Principal’s Blog, 18th May 2018 – The Quest for the Magic Bullet – Part 1

The Quest for the Magic Bullet – Part 1

Our super fast culture is always looking for quick wins, short cuts and hacks. From making money to losing weight, there is often a quest for the magic bullet. Education has also been plagued by this approach and the impact was explained very eloquently in an article by Chris Cook on the BBC.

In the next few blogs I am going to share some of the strategies that we have seen parents use which have had a long sustained impact on the academic progress and wellbeing of their children. Those readers hoping for off the wall short cuts and quick wins will be disappointed. All of the ideas require long term commitment, persistence and determination; however what is more important than the mental, social, physical and academic wellbeing of our children?

The first strategy involves developing a love of reading.


Over the past few weeks I have been working with some of the boys in Y10, unpicking why some are making excellent progress, with others only achieving modest progress.  The single biggest difference appears to be reading. Those who regularly read for pleasure appear to consistently outperforming those who do not. When I asked the avid readers (and our Learning Zone staff) what advice they would give to parents of other students they were quick to share the following advice:

  • Talk about books at home
  • Have books on show around your home
  • Buy book tokens as rewards/presents
  • Start the habit early
  • Turn the TV and internet off
  • Read yourself and let your children see it
  • Visit really good book shops and libraries and ask advice from the staff
  • Talk about the benefits of reading with your son/daughter
  • Make the book shop a destination – enjoy a coffee, a chat and looking at books

Mr Nelson

ZTN photo Nelson