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The Study Sessions: from The Study Buddy
34 minutes | 4 days ago
21: Going the distance: Making the most of remote learning.
It’s quite incredible how quickly our teens adapt to their environment. And it never ceases to amaze me how quickly they can cotton on to a great excuse – sorry, my laptop is glitching. I’m not sure that’s much of a technical term, but it seems to cover all manner of ills to justify not putting the camera or mic on. But beneath the cunning is there a more serious issue? Is it a symptom of the fact that our children are disengaging from learning? And will this perhaps more passive role harm their prospects in the future?This week's episode is looking at remote learning and how our young people can get the most out of schooling at home. Nathan McGurl, founder of The Study Buddy is joined by Tom Rose. Tom is currently the Programme Director at Oak National Academy. The National Academy is an initiative set up by teachers to provide high quality pre-recorded video lessons for pupils Early Years to Yr 11. Before joining Oak, Tom worked in teacher training and development with Teach First, and Curriculum development with the multi-academy Trust Ark schools. The episode looks at the issues involved in remote learning and how it has evolved since the first lockdown. We discuss the role of teachers and also what parents can do to support. We also consider the broader impact of creative subjects and the need for a balanced schedule.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
43 minutes | 11 days ago
20: The Exam Question: The impact of cancelled exams and learning
Who knew unprecedented times could still give you a sense of deja vu? The cancellation of GCSE and A Level exams in the summer 2021 sitting has divided people: those who think the exams should have gone ahead as the fairest way to grade students; and those who have long held that exams should have been cancelled due to the significant disruption students have faced and for many the startling disparity in access to education and schooling. Whichever side you come down a fairly crucial question remains: what does this mean for student’s courses and their final grades?This episode looks at the impact that the exam cancellations have had and, importantly, what it means for the students due to take exams in 2021. Nathan McGurl, founder of The Study Buddy is joined by Zoe Enser. Having spent more than 20 years in teacher roles, including as Head of English, Zoe is currently a Specialist English Advisor with The Education People. As well as writing many pieces for education publications, including The Times Education Supplement, and actively blogging, Zoe has also co-authored “Generative Learning In Action” which looks at the activities students can do to learn.In this week's episode, Zoe and Nathan discuss the decision to cancel the summer 2021 exams and what that means. Touching on wellbeing, we explore whether too much emphasis has been placed on terminal exams while also considering the need for students to continue with their studies. Drawing on her book, Generative Learning in Action, Zoe talks about how students can positively influence their own learning, and why that must continue to avoid harming further and higher education ambitions.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
41 minutes | 18 days ago
19: Remote chance: Digital learning and learning digital with our teens
Remote learning isn’t a phrase we used very much before 2020. It was either classwork or it was homework. Of course, Covid-19 and lockdown brought with it the need to adapt. Fortunately, we have the technology nowadays to deliver classroom content to pupils in their homes. But it can all be a bit bewildering, can’t it? I remember it used to be, when we were children, that we were the masters of technology. How to work the video player or set the clock on the microwave. Now many of us can feel left behind with this “new way”. Just how different is digital learning from in-person learning? And is it simply a matter of getting used to a new way of delivering learning?This week we are looking at technology and the role it plays in education and studying at home. Nathan McGurl, Founder of The Study Buddy is talking to Jane Basnett. Jane is the Head of Modern Languages & Director of Digital Learning at Downe House School in Newbury. She has a Masters in Digital Technology in Teaching and is a Microsoft Certified Educator. Jane is an active blogger on the use of technology in education and especially in modern language learning. In this episode, Jane talks about how technology is helping to carry on delivering schooling and education to children. She also considers some of the pitfalls. We focus too on how parents can get to grips with what could otherwise be a bewildering array of technologies.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
36 minutes | 25 days ago
18: Taught parenting: The role parents can and do play in teaching teens
All too often when faced with a studying teen we’re reminded just how long ago our own school days were! Not only can the content hazy at best, but the texts, technology and even approaches have changed considerably. How many parents in our generation looked perplexed when we were told there was a new way of doing subtraction! Do we need to take some sort of crash course in teacher basics to help our children get the most out of themselves?This week we are looking at the teachers and whether there’s something in it that we parents can learn.Nathan McGurl, Founder of The Study Buddy, is joined by Professor Samantha Twisleton OBE. Sam is the Director of Sheffield Institute of Education at Sheffield Hallam University - a national centre of education research and practice, recognised for its excellence and innovation in teaching and learning. With experience in teacher education, curriculum development and language and literacy, Sam has been heavily involved in influencing Government policy on teacher education and has been on numerous expert and advisory committees. She received her OBE in 2018 in the Queen's birthday honours for services to Higher Education. Sam is also the Deputy Chair of the Doncaster Opportunity Area, a government initiative to address disadvantage and inequality in children. Throughout this episode, Sam explores the roles that parents play in education, with insights into the highly instinctive role they play in the early and most significant developments. Drawing on researching showing that support at home is the largest determiner of school success, it is more important than ever that we do what we can to support their potential. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
