Category Archive: Maths

  1. How Can Tutors Deal with the Summer Drop-off of Tuition Work

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    Anybody that has dipped their toes into the world of tutoring for at least a year may well have learnt the hard way that the work that is available during the summer holidays drops off, the Summer drop-off is real.

    In fact, ‘drops off’ is a massive understatement to be honest… it falls off a gigantic cliff!

    You can go from having literally no free time to fit in any more students to having none at all in virtually an instant – and that means your income takes a serious hit.

    Planning For a Summer Drop-Off Is the Key

    The key to dealing with the Summer drop-off is planning for it in advance. After all, you do know it’s coming. And the Summer holiday’s are important – we talk about exactly why that is here.

    In many ways, tutoring is no different from several other sectors and industries – it is seasonal.

    The retail sector is largely reliant on Christmas sales; pubs depend on ‘beer garden weather’ in the summer – and the tourism industry largely shuts down between November and March.

    Tutoring is the same. You have to get it while you can because July and particularly August are likely to be barren periods.

    One way to deal with this is to do what these other sectors do – try to make a much as you can when you can so that you have enough saved to cover the quieter months. Make sure you also take the time to learn how to budget across the year!

    Take On Other Work

    Another option is to take on other work and look for different income streams during the summer months.

    For tutors, the most obvious thing that springs to mind has to be exam marking.

    Of course, the timing of exam marking fits in quite nicely with the drop off in tutoring. In fact, it’s almost perfect.

    As exams run from May to June, the marking period essentially runs from May to July (and maybe just into August).

    There will be a bit of a crossover with your ‘normal’ tutoring commitments at the start of exam marking, but – depending on the subject – you’ll probably find that the busiest marking period begins around the same time as the tutoring begins to drop off.

    The other great thing about exam marking is the experience you gain from doing it.

    Make no mistake, nothing puts you in a better position to be able to help and support the students you tutor than having the inside track on what examiners want to see.

    Not only that, as there are exams in every subject, it doesn’t matter what your specialism is – there is work out there for you!

    The Element of Risk Brings Rewards Too

    Finally, it’s important that we end on a positive note.

    Moving from a comfortable salaried job to the world of self-employment can be a daunting prospect.

    Unless your self-employment is largely made up of long-term contract positions – which, of course, as a tutor it almost certainly isn’t – you need to be mindful that your monthly income is likely to be variable.

    You need to be prepared for it to go up and down. And as a tutor – seriously down in the summer.

    There is always an element of risk but if are comfortable with this, it gives you the freedom to try different things and take on new challenges.

  2. Setting Up a Tutoring Business in 2024 – Step 2: Your Niche

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    So, you’ve weighed up the pros & cons of setting up a tutoring business and you’re now all in. You’ve established your ‘why?’ and feel confident that you’re in it for reasons that will hopefully lead to a fulfilling (and potentially lucrative) career!

    Well, that’s all well and good. But now comes the tough part. Now you have to actually do some of the groundwork to put your plans in to action. And it’s not exactly the most glamorous of steps. You see, one of the most common misconceptions that budding entrepreneurs make is that they assume that a skill or service they value highly is one that the rest of the local population will also be delighted to utilise. And sadly, that just ain’t the case!

    Research, Research, Research!

    So, how do you know if you even have a prospective clientele base to work with in your area? This is easy… if you take a stab in the dark and guess. But, that doesn’t sound like a good plan does it? Taken too far in the other direction, and it can become quite a quagmire of statistical studies, time spent researching local consumer behaviours and everyone’s favourite – canvassing your friends, family and every poor sucker that stumbles absent-mindedly past you, clipboard and questionnaire conveniently at the ready.

    My suggestion – forget both approaches and follow the advice outlined below.

    Is There A Demand?

    This is an obvious, and elementary, question to pose. But if your plan is to set up a tutoring business for face to face tuition in your local area. The first thing you want to consider is whether that is feasible

    Let’s say you live in a small village, where the local school holds a grand total of thirteen students. The chances are that relying solely on the income generated by your tutoring business from private face to face tuition is perhaps a little ‘unrealistic’.

