What’s making news this week?
Tax tips for teachers, greenery at schools and the uniform debate rolls on – it must be round up time.
Just like that, we are halfway through the school year. The holidays are tantalisingly close but there is still plenty of work to be done before we break. To keep you ahead of the curve in this busy time, we’ve curated a list of must-read articles, so you won’t miss a thing in the world of education news. From why schools might need more trees to tax tips for teachers and the reading habits of 15-year-olds, you’re sure to find something to pique your interest.
We know you’re busy and we’re here to help. Watch this quick video to see how School Stream can save you time and money, or keep reading for our round-up of all the education news making headlines.
New study finds greenery around primary school improves academic performance.
We wrote earlier in the year about the importance of trees at school to provide a sun-safe environment for students and teachers, and it seems trees at school are back in the news. But this time the focus is different: Researchers from ACU have measured greenery and traffic exposure at around 851 primary schools around Melbourne, and the results are fascinating:
“We found school-level academic performance in reading, numeracy, grammar and punctuation was better on average for schools located in areas with more greenery… Poorer performance was associated with higher levels of traffic-related air pollution surrounding schools…”
This is the first study of its kind and will potentially have real-world implications for town and school planners. You can read a synopsis of the project written by the researchers online.
Do you want to know what a 15-year-old thinks about reading?
Of course, you do! An Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) analysis of results of the Programme for International Student Assessment Survey shows that while there has been an overall decline in reading for enjoyment, a love of reading is still alive and well for this cohort. Read an in-depth analysis online or check out this handy infographic for a snapshot of the key findings.
Tax tips for teachers 2021
Cometh the end of the financial year, cometh the scramble for receipts. For the past 12 months some educators have been teaching a combination of face-to-face and remotely from home, which may lead to a slightly more complex tax return experience come 30 June. The ATO has a useful guide online and Teacher Magazine has also published a very popular article to help guide you through what you can and cannot claim.
4 Reasons schools should let students wear sports uniforms every day.
An article published in The Conversation this week titled “4 Reasons schools should let students wear sports uniforms every day” takes on traditional school uniforms. Wherever you stand on school uniforms, this very readable article (bravely) takes on the challenge of addressing why sports uniforms might be a better option every day – not just on sports day. If you’re curious about the main takeaways, here they are:
- School uniforms are expensive – for government schools, uniform costs range from $330 for a primary school student to $526 for a secondary school student. The article argues that sports uniforms are a much more affordable option.
- Teachers, students and parents prefer sports uniforms – Studies show 62% of primary school students and 72% of secondary school students prefer to wear a sports uniform, while four in five parents and six in ten teachers support a change of uniform policy allowing students to wear a sports uniform.
- Sports uniforms support physical activity. Most Australians recognise that physical activity is important for physical and mental health, and students, especially secondary school students, strongly agree they’d be more active wearing a sports uniform.
- Traditional uniforms are uncomfortable – “Uniforms hold me back from running” was one of a number of reasons given in the study by students who cited ‘discomfort’ as a key factor in their preference for sports uniforms.
Teachers’ Night & Virtual Incursions for teachers at the Australian Museum
Australia is very lucky to be home to many world-class museums and, as you probably already know, they offer some great opportunities for educators to access all kinds of PD and benefits. For example, Australia’s first museum, The Australian Museum in Sydney, offers a quarterly Teachers’ Night where educators can meet with the Education and Bookings teams, get familiar with the facilities and exhibitions, and ask questions about planning an excursion or Museum learning experience. There are two dates remaining for 2021 so if you’re keen, check their website for more details. And if you’re looking for a virtual incursion experience for your students, (and that’s everyone these days), the Australian Museum offers virtual, curriculum-aligned programs that bring the museum to you via the power of technology. Get in touch with your local museum and see what they can do to support you in maximising the learning opportunities for your students.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our round-up this week. Wishing you all a restful and restorative break. See you in Term 3!
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