Teaching the alphabet

Over the years, the way children are taught to read and write has changed. Historically children were taught the names of the letters and had to memorise how words were spelt. This was then changed to children learning the letters more by sound and recently this has changed again so that now children learn the pure sound of each letter so they can spell words out.

As a parent, it can be hard to get your head around phonics, the new way of teaching letters but there are some great YouTube tutorials that will run through how to pronounce each letter. There is also something called Jolly Phonics, and a song that will help young children remember what sound each letter makes.

If you are struggling or worried about how to assist your child with their leaning at home, then why not arrange a meeting with the teacher to ask for help and advice.

The importance of school attendance

With the new school year about to start it is vital for parents to realise the importance of attendance at school. Prior to school the child may not have attended a nursery or child minding setting or if they did it was often the parents’ choice to take them out of the setting as and when they wanted to. With school, you are not supposed to take your child out of school except for illness or very specific circumstances such as death of a close relative.

Many parents do not like to be told when they can and cannot take their child out of school, especially when it comes to holidays. Holiday prices are so inflated over the school holidays that many parents simply cannot afford to go during these times. Taking your child out of school for a week or two may seem the easier option but can have detrimental effects on their education in the long term.


Keeping an eye on your child’s progress

When your child goes to nursery or school you should try and keep in touch with the progress they are making. You will often be encouraged to attend parents evening to discuss your child’s learning and behaviour but this may only happen a few times a year.

If you want to have more regular updates on your child’s progress then many schools have a system that you can opt in to that will allow you to share information on a web portal, photos and work completed can be uploaded and sent to parents to keep them in the loop as to what the child is doing at school.

Many schools also have a learning diary which again can be accessed and completed by schools and parents to share information. Reading with your child every day will improve the progress they make with reading, writing and spelling and their overall education.


Checking on your child’s progress

If your child attends nursery you may already receive a sort of report on a term by term basis which will explain to you what tasks your child can complete and what you may need to work on with them. This will give you an idea of their level in terms of education but may not touch much on their behaviour. Behaviour can have a lot to do with how well a pupil succeeds in education. If the child is bored or the work is too hard then they will most likely become easily distracted and often play up.

If you can grab 5 mins with the team leader of the nursery class, to ask how your child is behaving at nursery it can allow you a true insight in to what is happening in the classroom and if there are any behaviour issues you may need to address at home.

Moderation visits

The education department has been in the news a lot recently as over the past twelve to twenty four months there have been a number of rather large changes that has had a large impact on teachers and students.

The bench mark for where pupils are expected to be at for their learning has risen meaning that teachers are now getting told that they are marking work too high in comparison as to the expected levels the children should be at. A school can be chosen at random to be moderated. The moderators will come in and check the levels the teachers have selected for their pupils, if the levels are too high the teachers will be made to re-evaluate their decision, but if the grades are too low then the school can be seen to be under performing. Neither is an ideal situation and it may take a while for the true balance of this to be corrected.



Do you have the right tools for the job?

When in any job it is vital that you have the correct tools and equipment to carry out the task in hand to the level it needs to be completed to. In some jobs it may be physical tools that you require in others it may be software that is needed or even physical training. Without these, we can easily stumble and not complete tasks needed or complete them to an inadequate level.

For example, a receptionist may be required to take calls, pass on messages, and divert calls and record information that is being left with them on a system. Without an adequate customer relations management software package this may be very hard. If messages are just left on pieces of paper on desks, it is easy for them to get missed or thrown away. If the company invests in a software package to allow all of this functionality then the receptionist will be able to communicate with other members of staff more defiantly. This will not only reduce issues with customers not being contacted back but can also mean that the receptionist can do the job quicker.



Analysing your own performance

When in employment you may have a review with your manager or the owner of the business. Some companies do this religiously every 6 – 12 months where as other companies only do it when it comes to deciding if an employee contract should be renewed of when they are looking to promote or dismiss members of staff.

Even if you are in a role where reviews are not carried out very often, this should not stop you from carrying out your own internal review of your performance at work.

Why not take some time in the evening to sit down and write a list of what you think you are good at and the areas you feel you need to improve it. Once you have this, concentrate on the areas of improvement and look at ways in which you can achieve this. It may be that you need extra training or simply more opportunity to practise it. If that is the case then why not approach the management staff and speak to them about your ideas.


Things You Should Know About Finding Teaching Jobs In Cardiff

If you are trying to look for teaching jobs in Cardiff, there are certain things that you need to know. Being aware of these things will significantly improve your chances of getting hired as a teacher in any of the educational institutions located within the city. Because it’s the tenth largest city in the United Kingdom, Cardiff is home to four major universities, 98 state primary schools, and 20 state secondary schools. This is not to mention the presence of other educational institutions like independent schools such as St. John’s College, Howell’s School, and Llandaff Cathedral School. In a nutshell, there are dozens of schools in the city where you can apply for a teaching job.

The most important thing you should remember when looking for a teaching job is that your credentials should match with the requirements of the school. This is especially important if you are going to apply on any of the four major universities in the city. Each university has its own unique set of requirements when they are hiring new teachers. What you need to do is study these requirements then try to create a resume that caters to such requirements. If possible, get in touch with someone who currently teaches in the school and ask for tips. Continue reading

Helping you child’s education at home

A school or nursery is a great place for your child to start to learn important life skills and gain a good education but it doesn’t and shouldn’t stop there. From the moment a child is born they start to learn and in the early days much of this is from their parents or carers.

If you can spend a little time every day or a couple of times a week with your child you can add to their understanding of educational topics that they may be expected to learn in school. Reading and writing is a basic skill that unfortunately many children do not receive the support and encouragement that they should. Buying fun activity books to do at home are brilliant for improving a child’s learning ability whilst keeping it light hearted and fun. You may be surprised to see how many children really enjoy doing these activities and also to have the opportunity spend time with their parents or carers one to one.



Is there too much pressure on children?

Year upon year the exams that children have to do at school seem to be getting harder. I heard a comment the other day that stated that the level of maths in the UK for a child at the age of 10 is similar to that of a child in china with an age of 6, implying that the UK needs to work harder if we want to catch up. I do believe that having a good education will help people in later life, but I also believe that children need time to be children and that there should not be a huge amount of pressure put on them to perform exceptionally in exams.

The age for choosing GCSE subjects has been lowered meaning that many students are having to make important life decisions under the age of 14! Surely this is too young for anyone to have to decide what they want to do further on in life?