Magazine Features & Articles
Attain offers features on parenting, curriculum, politics and ideas – all aimed at helping independent school parents. A selection of recent articles is available below.
The real abilities of pupils can be overlooked due to the standardised hoops they need to jump through to gain entry to senior school. Simon Larter-Evans of St Paul's Cathedral School takes a deliberately provocative look at Cognitive Ability Tests.
More featured articles
Demystifying finance in the classroom
Financial illiteracy is a problem for many adults. Ensuring pupils leave school confident in managing a budget, investments and pensions is crucial for the years ahead as Fionnuala Kennedy, Head of Wimbledon High School GDST, explains.
Parenting for resilience
We are all tested by bullying at some stage in our lives. Julie Robinson of ISC offers some suggestions, and appropriate strategies, to help your child cope if encountering bullying at school.
The magic 10 per cent
If 90% of what schools do appears to be the same, asks David Griffiths, Headmaster of Old Buckenham Hall, what is the other 10%? For prospective parents, it's the 'magic' they should focus on when choosing a school for their child.
It's time to stop seeing Latin as a 'dead language', argues Dominic Hodgkinson, Head of Classics at Dauntsey’s School, and instead see it as a humanity that can enhance our understanding of the world today.
Moving the classroom outside
It's time to rethink our classroom environments, argues Matthew Bryan of Longacre. The skills identified for the future – problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management and coordinating with others – are best developed outdoors.
A selection of features published by Attain over the years from a range of contributors looking at a variety of topics to help parents.
Much has changed since the 1980s when GCSEs were first introduced. Despite various reforms, some Heads feel it's time for more radical change. Attain's Editor talked to Sarah Fletcher, High Mistress of St Paul's Girls' School and Stephen Jones, Warden of St Edward's School in Oxford.
Many parents look back on the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme with fond memories of expeditions beset by mishaps. As society emerges from the pandemic, the unique and very valuable skills DofE teaches pupils have never been more important.
It is a rare parent who never needs to complain. So how can you complain in a way which is constructive for everyone – parents, pupils and teachers? Attain's Editor talked to Jeremy Banks of Caldicott and Claire Belk of Bellan House, Oswestry School.
Fresh Thinking was the programme from Attain which looked at topical issues affecting independent schools and parents. It ran for over a year with 35 episodes. The first episode was released on 2nd September 2020 and the final episode broadcast on 20th October 2021.
For a news story to be brilliant, it needs to have certain ingredients. But what does it need? Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, has put together a checklist to help, conveniently linked against a memorable word... authentic.
Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, reflects on the unhelpful influence of marketing on school news stories. As some schools attempt to produce more and more content, they risk losing any semblance of journalistic quality. Is it time for schools to decide that less can actually be more?
Schools can be a wonderful source of news but not all stories are newsworthy. Too often, schools rush to send out a story without seeming to think about the audience. Attain's Editor, Matthew Smith, looks at the distinction between 'story-telling' and news and why their objectives rarely align.
School inspection reports can seem a little daunting for parents to digest. This probably comes from the fact that they are necessarily detailed and rigorous but this should also provide reassurance that they provide the right set of criteria from which to assess key aspects of a school.
It was vital for parents to email teachers far more than usual during the pandemic. But the volume of messages has not stopped, as Nina Kingsmill Moore, Headmistress of Glendower Preparatory School, explains.
As a result of the pandemic, many people feel unable to look ahead and plan with confidence. But we need to refocus on the present, explains Fionnuala Kennedy, Head of Wimbledon High School GDST, and find the joy in the here and now.