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  • 18/09/2019 - G.G Pace 0 Comments
    Mental Health at School- can we be doing more?

    Mental Health at School- can we be doing more? 

    We all have experienced periods of stress at school and have all got our own ways of dealing with it. It should never stop us from trying to achieve our goals and actually enjoy our school life. So, are schools really beginning to take note of this? I have recently come across some intriguing articles that have got me thinking.

    One teacher based in America created a wonderfully colourful ‘check in’ chart for her students. Each section of the chart has various phrases from ‘I’m great’ to ‘I’m not doing great’ and students are to place a post-it note in the area they associate with at the time. She uses this as a weekly check in on her students every Monday and has a chat about their past week. I thought this was a wonderful idea from this truly forward-thinking teacher. So why can’t we take note of our American brothers and sisters? I have adopted a similar (but not as wonderful) chart at the Academy. I then realised that students are often reluctant to talk about their feelings, but I want to try and change this. I have placed the chart in my office as I understand that it’s best to give some privacy to students who wish to talk about their day. I’m hoping that once they have spoken to someone about their issues or worries, they’ll feel confident enough to settle down to some learning. I am really hoping to incorporate this in the new academic term.

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  • 13/08/2019 0 Comments
    Our Educational Lineage

    As humans, we have evolved a complex brain that has the capacity to process sensory information from our surroundings. This has contributed to our survival against all odds over hundreds of thousands of years. Our unique brain has enabled us to out-compete other, more powerful animals with better and more specialised sensory organs than ourselves. Consequently, we have developed sophisticated agricultural societies from our early beginnings as hunter-gatherers. 

    Over millennia, we have built sporadic civilisations whose survival depended on our capacity to control our environment and our self-destructive tendencies as an animal species. A revolution in human thinking and a new way of understanding ourselves and our environment occurred some 2500 years ago, when a few inspirational, bold thinkers started to view our world in a unique and objective way. These people dismissed the old Gods and belief systems that generations of societies had adopted and offered us a renewed hope for our survival as a species. They taught us to consider events as having natural causes (they called such events ‘phenomena’) that we could rationalise. They told us that we should have no fear of any irrational or superstitious beliefs, but to have faith in our ability to control our own destiny. These few, enlightened individuals created mathematics, science and all the other different subjects, arts and ethics that underpins our modern Western values.

    They taught us to rise beyond our basic needs and overcome our self-destructive animal instincts and thus become better individuals. We like to refer to them as the Ancient Greeks and they still continue to inspire us and to strive to understand ourselves. They believed that only then can we have hope for humanity to survive as a species, provided we ‘achieve the highest element in ourselves’, as Aristotle wrote (384BC-322BC).

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  • 11/07/2019 - G.G Pace 0 Comments
    Education and Technology - The Future

    With our ever-advancing world, which is full of new and exciting technological inventions, where does education fit?

    It seems like schools are already realising the benefits of technology in the classroom and are already implementing online textbooks and are still using interactive whiteboards. Students are encouraged to get to grips with the online world at school from early on and the skills they learn never leave them.

    I came across the term ‘educational technology’ recently, but what exactly is it? Well, it is the use of digital technology to help aid learning. It is a whole field of technology devoted to the development and application of these educational tools. Its core areas include software, hardware and other IT processes which are there to help encourage and facilitate the learning process.

    Awareness and implementation have already begun around the world, with the USA taking the lead. The UK is also incorporating some of these new tools. Some examples of this innovative technology include Cloud computing, which is now taking on an essential role in both schools and the workplace. Other educational areas being transformed by technology include Language, Science and Social Studies.

    Mobile learning is becoming increasingly more popular due to its convenience and accessibility. Tablet based learning is on the rise and it is something that we have considered here at the Academy for a while. I would also personally recommend students in sixth form and university to purchase a tablet, as they are far more portable and can be fairly cheap. Students can easily build a virtual learning environment through the use of apps. You can easily access online textbooks and papers, which may especially be useful for degree level students.

    With so many young people who buy into the virtual world, one wonders whether games will be big in the realm of education. This may help get students engaged and properly absorb what they are learning. I believe some corporations have now clocked onto this. Something which has always fascinated me and something that may develop many uses in a learning environment is 3D printing. This is done through computer software and an image or object is created using this design and a very high-tech bit of machinery. Another area that particularly fascinates me is that of wearable technology, which is basically technology that you can wear on or even in your body. These include Smart watches and Occulus virtual reality headsets and microchips.

    So, with all that being said, how does this affect the Academy? We have thought of incorporating interactive whiteboards, but as I and countless other students have seen, they are costly and breakdown easily. Our trusty standard whiteboards never break down! So, I believe it is all about balance. Like many businesses, we must try and keep up with the current. The main thing I think technology can help us with is the variation of activities we can do in the classroom. We can further open up the world of learning to every single student, and that is a wonderful thing.

    We may increase our use of technology in the classroom in the future, although we still firmly believe that you cannot beat the traditional book! That won’t stop us from trying to improve our services and improve the experience our students have with us.

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  • 11/06/2019 - Dr A. N Sergis 0 Comments
    Introduction of Free Schooling

    The introduction of free schooling for the working-class population in the 19th century was to train individuals to have the necessary skills and knowledge for the following main categories of labour: 

    1. Manual
    2. Semi-skilled and
    3. Skilled
    Therefore, education was only concerned with producing a workforce that could satisfy the demands of industrial labour. Consequently, the curriculum in those early schools was limited in scope and mainly emphasised the ‘three R’s’: reading, writing, arithmetic; and practical skills for particular occupations. Consequently, it was not necessary to educate such individuals to become independent thinkers who could analyse and solve problems and generate new ideas, qualities which I believe are essential in the development and advancement of modern society.

    Unfortunately, the notion of producing a workforce with only adequate practical skills to satisfy the industrial sector of society has perpetuated to modern times. This has resulted in producing a generation of
    docile workers that are devoid of the capacity to think for themselves and only to follow instructions to fulfil their specific duties. Here at the Academy, however, the ethos and implementation of my teaching methods is to inspire and generate students that can analyse and think for themselves, and so encourage them to enter university with a view to ultimately achieving roles and occupations in society that can promote the development of human progress.
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Dr. Andrew N. Sergis, BSc(Hons), PhD, CSci, CChem, MRSC, Cert. Ed(FE), ATP

Our Mission

The academy is committed to providing excellent tuition that is affordable for everyone in order to build success for all. To achieve this, high-quality teaching and professional guidance is always guaranteed.

— Dr. A. N. Sergis

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