Of the many roles performed by the children’s or school librarian perhaps the most mystical is that of matchmaker: matching books with readers. Joy Court*, reviews editor of The School Librarian, describes the specialist children’s librarian mantra as ‘The right book for the right child at the right time in order to achieve the aim of every child reading for pleasure’. In the US this process even has its own name – readers’ advisory – and has traditionally been taught in library schools.
And why is this pairing so important? Because the right book might be the one where you stop thinking about the process of reading or the number of pages you have to get through and read for the story, read for pleasure. It might be your ‘turning point’ book, Read more ›
Tagged with: Chris Riddell
, reading for pleasure
, Roald Dahl
, Sally Perry
, school libraries
Posted in Childhood & early education
, Teaching, learning, curriculum & assessment
As primary schools round the country return from holiday, ‘school gate’ relationships are picking up where they left off. The importance of these relationships to adults delivering and picking up their children, can be gauged by their regular appearance as a topic on the ‘talk’ section of parents’ website Mumsnet. Indeed, Mumsnet has produced its own quiz on ‘school gate mums’.
Our recent research (conducted by Carol Vincent and Humera Iqbal at UCL Institute of Education, and Sarah Neal at University of Sheffield) set out to explore the social relationships made by adults and their children who live in areas with diverse populations and attend local schools with others from a range of ethnicities and social class backgrounds. Having a child at primary school means that many parents meet regularly, often twice a day for seven years, in the playground, as they deliver and collect their Read more ›
If I may be excused a moment of being a grumpy old man, at least when I did ‘O’ levels, we knew what they meant. The top X% got an A (or Grade 1), the next Y% a B and so on. The approach was strictly hierarchical, the exam simply telling you where you stood in the nation compared to all others who sat the exam.
Among many problems with this approach was that results always remained the same and there was no measure of improvement. Politicians wanted to be able to show that they had improved education, and so Margaret Thatcher changed the system to an exam which marked a threshold skill; it measured a proficiency and anyone or indeed everyone should be capable of reaching that level. And so we entered a period of twenty-odd years where education did indeed improve – every single year, as measured by the new GCSE exams. That era came to an end with the ‘hair shirt’ policies of Michael Gove, and for the first time the government’s objective was to see success rates fall. This year’s collapsing success rates for GCSE, particularly in English, once again shows how successful this Read more ›
When I was in Year 10, feminism was a word I vaguely associated with not wearing a bra, hating men and setting things on fire. But the world has moved on. Last term, one of my Year 10 GCSE students told the class that men taking birth control pills and exercising responsibility for their sexuality was “just basic feminism”.
Young people’s relationship to feminism has changed. Beyonce is now a feminist. ‘No More Page 3’ campaigners won the argument. #Sayhername, honouring black women and girls killed by US police, happened. Social media made my students aware of these things.
But do teachers understand this change and its implications?
This progress has been coupled with non-compulsory PSHE in schools, allowing many Read more ›