Education for Older Kids

As laptop scheme ends, what next for families and learning?

Jason Lodge The computers for schools program, which involved federal funding for the supply of laptops to high school students, is set to end in June. The program was a central piece of the former government’s “digital revolution” but is being discontinued by the current government.


When your child is an overachiever

Having a driven child is not always a good thing.

KERRI SACKVILLE - ESSENTIAL KIDS What do you do when your child is a constant overachiever? When their concern for good grades and academic success means they spend more time worrying about good marks than enjoying being a kid?

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Racism rife in Australian schools

School students

COSIMA MARRINER Four out of five children born in non-English-speaking countries have experienced racism in school at least once a month, says a study conducted by Deakin University researcher Naomi Priest.


Being male doesn't make you a role model

Someone to look up to ...

KASEY EDWARDS Just because you are a male in a female dominated profession or the spotlight doesn't automatically make you a role model, writes Kasey Edwards.

New rose launched in memory of Daniel Morcombe

Daniel Morcombe

A unique red rose the colour of murder victim Daniel Morcombe's T-shirt on the day he disappeared has been unveiled and will help raise funds to keep kids safe.


UK tween mag 'Girl Talk' is swapping sexed-up celebrities for feminist content

Inside the pages of UK's improved 'GIrl Talk'.

CATHERINE RODIE When editor Bea Appleby discovered their readers, aged between 7 and 12, were mostly interested in being called "pretty", she decided to shake up the magazine but will similar titles in Australia follow suit?


Should the school day start later so that teens can sleep in?

Would teens benefit from a sleep in?

CATHERINE RODIE Some schools in the US have bowed down to the overwhelming evidence that teenagers would benefit from a later start and shifted the school day accordingly, but should we do the same?


Single-sex schooling does not improve student outcomes


Anna Dabrowski In many countries including Australia, gender-segregated instruction is common. Differing structures of single-sex education are offered in both independent and state schools, because it is believed to improve academic results but recent studies show this might not be the case.


How to stress-proof your child


SARAH MACDONALD Is setting the bar too high causing anxiety disorders and pressures in kids?


How to choose the right high school

Choosing a high school can be a tough decision.

KYLIE ORR Are you in the process of deciding which secondary school is best for your soon to be primary graduate? Here are six tips to consider before you do.

Why overscheduling kids is robbing them of a life worth living

The importance of 'down time' for kids should not be underestimated.

Dr Helen Street It is time we stopped thinking of free time as ‘down time’ from life for our kids, and realised that free time is vital for the development of creativity and life success.

What is 'unschooling' and could it work for your kids?

Shaking up how kids learn.

Cassy Small To many kids education with no teachers, no rules and no uniforms may sound pretty appealing. That’s the reality of unschooling, a controversial alternative to the mainstream education system.

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Adopted family subjected to hurtful, insulting comments

Things not to say to adopted children.

One mother came up with a creative way to challenge the narrow-minded comments people have made about her adopted daughters in an attempt to educate others.

Emotional resilience classes needed in schools

high school

Jill Stark One in three girls and a quarter of boys are depressed, with many turning to violence, alcohol and unwanted sex to cope, a mental health survey of high school students has revealed.

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Flirting between parents in the schoolyard

When is flirting acceptable?

CAROLYN TATE Is flirting ever acceptable when you are happily married? How about with other parents at your child's school?

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5 ways to help kids change the world

How to help kids change their world

BROOKE LUMSDEN If you have a compassionate child who is always bombarding you with questions on ways he can make a difference here are five ideas to give kids power when it comes to social change.


Bee wonder kids wage spellbinding wars of words


Two young contestants in a US spelling bee competition left their audience spellbound when they verbally duelled for more than four hours on stage, before stunned organisers were forced to call it quits when they ran out of words with which to challenge the pair.

What would you do if you saw a child in the freezing cold?


11-year-old John sat shivering at a bus stop in Oslo on a cold February day while hidden cameras set up by SOS Children's Villages tested how people reacted to the plight of a freezing child.

Why private schools add little to education mix

private schools

Elizabeth Farrelly I woke in the wee hours with a question bubbling unbidden from my mental swamp. What is the difference between education and damage?

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Are we letting down public school students?

School Girls

Michele Freeman "We must never place our students in positions of failure before we even give them a chance."


Tony Abbott sets new school attendance target for indigenous students

Prime Minister Tony Abbott greets Matilda House during the Closing the Gap morning tea in the Prime Minister's courtyard at Parliament House in Canberra on Wednesday 12 February 2014.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

DAN HARRISON Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set a target of bridging the gap in school attendance between indigenous and non-indigenous pupils within five years.


