Wednesday, May 15, 2019

How to become an excellent student

One of the major events during our teenage years will be learning to drive and ultimately passing a practical and a theory driving test. This gives so much freedom and independence to our lives.

It gives young adults the ability to go to college or university without relying on public transport or parents and the freedom to get a job away from the area that we live

Some interesting facts and figures about our roads. Reports say that there are over 30 million registered cars in the UK and over the last 20 years the number of registered cars has risen by over 35%. There are over 45 million people that hold a full license to be able to drive in the UK, but the queen is not one of them as she does not need a license to drive.

In the UK the legal age we can obtain a full driving license is at the age of 17. You can apply for a provisional license from the age of 15 years and 9 months. Each year 1.6million people take the practical test of which 43% pass and over 52% of people pass their theory exam. That is over half a million new drivers every year.

The driving or competency exam was first introduced in the road traffic at of 1934, but was suspended during the war, and in 1996 a theory exam was added to the practical. The current exam involves two sections that need to passed to obtain a full UK license. These are a practical and a theory test.

The theory is made up of 2 parts. The first is a multiple choice exam based on the highway code, it is completed on a computer and has 50 multiple choice questions of which 43 of them have to be answered correctly to pass, which is pass mark of 86%. The questions are randomly chosen from 1000 on a variety of sections within the highway code, the test usually lasts an hour.

The second part of the test is hazard perception. 14 one-minute clips are shown on a computer screen from a drivers perspective. At various points that could be deemed a hazard or where a hazard could develop, the screen has to be touched, or clicked on using a computer mouse.

Once a provisional license is obtained a practical exam can be taken. This is completed on the public road system and has to be with a professional examiner around a pre planned route. It usually last 40 minutes. To fail a practical exam a serious or dangerous fault has to happen, or an accumulation of at least 15 driving faults across the test paper will also be marked as a fail.

The best way to pass any exam is to train and learn for it, the practical side of learning for a UK license can be trained for by having lesson. Lesson are usually an hour long and involve going out with a fully trained driving instructor, there is no minimum or maximum amount of training hours. The instructor through experience will know when you are ready.

Intensive training courses can also be completed. This involves studying and practising the practical side within a much smaller time frame, usually within a week. This form of learning is not as common.

The UK theory side of obtaining a driving license can be learnt at home, previously studying a book on the highway code was the way to learn. However since the early years there have been advances in learning material. Now with the aid of a smartphone or computer you can now learn on line with practice tests and online resources. This way you know that you can achieve the pass mark required.

UK Drive Test are a UK based online company offering a powerful and effective online learning platform. The company are proud to be licensed by the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency) who regulate and set the questions for the official UK Theory test. UK Drive Test offer clients the chance to lead. Once you have made your mind up that you want to sell into the education sector, you are going to need a really good strategy to get those teachers listening and engaging with your product or service. Your strategy for advertising to teachers will depend on a lot of factors, such as your product, your budget, your expected margins, your competition, and how important schools are to your marketing mix. Whatever your circumstances, getting your strategy right is both important and relatively simple. Let's take a look at the best and most proven methods of advertising to teachers to get a great ROI.

1. Email - OK so emailing teachers is not the cheapest way to go about approaching them, but it is certainly very effective if done right. Typical open rates on school email campaigns will range from 8 - 15%, so you are going to need to email quite a few of them to get a decent return on your investment. The best email campaigns typically consist of 3 - 6 messages over a 3 - 4 month period, giving you chance to build up your rapport with the teachers you are advertising to. A well-researched and consistent email campaign should be a key component of your advertising to teachers plan.

2. Postal Mail - by far the most expensive but similarly the most effective method of selling to schools is through the old fashioned medium of postal mail. As the propensity for advertisers to email has grown, so the number of postal mail campaigns going to teachers has reduced, so those companies that do have the resource to conduct postal mail campaigns see excellent returns on their investment. Advertising by post to teachers will certainly catch their attention, but it isn't for everyone. It is recommended for those with big budgets, big margins, or niche products who can guarantee a decent return.

3. Directory Listings - there has been a growth in general over the last 5 years in companies using directory listings to advertise to teachers. The reason for this is that teachers go to them to source suppliers, and suppliers can list their business one time knowing that they are going to get leads consistently throughout the year. There are a number of specialist school procurement directories out there offering companies the opportunity to advertise to teachers year round at a reasonable cost.