38 minutes | a month ago
17: The Learning Parent: Applying principles of retrieval practice at home
We want our children to do well. Naturally. We parents have been through school, done homework and revised for exams. Although that can feel like a dim and distant lifetime ago. But you'd think we'd be amply qualified to do our bit and help our children through this stage. Afterall the human brain and learning haven't changed in the last couple of decades. In this week's episode we looking at the science of learning and what we parents can do to help our teens be better at it. Nathan McGurl, Founder of The Study Buddy, is joined by Patrice Bain. Patrice is an educator, speaker and author. She is regularly featured in international press and articles as well talking at events all over the world. Patrice has spent more than 15 years working with cognitive scientists turning academic research into meaningful approaches to be adopted by teachers and now us parents, thanks to her recently published “Powerful Teaching: A guide for Parents”. Over the course of this episode, Patrice explains the power of Retrieval Practice over alternative "go-to" approaches. She goes on to give practical tips and guidance that parents can readily apply at home. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
55 minutes | a month ago
16: Reaching your STEPS: Coaching, motivation and goal setting.
Hardly a fortnight goes by without some stone being thrown into the 2020 pond to causes ripples. And few have felt it more than those students taking their exams in 2021. In addition to fairly significant disruption to schooling and probable isolation and remote learning, there have been regular questions over whether exams will take place. While the Government is determined that exams will take places, we have seen their cancellation in Scotland and Wales. Add to this the moving goalposts of exam content and you can only imagine that and already tricky time for our teens might feel like it’s spiralling. So, just how can we help rally them to find – or retain - their mojo and continue to prepare as best they can? In this week's episode, we're looking at motivation, goal setting and adopting a winning mindset. Nathan McGurl, the founder of The Study Buddy, is joined by Professor Damian Hughes. Damian is an international speaker and best-selling author who combines his practical and academic background within sport, organisational development and change psychology, to help organisations and teams to create a high performing culture. His 8 best-selling books include “The Five STEPS to a Winning Mindset” and “How To Change Absolutely Anything”. Damian also is the co-host of the hugely popular, entertaining and informative “High Performance Podcast”. Drawing on his years of experience working with elite athletes and businesses, Damian explains the importance of being motivated by inspiration, rather than rational or desperation. He also talks about the role of outcome, performance and process goals. Damian also explores the role of accountability and responsibility. And. importantly, ends by describing the 5 STEPS he's identified to use coaching to create a winning mindset. This is a positive and constructive episode that will help parents and teachers to frame motivation as something that teens control, rather than feeling like a victim of their circumstance.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
45 minutes | 2 months ago
15: Revising revision: Reframing the idea of exam preparation from short fix to long term
It’s not unusual for students to wait until exams are almost upon them before revising. "Don’t stress, there’s loads of time” is certainly something I heard a lot – and probably said a fair amount too. For generations, teens have seen revision as that thing you do in the run-up to a test. It seems somehow baked into the word: Revising isn’t just the act of studying what you’ve learnt, but some ill-defined period of time. But is this the best approach for teens? Does it give them the best chance of showing off what they’re capable of? This episode looks at revision and specifically challenge the idea that is a discreet part of learning that happens before a test or exam. This week, Nathan McGurl, Founder of The Study Buddy, is talking to Dawn Cox. Dawn is Head of Religious Studies is an Essex secondary school. Dawn is also a blogger covering not just RE topics, but teaching and learning in general. She has a particular interest in effective exam preparation. Dawn looks at the problems caused by viewing revision as that thing you do to get ready for an exam. She talks frankly about why the idea of revision should be ditched and spaced retrieval practise should be the norm. In this thought-provoking episode, we explore the problem of language around exam preparation and what parents can do to support their teens. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
51 minutes | 2 months ago
14: Making Maths Count: Overcoming barriers to master Maths GCSE
