6th August 2018
Daily summary of the latest news and opinions from the world of independent education brought to you by Education Advisers...
A 21st century guide to boarding school life
To some, boarding school still conjures up images of prison-like dorms and teachers in long black gowns wielding canes.
The reality today could not be more different. For a start, corporal punishment has long been outlawed in all UK schools.
The Daily Telegraph spoke to two head teachers to get an idea of what life is really like in a modern British boarding school, who argue that boarding schools are now one of the safest and best places for your child's development.
Tom Rogerson, headmaster of Cottesmore School in West Sussex, a preparatory school for four to 13-year-olds looks at the following elements of modern boarding school life.
Maths textbooks should be banned because they intimidate pupils, headteacher says
Jane Prescott, head of Portsmouth High School said that students risk becoming anxious if they can see that their classmates are “galloping ahead” of them.
The move has been a “confidence booster” for girls, and allows them to “feel encouraged, and feel they are good at Maths”, Ms Prescott said.
“Maths is about confidence. If you are someone who is nervous about Maths, [textbooks] put you off,” she told The Daily Telegraph.
If textbooks are taken away, students “are not in a situation where they feel everyone else is galloping ahead”, she added.
The ban has been in place during Maths lessons at the £14,00-a-year girls’ school for the past three years, and applies to all age groups except for those in the sixth form.
“If everyone is going through a text book, it can be intimidating, you can feel restricted and feel held back," Ms Prescott said.
Instead of using textbooks in classes, teachers write questions on the board which cater to different abilities, and homework questions are accessed online.
Another benefit is that teachers can slip in harder exercises, which would not ordinarily feature in a textbook for that age group.
The more able students are able to challenge themselves by attempting these questions, without being put off by the knowledge that they are actually aimed at an older age group.
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