Julie McGuire

Latest from Julie McGuire

Primary school maths: streaming for high-ability learners – pros, cons and alternatives

Children can be streamed, grouped for ability within the classroom, or taught in mixed-ability classes; streaming them in primary school, while possibly beneficial for high-ability learners, can affect the self-esteem of slower learners.

37 minutes ago

Children can be streamed, grouped for ability within the classroom, or taught in mixed-ability classes; streaming them in primary school, while possibly beneficial for high-ability learners, can affect the self-esteem of slower learners.

Primary school maths: streaming for high-ability learners – pros, cons and alternatives
My 11-year-old daughter wants a social media account like her friends, but I think she is too young

Many primary schoolchildren are already on social media and there is heavy peer pressure for youngsters to join. There are many concerns about addiction, depression and the negative effects of social media.

5 Mar 2019 - 1:45PM

Many primary schoolchildren are already on social media and there is heavy peer pressure for youngsters to join. There are many concerns about addiction, depression and the negative effects of social media.

My 11-year-old daughter wants a social media account like her friends, but I think she is too young
Should my son repeat a year at school? He is the youngest in class and struggling, asks parent

Research has shown that children born towards the end of the school year can be at a huge disadvantage and while some younger children do perfectly well, it is far from a fair playing field.

14 Feb 2019 - 12:52PM

Research has shown that children born towards the end of the school year can be at a huge disadvantage and while some younger children do perfectly well, it is far from a fair playing field.

Should my son repeat a year at school? He is the youngest in class and struggling, asks parent
Exam revision: my son is overwhelmed – how can I help him prepare for his GCSEs, a parent asks

There are two strategies that have been shown to work: regular self-testing and spreading revision out over time. Working to a revision timetable and taking regular breaks also help with the retention of knowledge.

29 Jan 2019 - 7:48PM

There are two strategies that have been shown to work: regular self-testing and spreading revision out over time. Working to a revision timetable and taking regular breaks also help with the retention of knowledge.

Exam revision: my son is overwhelmed – how can I help him prepare for his GCSEs, a parent asks
Why can’t my slow writing son use a laptop in exams? asks a Hong Kong parent

Universities are starting to trial e-exams, but some educationalists still believe handwriting is best. Others worry that using a laptop or a spellcheck function would be cheating.

14 Jan 2019 - 6:48PM

Universities are starting to trial e-exams, but some educationalists still believe handwriting is best. Others worry that using a laptop or a spellcheck function would be cheating.

Why can’t my slow writing son use a laptop in exams? asks a Hong Kong parent
School sports: where’s the competitive spirit when everyone’s a winner?

With obesity levels on the rise in schools, the importance of exercise can’t be overstated. Many schools have swapped competitive sports for inclusive games, but it is possible to strike a balance.

8 Dec 2018 - 8:19PM

With obesity levels on the rise in schools, the importance of exercise can’t be overstated. Many schools have swapped competitive sports for inclusive games, but it is possible to strike a balance.

School sports: where’s the competitive spirit when everyone’s a winner?
My daughter has an unkind, controlling friend. Should I interfere, asks parent

Children need to sort out their relationships without parents getting involved. If the relationship involves bullying, then parents should contact the school.

17 Nov 2018 - 5:07PM

Children need to sort out their relationships without parents getting involved. If the relationship involves bullying, then parents should contact the school.

My daughter has an unkind, controlling friend. Should I interfere, asks parent
How to help children avoid panicking over maths problems and give them support

A child with dyslexia is likely to have trouble learning maths too, but often this is not diagnosed and help is focused on their reading and writing. Help should be provided at school, but parents can play a part too.

13 Oct 2018 - 7:02PM

A child with dyslexia is likely to have trouble learning maths too, but often this is not diagnosed and help is focused on their reading and writing. Help should be provided at school, but parents can play a part too.

How to help children avoid panicking over maths problems and give them support
The importance of sleep for children’s ability to learn and remember, and how to correct bad sleep patterns

Sleep is a key factor in children’s ability to learn and remember, making it all the more important that they get enough. If they don’t, here’s what you can do to make sure they get more rest.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Sleep is a key factor in children’s ability to learn and remember, making it all the more important that they get enough. If they don’t, here’s what you can do to make sure they get more rest.

The importance of sleep for children’s ability to learn and remember, and how to correct bad sleep patterns
How to encourage your child to read more challenging books without putting them off

It’s common for children to reread books. To help them tackle something more difficult parents can use audio books to share stories, choose a book series in a genre they enjoy, or read aloud.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

It’s common for children to reread books. To help them tackle something more difficult parents can use audio books to share stories, choose a book series in a genre they enjoy, or read aloud.