    If this sounds scarily like where you currently live then don’t worry. You don’t have to frantically list your property on RightMove, pack your cases and to head to the city!

    A larger local population is certainly an advantage, but even that doesn’t guarantee they are the right demographic for your services. In areas that would be considered financially deprived, it probably doesn’t matter if there ten or a ten thousand students. Their money is going to be spent elsewhere on things that are probably more pressing to the quality and comfort of the collective household’s situation.

    Understanding this is really, really important.

    So how can you determine whether you’re currently in an area that wants a new tuition business, or one that would simply carry on living their lives happily ignoring any offers you thrust in their face? Well, a quick solution is literally a click away – my friends, let me introduce you to… Google.

    Okay, so chances are you have almost definitely heard of this nifty search engine. But let’s consider it as a tutor service database. And the best part? You can search for agencies, directories and even one-man bands in or around your exact target area!

    When researching whether there was a need for a ‘TutorRight’- style tutoring business in Warrington originally, I simply searched “Tuition Companies in Warrington”, “Tutoring Business in Warrington” and “Tutors Near Me”. Sure enough, before my very eyes, Google told me that there were several (loads, actually…) in or around Warrington town.

    Now, what does this mean? Well, I deduced that it was unlikely ten completely random individuals all took an uneducated punt at approximately the same time and were all currently at the same point in their journeys. And wouldn’t you know it? After looking at a few of their websites, I found that they were all at different stages of their journeys.

    Now, sarcasm apart – what does this really mean? Some had been established for twenty-plus years, whilst others were only in their second year of trading. And both categories led me to the conclusion that, if there wasn’t a need, then why would there be competition in the first place?

    Sometimes a bright idea that comes to you whilst peeling potatoes or taking a shower seems to solve everyone’s problems…

    Until you investigate it as a business idea and soon realise there is a good reason why nobody has bothered to bring it to reality – it either makes zero financial sense, or somebody has done it before, and they crashed and burned.

    Having established tutoring companies already in the community gave me a strong indication that there was a need for the service. Having fairly new companies still operating past their first year gave me a comforting indication that it wasn’t too late.

    They had started a company in the same sector, despite their established competitors, and they had enough business to get them through that first financial year. Which, as we’re led to believe by the statistics surrounding businesses in their infancy, is no mean feat.

    Now like I said, there are plenty of technical, advanced – even expensive – ways of determining the need for tuition in your locality, but the Google hack is certainly worth exploring!

    How Do I Compete?

    Congratulations! You’ve discovered that there is competition in your area! Wait? What? Surely that’s a bad thing? Well, as discussed above, it doesn’t have to be viewed that way. The real issue now is how to complete with those competitors.

    Did you find that your competition focused predominantly on secondary school exam prep, such as for GCSEs? If so, as a primary school trained professional, you might have the perfect skillset to offer a similar service but for a slightly younger target market. It could even be that you and your competitor put your heads together and refer parents to one another if there are services that you don’t offer, but the other does.

    Maybe you discovered that there was so much attention related to Maths & English tuition, that as a qualified Science teacher, you can offer a subject that seems to be in short supply. Again, starting with a particular subject can differentiate you. This in turn can help single you out as the authority in your field. After all, only you specialise in that subject.

    But what if there are already primary, secondary, subject-specific focused tuition companies already available to students in your area? How can you stand out when there are already varied options vying for the local parent’s approval?

    This is where marketing, brand and company culture come in. And for me, these are the “fun” aspects to work on in your business. All of this happens a bit further down the line. After all – we don’t even have a name yet!

  3. Setting Up a Tutoring Business in 2024 – Step 1: The Why?

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    So, You’re Considering Setting Up a Tutoring Business?

    With plenty of head-scratching questions filling your head, potential knots in your stomach and friends, family, and colleagues questioning your sanity…

    It makes complete sense to do some research!

    But where do you begin? You’re probably eager to see how to price up your services and bag your first paying tutee. However, it’s important to take a sensible approach and reflect on one simple question:

    Why are you looking to set up a tutoring business?

