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Blog

Welcome to the Wisdom Bird Tutors Blog.
On a regular basis we provide blog posts and commentary regarding current issues impacting education

Perth’s western suburbs are in urgent need of more high schools.

Byron McDonald

Back in 2007, Churchlands Senior High School warned parents that it was already suffering from overcrowding.

Eight years later, governments have closed schools and sold off the land, while only building one new school - Shenton College.

While the state government closed City Beach High School due to declining enrollment figures, foresight may have presented the problem of having a lack of classroom in Perth's western suburbs.

We must now wait until 2027 until Perth will have a new high school built to cater to the rise in student numbers.

Bethany Hiatt wrote an informative opinion piece regarding this issue which can be read be read over at The West.

More Independent Public Schools for WA in 2017

Byron McDonald

Does the expansion of IPS schools create a need for more tutors in Perth?

Education Minister Peter Collier announced this week that another 73 Western Australian schools will become Independent Public Schools next year.

That will bring the number of Independent Public Schools in WA to 524, even though a recent Parliamentary inquiry found no evidence that the IPS model was beneficial for student outcomes.

Among the list of schools selected for IPS status in 2017 around Perth and its regional areas are:

  • Balcatta Senior High School
  • North Perth Primary School
  • Port Kennedy Primary School
  • Swanbourne Primary School
  • Upper Swan Primary School
  • Safety Bay Primary School
  • Kelmscott Senior High School

If you require a tutor within the Perth metropolitan area, feel free to contact us at Wisdom Bird Tutors. We provide tailored tuition to suit your learning needs, in all subjects areas, with a focus on Maths, English and Science.

More information regarding IPS can be found on the Department of Education's website.


 

Learning how to learn is just as important as what you’re learning

Byron McDonald

Ian Mitchell, a senior lecturer at Monash University, wrote an article for The Conversation regarding students' need for meta-cognition skills.

In summary, Mitchell reiterates that students need to learn about how they learn, and the best strategies that assist them in learning - not just content knowledge. This way students can process the learned information, decide what is important, and present their ideas and understandings in measurable structured tasks.

Wisdom Bird Tutors can assist student develop much needed meta-cognition skills. For example, if a student understands learning strategies and approaches for English and Maths tasks that work they can apply the strategies as needed, or switch to other strategies when required.

If you require a tutor in Perth or its surrounding areas, please contact us at www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

 

Australian Students Not Learning Foreign Languages Anymore

Byron McDonald

According to recent statistics and a SMH article, only 10% of students are studying a foreign language compared to 40% back in the 1960's.

Kurt Mullane, the executive director of the Asia Education Foundation, said "one of our great challenges is our monolingual mindset", while Amber Flohm, multicultural officer at the NSW Teachers Federation claims "there's an oversupply of secondary language qualified teachers, and an under supply of primary ones".

Amber Flohm continued on to offer her opinion, claiming "it's a lack of focus on languages in the primary years, a lack of continuity from kindergarten into year 11 and 12, and [mandating only] 100 hours in year 7 or 8 frankly is tokenistic".

We believe our tutors in Perth can assist students in filling the gaps in their knowledge and understanding, while providing continuity throughout their schooling years.

Feel free to make an enquiry regarding our foreign language tutors available. We have tutors for a range of languages, from French, to Spanish, Mandarin, and Japanese.

 

 

 


 

Illiterate Australian Man Publishes His 9th Book

Byron McDonald

An Illiterate Australian man, who in 1948 momentarily died on the operating table and as a result has not improved his literacy skills since, has recently published his 9th book.

Ken Hall is a remarkable man from Hervey Bay, Qld. While he was unable to read or write, throughout his adult life he proved himself to be very intelligent in a number of different ways, even building planes and helicopters.

Mr Hall faced a great deal of prejudice as a result of learning disability and struggled to hold employment.

With the aide of computers, Mr Hall is able to dictate his stories and record them as text. His memoir held the top spot for two and a half weeks, knocking Harry Potter and Bryce Courtney from their top positions.

Further information regarding Mr Ken Hall can be found here on the ABC website.

www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

Online learning beneficial for high education students with disabilities

Byron McDonald

According to a report from Curtin University and the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education (NCSEHE), higher education students with disabilities who have access to technology and flexible teaching methods, along with how their disclosure of their disability is managed, can help the students in gaining higher education qualifications.

Online learning is becoming more and more prevalent within education and this report indicates the benefits it provides students with disabilities.