How to encourage your child to read more challenging books without putting them off
Why pupils, not teachers, mark some of their classmates’ work these days – it fosters their communication skills

Attitudes towards marking have changed. Many schools have dropped the red pen, instead focusing on students’ ability to become independent learners. Others go for a mix of marking styles, including peer-marked work.

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Attitudes towards marking have changed. Many schools have dropped the red pen, instead focusing on students’ ability to become independent learners. Others go for a mix of marking styles, including peer-marked work.

Why pupils, not teachers, mark some of their classmates’ work these days – it fosters their communication skills
Summer holiday activities: how to entertain your child without breaking the bank

As the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about things your child can do over the next two months. As one Hong Kong parent says, activities in the city can be expensive. Here are tips for what to do from a former schoolteacher

10 Jul 2018 - 8:31PM

As the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about things your child can do over the next two months. As one Hong Kong parent says, activities in the city can be expensive. Here are tips for what to do from a former schoolteacher

Summer holiday activities: how to entertain your child without breaking the bank
How to make sure school engages your child’s curiosity rather than leaving them bored

Most schools these days practise a student-driven approach to learning which encourages pupils to think for themselves, tackle challenges and discuss ideas. If your child is bored in class, there are steps you can take

27 Jun 2018 - 7:05PM

Most schools these days practise a student-driven approach to learning which encourages pupils to think for themselves, tackle challenges and discuss ideas. If your child is bored in class, there are steps you can take

How to make sure school engages your child’s curiosity rather than leaving them bored
My child is not letting me help her with her homework and I feel left out: Hong Kong parent

Recent studies have shown that parents who get too involved with their child’s homework can do more harm than good, but let your children know you’re available if they are stuck with work or have questions

29 Sep 2018 - 2:36PM

Recent studies have shown that parents who get too involved with their child’s homework can do more harm than good, but let your children know you’re available if they are stuck with work or have questions

My child is not letting me help her with her homework and I feel left out: Hong Kong parent
Why sitting next to girls in school is good for boys, even if they’re bossy – girls are academic role models and help with social skills

A parent complains that there are too many girls in their son’s class, and he doesn’t like sitting next to them because they are bossy. While it might be annoying for him, research shows it will be beneficial for him in the long run

14 May 2018 - 7:02PM

A parent complains that there are too many girls in their son’s class, and he doesn’t like sitting next to them because they are bossy. While it might be annoying for him, research shows it will be beneficial for him in the long run

Why sitting next to girls in school is good for boys, even if they’re bossy – girls are academic role models and help with social skills
My child’s not following school uniform rules, but school doesn’t seem to care: Hong Kong mother

Schools have different strictness levels for school uniform rules, and teenagers usually want to push the boundaries while conforming with their peer group, but inconsistent enforcement sends out the wrong message

2 May 2018 - 7:43PM

Schools have different strictness levels for school uniform rules, and teenagers usually want to push the boundaries while conforming with their peer group, but inconsistent enforcement sends out the wrong message

My child’s not following school uniform rules, but school doesn’t seem to care: Hong Kong mother
My child has attention issues and gets pulled out of class. I worry it is holding him back

Schools are generally becoming more inclusive in their attitude towards children with mild learning difficulties, but the individual needs support they offer depends on their resources and the ethos of the particular school

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

Schools are generally becoming more inclusive in their attitude towards children with mild learning difficulties, but the individual needs support they offer depends on their resources and the ethos of the particular school

My child has attention issues and gets pulled out of class. I worry it is holding him back
How can I help my child learn multiplication tables? A parent in Hong Kong worries that their home practice is ineffective

Knowing multiplication tables off by heart is essential for a child to develop good mental arithmetic, but not all brains retain information easily. Luckily there are lots of effective – and fun – ways that parents can help at home

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

Knowing multiplication tables off by heart is essential for a child to develop good mental arithmetic, but not all brains retain information easily. Luckily there are lots of effective – and fun – ways that parents can help at home

How can I help my child learn multiplication tables? A parent in Hong Kong worries that their home practice is ineffective
What parents can do to help their kids get to school on time and be more organised

The first year in secondary school is a big step up from primary and can coincide with the onset of puberty. Students have to learn to be organised and some find it more difficult than others. Here are some tips to avoid detention

7 Mar 2018 - 12:32PM

The first year in secondary school is a big step up from primary and can coincide with the onset of puberty. Students have to learn to be organised and some find it more difficult than others. Here are some tips to avoid detention

What parents can do to help their kids get to school on time and be more organised
Whatever happened to art classes at schools, Hong Kong parent asks – is it because the subject’s not academic enough?