4. Social Media - the growth of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and the scores of other social media available today has hugely increased the ability of private companies to get their message across. It comes as no surprise that teachers are also fond of social media and are quite open to contact through this medium. If you have a product or service that teachers will love, then it is a good start to try to get them to like it or follow you or whatever the platform does. This is a great way of engaging as social media can be made much more personable and teachers are receptive to it. Advertising to teachers through social media is also free, so never ignore it!

5. Relationship building - the 5th method of advertising to teachers that really works is building relationships with them. This could be through email, social media, or discussions. However you go about it, remember teachers do not jump from school to school, so if you are prepared to play the long game and build relationships over time, the returns will be massive.

In reality advertising to teachers should be no different to dealing with any other business, but always bear in mind that teachers have budgets to spend (or work to!) and are quite amenable to companies wanting to sell to them. They don't have hours of spare time to research like a professional buyer might and so will be more than happy to engage with you if you do your job right. There comes a point when every parent goes through the process to find a school for their child. It can be a difficult process - you might have a different opinion on choice of schools than your child; you may be moving to a new area; or you may be looking at an independent, fee paying school for your child. Whatever the scenario, help is on hand to ensure you find the right school where your child is happy.

So we have put together some general advice to help you not just find a school, but to find the right school.

Moving area - finding a school in an area you are not familiar with can be very tricky, especially given the amount of assistance given by existing primary schools to get their pupils into the right secondary school. The best place to begin is by making a shortlist of schools in the area you are moving to, you can do a postcode search here. Once you have your list, contact them and find out when they are open for you to go and visit. The whole process can then be broken down into a simple, enjoyable exercise for you and your child.

Find an independent school - if you are looking for an independent school for your child then your options will become much narrower. Outside of major towns and cities there are often only a handful of independent, fee paying schools to choose from and you may already know what these are. Independent schools will always have open days or open evenings where you can call in and take a look around to see if it is right for you. As they are fewer in number, it is likely you will need to use the school's transport service to get your child to and from school each day, so check where this stops and picks up in relation to your home.

Find a school with good OFSTED ratings - OFSTED ratings work on a numbered rating from 1 to 4, with 1 being the best (Outstanding) and 4 being the worst (Needs improvement). A school in category 4 will sometimes be put in what is known as Special Measures, meaning it has outside assistance from the local authority to try to improve, and the senior management team can be replaced if they are deemed to be ineffective. Whatever the scenario, every schools' OFSTED rating is published online and can be viewed for free, so always go and take a look to find out more and use them to help you find a school.

Find a school your child is in disagreement with - quite often you will have a differing opinion than your child's. This will almost certainly be the case when you come to find a school for them. They may favour a school where their friends go, or which has the best sports team, or is nearest your home, whereas these may be the schools with the worst OFSTED ratings, or the worst transport links, which you (rather more sensibly!) deem less adequate. One of the most important decisions you will make on your child's future is to find the right school for them to continue their learning journey. So the search for primary schools can be a tough one. Sure there will be schools near to your house, but are they the right ones for your child? Do they tick all your criteria for sending your child there, and will your child leave ready for the demands of secondary education?

When you begin to search schools for your child, one of the biggest factors will be the quality of that school. The universal rating for schools in the UK is the OFSTED report, a government initiative designed to grade all schools on the same scale, thus allowing parents to see the relative differences between 2 or more different schools. In this context, it allows you to search primary schools with the best OFSTED ratings to decide where your child should go. Remember when you are looking at these reports to read the contents as well as looking at the numbers. Each school is given an overall score between 1 and 4, however this doesn't paint a complete enough picture. It is important to consider the whole report and how it relates to your decision, as not all schools who score a 1, 2, 3 or 4 are the same as one another.

The next thing to consider when you search primary schools around you is their location. Closest is not necessarily best, even though it may be the most convenient for you! Remember, when you search primary schools near to your house, you are doing so for your child's benefit, not your own. The best advice is always to go and look around local primary schools. Find out when the open days or open evenings are, and make the effort to call in and get a feel for the learning environment, picture how your child might fit in at that primary school. Only then will you really know if that is the right primary school for you.

So your search for schools has gathered pace. You have checked out the OFSTED scores, you have visited some local schools, and you have narrowed down the search. You now need to consider the criteria by which your child will be accepted into the local primary schools. It is no good having done all your research that you decide upon a school which is out of reach because of location or faith. So, check with the local schools when you are searching what their entrance criteria are. If they are a faith school, check what faith it is and whether they require a baptism or christening certificate. If they are in an area full of new build properties, check what their intake level is and how far their catchment area spreads. Generally, it isn't a good idea to search primary schools in new build villages if you do not live in the area, as these villages are usually populated with families with young children. Remember to search primary schools which are realistic to your child's criteria, not just the one you think would be best.