    The “Why” To Setting Up Your Own Tutoring Business

    If you’re reading this article, there’s a good chance you are considering opting for a different career path to the one that you’re currently on. Whether that is leaving the teaching profession, entering the education sector for the first time, or simply wanting to gather inspiration for setting up a small business to call your own, the chances are your current job isn’t quite fulfilling your needs.

    So, why consider setting up a tutoring business? That’s really what you, and only you, need to answer. Nobody else will know exactly how your current circumstances are influencing your feelings and decisions.

    Helping To Answer Your Why

    Let’s have a look at some of the common reasons to enter the tuition game and hopefully provide you with more answers than questions!

    We each have our own perspective on life. On how we should manage our work-life balance and how we would ideally like to spend our valuable time.

    If you’re looking to start a tutoring business to have more free time, then you’re in for a shock! Of course, it all depends on your current workload, what your expectations are going into this process and how big (or small) you want your potential empire to be.

    Like any other start-up, a serious amount of time and effort needs to go into the early stages. Especially to get things off the ground initially. Plus, learning things that may be completely alien to you – such as business taxes and registering a company – takes time. Gov.uk is a great place to start. However, if you’re already familiar with that sort of jargon (or do friends’ tax returns as a hobby) then you can discount some of this time. However – if you have never run a tutoring business before, you’ll still need to dedicate a period of time to better understanding the profession. You will want to consider it’s need in your local area, the size of the opportunity in your location (unless you’re considering online tuition, which somewhat negates this) and the business model you intend to follow.

    “I want to be my own boss!” – a great idea in practice, but have you considered the implications involved with being the boss? Whether you plan on being a solopreneur or scale up to a full-blown operation consisting of hundreds of employees, the major decisions, headaches, and angst will rest on your shoulders. It’s not all doom and gloom of course. Ultimately, you’re in charge (to as much of an extent as is possible) of your professional fate. You get to decide who to hire and fire. You get to decide what the company culture will grow in to. And you get to pick the subjects and services that are offered to your students.

    Are you perhaps looking to move away from the ironically playground-esque staffroom politics within your current teaching role? It’s certainly a good enough reason to leave, but is it the reason for setting up a tutoring business? If you want to avoid the drama, but remain in education, would supply work offer a better solution?

    Found Your Answer?

    Hopefully by reading till this point, you have made some progress with reflecting on your why. Don’t be too stressed if you feel no further to discovering your why – there is no right or wrong answer. Besides, it doesn’t need to be a defined mission statement with which to base your entire business plans around.

    Make sure that, when you have identified your ‘why?’, it is strong enough to make the plunge worthwhile. There is nothing worse than dipping your toes in, failing, and then berating yourself for your business’ shortcomings.

  4. Top Tips for Revising English Literature Anthology Poetry

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    If there is one component of the GCSE English Literature course that fills most students with dread, it’s the Anthology Poetry unit.

    And to be perfectly honest, it’s not hard to see why.

    If you are studying the AQA course, there are 15 poems to study; for Eduqas things are even more challenging with a whopping 18 to get through.

    What Does the Exam Question Ask Students to do?

    When it comes down to it in the actual exam, students will only ever have to write about two of these poems. One of the poems you have studied will be printed in the exam paper. You will need to write about this poem and then choose another poem you have studied to compare it with.

    But because you have no idea which poem will feature in the exam, there’s no way you can cut corners in any way. You really need to study all the poems.

    That might not sound too bad…

    Until you remember that you are not allowed to take an anthology into the exam!

    In days gone by, students could take their annotated anthology into the exam. Then, for a few years, students were given a ‘clean’ unannotated anthology. Now, since 2015, students are not allowed to have an anthology in the exam at all.

    This means that essentially this component has become little more than a test of a student’s memory.

    But All is Not Lost!

    Fear not though, all is not lost.

    While there isn’t a simple hack or way of avoiding the fact that you are going to have to remember a load of quotes, there is a way of focusing your revision, so that you just concentrate on the really important stuff.

