EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR NEWSLETTER

ATST ED Newsletter January 2017 – Sow Well So They Grow Well

Sir Ken Robinson, the renowned educationalist and inspirational speaker, has long argued that the problem with the educational system is that we follow an ‘industrial’ model (churning out pupils on a conveyor belt like we churn out products) instead of an agricultural one, where we provide the best conditions for the pupils to grow in…
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ATSP ED Newsletter January 2017 – The Silent Assassin

Some years ago a senior pupil in an ATS school was dared by his friends to do something repulsive, demeaning and humiliating to one of his fellow Sixth Formers in front of the rest of the Sixth Form body. The friends ensured the door was closed and everyone was watching when the young man fulfilled…
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GROUNDWORK FOR GROWTH – I DIG IT!

Many readers will be familiar with what might be considered the most well-known of the Parables of Jesus, in which the story is told of a farmer who planted his crop with varying degrees of success, as the seed fell in different soil conditions – hard soil, rocky soil, weedy soil, good soil. The Parable…
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ATSP ED Newsletter term 3 2016

SAY “NO” TO THESE ‘NO’S Children generally, but teenagers especially, tend to think that the prime responsibility of their parents is to embarrass them. As they grow older they plead with us not to kiss them in front of their friends and not to drop them at school in the old jalopy; they cringe at…
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ATST ED NEWSLETTER TERM 3 2016

“INSTRUCTION DOES MUCH, BUT ENCOURAGEMENT EVERYTHING .” [Johann Wolfgang von Goethe] My first team soccer coach at school was a Welshman who tried to teach me, a Scotsman, English – but that is another story! Before every match, his final words to us before we went on the pitch, proclaimed in a typically lyrical and…
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TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE – THAT IS THE QUESTION

Younger teachers may not know of The Three Degrees which was a popular pop group from the 1960s whose most well-known hits included “When Will I See You Again”. The same teachers may also not know of Kevin Bacon, a popular actor for over thirty years featuring in hit films such as ‘Footloose’, ‘JFK’, ‘Flatliners’,…
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A LOT OF GIVE AND TAKE

Marriage relationships lend themselves to many jokes and banter, like “There’s a way of transferring funds that is even faster than electronic banking. It’s called marriage” [James Holt McGavran] and the one from Rodney Dangerfield: “My wife and I were happy for twenty years. Then we met.” Joey Adams also chips in: “Marriage is give…
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HOW CRITICAL IS OUR THINKING? FISHING FOR ANSWERS

I must confess right at the beginning that I am not a fisherman – quite a dangerous confession for someone living in Zimbabwe! It may have something to do with the fact that I do not really like eating fish but probably more to do with the fact that I was raised in Scotland where…
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ATST Executive Director’s Newsletter May 2016

SAY “YES” SO THEY PROGRESS I hope it is not too late to welcome you all back to a new term after a considerably longer holiday. As we face another long term, please allow me to share a few words to encourage and challenge us. Some of us may be familiar with the film called…
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‘NO QUESTION’ TEACHERS AND ‘PLAY STATION’ COACHES

Here is a question for you: what do you do when you set your class an assignment but then one pupil comes to your desk and says: “Sir, I don’t have a pencil”? How you answer that may well summarise your whole teaching style and philosophy and determine your effectiveness as a teacher. In short,…
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