March 2024


Schools and their stories

What makes a good school story?

Martin Skelton is looking for learning, Ger Graus ponders the issue of class sizes, and Elen Harris proposes better practice for lesson observation

EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL

Schools need their stories to be written down and shared. Why is this important and what's your story?

Amazing!

Amazing!

Can aschools really be ‘amazing’? Martin Skelton turns over some unsettling ideas on his way to the coffee shop.

Lesson observation

Lesson observation

Too often lesson observations are rushed and tokenistic. But is there a realistic ‘best practice’? Elen Harris thinks so.

School Readers

School Readers

Sal Flint continues her column about our favourite books. This month’s Reader is Duang Turongratanachai. 

Join BISLN!

Join BISLN!

Join over 100 librarians in the British and International Libraries Network and sign up for our March 6th session!

Uno a Uno 

Uno a Uno 

Why should small NGOs assess their impact on learning? Brian Ambrosio, reporting from Ecuador, explains.

Teaching leadership

Teaching leadership

If teaching leadership skills in school is vital, how can it be best fitted into the curriculum, asks Steffen Sommer.

To market

To market

Caroline Sherwood thinks that seeing how a school is presented in the media is vital for effective strategic planning.

Class sizes

Class sizes

There is pressure on class sizes in the UAE – but will this mean poorer learning? Ger Graus looks at the research.

BISSC

BISSC

Colin Bell looks at a new global coalition that supports safeguarding initiatives in British International schools.

Project REALM

Project REALM

Ekxel Carlo T. Degollacion looks at how an elementary school in the Philippines has challenged teaching styles.

Write for ITM!

Write for ITM!

Your convenient one stop link to agencies and associations with all the latest opportunities for the coming year!

Editorial School design

EDITORIAL, February 2024

Designing for learning

With so many new international schools being built, pausing to take a look at recent school design is time well spent. Over the last two months we have been doing just that –  talking to architects, designers and teachers involved in contemporary school design for this special edition of ITM.

Things are changing.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to be a member of a team designing a new school (or a new space in an old school) you’ll know what an exhilarating experience it is. You really have to think about your teaching and the kind of learning that you want to happen in the spaces you are helping to create. Working with the professionals who design schools opens up a whole new perspective about what a school is and what it can be. It is the ultimate in professional collaboration with some of the most creative people in the world.

Approaches to school design have come such a long way in the last thirty years – and half the fun is finding out about what other people have been doing and the problems they have solved along the way. The elegant solutions being put into practice can be breathtaking.

Two worlds coming together

What struck us is how the world of the educator and the world of the architect have combined in order to create some amazing new spaces. Everyone we spoke to emphasised the importance of listening to each other. There is an almost universal emphasis on sustainable, green design and a deep desire for students and teachers to enjoy the environment in which they work.

The influence of early pioneers is also profound and far-reaching. You don’t have to be a Reggio Emilia devotee to believe that a school environment can be ‘the third teacher’. In many ways, this now just seems to be common sense.

Don’t hesitate – get involved!

Our February edition is an opportunity to have a look at some of the ideas out there and to get a flavour of how architects and educators are working together.

And if you do get a chance to play a part in an educational design team don’t let it pass you by.

It’s life-changing.

 

With grateful thanks to Bogle Architects for our Editorial feature image.

 

 

 

February 2024

February 2024

The school design issue

Architects and educators on how school design is evolving to meet the needs of new  learning communities

EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL

With so many new schools opening, it's worth taking a little time to look at how school design is changing.

Listening for design

Listening for design

Architect Ian Bogle always has an ear open for people talking about learning and listens in. Here's why.

Inbuilt stories

Inbuilt stories

Jane Crowhurst asks us to think about the stories that physical spaces in a school tell about its values.

The Digital Priory

The Digital Priory

Part of a 12th Century building in England has been adapted for global learning. Ashley Currie reports.

MindShift!

MindShift!

If we want students to be inspired, we must design schools that they will enjoy, argues David Judge. 