    So, here goes:

    1. You should be able to summarise each poem in a sentence or two. Even better, narrow it down to a couple of key words/themes.
    2. Choose a key quote for each poem. Approach this as if you could only use one quote per poem – the absolute best one – that sums up the whole message of the poem.
    3. Try to learn another 4 (minimum) important quotes. Aim for quotes that cover a range of ideas – not just 4 quotes that basically say the same thing.
    4. Identify one of two methods – poetic devices, language, or structure – that each poet uses to get their ideas across.
    5. Identify which poems go well together and provide the best comparisons.

    Follow the above 5 steps and you will be well-prepared for the demands of the exam question.

    Finally, bear in mind this last point…

    When it comes down to quotes, it’s never simply about how many you have got. The most important thing is what you do with them. Make your quotes work for you. They should never be more than a line long – and if you can narrow them down to a few words – or even just one word – all the better. They will be a lot easier to remember this way, and you will dazzle the examiner with your understanding of the most important words that a poet has used.

    You can do this! – And with that we will leave you with 5 more tips for the secret to success during exams.

  5. Parents! How to Help Your Kids Handle the Pressure of Exam Season

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    As exam season kicks off, it’s time for cool heads and calm.

    For students, exam season will be (for many) the most nerve-wracking, stressful, and downright horrible few weeks of their young lives so far.

    For parents, it can be an extremely difficult period too. It can definitely be a really stressful time for Mum and Dad as well – although don’t expect too much sympathy from your son or daughter!

    When parents are stressed and teenagers are stressed, it can make the home a volatile environment, so the big question for any parent is:

    How do you help your kids (and yourself) handle the pressure of exam season?

    Stay Calm!

    You might not feel calm – or anywhere close to it – but regardless of whatever happens over the next few weeks, it is vital that parents stay calm. Now is not the time for falling out and family rows.

    Maintain routines and boundaries… but be prepared to bend a little

    By this point, most students – either on their own or in collaboration with you – will have worked out a revision timetable.

    With a bit of luck, they will be using it already and will stick to it (most do, when it comes down to it). As a parent, it’s part of your role to ensure that your child keeps to the routine of their revision timetable. You might need to gently reinforce the importance of this. You do need to be firm about things but there’s no need to be overbearing.

    A ‘we’re in this together’ approach will always work best. Now, more than ever, the family needs be a team working towards a shared goal.

    It’s also important to be prepared to bend a little, if necessary.

    In an ideal world, the whole exam period will go perfectly and go absolutely swimmingly. However, we all know that life has a nasty habit of not panning out like that!

    A bad exam – or one your child feels went badly – can really dent a young person’s confidence and throw them (and everything) of course.

    Nobody knows your child better than you do, so instinct and intuition is likely to kick in when necessary. They might need a night off or a day out with the family, a shoulder to cry on, or just a bit of space.

    Praise, reassurance and support

    Parenting a teenager can sometimes be an unforgiving and thankless task.

    But, though it feels like the complete opposite of this sometimes, deep down all teenagers need praise and reassurance, and your complete support.

    If they feel supported, they will respond in a positive way! Mind have a good article delving into exam stress, give it a read so that you can understand more how your child may be feeling.

    Reward, reward, reward!

    You may have seen stories in the media recently about parents paying their kids for good exam results.

    Some reports have suggested that parents up and down the country will be shelling out as much as £150million in total as reward for exam grades.

    Now, of course, for many families this isn’t really an option, and some might view the whole idea as simply wrong, or nothing more than a bribe.

    However, while most teens will work hard of their own accord, sometimes a little bit of extra motivation works wonders – and we’ve spoken about it before here. Ultimately it can help to reinforce the link between the value of hard work and money.

    Cash, holidays, driving lessons… there are many ways to incentivise the whole business of exams.

    If it works for them, it works for you!

  6. How to Instil the Importance of Exams Upon Your Students

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    How do you instil the importance of exams upon your students without putting the fear of God into them?

    This conundrum is one of the biggest challenges facing teachers today in the classroom.

    It’s a real problem because of 3 factors: the nature of teenage life, human nature in general, and the nature of schools.

    The Nature of Teenage Life

    Young people, it’s worth remembering, go through a lot of change and upheaval during their teenage years. Their bodies are developing; their emotions and minds are developing; and they are beginning to find themselves and their identity.

