Features and opinion for independent school parents

Latest Features

exam-uncertainty

Exam uncertainty

5 min read Nobody could have predicted the impact the pandemic would have on exams. Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, talked to two senior school Heads – Emma Taylor of Dean Close and James Dahl of Wellington College – to understand their hopes and concerns.

keeping-cheerful

Keeping cheerful

5 min read Home schooling is not easy. Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, talked to two prep school Heads – Tim Smith of Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep and Andy Falconer of St Peter's 8-13 – to get their advice on how to keep cheerful and stay motivated.

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Parenting

keeping-cheerful

Keeping cheerful

5 min read Home schooling is not easy. Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, talked to two prep school Heads – Tim Smith of Hampton Pre-Prep & Prep and Andy Falconer of St Peter's 8-13 – to get their advice on how to keep cheerful and stay motivated.

choosing-schools-in-a-virtual-world

Choosing schools in a virtual world

7 min read Open Days are a key part of the admissions process for independent schools but the pandemic makes this impossible. Olivera Raraty of Malvern St James Girls’ School explores how the virtual admissions process has adapted in the pandemic.

making-more-time

Making more time

5 min read Modern family life means that quality time together can often end-up squeezed. Samantha Sawyer of Staines Preparatory School argues the ‘new normal’ is the right time to look again and try to make more time for family.

lessons-in-perseverance

Lessons in perseverance

Perseverance is a critical life skill which is best learnt outside of the classroom suggests Charles Fillingham of Francis Holland School, Regent’s Park. And, ironically, these self-taught lessons can sometimes be some of the most valuable of all.

trampoline-parenting

Trampoline parenting

Clemmie Stewart and Rebecca Glover of Surbiton High School outline their concept of ‘trampoline parenting’ – where children are allowed the opportunity to make mistakes and learn from these, whilst being supported by their parents when they fail.

preparing-to-return

Preparing to return

The new school term will be a uniquely anxious time for children, parents and staff. Sarah Segrave of Eaton House The Manor Prep offers ten suggestions to help ease the return to school.

Curriculum

exam-uncertainty

Exam uncertainty

5 min read Nobody could have predicted the impact the pandemic would have on exams. Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, talked to two senior school Heads – Emma Taylor of Dean Close and James Dahl of Wellington College – to understand their hopes and concerns.

moving-the-classroom-outside

Moving the classroom outside

5 min read It's time to rethink our classroom environments, argues Matthew Bryan of Longacre. The skills identified for the future – problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and coordinating with others – are best developed outdoors.

learning-about-our-brains

Learning about our brains

An understanding of how our brains function reveals the need to approach learning in the right way. James Barnes of the PSB explains why strong 'executive function skills' can make all the difference.

dont-overlook-the-library

Don't overlook the library

Children have vivid imaginations and there is nothing like reading and becoming aware of other people, worlds and circumstances. Vivienne Durham explains why the school library should be at the heart of every good school.

the-love-of-languages

The love of languages

Too often, learning a language is seen in a utilitarian way rather than enjoying it for the experience. James Priory argues this traditional view on language learning puts value above cultural experience.

theimportanceofplay

The importance of play

James Priory investigates the role of play and how it offers the chance to be spontaneous, to express oneself, to solve problems, to see the world and oneself differently.

Politics

oxbridge-blues

Oxbridge blues?

The landscape of Oxbridge admissions is changing but what does this mean for pupils applying to colleges from independent schools? James Dahl of Wellington College looks at the background.

onesmallstep

One small step

There has no doubt been a seismic shift in environmental awareness recently. Matthew Smith argues that for independent schools to really lead on environmental awareness, parents will need to play their part.

goingbacktoourroots_web

Going back to our roots

It's time to move away from past notions of 'development', argues Dr Felicia Kirk of St Mary's Calne. Schools must reflect the original ethos of 'public schools' and broaden access through charitable giving.

thevalueofpartnerships

The value of partnerships

Independent schools are doing increasing amounts to support the state sector but, as Christopher King explains, it is often pupils who are the biggest beneficiaries of partnerships, rather than schools.

thevalueofmoney

The value of money

Society is becoming ever more polarised and parents can find themselves criticised for choosing a private school for their child. Matthew Smith looks at why independent education is seen as buying 'privilege'.

creatingopportunityforall_web

Creating opportunity for all

Social mobility has stagnated for far too long, says James Turner of the Sutton Trust. It’s time for the Government to enable independent schools to be within reach of bright pupils from all backgrounds.

Ideas

reassuring-values-from-the-past

Reassuring values from the past

5 min read The new normal is bringing myriad challenges for schools and pupils – especially those at boarding schools. Tim Hands of Winchester College explores what our future educational provision might learn from the past.

rethinking-the-school-gate

Rethinking the school gate

The drastic changes needed for socially-distanced pick up and drop off has had unintended positive consequences, explains Susan McLean of Kitebrook Preparatory School. Is it time to rethink the school gate permanently?

rethinking-education

Rethinking education

Our education system is skewed too much towards assessment. John Attwater of King's Ely outlines how it could shift to place a far greater emphasis on equipping pupils with the right skills for the future.

the-journey-ahead

The journey ahead

Deciding how to tackle the educational issues of our time requires some reflection. Simon Larter-Evans of St Paul's Cathedral School looks at how the past decade has shaped the educational issues ahead.

rolloutthatmagiccarpet

Roll out that magic carpet

Teacher recruitment is an area which few parents will have spent much time thinking about yet it is hugely important. Tim Hands reflects on the best ways of appointing staff and what this means for parents and pupils.

sustainablefutures_web

Sustainable futures

Sustainability is very much a way of life for today's children. Kay Goldsworthy of St Ives explores the wide range of changes both schools and parents can make to develop a more sustainable outlook.