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Ash Tutors' Blog

Keep up to date with educational news, tips and resources from Ash Tutors!

Why We Should Encourage the Next Generation of Coders

Why We Should Encourage the Next Generation of Coders   Is coding still a 'thing' in schools?   If you're anything like me, you'll probably be wondering what on earth coding is and why it seems to be so important in children's schooling nowadays?! Only the other day I saw a t-shirt advertised on Instagram (I know, right?! I'm well down with the kids!) and the slogan emblazoned on it read "Code Like A Girl." I'll be honest, after seeing the t-shirt I felt like I needed to perhaps pay a little more attention to what coding actually is and why it seems to be a 'thing' now, all of a sudden! Now you lucky people get to read the condensed...888
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10 tips to prepare your child for secondary school

10 tips to prepare your child for secondary school   Moving up to Year 7 is a milestone in every child's life. I certainly remember my last day at primary school and the first at secondary! The summer holidays in-between were a long run up to the great unknown. These days the 'transition' is much carefully thought out, and it's highly likely your child will have made many trips to their chosen school already, engaged with staff and pupils, and even participated in several lesson. However, any change can still be traumatic, so with that in mind, here are 10 tips on how to help prepare your child for the transition from primary to secondar...888
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What were classrooms like 100 years ago?

What were classrooms like 100 years ago?   ​ Just how different are today's classrooms compared to 100 years ago? One hundred years ago, children did go to school, but the classroom and lessons were very unfamiliar by today's standards. The 1870 Education Act was the very first piece of legislation to deal specifically with the provision of education in Britain. However, the act still did not make education for children compulsory. It was not until the Elementary Education Act of 1880 which finally made school attendance compulsory from the age of 5 until the age of 10. In 1893 compulsory education was also extended to blind and deaf chi...888
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Homeschooling is on the increase

  Homeschooling is on the increase While there are no exact figures, it is estimated that there are around 75,000 home-schooled children in the UK and this figure is increasing every year. One of the reasons why the figures are estimated is because children who never start school are not likely to be reflected in the statistics. Even more surprising, is that although taking children out of school for holidays is illegal, despite having an otherwise good attendance, and despite the possible educational content that travel allows, it is perfectly legal to remove your child from school and teach them at home, without any teaching qualificat...888
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New Technology Your Kids Could Be Using In School Next Year

 

 New Technology Your Kids Could Be Using In School Next Year!

 

Education technology: Virtual reality and wearables

 

Education can sometimes be accused of lagging behind the consumer world with regard to the technology used with kids in the classroom, seminar or lecture hall. It’s only now that we’re beginning to see the widespread use of tablets as learning tools, six years after the first iPad was released into market. For years, the humble blackboard clung on desperately, staving off an attack from the whiteboard, and later, the smart board. However, you’ll be hard-pushed to find a blackboard in many school or universities these days.  

 

 

Learning environments are highly innovative spaces, and should be absolutely at the forefront of cutting-edge technology. Unfortunately, educational institutions are often bound by long-term supplier contracts and a strict curriculum. Furthermore, technology needs to have a proven tangible function and benefit to obtain approval from the powers that be. Money certainly does not grow on trees in the education sector, so taking risks on unproven methods isn’t always the top of priorities.

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Questions Parents Of High School Kids Should Ask At Parents’ Evening

Questions Parents Of High School Kids Should Ask At Parents’ Evening

 

A guest post by one of our maths tutors. If you have kids at High School, you'd better read on...

High school parents’ evenings can be strange things, you dash from teacher to teacher and hear about lots of different subjects but very often hear the same thing over and over again. The picture of your child, positive or negative, is usually sorted after the first couple of appointments and the rest often seems like more reinforcement. By the time you get home, most of the detail is gone and subjects often seem to run into each other.

Here are my tips for making the most of a high school parents’ evening:

1. Take your child with you.

Having your child hear what is being said about them can be of great benefit. They get to hear all the positive things that teachers think of them and, if there are any other issues they get to hear about those too. It also allows teachers to explain specific, subject-based targets and ways to improve to them. Having your child with you also means they can show you where to go and explain things to you.

 

If your child is a few short years from GCSEs, you might be interested in this article about why GCSE tuition is so important.

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Questions You Should Ask At Parents’ Evening - Primary-Aged Kids

Questions You Should Ask At Parents’ Evening - Primary Aged Kids

 

This is predominantly aimed at parents of primary aged school children – as that is where my personal experience lies. There will be some basic principles that can be applied to secondary situations too. (Or you should go and read this post about questions to ask at a High School parents' evening.)

If you’re lucky, you’ll get 2 or 3 chances to speak with your child’s teacher in a whole school year. Some schools offer only 1 slot per year. 10 minutes. That’s it! Out of all those hours of teaching and learning, you get 10 minutes to find out how things are going.

Do you plan for these golden moments? Not many do – but they should. I’m not advocating you turn up with a notepad, pencil and a list of questions poured over and redrafted. Rather, a few minutes thought and discussion with your partner (if appropriate) as to what you actually want to find out.

In many instances, the teacher will tell you this information as a matter of course. I’m merely suggesting you make yourself aware what to look out for, and perhaps subtly bend the conversation around to things they may not have told you.

What parents usually ask:

1. How is my child getting on?

Too general, and really only a conversation starter rather than a genuine attempt at gleaning a useful, specific answer. General questions will result in general responses e.g. Question: How is he/she getting on? Answer: He/she is doing OK !! Point taken?

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