Schools’ teaching of creative subjects depends on the personal interests and talents of class teachers – a shame for less academic children who are good at art and whose self-confidence can be boosted by praise for their work

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

Schools’ teaching of creative subjects depends on the personal interests and talents of class teachers – a shame for less academic children who are good at art and whose self-confidence can be boosted by praise for their work

Whatever happened to art classes at schools, Hong Kong parent asks – is it because the subject’s not academic enough?
Why can’t my son use apostrophes properly – is grammar still taught in English classes, a parent in Hong Kong asks

Few would deny that conventional spelling and grammar are being eroded with ‘text speak’ and short cuts used in social networking, but good schools and teachers can still impart grammar lessons without sacrificing creativity

20 Jul 2018 - 8:47PM

Few would deny that conventional spelling and grammar are being eroded with ‘text speak’ and short cuts used in social networking, but good schools and teachers can still impart grammar lessons without sacrificing creativity

Why can’t my son use apostrophes properly – is grammar still taught in English classes, a parent in Hong Kong asks
Hong Kong parent appalled by bad behaviour at son’s school

Schools vary in their approach and response to instilling discipline, and parents are advised to visit to get a sense of how the students interact and behave before choosing a school for their children

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Schools vary in their approach and response to instilling discipline, and parents are advised to visit to get a sense of how the students interact and behave before choosing a school for their children

Hong Kong parent appalled by bad behaviour at son’s school
Should schools ban vending machines, asks Hong Kong parent worried about daughter’s snacking

Schools make money from selling junk food, it is true, but rather than seeking a ban, parents should trust their children to make the right eating choices, a former Hong Kong teacher advises

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Schools make money from selling junk food, it is true, but rather than seeking a ban, parents should trust their children to make the right eating choices, a former Hong Kong teacher advises

Should schools ban vending machines, asks Hong Kong parent worried about daughter’s snacking
Why no nursery rhymes at Hong Kong kindergarten? They’re a great way of learning to read and spell – and have some fun

Nursery rhymes are an effective way for children to develop early phonic skills. If their school is not teaching them, then do it at home with your child

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Nursery rhymes are an effective way for children to develop early phonic skills. If their school is not teaching them, then do it at home with your child

Why no nursery rhymes at Hong Kong kindergarten? They’re a great way of learning to read and spell – and have some fun
Will standing desks in classrooms help kids to learn or encourage them to mess about more?

Early studies on students standing up in classes show they are more engaged, and it can help children with attention difficulties to concentrate – but it’ll also depend on their age and maturity for it to work

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Early studies on students standing up in classes show they are more engaged, and it can help children with attention difficulties to concentrate – but it’ll also depend on their age and maturity for it to work

Will standing desks in classrooms help kids to learn or encourage them to mess about more?
Lack of computers at Hong Kong international school questioned

Technology is an excellent tool for research and enriching learning, but education can be just as successful in an open field as in a state-of-the-art facility with computers galore, a former Hong Kong teacher advises

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Technology is an excellent tool for research and enriching learning, but education can be just as successful in an open field as in a state-of-the-art facility with computers galore, a former Hong Kong teacher advises

Lack of computers at Hong Kong international school questioned
Naughty classmates are distracting my Year 3 child, what should I do?

Too many disruptive personalities in a primary school class can have a negative impact on quieter children. Sometimes parents need to step in to make sure teachers are aware of the problem

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Too many disruptive personalities in a primary school class can have a negative impact on quieter children. Sometimes parents need to step in to make sure teachers are aware of the problem

Naughty classmates are distracting my Year 3 child, what should I do?
How can teachers help left-handed children in the classroom? Advice from a former teacher

From scissors to seating arrangements, many things need to be taken into consideration when teaching a left-handed student, but do these children need to be given extra attention?

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

From scissors to seating arrangements, many things need to be taken into consideration when teaching a left-handed student, but do these children need to be given extra attention?

How can teachers help left-handed children in the classroom? Advice from a former teacher
Will substitute teacher affect child’s development at Hong Kong primary school? Advice from a former teacher

Starting the school year with a replacement teacher might not seem like the ideal situation, but most children are more adaptable than we give them credit for

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

Starting the school year with a replacement teacher might not seem like the ideal situation, but most children are more adaptable than we give them credit for

Will substitute teacher affect child’s development at Hong Kong primary school? Advice from a former teacher
Relax! Your kids need summer holiday to recharge their batteries - so no need for study, just some fun educational activities

If you’re a parent who worries their child’s academic skills with suffer over the holidays, you’re worrying about nothing. They need the time to have fun with friends. Give them educational things to do like reading or keeping a scrapbook

20 Jul 2018 - 2:55PM

If you’re a parent who worries their child’s academic skills with suffer over the holidays, you’re worrying about nothing. They need the time to have fun with friends. Give them educational things to do like reading or keeping a scrapbook

Relax! Your kids need summer holiday to recharge their batteries - so no need for study, just some fun educational activities