Making the change from school to university

Many students have just had their first half term at university and it can often be very different to what they have been used to at school.

University is quite often about independent learning, and you must be motivated to work on your own, meet deadlines, revise and research. You will not be pushed as much as at school to attend, so if you do not put the effort in the chances are you will not be successful. Without drive and determination, you’ll likely to struggle with the university workload and timetable.

Going to university is a must for some students who have a career in mind which requires them to have a degree. Other students still may not know exactly what they want to do but attend university to study a subject they enjoy, which they hope will help them in future when it comes to finding work.

Lecturers are there to help you, but they may only help if you show a high level of commitment. You can get kicked off a course if you do not attend or fall way behind. If you are struggling with work rather than letting it get out of hand, speak to your lecturer and ask if you can help some extra help or time to complete your work.

Do you dream of a career in teaching?

Teachers don’t always get it easy. It is quite a challenging job to do at times and you will be expected to work on your “days off” to fit in all your marking and planning not to mention parents evenings and school trips.

Due to the pressures and time constraints, many teachers who have recently qualified actually end up leaving the industry in the first year. This means there is a constant need for new teachers coming through the system. Some schools are having to rely heavily on teaching assistants to spend a significant period of time teaching the class on their own rather than actually assisting the teacher, which is not ideal. Also many schools are turning to supply teachers to fill gaps whilst they are looking for replacement teachers to employ.

If you fancy a change in career and are up for a challenge, then why not train to be a teacher. Often the main issue is people not being aware of how much work is involved in being a teacher. You may think it’s a cushy job working 9 -3 and weekends off but this simply isn’t realistic and you will be expected to work a lot more hours than this.

Games to aid education at home

Education is massively important to a child. Not only will it help them progress through their school life and on to finding a career but it will also help them in general with many day to day activities that they will have to do.

As a parent you may think that education is for school but you may not realise the impact home life can have on. Children whose parents spend a little bit of time with them on a regular basis, reading, writing and doing maths often excel in these subjects at school.

If you want to help with your child’s education but do not want them to have to do worksheets or working out of a book then why not try some games? There are a number of games on the market which are aimed at being educational as well as fun.

Orchard games are a popular choice as they create fun and stimulating games for children that can be easily set up and are enjoyable. They range from counting and simple maths to problem solving and spelling.

Find a game that is age appropriate to your child and have a go. You may be surprised how much they enjoy it, spending time with you, whilst not really realising they are actually learning at the same time.

Preparing your child for key stage 1 SATS

Key stage one stats are due to be completed in June and many parents worry about what they need to do in order to help their child prepare for it. Your child should not have to worry about these early assessments but preparing them and talking to them about it can help to give them more confidence when the tests are placed in front of them. You can print off copies of old test papers from the government website that you can go through with your child so they can see what types of questions they may have to answer.
The most important thing is to teach your child to read the questions properly. In the maths SATs paper for example, the questions can change quickly from addition to subtraction to divide etc. If they assume that all the questions are addition they may lose out on marks for questions they knew the answer to.
If your child is really concerned about the SATs, speak to their teacher who will be able to talk to the child or give you advice on what you can do to help. SATs in key stage one are often more a reflection on the teacher than the pupil as it shows how well they have been taught.

Apps to help with education

If you have children that like to play on computer games or tablets then you may worry about how much educational value there is in that. Recently more and more games that children play are starting to have a more educational theme to them but this is not true for all. Many games on the app stores such as ITunes or Google Play Store are aimed at children who wish to learn in a fun but educational way. You can find games that will require your child to read, use mathematical skills or use their imagination to progress through the levels. Word games are a great way for your child to practise spelling but often it doesn’t seem like work and they may not even realise the educational value of them.

It is sometimes a good idea to download a selection of educational games for your child to play on their smart device and ask them to play one of more of those games for 15 mins. After this time you may want to give them 10-15 mins on another game of their choice. This ensures that they are getting some educational benefit from playing on the device but also have some downtime from learning to play a game of their choice.