The search for schools can be a big challenge, but in reality there are only a few small things to consider. Think about this from the start of your search for your child's first school and you will save a lot of time and effort in the long run. The search for primary schools doesn't have to be a tough task! Consider what it means when you tell a student, "Congratulations! You are now an eagle. You have eagle friends, and you are part of an eagle community. We have eagle rules and an eagle way of doing things. So when it comes time to make a decision, ask yourself what an eagle would do, and you'll make a good decision, get good results and have a good experience. So put on your best eagle smile because every day is a great day to be an eagle."

You paint a clear, inviting and engaging picture of the environment and related expectations. You include them as part of a group that is led by a likable and virtuous role model. You give them a clear roadmap to help them navigate through daily school life with greater ease and success. You are off to a good start towards creating a new, positive school climate.

A mascot-centric culture leverages the school mascot as a role model to demonstrate positive behaviors and character traits. It's a powerful method for implementing school-wide change because the students self-identify with the mascot. The instant they repeat the affirmation "I am an eagle," a portion of their self-image is changed, and it's human nature to act consistently with one's self-image. Control the eagle - control the child; or at least gain meaningful control over a vital part of their internal guidance system.

The emotional incentives for gaining acceptance, and enjoying benefits associated with being a member of the group are powerful, and hard-wired. Everyone wants to have friends, and the support, security and self-affirmation that come with social acceptance.

Integrating the behavioral expectations into the package by calling them "eagle rules," makes them more palatable and more likely to be embraced and adopted. By telling students to "think of what an eagle would do," you are giving them a valuable tool for decision making, setting them up for success, and helping them develop social skills that will serve them well for life.

By telling them "every day is a great day to be an eagle," you are setting their expectations high, and toward a positive life. In a world full of less-than-stellar examples, both in and out of the home, the value of establishing positive goals and outlooks, is immeasurable.

When a student comes to a decision point, they search through their bag of tricks, or life experiences, to figure out what to do. By pre-loading their bag-of-tricks, with things that work, they are more likely to make good decisions, get good results, repeat, and continue down the path of success.

The mascot is a critical component to creating a new climate because it's intrinsically likable, endearing, visual, and easy to grasp and gravitate towards. Kids like mascots. It's just that simple.

Instead of seeing their mascot as an affable character relegated to drumming up school spirit, educators are repurposing the asset as a vital role model in their efforts to reach and teach young minds.

Many approaches to creating school climates center round the principal, and their leadership approach, and how they mold the team of teachers and administrators within their school. It's true that an organization's culture starts at the top, but people come and go, so when a principal moves on, what does that do to the culture and climate? It changes. If a climate is built around the mascot, the culture does not change as radically when the principal, or other personal change. One of the chief benefits of a mascot-centric climate is the consistency it provides over time.

Being an eagle, or whatever your school mascot is, speaks to more than just the students. The teachers, counselors, administrators are all eagles. It builds teamwork, and a sense of community and connection from the youngest to the oldest. It helps create buy-in from all levels - critical to the success of true climate and culture change.

What does a mascot-centric school climate look like? An eagle welcome banner greets students every day. Eagle rules are posted throughout the school. Students are taught an eagle pledge. You have eagle fundraisers, and eagle carnivals. Everyone has an eagle t-shirt, and good behavior is rewarded with eagle bucks and eagle award certificates.

The mascot is everywhere, and permeates everything, even your language. Assemblies start with and eagle shout out, "How are all my eagles today!" followed by encouragement to clap louder to boost enthusiasm and participation. They are ended with "Every day is a GREAT day to be an eagle!" Sober-faced students received friendly prodding "Where is your eagle smile!"

For schools with PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports), or character trait education programs such as SOAR, ROAR, PAWS or PRIDE, the mascot is a natural fit, but you can do more. Consider using the mascot to actually visually demonstrate specific behaviors targeted in your program. For example, show a picture of the mascot washing his hands to demonstrate acting responsibly in the restroom. Show it sitting respectfully on the bus, sharing toys, putting things away, or helping others.

If you have a costume, it's fairly easy to stage whatever scene represents the behavior expectations you want, and take a picture with a mobile device. If you don't have a costume, look online for images. There are clipart collections developed specifically for this purpose; and chances are, you can find suitable illustrations of your school mascot. You can also have these companies design, print and deliver posters, banners, signs and related visual aids to help you build a vibrant mascot-centric climate in your school.

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