Should schools teach happiness?


LIVIA GAMBLE Ask Logan LaPlante what he wants to be when he grows up and his answer might surprise you. A typical response from a 13-year-old boy might include; fireman, doctor or surfer. But, Logan will tell you he wants to be happy and healthy.

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Julia Gillard's new job announced

Prime Minister Julia Gillard

Former Australian prime minister Julia Gillard has been appointed to lead the Global Partnership for Education, which is working to help get some 57 million children into schools.

Private schools cheaper than childcare

Olivia Gauci with her two sons Patrick (aged 5 and in foreground) and James (aged 7).

Alexandra Smith, Amy McNeilage Childcare fees are so high in Sydney that it can be cheaper to send a child to one of the city's most exclusive private schools than it is to put a baby in daycare.


10 ways working parents can help at school


BROOKE LUMSDEN Many working parents understand the benefits of being an active member of their child’s school community, but feel too time poor. When it comes to being involved outside of the usual ways, the key is communication. Here are ten ideas to get you started.


How school makes children whole


Steve Biddulph Be grateful to your child's teachers, as they are teaching kids more than you think.


Stephanie Alexander showing children joy of growing and cooking food

Stephanie Alexander.

LARISSA DUBECKI Stephanie Alexander wants children to experience the joy of growing and cooking.


Giving girls the code to a life in computing and engineering

Reshma Saujani, founder and chief executive officer of Girls Who Code.

Matthew Hall An organisation encouraging young girls to develop an interest in computer science and engineering aims to bridge the gap in the number of women and men employed in computing fields, whether as engineers or developers.



Selective school fees five times higher than at other public schools

James Ruse Agricultural High School

Josephine Tovey, Inga Ting Parents with children in NSW selective schools pay voluntary fees on average five times the amount of those with children in comprehensive public schools, creating a stark inequality within the public school system, an analysis by Fairfax Media reveals.

School kids slam WA shark cull policy as 'ridiculous'

Mr Grabowski's year 6 class in Ontario, Canada.

NARELLE TOWIE Canadian school children have penned two scathing letters to Premier Colin Barnett lambasting WA's shark 'mitigation' plan and criticising his failure to respond to their questions.


Educators take minister to task over national curriculum review


JOSEPHINE TOVEY The Abbott government's decision to hold a quick review of the national curriculum is poorly timed and threatens to disrupt and destabilise the work of teachers, a group of more than 150 prominent educators has warned.

Computer science reforms to test teachers' skills


AMY MCNEILAGE Schoolchildren will begin learning the principles of computer programming from kindergarten under the new national curriculum.

Engaging students in history lessons

It's the method not the content that needs changing ...

Bodie Ashton It’s correct to say that teaching of history in our schools should be reformed. But the cornerstone of this reform should not be content but method, writes Bodie Ashton.


A life lesson in teaching

Inspiring teachers leave a lasting impression on their students.

Melinda Ham Melinda Ham looks at an initiative to encourage students to become teachers.

Abbott suggests truancy officers to get indigenous kids back to school

NT Chief Minister Adam Giles, Tasmania Premier Lara Giddings, WA Premier Colin Barnett, Victorian Premier Denis Napthine, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, SA Premier Jay Weatherill and ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher address the media during the COAG joint press conference, at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 13 December 2013.
Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Gareth Hutchens and Judith Ireland Prime Minister Tony Abbott has suggested using ''truancy officers'' to ensure that all indigenous children go to school and his paid parental leave scheme will be extended to cover all state public sector workers.


New book gives Heidelberg's village people a voice

Kerry and Brian Joyce

John Elder If all goes to plan, a new book will be distributed in schools to teach young people grace.


What parents need to know about NAPLAN

What educators want parents to know about NAPLAN.

Brooke Lumsden The majority of parents think NAPLAN is a good idea but an overwhelming number of educators are against the standardised tests for many reasons, and want parents to understand why NAPLAN is not at all what it seems.


Classroom noise linked to poor results


JOSEPHINE TOVEY Australian students report high levels of noise and disruption in their classroom and at rates worse than the US or Britain, a factor which education experts say is linked to low levels of literacy and numeracy and is contributing to the country's worsening performance.


PISA study highlights resources and teacher quality as factors in the world's top-performing school systems


AMY MCNEILAGE Improving teacher quality, granting schools greater autonomy and resourcing education equitably have been highlighted as some of the unifying traits of the world's top-performing school systems.


