At a glance headlines: April 30, 2015


The importance of 'academic buoyancy, a new water challenge project, and a competition to design a school are among the SecEd at a glance headlines for April 30, 2015.

‘Buoyancy’ advice

“Academic buoyancy” protects pupils from seeing examinations as “threatening” and so boosts performance, a research study has found. Professor Dave Putwain from Edge Hill University describes academic buoyancy as “students’ capacity to successfully overcome setback and challenge that is typical of the ordinary course of everyday academic life”. His study involved 705 year 11 students taking English, maths and science GCSE exams, and found that those who were categorised as “academically buoyant” were less anxious, better able to self-regulate and thus performed better. Prof Putwain’s study has been published in the British Journal of Educational Psychology.

Fitness warning

Many pupils arriving at secondary school are below recommended levels of fitness for their age, a study has found. Conducted by Fit For Sport, the research involved 10,000 primary pupils and found that 67 per cent were unable to reach targets in jumping, running and throwing. Among 10 and 11-year-olds, only 33 per cent reached “adequate levels of fitness”. The worst results were in running challenges, indicating that pupils are not spending enough time doing “vigorous intensity” activity. Fit For Sport has created a free online portal where parents can complete an Activity Challenge with their children. Visit:

Water challenges

The Water Explorer project is hoping to engage more than 10,000 young people from 11 different countries. Run by Global Action Plan, an environmental charity, the project aims to get students aged eight to 14 from countries including the UK, Germany, South Africa and Bermuda, tackling water issues, such as saving water, cleaner water, and access to water. Resources are available to download and teachers can register online. Visit:

Design a school

The Design, Engineer, Construct competition is looking for secondary students to become actively involved in designing an eco-school for children in Parabongo, a village in northern Uganda. The Vision Hope School will educate 1,000 children aged three to 18. The competition is being run by Class of Your Own and is open to teams of 10 students, who will use industry software to create their designs. The deadline for registration is May 22. Visit:

VQ Awards

Tomorrow (Friday, May 1) is the deadline for nominations for this year’s VQ Awards. Held on June 10, the awards recognise teachers, employers and learners excelling in the field of vocational education. Categories include the Teacher of the Year and NQT of the Year as well as Employer of the Year and Learner of the Year. Visit:



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