Could Maths be the Marmite of the Education world? Students seem to either love it or loathe it. They get it or they struggle. Quite often you’ll hear students who don’t enjoy it say: “I don’t know why I’m bothering, it’s not like I’m ever going to need to know the quadratic formula after GCSEs”. Many parents will sympathise! After all, there comes a point in secondary school where a lot of us reach the limits of being able to help out with homework - the vast majority of us won’t have tackled things like simultaneous equations since our own school days. But Maths is a subject like any other, so surely it can’t be down to some quirk in genetic make-up that makes some students succeed while others flounder. In this episode, we are looking at Maths, why it seems to polarise students and what can be done to help them. This week, The Study Buddy's founder, Nathan McGurl is joined by Dani Quinn. Dani is the Network Lead for Secondary Maths at the Ark Schools – a network of 38 schools across the UK. And previously head of Maths at Michaela for 5 years, the school made the best progress in Maths GCSE results in the country. As an educator, she says she has an unfettered enthusiasm for teaching maths to teenagers. Dani also blogs about techniques and approaches to teaching maths in the classroom.Dani explores the role of motivation and the impact that parents can have on developing a student's intrinsic desire to push ahead. She also shares many practical and easy-to-follow tips to help support teens approaching exams. Importantly these are ways of supporting that allow for the fact that most of us haven't factorised anything for years! For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
57 minutes | 2 months ago
13: Taking Stock of the Mock: What dry run exams are - and are not - good for.
There's some poetically ironic about calling these dry run exams "mocks". For many parents, this is the time when our children make a mockery of revising. Or perhaps it’s more like they’re mocking us for our frequent, if not futile, attempts to get them to study. Ironic naming aside, these dress rehearsals can take up a lot of energy and be a source of anxiety for students and parents alike. Are they simply there to help acclimatise students to working in exam conditions?In this episode we look at the point of these mock exams and how can we make sure that our young people are getting the most out of them. The Study Buddy founder, Nathan McGurl talks with Adam Boxer. Adam is a Head of Science, at a North London school, a blogger, author and speaker about chemistry, cognitive science and retrieval practice. Adam also created “Retrieval Roulette” – an excel spreadsheet that generates random questions. He has evolved this fantastic idea and has now gone on to co-found “Carousel”, which he describes as a “massively pimped up version” of the original.This period after the winter half term is the season for mock exams. Schools up and down the country have been running them. Certainly, most of our students have been doing them. Many of these young people see them as vitally important this year: after the cancellation of summer 2020 GCSEs mock exam results became a feature of how teachers could evidence a predicted grade. But, of course, they were never intended to actually form part of the formal assessment.In this wide-ranging conversation, Adam explores the role of mock exams for students and the impact of and on motivation. He touches on retrieval practice and also spaced learning. We discuss the approaches that parents can take in talking through results and the dangers inherent in using this form of assessment as a way of informing future study.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
44 minutes | 2 months ago
12: Revising Boys: A look at why it is [typically] difficult to get boys to study
Boys? Well, they're just lazier than girls / don’t try as hard / procrastinate more / need to run around and let off steam. These are some very obvious stereotypes about teen boys that we could call on. And most of us would recognise at least one or two traits in sons – and perhaps other males in your life. Afterall they are stereotypes for a reason: they come up time after time. But there has to be more to it than dismissing an inability to knuckle down to study with the age-old “boys will be boys” retort. Especially if we want them to do well in an increasingly competitive world.This week's episode explores some perceptions of studying amongst boys. The Study Buddy founder, Nathan McGurl talks with Mark Roberts. Mark is the Assistant Principal at a mixed comprehensive school in Devon, an English Teacher, author of “You Can’t Revise for English GCSE: Yes you can!” and co-author of “Boys Don’t Try: Rethinking masculinity in schools” with Matt Pinkett.Mark explains why we should care about the attainment gap at this age, and what it means to boys as they move through adolescence. We talk about the dangers of perpetuating stereotypes and how parents can make positive reinforcements to encourage their reluctant teens to study.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
43 minutes | 3 months ago
11: The Study Trinity: Fostering great relationships between teachers, parents, and students
We want our children to do well. Teachers want their students to achieve their potential. And I’ve never met a student that is actively trying to fail. Given that we all want the same thing, you’d think that the relationship between the three parties would be harmonious and collaborative. But sometimes those bonds could do with strengthening. This week's episode is looking at the relationship between Parents, Teachers and Students. Nathan McGurl, founder of The Study Buddy is joined by Russell Hobby. Russell is the Chief Executive of teacher training organisation Teach First – whose stated mission is to unlock the potential in all our children, not just some. Prior to joining Teach First Russell was General Secretary of the National Association of Head Teachers. Russell explores the changing role and function of teachers, the vital role that they - and schools - play beyond disseminating facts and figures, what to do if the teacher/student relationship falters, and how parents and teachers can work together in the best interests of the student. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