OECD report finds Australian students falling behind


Josephine Tovey, Anna Patty Australian high school students' achievement in maths and reading has slumped over the past decade, while huge gaps persist based on wealth, location, gender and whether students are indigenous.


Christopher Pyne's comprehension, maths skills lacking on Gonski


Jim McMorrow NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is not alone in finding it hard to make sense of what his federal counterpart, Christopher Pyne, has up his sleeve for the funding of schools beyond next year.


Bindi Irwin for Prime Minister?

Bindi Irwin discusses her father, future and what it's like living at a zoo.

Patrick Williams Bindi Irwin has joked about running for Prime Minister of Australia and even President of the United States in a new interview on her political ambitions.

Adrian Piccoli vows to hold Pyne to Gonski school funding deal

Adrian Piccoli

Josephine Tovey, Dan Harrison The NSW government has warned the Commonwealth it will not support any dismantling of the Gonski school funding model. Education Minister Adrian Piccoli says any changes to the reforms could mean schools will lose money.


Former child star Mara Wilson talks about sex ed

Former child star Mara Wilson educates kids on sex.

Former child star Mara Wilson is all grown up and sharing her thoughts on the sexualisation of young stars and the state of sex education.

'You're not a princess' school ad campaign goes viral

A Catholic all-girls school's ad campaign goes viral.

Kurt Wagne An all-girls school in the US is making waves for its ad campaign that tells young girls "You're not a princess."


Missing classes in primary school adds up to poor maths skills

Primary school children.

Josephine Tovey Young children who frequently take days off school have poorer results in maths, new research shows, but the same level of absenteeism appears to have less of an effect on literacy at the same age.


Memories that stick (and stink) with you

Opera House Chuck

ANDREW DADDO It’s pretty fantastic to let yourself go and enjoy the moments our kids give us but there are some that kids and parents alike would rather forget, writes Andrew Daddo.

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School bans phones in playground to rekindle teenage social skills

Ban the mobile

Amy McNeilage School principals are worried that students are missing out on meaningful interaction with their peers because they have become glued to their phones.


Is this the proudest dad in the world?

A beautiful exchange between a father and son.

Staff writers Do you remember your father’s reaction to your high school report card? This British teenager proudly uploaded a video of his dad’s to the news that he passed maths for the first time and it is a tear-jerker.

Student schools her P&C and wins

Student schools her P&C on importance of recycling and wins.

Melanie Hearse Want a story to warm your heart? Mel Hearse shares one from her children’s school that inspired her and other parents in the community.

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Malala offers an example for the world


Helen Wright Malala Yousafzai has become a symbol of freedom – the freedom to think, speak and learn no matter your gender, religion, age or financial circumstances.


School surveillance puts trust at risk


Emmeline Taylor Many countries are increasingly using CCTV in schools to tackle bullying, obesity, smoking and truancy but will Australian schools be next?


A positive approach to schooling

Australia is leading the way in the positive psychology movement.

BROOKE LUMSDEN How the positive psychology movement in Australian schools is making a lasting impact with its students and setting an example for the world to follow.


13-year-old Indian girl begins microbiology masters

Sushma Verma

KATIE CARLIN 13-year-old Sushma Verma is proving that girls shouldn’t be underestimated.

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'No blame' strategies work, but only vigilance beats the bullies


Jen Dalitz There has been plenty of discussion about bullying and, from statistics given, it is likely a child will be bullied at some stage at school.


Under the sea film festival


Livia Gamble Help kids discover the mysteries of the sea at the three-day under the sea film festival being held at Avoca on the Central Coast and show people the unseen world below the ocean’s surface.


School refusal in older children

School refusal is often a sign of something more ...

QUIRKY KID If your child is refusing to go to school, leaving early or claiming to be sick on a regular basis here are some steps to finding out why and how to help.

Boosting confidence in classrooms

Silent students ...

KIMBERLEY O'BRIEN If your child is reluctant to participate in class discussions here are some ways you can help boost their confidence in the classroom setting.

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Winning the homework war

Creating a space for study ...

Nicole Anzia The word "homework," greeted with anxiety by kids and parents alike. You can make things easier by taking on a little assignment of your own.

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Sex education draft 'dreadful'

Kids filling in the blanks ...

Amy McNeilage Sexual health advocates say the draft national curriculum is a ''dreadful attempt'' at teaching sexual health in high schools.


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