Passivhaus rules

Passivhaus rules

Clara Garriga suggests that Passivhaus design can become ‘the new normal’ for sustainable school buildings.

Pushing boundaries

Pushing boundaries

Pınar Gökbayrak reflects on classrooms, using ‘forgotten places’ and community designed schools.

JOBLINK 24

JOBLINK 24

Your convenient one stop link to agencies and associations with all the latest opportunities for the coming year!

The third teacher

The third teacher

Gavin Judd describes how a community in Mexico created a campus to be used as the ‘third teacher’.

Design dialogue

Design dialogue

Neha Anna Sibu thinks good dialogue between educators and architects leads to great school design.

Leading role

Leading role

ITM talks with lifetime educator, Ronald Stones. What advice would he give about project leadership?

Write for ITM!

Write for ITM!

Have you got an inspiring story to tell about teaching and learning? We'd love to hear from you!

Many thanks to David Judge and Kampus architects for our February 2024 feature image

January 2024

January 2024

Was 2023 the year when everything changed?
AI and learning, going fully online for an education, the urgent need for a new sustainability curriculum and being a school librarian in the 2020s.
EDITORIAL

EDITORIAL

Was 2023 the year it all changed with AI? Perhaps some of our old priorities just became more essential.

Sustainability now!

Sustainability now!

Paul Thompson asks what it would take to put environmental sustainability at the heart of all education.

An online education

An online education

Heather Rhodes looks at the increasingly persuasive case for a fully online education.

The sea belongs to me again (Part 2)

The sea belongs to me again (Part 2)

Matthew Savage concludes his reflection about a world that ignores disability.

Being a librarian

Being a librarian

In latest ITM Podcast, Rob George and Sal Flint talk about what it means to them to be school librarians.

eTwinning

eTwinning

An EU platform for schools facilitating international collaboration opens up the world for a school in Gori.

Character education

Character education

Erika Elkady laments the narrowness of modern education, but sees potential in an ancient ideal.

TCKs and turnover

TCKs and turnover

Chris Terry looks at a new study analysing the impact of staff turnover on Third Culture Kids.

Thinking shoes

Thinking shoes

Having moved countries, Holly Warren has been out walking, prompting thoughts about her teaching journey.

November 2023

Celebrating international school libraries, liberating spaces for disabled users, the Creative Arts and a sense of belonging, reading for empathy and looking for the small things when job-hunting. 
Read More

Editorial: support your school library!

ITM Editorial, November 2023
School libraries

Imagine an international school without a school library. It’s expected. It’s assumed and it’s possibly taken for granted. Whatever the size of the school or the student profile, there will be a library. And there will be a school librarian.

As I have been finding out over the last year in a variety of networking sessions, international school librarians arrive at their posts in different ways. Some are specialists with a degree or professional diploma in librarianship. Others are teachers ‘filling in’ but who love it so much they stay. If they are able to, they get the funding to retrain. Others are volunteers from the parent body or the local community.

They are all likely to have several things in common: a love of books, a sense that libraries are ‘special places’ and a desire to share their passion with others. They all need our support, as the demands on their time are huge. Whatever their background, librarians are expected to be teachers, administrators, counsellors, IT geeks, babysitters, community leaders and storytellers. They are a breed apart and without them a school will just not have a soul.

And the library itself? It will be a hub, both ‘buzzy’ and quiet, packed with students, adults and families – reading, researching, listening, taking five or volunteering.

This month, ITM celebrates international school libraries, their librarians and reading with articles by Mary Rose Grieve, Sal Flint, Rob George and Helen Mulligan. Whether you are a librarian, teacher, leader, student or parent, our message is clear: support your school library!

British and International School Libraries Network

And if you are a member of a school library team, you can go one step further. Rob George and Sal Flint have joined with Consilium Education and ITM to start the British and International Schools Library Network.

Why not join Rob and Sal in their next networking and training webinar on Wednesday March 6th when they will be looking at Libraries and Wellbeing.

