From a new aerospace academy aiming to help breed the next generation of spacemen, to chewing gum and its benefits for exam results, and even a school which is tackling the thorny issue of ‘baggy pants’, we take our monthly roundup of the weird, wacky, and even serious news stories from the world of education. Join us, and share your comments.
Interest grows for teacher scholarships
Almost 2,000 teachers have now applied for the government’s new £2 million scholarship scheme for teachers. The National Scholarship Fund for Teachers was set up earlier this year to help existing teachers in England develop their skills and deepen their subject knowledge. It offers scholarships worth up to £3,500 to help them acquire postgraduate qualifications and make further academic progress, reports wired.gov.
YouTube gets school friendly
Online video sharing site YouTube has launched ‘You Tube for Schools’ which allows them to let their pupils watch videos without the fear they may be exposed to inappropriate material, says a piece in the Metro. A school-friendly tool filters out “distracting” videos, allowing “students to learn more efficiently”.
Teacher apologises for Santa outburst
A teacher in America has hit the headlines after telling pupils that Father Christmas doesn’t exist, while talking about the North Pole during a Geography lesson, reports NBC New York. The teacher, who also told pupils that their presents were bought by their parents, has now apologised.
Chew gum for better results
A study by researchers at St Lawrence University in Canton, New York, has found those who chewed gum for five minutes before a test got better marks than those who didn’t, says the Daily Mail. Those students chewing gum for five minutes before a test achieved better scores on average. But for those chewing gum during the test, the activity had the opposite effect.
Betting on an education
GamCare, a support body for gambling addicts, has recommended that children as young as 12 be taught ‘responsible betting’ in schools, along with risk and probability, reports the Daily Telegraph. The organisation believes there may be around 100,000 problem gamblers under the age of 18.
To infinity and beyond
A new academy has been set up to help teachers use space as a theme in their core subject lessons, says an article by the BBC. The National Space Academy will promote careers in the aerospace industry, and is designed to address the shortage of trained people.
French parents resort to kidnapping
An extraordinary standoff in the French town of Marseilles has seen parents take a headmistress and four other members of staff hostage, in an attempt to have a ‘tyrant’ teacher sacked from the school.
In an article in the Daily Mail, parents explain their actions by saying the teacher in question shouts at pupils and that the school needs to make some huge improvements in its standards.
School ‘squatter’ caught on camera
Students were thought to be to blame when a false fire alarm went off at an American school. But school security cameras revealed the culprit to be of a more furry kind: it turned out to be a squirrel which had taken up residence in the school’s kitchen where the alarm had been triggered. The cameras revealed the squirrel squatter had climbed up a wall and pulled the alarm, says a story on My Fox Tampa Bay.
Welsh schools in line for makeover
£1.4bn in funding has been announced for the first wave of Wales’ biggest ever school building programme, reports the BBC. Local authorities will now plan ahead and target areas where funding is needed, such as building new schools, improving school facilities and investing in additional learning needs.
A present for teacher
Pupils have revealed the different types of festive gifts they have given to their teachers at Christmas, in a fun piece in the Guardian. The gift choices range from handmade decorations to a chocolate pizza, toiletries, a mini computer and a sun catcher. And for one teacher in Truro, a turkey!
A bum deal for students who are hanging out!
A school in South Carolina is lending belts to pupils who arrive wearing “saggy pants”, reports News One. It is hoped the move will mean there is a decrease in the number of students ‘facing a disciplinary’.