    There’s a lot going on, a lot to handle, and an awful lot to deal with during your teenage years.

    Not least the pressure of exams.

    Human Nature

    The psychology behind our actions and behaviour is extremely complex. However, when it comes down to it – in certain aspects – human nature is really straightforward.

    When we are faced with pressure, some people seem to thrive on it – even seeing it as some kind of incentive. In essence, we rise to the challenge.

    On the flipside, many of us seem to do the opposite when faced with pressure. We find it really difficult to cope with. In essence, we buckle under the challenge.

    That can manifest itself in several different ways. We might try to deny the importance of something or put off dealing with the issue head-on – kind of hoping that whatever it is that is causing us the pressure or stress will somehow magically go away.

    Which, of course, it never does.

    Part of our ability to deal with challenges in our lives comes from experience.

    This makes dealing with pressure especially challenging for teenagers. For more help understanding what’s going on inside the teenage brain, check out this BBC article.

    The Nature of Schools

    Schools exist under the lingering and looming threat of Ofsted. Not only that, schools are at also the mercy of government decisions and education budgets. All of this piles pressure onto schools.

    Under constant pressure to continually improve exam results, the pressure school leadership teams feel feeds down to curriculum team and subject leaders. This, in turn, is passed onto classroom teachers.

    And – you’ve guessed it – teachers then pass this pressure down to their students.

    Teachers are feeling it, so the students they teach feel it too.

    It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken.

    So, What’s the Solution?

    In all honesty, there are probably at least another couple of blogs waiting to get out (possibly even a book!) on this topic. We’ve actually posted another blog ourselves on the matter. But to keep things short and sweet here, let’s leave it with this:

    Just because exams are important doesn’t mean that we have to talk about them all the time.

    We don’t have to mention exams in every lesson or every assembly.

    Learning, exam preparation, and performance in exams all have a process. Refine those processes and have faith in them.

    Think how an athlete responds after a disappointing result or performance. They don’t panic or make any knee-jerk reactions; they trust in the process that got them there in the first place.

    Trust in the process is the key.

  7. Why is PPA Time Important on a Teacher’s Timetable?

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    It doesn’t really matter what stage of their career they are at – PGCE student or veteran with 20 years of experience in the classroom – all teachers will agree on one thing…

    There is just simply never enough time!

    There is never enough time to do all the work you have to do. There’s never enough time to do all the work you think you have to do. And there’s definitely never enough time to do all the work you’d like to do.

    And it doesn’t matter how much you try to work smarter rather than harder.

    It never seems to make any difference.

    That’s why PPA time is so important on a teacher’s timetable.

    What is PPA and What is it for?

    Planning, preparation, and assessment (PPA). This time is a statutory entitlement for all teachers in England and Wales who work under the STPCD (School Teachers’ Pay and Conditions Document.) Therefore, it applies to most teachers who work in state schools.

    PPA time is non-contact time that is allocated on a teacher’s weekly timetable. The statutory requirement is that PPA should amount to at least 10% of their teaching timetable. The National Education Union has more resources on their website if you want to find out even more about PPA.

    During the allocated PPA time, teachers cannot be directed by school leaders or managers to do any particular tasks. Teachers should be free to use the time to plan lessons, mark work, or to catch-up on any other work.

    Why is PPA time so important in a teachers timetable?

    Hours that teachers work and the holidays they get have always been a source of misunderstanding among the general public – and misrepresentation in the media.

    Comments such as, ‘All the holidays teachers get!’ or ‘I wish I could just work from 9-3!’ echo in teachers’ ears.

    Only if you are a teacher yourself – or live with one – do you truly understand the number of hours that teachers have to put in outside the classroom.

    This is why PPA time is absolutely vital.

    The idea that all a teacher’s planning, preparation, or marking can somehow be rattled off in a couple of PPA periods a week is an absolute nonsense.

    In reality, it isn’t even enough to scratch the surface.

    It’s also fair to say that the way PPA is delivered across the nation’s schools is inconsistent. Many schools do allocate more PPA time to their teachers than the statutory requirement. For those who do, this time is seen – as it should be – as absolutely sacrosanct.

