition has risen by 106% since 2009? This has to stop!


AJID, CEO, ShawMind Foundation


Imagine feeling completely alone and worrying that you were the only person in the whole world having those thoughts.


Imagine feeling completely alone and worrying that you were the only person in the whole world having those thoughts.


Now imagine being taught, in your classroom, that what you are feeling is a real thing, and that you are not alone. Imagine the difference it would make to so many people.


The ShawMind Foundation is working tirelessly to make sure that no one has to face mental health problems alone.We are fighting mental health injustice on a global scale, so that everyone feels able to reach out for help.


The Shaw Mind Foundation is working tirelessly to make sure that no one has to face mental health problems alone. We are fighting mental health injustice on a global scale, so that everyone feels able to reach out for help.


Over the last year we have met countless families and young people who feel completely alone with their mental health. They often don’t know where to turn to. Young people ask, ‘What is wrong with me?Why do I feel this way? Does anyone else ever feel like this?’ It is heart-breaking


We must to see.


generation to talk about how they feel so they don’t suffer in silence. Our petition garnered over 103,000 signatures and was debated in parliament at the end of last year, with the outcome that more needed to be done in schools to help children become mor e aware of mental illness . If we are going to keep up the momentum, we need your help! We want to reach every single child so that we can help prevent them developing mental illness.We want to help them before they feel completely trapped and believe that the only way out is through suicide. Please contact enquiries@shawmindfoundatio how we can support your work in schools .


We must do more to fight the stigma and encourage our future generation to talk about how they feel so they don’t suffer in silence. Our petition garnered over 103,000 signatures and was debated in parliament at the end of last year, with the outcome that more needed to be done in schools to help children become more aware of mental illness. If we are going to keep up the momentum, we need your help! We want to reach every single child so that we can help prevent them developing mental illness. We want to help them before they feel completely trapped and believe that the only way out is through suicide. Please contact enquiries@shawmindfoundation.org to find out about how we can support your work in schools.


do more to fight the stigma and encourage our future


Over the last year we have met countless families and young people who feel completely alone with their mental health. They often don’t know where to turn to. Young people ask, ‘What is wrong with me? Why do I feel this way? Does anyone else ever feel like this?’ It is heart-breaking to see.


Now imagine being taught, in your classroom, that what you are feeling is a real thing, and that you are not alone. Imagine the difference it would make to so many people.


Whywe need to get young people talking aboutmental healt h


2018 n.org to find out about


Marc h 2018


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