KNOWLEDGE – Christians in Education


According to a major new study, it is an inescapable fact that those born in the summer are more at risk of behavioural problems and poor academic attainment in their first year at school; they are also more likely to have language difficulties. The study, of 7,267 children by psychologists at Royal Holloway, University of London, blamed the curriculum, which expects our tinies to start learning to read and write simple sentences in their first year of education. Do we need to rethink how we measure attainment? Read more

During her lifelong career as a teacher Janet Campbell-Dick would frequently say that if she managed to influence just one of her pupils for the better it would all be worth while.  Well, given that one of those pupils went on to sell 85 million copies of his fiction worldwide, she can safely be said to have more than achieved that heartfelt ambition.  That pupil was the young Terry Pratchett, who, after leaving her care, went on to become one of Britain’s most popular writers. Read more

Fathers are not reading enough to their children, according to research. The Ipsos Mori poll, conducted on behalf of Book Trust, found that 42% of mothers, compared with 29% of fathers, read with their under-ones every day, while 71% of mothers, compared with 62% of fathers, read with their three-year-olds every day.  These figures also show that parents of both genders appear to see reading to five year olds as more important than reading to their under-ones. Read more

A report into the future of prison education contracts, which come to an end in July 2016, shows that while progress has been made in the areas of training prisoners to become peer mentors and in aligning prison education provision with community providers, there are still gains to be made.  Access to education and the internet helps prisoners to enter the modern world and if we educate them, argues John Podmore writing in the Guardian, they won’t keep coming back. Read more

Teachers are prejudiced against poorer children, automatically believing that they will do worse in tests than wealthy children, new research has found. Even when youngsters from lower income families perform as well as their classmates on independent tests, they are still less likely to be judged as ‘above average’, a new study has shown.  The research, by University College London’s (UCL) Institute of Education concluded that teachers can have unconscious biases that influence how they see the abilities of children in their class. Read more

Schools should discuss political issues in the classroom in order to get more young people to engage with politics, a study has suggested.  The research involving 800 students was carried by the University of Edinburgh. The study found that class debate was the greatest factor influencing civic attitudes of 16 and 17-year-olds, above discussions with parents or friends. It also concluded that Scottish young people were better politically informed than those elsewhere in the UK. Read more

Gustav Fridolin, Sweden’s rather youthful education minister, emerges from behind his desk in a pleasant office in central Stockholm wearing what looks like a pair of Vans and the open, fresh-faced smile of a newly qualified teacher. The smile falters when he begins to describe the plight of Sweden’s schools and the scale of the challenge that lies ahead. Fridolin, it turns out, is the man in charge of rescuing a school system in crisis. Read more

Rapper Jonathan Goddard is using his skills to motivate his students in a classroom in a deprived area of London. The children, some as young as eight, are rapping, singing and gesturing in unison, but the language they’re using isn’t English. It’s Latin. The groundbreaking approach is designed to teach children how to conjugate verbs and grasp complex grammatical rules using the classical language as a conduit. Welcome to Latin, taught by the charity The Latin Programme. Read more