    However, in some schools there is still an unwritten expectancy that ‘if duty calls’ then PPA time could be either taken away, rearranged – or that teachers might still be directed to do other tasks during their PPA time.

    All in all, though, while PPA time is not perfect and not enough… it is something.

    Yes, it only goes some way in lessening a teacher’s workload. However, it goes a long way in terms of its benefits for a teacher’s wellbeing. For more advice on how to better your wellbeing as a teacher, check out this blog post.

    Even if it just gives a teacher the opportunity to catch their breath during the hectic school day, PPA is well worth it.

  8. The Easter Holidays: Revise and Re-energise!

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    This year’s exam season is almost upon us: GCSE exams begin the week beginning 6 May, and AS/A levels kick in the week after. That leaves – at the time of writing – just 6 full weeks left before the exams begin. And, of course, 2 of those weeks are not weeks in school or college; they are the Easter holidays.

    And that’s the subject of our latest blog – the importance of making the most of the Easter holidays and of using the time to revise and re-energise.

    Making the Most of the Easter Holidays

    The Easter break really is – excuse the pun – a Godsend!

    After a full day at school or college, it’s difficult to do a significant amount of revision in the evening as well because students are bound to be tired.

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that once the exams have begun, they come thick and fast – and they really take it out of you, so revising during this period should be no more than a last chance to go over things; a last minute refresher and putting the proverbial final icing on the cake before each exam.

    This is why the Easter break is so important. It offers a run of full days that can be used to really knuckle down to some serious revising.

    Plan your time carefully and you’ll be able to achieve a lot during the two weeks. Looking for some extra help? Check out our blog post on how to make a revision schedule.

    Getting the Balance Right

    Not that we are advocating spending entire days revising for two weeks solid!

    That is absolutely not what you should be doing!

    Yes, as students start ‘the final push’, they are bound to up the ante a bit – but it is vital that students (and families) get the balance right between revision and relaxation.

    There’s a tendency to think that all the rewards and free time can come once all the exams are over.

    But, in a way, regular rewards are as important as regular revision.

    Do a Little a Lot… but do a lot of it!

    The general consensus about good exam revision advice is to revise a little a lot.

    Regular and frequent short chunks of revision are always going to be more effective than a 12-hour shift of non-stop revision. BBC bitesize has a helpful article on some top revision techniques to help you find a way of revising which works for you.

    And scheduling in little rewards and treats are important to keep the motivation going.

    You don’t want to feel completely knackered at the end of the Easter break; you want to feel re-energised!

    The Home Straight

    Once students return to school or college after the Easter break, they really are in the home straight. The start line will now be in sight.

    The Easter holiday provides an opportunity for a young person to take stock and assess where they are at in their various subjects.

    A few last minute tutoring sessions can often be just the thing to get you fully ‘match ready’.

    Sometimes, it’s a just a bit of tweaking, a fresh pair of eyes and a fresh face that can help solve any last minute worries, problems or concerns a student might have in a subject. Get in touch for a chat if you would like to book a tutor.

  9. What is PHSE?

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    PHSE – Personal Social & Health Education – has taken many forms and gone under several different names over the last 30 or so years in our schools.

    At various points over that time, it has been pushed to the fore of the curriculum. However, at times it has also been left for schools to ‘fit in somewhere’ – almost as an afterthought – onto the curriculum.

    However, one thing has remained constant: its genuine importance.

    Of course, exams and results matter. But they don’t guarantee your personal, social, emotional, and economic wellbeing – or your happiness.

    Life is a little bit more complicated than that!

    And that’s why PHSE is, was, and always will be a really important part of the school curriculum.

    PHSE might not be a compulsory exam subject, but you could argue that there is nothing more vital than supporting a young person’s personal, social, and emotional wellbeing.

    At the end of the day, is there anything more important than happiness and good health?

    Exactly. That’s why PHSE really matters.

    Why PHSE is important

    Although the fact can get lost sometimes under the relentless focus on exams, exams, and more exams, there has always been much more to schools than just results.

    Schools play a crucial role in young people’s personal, social, and emotional development. Not only that, but schools can also support children’s mental health. To find out more about supporting kids’ mental health in schools, check out our blog post on the matter.