Find out more about BISLN and the next PD and Networking webinar on March 6th with Sal and Rob here:

British and International Schools Library Network

 

FEATURE IMAGE: by tatyana_tomsickova on iStock
Support Image:   by Angelina Yan on Unsplash 

October 2023

Seeing what’s there

A radical approach to staff development; values driven policy; teaching difficult issues in the Classics and what you should look for in a recruitment agency.

Seeing what's there

Seeing what's there

Teaching Generation Alpha how to see what's all around them is a key environmental goal. See it, love it and then protect it.

Values in action

Values in action

Accreditation specialist Gary Minnitt suggests that values are the heartbeat of any effective school - all else follows.

Learning Talk

Learning Talk

The British School Muscat has made a radical break from conventional PD and teacher evaluation. Kai Vacher reports.

School Readers

School Readers

Ochan Kusuma Powell talks to Sal Flint about her 4 favourite books. Where are those Wild Things?

Fulltime online

Fulltime online

Richard Human reflects on the rewards and challenges of becoming a full-time online teacher, trainer and coach.

Classical minefield

Classical minefield

Giuliana Savini does not want to avoid 'difficult' 21st Century issues when teaching Classics. Quite the reverse!

WWF Global Challenge

WWF Global Challenge

Charlotte Bouchier has news of this year’s WWF competition, enabling students to explore the wonderful world of birds. 

Recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies

Jason Cox of TIC Recruitment takes a look at what you can expect from a good recruitment agency.

Full value

Full value

Ciara McGuane asks what school leaders need to think through to make sure their staff get the most out of their CPD.

Teacher card:

Teacher card:

Assistant Head Katie Latham, took the plunge this year to set up her own company - Teacher Card. We all stand to benefit!

Write for ITM!

Write for ITM!

We are looking for new articles about what is happening in schools around the world. Why not write your story for ITM?

Audio and voiceover

Audio and voiceover

ITM is proud to work with Jason Lasky, audio recording, podcast and voice-over specialist, founder of Honey to your Ears.

September 2023

The case for more music!

Music as a core subject, music and reconciliation and how music inspires

Switching to a digital school brochure, holisitic learning support and starting an edtech audit
Editorial

Editorial

Music has such power to inspire and support all of us - but does it have the place in our schools that it deserves?

Music to the core

Music to the core

Martin Barraclough encourages us to embrace the power of music and place it at the centre of a modern curriculum.

Music & reconciliation

Music & reconciliation

Having a mutual love of music, Dr. Winston Wuttunee and Jordan Laidlaw share ideas about reconciliation in Canada.

Power of music

Power of music

Anna Azarova reflects on how music has supported students from BIS Ukraine during a very challneging year.

Outstanding Schools

Outstanding Schools

Register here for the OS Middle East conference, October 4th and 5th 2023 at the Conrad Dubai Hotel.

School Readers

School Readers

Jennifer Bray, longstanding member of the Board of COBIS talks to Sal Flint about her 4 favourite books.

Lead from the middle!

Lead from the middle!

To achieve ambitious goals, Michael Iannini argues that schools need to empower more staff to ‘lead from the middle’.

Digital publications

Digital publications

A revolution in producing school brochures is happening. According to Andy Homden: going fully digital is vital.

Partnered learning

Partnered learning

Kai Vacher in Muscat looks at a hybrid education programme for a partner school in Salalah, 1,000 km away.

Audio production

Audio production

ITM is published in collaboration with Jason Lasky and Honey to Your Ears, specialists in audio production.

Holsitic support

Holsitic support

Everyone is a learning support teacher! That's the best way to meet a new range of post-covid needs, says Krystle Flack,

Digital strategy

Digital strategy

A simple audit of EdTech resources is the starting point for planning a cost-effective digital strategy, says Al Kingsley.

Schools and music

Editorial, September 2023

I cannot begin to imagine a school without music. Any school, whatever the age range. Music is as important to 18 year olds as it is to 3 year olds, not to mention all the adults in the school community.

The sound of a choir in rehearsal, of a class enjoying a music lesson, of a band practice, of a pianist and director putting performers through their paces as they all prepare for the latest production, are among the most evocative sounds associated with a school.