10: English Proper: The importance of revising for English GCSEs
When it comes to most exam subjects, it seems fairly automatic that revision – for GCSEs at least - is mostly about ways you can retain facts and figures. For many revising English Literature mostly comes down to creating a bank of quotes. And all to often, preparing for English Language is an afterthought on the basis “I speak English, what’s to revise?”. But given that Maths and English Language are often required passes for further education, there must be more to it than that. This week we are looking at revising for English. Nathan McGurl, founder of The Study Buddy is talking with Jennifer Webb. Jenny is currently Assistant Head at a large inner-city comprehensive school in Leeds, and has been a Head of English. She’s a blogger, speaker and author of “How to Teach English Literature: Overcoming Cultural Poverty” and recently “Teach like a Writer”. Jenny also delivers professional development sessions to hundreds of teachers every month. Throughout this episode, Jenny offers insights around the significance of English Language as a subject and a skill. She explores the opportunities to excel in English Literature. And shares clear, practical tips on how to help teens do well in their exams. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
55 minutes | 3 months ago
9: Testing Times: Retrieval Practice and its role as a valid study technique
As parents we’re often confronted with situations where our teens will tell us, “I just don’t know how to” or “I’m just no good at remembering this”. From our own experiences too, we might have found that we’ll recall some things very easily even from childhood – the rhyme about Henry VIII’s wives – but other things seem to slip through or harder to grasp – what those wives names were. Is there a way that we can help our young people – and possibly ourselves – to better recall the information we’re told?This week we are looking at Retrieval Practice. This is a phrase that is being used a lot by teachers and educators, although many of us parents may not have come across it. Today’s guest defines it as the act of recalling learned information from memory and in doing so make the original memory stronger. In this episode The Study Buddy Founder, Nathan is talking with Kate Jones. Kate is Head of History at The British School Abu Dhabi in The United Arab Emirates. Kate is also the author of the highly acclaimed “Retrieval Practice” and excitingly soon to release “Retrieval Practice 2”. If that weren’t enough, she regularly speaks at international educational conferences, provides training to educators the world over and has a podcast “The Love To Teach” and manages her dedicated teaching and learning blog lovetoteach87.comFor more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
36 minutes | 3 months ago
8: Challenging behaviour: Adopting good habits in teens
We know what we need to do to be better at something. Just work a little smarter, procrastinate a little less, start a little earlier, stop checking the phone so much. It’s clear. It makes sense. And it’s for our own benefit. So why then can it be so difficult to make these seemingly simple changes to the way we approach things- and, of course, how our teens approach their studies?In this episode Nathan McGurl is talking about habits and behaviours with Shahroo Izadi. Shahroo is a Behavioural Change Specialist and bestselling author of The Kindness Method, an internationally published book on habit-change. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.comProduced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
39 minutes | 4 months ago
7: Take a breath: Mindfulness and mental wellbeing in teens
We all have different ways of coping with – if not managing – stress. Perhaps it's the variety of situations we’ve experienced that make us more or less adept to managing pressure. But our young people have had limited opportunity to experience or deal with the kinds of pressure they now find themselves under. So just how can we practically help them to learn how to cope for themselves when we’ve typically tried to solve their problems in the past?In this episode The Study Buddy's Founder is joined by Homework Guru, Omari Eccelston-Brown. We are looking at the impact that uncertainty and attitudes to 'failing' can have on young people. Omari shares stress busting tips to help our teens to stay centred and practical tips on how parents can approach this important topic. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.comProduced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
40 minutes | 4 months ago
6: Catching up: a look at how best to face into 2021 exams
This year’s GCSE and A-Level students are suffering with a double whammy. They’re facing into future looking questions while also worried about catching up. That’s an awful situation to be in but does that mean it has to be a hopeless one?In this episode The Study Buddy's founder, Nathan McGurl, is talking to Dylan Wiliam about this year’s exams. Given the uncertainty we consider alternatives as well as some practical guidance for parents when it comes to supporting their teens. In a wide ranging conversation Dylan talks about the purpose and need for assessment and the shortcomings and upsides of different approaches. He draws on years of working in a multitude of roles in the UK and also the US. He also gives practical advice to those facing exams this year, touching on retrieval methods and growth mindset.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.comProduced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
46 minutes | 4 months ago
5: One size won't fit all: Autism and SEN in studying.