    Emotional well-being and self-esteem should not be underestimated, not just during your school days but also in later life.

    A carefully planned PHSE curriculum delivered well in schools can go a long way in breaking down a young person’s self-limiting beliefs and perceptions. Such a mindset can seriously stifle aspirations and make it much harder to achieve.

    Happiness is the key

    Happiness in life trumps everything else.

    When you are happy, it is much easier to cope with the challenges of GCSEs. When you are happy, you are best placed to thrive in your chosen career. You are also far more likely to be able to build and maintain friendships and relationships.

    What brings you happiness is a complex question, and a lot will depend on the individual. However, a common denominator is confidence.

    Having confidence in yourself and who you are and the confidence to cope with anything that life throws at you will go a long way in bringing you happiness.

    And that’s another reason why PHSE is so important.

    No other element of the curriculum has such a focus on the developing ‘the whole person’.

    No other subject has the potential to future proof a young person for later life.

    Nothing else at school can help young people to develop the resilience, confidence, and emotional intelligence needed to lead a happy and successful life.

    The Talk is a new video learning platform aimed at providing teachers with all the information, tools and resources needed to deliver an engaging and modern PHSE syllabus.

    The Talk’s vision is to revolutionise the way PHSE education is delivered in schools. The platform is designed to teach young people essential skills for life through dynamic content.

  10. The Difference Between Learning Objectives and Outcomes

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    Learning Objectives and Learning Outcomes have been a fixture of most lessons in schools for close on thirty years now. But there is still a fair bit of confusion around what they are, how they are different, and why they are important.

    So, let’s try and make everything crystal clear!

    How Are Learning Objectives and Outcomes Different?

    In simple terms, an objective sets out the knowledge or skill that is being introduced, developed, and learned by students during the lesson.

    The outcome, meanwhile, is the work or evidence that the students will produce during the lesson. Typically, this is used to measure how effectively the objective has been met.

    Why are Learning Objectives Important?

    It is slightly punitive and unfair to judge the quality of a lesson on its shared learning objective. An appropriate and suitable learning objective has the power to bring all the elements of a quality lesson together.

    And many a lesson has lost its effectiveness because of an unclear or inappropriate learning objective.

    What Should a Learning Objective Include?

    To achieve consistency, many schools instruct their teachers to follow a particular model. Some will ask their staff to frame learning objectives in a certain way. Of course, this makes sense as it helps it to become familiar for the students.

    So, there are several possible ways that you can word a lesson or learning objective. And while it’s all just an issue of semantics, there are couple of non-negotiables when it comes to writing a good learning outcome.

    Firstly, a learning objective should focus purely on the learning that is going to occur in the lesson. Essentially, lessons should be focused of one of two things: knowledge or skills.

    If you want to understand more about which one to focus on, check out this helpful blog about balancing the two.

    Include anything else and it will be flannel, superfluous – and quite possibly unclear.

    Secondly, learning objectives should always be student-focused.

    An objective needs to be concise and accessible for all students. The aim is to make it clear to students the point of the lesson ahead.

    To this end, it’s always important to take time at the start of a lesson to introduce and explain the learning objective – especially if there are any specific key words or terminology to be covered in the lesson.

    Should Learning Objectives Be Measurable?

    Yes, and this is where the learning outcome comes in.

    If there is an objective or aim to any lesson, there must be some form of measurement to check that this has been achieved by the end of the lesson.

    Therefore, the learning outcome should measure the progress students have made towards meeting the learning objective.

    This means that the wording of a learning objective needs to be precise, focused, and really specific to the aspect of knowledge or the skill that the students need to know.

    The broader, more general, or less specific an objective is, the less effective the learning will be.

    Finally, a learning objective should never be task-driven. Studies around how we learn best indicate that an objective acts like a North star to help guide the learner. If you want to learn more about the science behind learning, check out this article.

    Therefore, the objectives are not the activities the students will complete during the lesson.

    The objective must come first, this should then be followed up with a sequence of activities that work together and help the students to achieve the objective.

    The tasks in the lesson should be seen as the implementation of the learning.

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