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2019 (37) 21 October

ET News Digest
Your Weekly Education Newsletter

Get a grip on ATAR anxiety
It’s that time of year again, exams, final exams, eek, it’s hard to not let the stress get the better of you but what do you do when you're stressed, your friends are stressed and the parents are especially stressed?
  Take a deep breath and realise that the only thing that’s at stake is your future …, just kidding, it’s probably more helpful to focus on the idea that there is more than one way to skin a cat and there are more pathways to a fulfilling career than ATAR. Read more


Phonics apps helping struggling kids
A suite of apps used by over 25,000 Australian educators could be a winner for preschoolers with language difficulties.
   A pilot study, published in the International Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, looked at whether using a particular set of touch-screen phonics apps over eight weeks helped four-year olds with developmental language disorder to improve their pre-reading skills.
   The 14 children using the apps showed major improvements in key abilities compared to the 10 who continued with their “business as usual” education.
Read more


Uniform rules needed for school uniforms
Allowing girls to wear shorts and trousers to school has been surprisingly controversial and what’s more stopping girls from wearing shorts and trousers may well be in contravention of the Federal sex discrimination act. Some rigour around debate on the issue has been introduced with recent research on the topic.
   The aim of providing comfortable and practical school uniforms to students of all genders is impeded by many different legislative requirements around Australia and the solution is a national uniformity of school uniform rules. Read more


Talk-and-walk-a-thon for peer support
Talk-And-Walk-A-Thon is a new nationwide initiative from Peer Support Australia where students put down their phones, connect with their peers face to face and get some exercise. It’s a great platform to demonstrate the simplicity with which students can contribute to their wellbeing.
   CEO of Peer Support Australia, Greg Cantwell says “it’s important children and young people feel safe, connected and supported at school and within the wider community. We know young people connect and chat through their devices but this can’t replace the need for connecting with others through conversation”. Read more


Toolkit for classroom wellbeing
Depression, anxiety and behavioural disorders emerge early and can be prevented in part with a greater focus on mental wellbeing in the classroom.
   What’s more, recent research shows that one in five preschool children are developmentally vulnerable in one of more aspects of mental wellbeing before starting school in Australia, and in any given year, one in seven children between the ages of four and 17 will experience a mental health condition.
   “With half of all mental health conditions in Australia emerging before the age of 14, it’s likely several children and young people in any one educator’s care will be affected by a mental health condition." Read more


Combine classroom academics with physical activity
We don't get enough exercise, kids and adults alike, it’s to do with time, we all lead super busy lives, that and motivation, it’s far too easy to switch on the TV to watch others do the sport and dial Ubereats.
   Some stats; globally around 50% of children and 80% of adolescents do not obtain the 60 min of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA) per day recommended by the WHO.
   Class time is shown to be the greatest contributor of sedentary time in children, with teacher-led lessons contributing around 7–8 hours of sitting a day. Read more


Opera Queensland Education Program and in-schools outreach
Opera Queensland is touring performances of The Frog Prince and La Boheme with primary schools included for the first time.
   The visuals are stunning with a modern fast paced interpretation of these two classics and the performances will provide students with an introduction to Mozart, Rossini and Bizet and in the case of LaBoheme, Puccini.
   Using the visuals and pulse of a jukebox musical, classic Grimm tale The Frog Prince sees a spoiled princess encounter a sassy frog and an unlikely friendship blossom. Read more