We are very sad about the loss of a dear friend and partner. Brendan Wignall, who was Headmaster of Ellesmere College for 27 years, passed away last week. Ellesmere College published the following:
Brendan dedicated himself to Ellesmere and its students. He adapted to changing times with a fortitude that is so much at the heart of being an Ellesmerian. During his tenure a new Lower School building was erected, boarding houses expanded, and the International Baccalaureate introduced, the development of a range of sports academies and sports facilities grew: a new sports hall, tennis barn, Astro turf, and a roof over the swimming pool. On the Arts front the College secured the Arts Council Platinum Arts Award. Brendan was committed to sport and an enthusiastic follower of Liverpool Football Club.
As a champion of the creative arts, Brendan changed the landscape around the school by adding sculptures and artwork for all to see. He developed a great enthusiasm for the beauty of stained glass, taking pleasure each day from an installation fitted along the cloisters. This installation was solely funded by leavers’ gifts and energetically directed by Brendan. His interest in stained glass work grew and he went on to develop his own skills to tremendous effect.
Brendan reached out to spread the Ellesmere message further, fulfilling a long-held ambition to see an Ellesmere School overseas, when Ellesmere Muscat in Oman was opened in January 2024 and he set plans in motion for others in the pipeline. He was closely involved with local charities in addition to being the Chairman of the Council of Registration of Schools Teaching Dyslexic Pupils (CreSTeD), and of the North West Academies Trust, and the Treasurer of the Headmasters’ Conference (HMC).
We miss him dearly.
In our upcoming PSHE webinar on Thursday 1 February, our speakers Danielle Cowan, Deputy Head Curriculum and Georgina Black, Head of Media and Sociology, both from Gordonstoun, will share with students and parents methods that not only help to consolidate knowledge, but also make learning more efficient and minimise stress before exams. We cordially invite you to the webinar, which as always is free of charge and in English.
Further to our webinar, you will find Gordonstouns's helpful guide "GCSE-Revision skills" with practical tips for efficient and relaxed revision before exams.
Addition as of 02. February 2024: if you would like to watch a recording of the webinar, please click here.
In partnership with the International Baccalaureate (IB), the non-profit organisation HundrEd is looking for young people between the ages of 12 and 19 to join its "Youth Ambassador Programme". Over a four-month programme—through online workshops, discussions, opportunities for mentorship and a closed Discord channel—Youth Ambassadors will learn, ideate, and collaborate to tackle some of today’s global challenges. In addition to providing support to these future innovators, this programme aims to build a supportive, kind, inspiring and safe online community of young people. More information on the programme
On Wednesday, 10 January 2024 at 6 pm (CET), we will continue our PSHE webinar series. We look forward to learning from Thomas Sparrow how to easily recognise Fake News and how to verify information online. Thomas Sparrow is a correspondent for Deutsche Welle and has dedicated himself to the topic of Fake News for many years alongside his journalistic work. He offers lectures and workshops for young people and has been guest speaker at many schools in Germany and England. We invite anyone interested in this topic to join our webinar, which is free of charge and will be held in English.
If you would like to register for the webinar please click here.
According to the new PISA study published on 5 December 2023, English pupils have again improved significantly in the international rankings, especially in mathematics, making them one of the best performing countries in the western world.
Educational standards in England have risen significantly over the last 13 years in particular thanks to many government initiatives, and more than £5 billion has also been spent on supportive educational measures during the pandemic. As a result England has ranked 13th for both reading and science, having been placed at 14th and 13th respectively in 2018 and 25th and 16th in 2009.
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an international assessment of 15-year-olds’ mathematics, reading and science ability. Conducted by the OECD, it is widely accepted as the international benchmark for academic attainment for secondary school pupils.
PSHE - Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education is an inspiring course that is compulsory in British schools. Every month, we will present topics from this subject to teenagers (and their parents) in a webinar with guests from our partner schools.
On Wednesday 13 December at 6pm CET, we will launch the series with the webinar on Artificial Intelligence in the Classroom and are delighted to have Dr Andy Kemp, Principal of The National Mathematics & Science College as our speaker.
Our second webinar will be on Fake News and will take place on Wednesday 10 January at 6pm CET. Our speaker in January is Mr Thomas Sparrow, correspondent for Deutsche Welle.
Future topics for this PSHE series will include Effective Revision and Test Taking, Dealing with Feelings, Vaping, Sleep, Cyber Security, Racism, Arguing effectively, Banks/Mortgages/Stocks & Shares, You and the Law - understanding the Justice System, Eating disorders, Talking to your Parents about Sex or Civil Liberties and Human Rights.
The webinars are free and conducted in English.
Allegra spent a year in the Sixth Form at King's Ely near the city of Cambridge and in her boarding house she felt like she was part of a family. What she particularly liked her school for: "Everyone at King's Ely seemed really interested in me being at this school, I felt really valued".
The non-profit initiative 21future from Munich has launched a crowdfunding campaign called "Making 150 young people sustainably fit for the future". The aim is to raise funds to expand the work with children and young people who mostly come from disadvanted families. Since 2018, the 21future team has been organising one-week, project-based "learning journeys" dedicated to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals in middle and secondary schools. More schools would like to invite 21future to organise a learning journey than the organisation can currently afford, so further funding is being raised in this way. We support the work of 21future wholeheartedly and also financially. Our managing director Mrs Theresa Glasmacher knows Mr Tahir Hussain, 21future's founder and CEO, well since their joint time at the London School of Economics. Please consider making a donation, however small or large! You can find the campaign under betterplace.org or you can donate directly via PayPal, just click here.
Representatives from over thirty local state and independent schools were welcomed at Sidcot for our inaugural Education Conference on "Vaping and Drugs". Sidcot’s Education Conference forms part of a sustained safeguarding programme run by Sidcot School
Read more about the event here.
For the last months Goodnotes embarked on a research project to explore the implications of Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) in schools. The goal was to understand the profound technological shift that GenAI will bring to every aspect of life, learning, and work. Through interviews and discussions with various stakeholders, the company aimed to capture a holistic view of GenAI's role in education. The report stands out as it features contributions, reflections and ideas from a truly wide range of over 50 contributors, each offering a unique perspective on the challenges, trends, barriers, and solutions related to GenAI in school communities around the world.
To view the publication: Generative AI in Schools | Goodnotes Research