Further reading can be found here on the Curtin media release page: 

http://news.curtin.edu.au/media-releases/e-learning-benefits-higher-education-students-disabilities/ 

www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

 

How to write an effective essay.

Byron McDonald

Essay writing is a learned skill, and something any student can master. This can either be done independently, or with the help of a tutor.

While writing an effective essay can be difficult at times, it is easier when you plan in advance and break it into small steps.

Monash University provides helpful writing tutorials for students. While the tutorials aim university level students, they are just as effective for high school aged students.

Visit the Monash University's Language and Learning Online for more information.

www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

Possible reasons for students struggling with literacy

Byron McDonald

Jennifer Buckingham provides us with an opinion piece discussing why students are not receiving the best literacy education.

The author touches on issues such as lack of explicit teaching and teacher education.

Definitely an interesting read considering there seems to be a fair bit of discussion at the moment regarding the effectiveness of explicit teaching methods.

You can read the full article is here.

www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

NAPLAN 2016 & The Australian Curriculum

Byron McDonald

This year, NAPLAN has been aligned with the Mathematics and English Learning Areas of the Australian Curriculum. 

In a nut shell, most people will not notice any major differences with regarding the testing; a spade is always a spade no matter what the gardener uses it for.

Try not to get caught up in the NAPLAN fuss. Hopefully classroom teacher's are focusing on delivering the curriculum, and not adopting a results-driven approach.

Further information regarding NAPLAN 2016 can be found at:

http://www.nap.edu.au/naplan/australian-curriculum.html

http://www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

Global education expert criticises Australian education system

Byron McDonald

Mr Schleicher, the education director of the Organisation for Economic Development, stated Australia has significantly fallen behind in terms of global education standards.

The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) has shown Australia's results have declined over the past 10 years and we are now ranked 14th behind Poland and Vietnam.

Head over to the SMH for the full article.

www.wisdombirdtutors.com.au

Innovative Perth Science Teacher Receives Global Recognition

Byron McDonald

Primary science teacher Richard Johnson has been recognised for his stellar efforts in the classroom at an A-list award ceremony in Dubai, narrowly missing out on a $1 million top prize.

Among those attending the event were Pope Francis, former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and actors Salma Hayek and Matthew McConaughey.

Although Mr Johnson missed out on winning the award, he remains committed to promoting innovation and change within Australian schools, stating that teaching needs to evolve from its old fashioned way to meet the rapidly changing needs of students. 

You can read the full article here on the Perth Now website.

NAPLAN results show signs of improvement.

Byron McDonald

The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) has identified over 70 schools with above average improvements based on NAPLAN data.

The debate regarding standardised testing in Australian school will continue, however, the most important part of the article published by ABC journalist Nicole Chettle is that:

The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA), reminded parents to look beyond the My School website when evaluating schools.

"My School offers parents some insight into school performance on NAPLAN tests up to Year 9, but there are a host of parental concerns that the site does not address, and was not designed to address," AHISA chairwoman Karen Spiller said in a statement.

"I strongly encourage parents to visit a school ... rather than rely solely on the single dimension of NAPLAN results."

Is 'binge watching’ to blame for kids not learning?

Byron McDonald

A recent report outlines that students are spending more time watching online videos and consuming other types of media than sleeping. 

Craig Blewett, a Senior Lecturer in Education & Technology from the University of KwaZulu-Natal claims teachers and parents must encourage a move away from passive content consumption towards active engagement with media. 

Read the full article here at The Conversation

Turnbull to provide funding for students to learn computer coding.

Byron McDonald

The Federal Government will spend almost $1.1 billion in the next four years to promote business-based research, development and innovation.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's "ideas boom" includes the plan to teach coding to students in Year's 5 and 7. 

Turnbull claims members of society need to be highly computer literate in order to help Australia transition from the mining boom, and capitalise upon the technology industry in years to come. 

To read the full article, click the title of this blog post or click here to be redirected to the ABC website.

Parents of preschoolers turn to tutoring.

Byron McDonald

An interesting article published by the The West Australian a little over 18 months ago.

Click here to read the full article.

Insightful issues are raised by the Edith Cowan University Centre for Research in Early Childhood director Caroline Barratt-Pugh.

While tutoring is proven to be beneficial to students, stakeholders must remain diligent when deciding on whether additional supplementary tuition is necessary for preschool aged children.