It’s true, in general you’ll find a lot of music going on in most international schools.

And yet, do we value music education as we should? It is rarely seen at the centre of the curriculum and although it is regarded as a major component of an extra-curricular programme, music during the school day has become a diminishing experience for many children as they grow older.

Few secondary schools would expect many of their students to choose a university course that would include the study of music.

Luxury?

The idea of music as a ‘luxury subject’ for a handful of extremely talented older students who have somehow managed to fit in a course of instrumental tuition on top of their other studies surely does not serve the majority of our students well. The International Baccalaureate has of course done a great deal to keep the Arts as an essential part of a well-balanced curriculum for children of all ages and this should be applauded. International Educators might also take note of the powerful new preuniversity courses emerging from the UK offered by the University of the Arts, London (UAL).

&

But surely, all children deserve – and need – more access to a music education than they have now. This is no nostalgic aspiration harking back to a pre-national curriculum ‘golden age’ of music in schools. It is an urgent and modern need. Music affects people in powerful ways. In times when we are increasingly concerned about student and staff wellbeing, music has the power to uplift and inspire. If we are concerned about physical health, it has the ability to get people moving, and, as has been increasingly shown (think of recent TV favourites like The Choir or The Piano) to have a unique ability to bring people together in a wide range of social experiences – in choirs, in bands, in church and simply as individuals enjoying a day out who encounter a street performer and find themselves as part of an impromptu audience on a station concourse. You can see the smiles.

A good musical education enriches the lives not only of music specialists who go onto to become professioanl performers but also of the rest of us who become their audience. The more we experience music, the more we can be transported by the emotion of a musical moment or transfixed by a performer’s skill, because we have ‘had a go’ at playing an instrument, however badly and have come to appreciate just how wonderful their performance is.

More, please!

This month ITM takes a special look at music. The authors of three articles in our first edition of 2023 – 24 highlight its special qualities and in effect invite us to re-evaluate music as one of the most important 21st Century subject areas. The connection between music and resilience is powerfully demonstrated by Anna Azarova when she looks back over 2022 – 23 as experienced by the British International School of Ukraine, while Martin Barraclough, Director of Music at Cranleigh School Abu Dhabi examines the importance of music for developing wider academic skills. Finally, Jordan Laidlow and Dr. Winston Wuttenee tell the compelling story of how music is playing a critical role in facilitating social and cultural reconciliation in Canadian schools..

Music. It’s powerful stuff. Let’s get as much of it into our schools as we can!

 

Andy Homden is the CEO of Consilium Education, publishers of International Teacher Magazine.

 

 

 

FEATURE IMAGE: https://www.istockphoto.com/portfolio/FangXiaNuo?mediatype=photography

 

 

July and August 2023

Using visible thinking to develop metacognition, equity and belonging in schools, keeping school data secure and Professor Deborah Eyre shares her three favourite books with Sal Flint

Equity and schools

Equity and schools

The ITM Podcast: Andy Homden talks with Nunana Nyomi and Clare Ives about the principle of equity in schools.

School readers

School readers

Professor Deborah Eyre, Founder of High Performance Learning, talks to Sal Flint about her three favourite books.

Flags and belonging

Flags and belonging

Matthew Savage considers the importance of symbols for young people developing a sense of belonging in school.

Visible thinking

Visible thinking

Matthew Kloosterman suggests that visible thinking routines make a real difference to student metacognition.

Data management

Data management

Schools need to view data management, security and protection as key tasks, according to Al Kingsley.

New partnered schools

New partnered schools

Paul Cabrelli and Andy Homden think we should be considering what will be built and not just where schools will be built.

Art committed

Art committed

Holly B.F. Warren reflects on how teachers and parents explore and celebrate the role of imagination in schools.

Empowering students

Empowering students

Tiago Mateus returns to an age-old question at the heart of all educational debate: just why do we teach?

In transition

In transition

Joining a new school this year? Simon Dunford reflects on making the most of your period of transition.