Bits of interest - March 2018

 

Barnet Council calls for tolerance to faith schools' teaching of sex education

It was very encouraging to read of a motion backed unanimously by councillors, in Barnet, at full council in January 2018 which stated that faith schools should be allowed to teach sex education within their religious ethos, as they must respect the laws and cultures of the society in which they live.
 
Cllr Brian Gordon, who put forward the motion, said tolerance must be shown to the religious beliefs of faith school around the way they teach sex and sexuality. The article can be found by
clicking here

Teenagers aren’t reading enough tough books – here’s why that matters

This article is based on the research of Keith Topping, Professor of Education and Social Research at the University of Dundee who is concerned about the reading habits of children and young people. Although we perhaps wouldn’t recommend some of the books referred to, the important point here is the great value of developing reading skills as part of the preparation for adult life. The following is an extract from the article:
 
“We may be living in the digital age, but reading books is still a big part of growing up. And the books that young people read – and how difficult they are – can have a massive impact on their ability to understand exam questions, tell fake news apart from real news and get informed and involved in society.
 
To find out what children are reading, I conducted a study of 963,678 students in 4,364 schools across the UK. I found that from 2016 to 2017, students read 18,044,078 books: it sounds like a lot, but when I dug down into the data, I found some worrying trends.
 
When they’re in primary school, children read books that really challenge them. But once they reach secondary school the level of difficulty doesn’t change much. Secondary school students tend to read books which are also read by upper primary students. That suggests that secondary school students are not challenging themselves enough – and their reading comprehension is probably suffering as a result”. The full article can be found by
clicking here
 
CViE is exploring ways, that without being prescriptive and straying from our purpose, we can promote the reading of sound literature. We will keep you posted! 

YouTube is bigger distraction to children’s homework than television, survey finds

A recent article in the Daily Telegraph reports that “YouTube is a bigger distraction to children’s homework than television, a survey has found”. Although, some may not have television in their homes, it is interesting to see that other things (social media and the internet) can be just as much of a distraction to doing homework. The article can be found by clicking here
 
Finding distractions is not a new phenomenon however perhaps technology presents new opportunities for us all to do so. As with so many things, we need to mindful of “redeeming the time for the days are evil”.
 
We can easily tell children and young people about the dangers of distractions but what of our witness in the use of the time the Lord has allotted to us? This article from Footsteps Blog gives an interesting angle on this topic –
Time to Waste Pray 

Exercise is more precious than ever. So let’s stop scaring kids off PE

An article in the Guardian lamented the demise of physical education within schools and the author noted that “We are at risk of depriving a generation of young people of physical activity, at a time when so many other factors are combining to put their physical and mental wellbeing at risk. PE is the free-to-access physical activity that should never be cut. And yet here we are, 25 years on from when I left school, still making the same errors. We really should know better.”

The article is a reminder that our bodies are gifts from God. As stewards of our bodies, it is important to take time through both physical and spiritual exercise to keep them fit and healthy. (1Corinthians 6 19-20; 3 John 1:2) The article can be found by clicking here

It’s state education, not home schooling, we need to worry about

This article, written by Chris McGovern (Chair of the Campaign for Real Education), raises concerns about who should be trusted with the education of our children. The article is written in Chris McGovern’s forthright manner but nonetheless raises some very interesting points and reflections for consideration. Although not the main emphasis of the article, it is a reminder that education is the battleground for the minds of children and indeed this is the theme of our CViE National Event 2018

 The article can be found by clicking here