Sometimes it can seem like teens get pushed through a cookie cutter template. But it’s important to remember they are all individuals. Each young person is unique and will approach things in a different way. We seem to have comfortably adopted a view that ‘normal’ exists - albeit within certain parameters. And this is how we have structured the mainstream system. But how does that work for those who are further away from ‘average’? And importantly what can ‘mainstream’ learn from those outliers? In this episode we’re thinking about Autism, Special Education Needs – the impact that it has on those young people and what lessons there might be for all parents when it comes to supporting their teens. Nathan is joined by parent, Justine and Autism and SEN experts, Lynn McCann of Reach ASC and Georgina Durrant founder of the SEN Resources Blog. We hear about the importance of flexibility, experimentation and above all of communication between parents, teachers and the young person. While this episode is focused explicitly on SEN, and especially Autism, it is important to note that these young people will likely find themselves confronted with the same kinds of issues as their ‘neurotypical’ peers. The significant difference is that their reactions and experiences may be amplified. However the approaches we take with these teens should shine a light on how we might better support all teens in their studies.For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.comProduced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
44 minutes | 4 months ago
4: Motivation in teens: how to get it and how to keep it.
We’ve all been in a situation where we have something that we need to do, but can’t quite bring ourselves to get on with it. Whether it’s cleaning the car, tackling the under-stairs cupboard or sorting out insurance renewals, there are some things that are difficult to get enthusiastic about. And that’s so often the case with teens and studying. In this episode Nathan McGurl, founder of the Study Buddy, talks to Sam Strickland, Principal at The Dunston School, and VESPA Mindset's Steve Oakes and Martin Griffin, co-authors of "A Level Mindset", “GCSE Mindset” and more recently “The Student Mindset”. We explore the foundations of good motivation and also some of the tactics and strategies that might help you to find what drives your young person. Importantly we find out the difference between activating and sustaining motivators. For more information about The Study Buddy's approach to time management and study skills visit thestudybuddy.comProduced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
48 minutes | 5 months ago
3: Hit the ground running or ease in gently: Managing study in uncertain times.
In this episode Nathan McGurl talks to Barnaby Lenon and Iain Kilpatrick about how best to approach the year that will have to end in a 'grade' for GCSE and A-Level pupils. The discussion looks both at the practicalities of the year for GCSE and A-Level students in 2021 and also at the purpose of exams. We also look at the role that teachers can - and perhaps should - play in any assessments that could take place for the summer results.In our conversations this week, all of our students were actually reasonably happy to be back at school. They quite missed the routine and the structure. Although many would, I'm sure, prefer an extra hour or two in bed in the morning! They've also coped well with the new safety measures and grappled one-way systems! Where we found quite a stark difference between them was in preparation for – and consciousness of – what needed to be done to be ready for the exams.For more information about The Study Buddy and it's approach to managing study and revision, visit www.thestudybuddy.com Produced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
49 minutes | 5 months ago
2: Well-being in students: External pressure and internal coping.
In this episode we’re talking about well-being and mental health. Natasha Devon MBE and Dr Dominique Thompson talk to Nathan McGurl, founder of the Study Buddy.In this series we’re following 6 very different students as they work towards their GCSEs in summer 2021. Each week I’ll be catching up with each of them in a 1-2-1 coaching session. Then, a panel of experts will discuss some of the issues that crop up in one of our podcast episodes.Over the past week all of our GCSE students have talked to different extents about feelings of anxiety, nervousness and pressure. Our experts look at the situations that can cause this. Importantly they also look at the internal strengths and skills that our young people need to build resilience and how we, as parents, can support them.In this podcast, Dom talks about her free 5 step guide to supporting your teen in the autumn of COVID19. You can find that here: https://view.flodesk.com/pages/5f327a7431568a00264b1e58 and her latest book "Stay Balanced".Listen to Natasha's fantastic podcast "Staying Sane in Quarantine" - once you've listened to this episode ;) And be sure to check out her book: "Ace Your Exams Without Losing Your Mind" For more study tips and revision guidance, visit www.thestudybuddy.comProduced by Pineapple Audio Productions.
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