Choosing Schools

Parents choosing schools based on the ‘vibe’ and community rather than test scores and fancy facilities This newspaper article attracted my attention over the weekend as it resonated with my experience as both a parent and school leader. In my last school as principal I conducted at least 150 sixty… Read more“Choosing Schools”

mobile/cell phones on school or summer camps

that sixth graders who spent just five days at a tech-free sleepaway camp developed greater understanding of real-world interpersonal communication cues, including a better ability to read facial expressions, make eye contact, and interpret tone of voice and other prompts, such as posture and keeping an appropriate spatial distance with… Read more“mobile/cell phones on school or summer camps”

Downsizing your house? We did and what did we learn?

Ever considered downsizing your house? We sold our family home in October last year after about 6 weeks of preparation time. After we finished repainting (over 1/2 of the external house and windows – once you start where do you finish), replacing (guttering, downpipes etc..), gardening (cutting down trees, laying new turf… Read more“Downsizing your house? We did and what did we learn?”

What about measuring learning found through cultural travel experiences to counterbalance missed schooling and lower national test scores?

At the recent ACER conference in Adelaide Stephen Zubrick presented a paper on school attendance and the effects on academic performance. The Sunday Age in Melbourne picked up the story with a headline “No safe level of missing school, study finds”. The authors methodology appears robust with over 415,000 students, 2.5… Read more“What about measuring learning found through cultural travel experiences to counterbalance missed schooling and lower national test scores?”

Extended family holidays – an opportunity or a threat to learning?

Last week I was engaged in my school’s peer review process and we tossed around a question on extended student absence from school for family travel purposes. You see extended family holidays are close to the number one reason why young people miss school at my school. Just last week… Read more“Extended family holidays – an opportunity or a threat to learning?”

The Two PP’s (Police and Principals) sharing a community.

  This week the local police inspector gave a short speech to the principal network on what’s happening in the local community. Of course he mentioned the growing youth alcohol and drug problems, cyber bullying and sexting and family and domestic violence but the one that pricked my attention was the… Read more“The Two PP’s (Police and Principals) sharing a community.”

“What would you do if you could change the world?”

I have just picked up on the documentary now out at the movies “I am eleven” that poses this question to 11 year olds around the world. Why 11? I think Genevieve Bailey thought 11 years of age is a unique period where young people are not quite teenagers yet… Read more““What would you do if you could change the world?””

Susan McLean presents on cyber safety at Elsternwick PS.

Last week as part of Education Week we held our second parent and teacher forum on cyber safety. The presenter for this session was Susan McLean. We had 50 parents attend Susan’s presentation and this combined with the first cyber safety session earlier in the term means about 20% of… Read more“Susan McLean presents on cyber safety at Elsternwick PS.”

University Entrance a maze to be understood.

I recently read a blog post by Jenny Luca which was critical of the way universities select entrants based on a single score. In Victoria the score is called an ATAR score. The post attracted a few comments saying it was a little better in the States where they use other measures… Read more“University Entrance a maze to be understood.”