Tag Archives: Education

Gàidhlig gu bràth!

Scotland issue cover NS Springtime for Gaelic - New Statesman

I was delighted to be asked to contribute to the New Statesman’s recent special issue on Scottish independence.

I wrote about how a burst of enthusiasm for Gaelic-medium education looks set to halt the language’s centuries-old decline. My 2-year-old nephew’s enrolment at a Gaelic-medium pre-school on Skye has sparked new interest in learning (or relearning) Gaelic among my own family members. 

The same issue included a rallying call for the Yes campaign written by first minister Alex Salmond and a fun essay on the joys of the Caledonian sleeper train by Kirsty Wark.

My article was made recommended reading on Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish blog. Full text is available on the New Statesman website here, or after the fold.

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Infographic: what can I study with A-levels like these?

A screenshot of the working interactive infographic

I worked with Telegraph designer Mark Oliver and developer Jack Kempster to create this interactive tool which displays the academic backgrounds of students accepted onto the most popular degree courses.

Each subject has been plotted along two axes – from science to art, and from linguistic to numerical. So, for example, physics rates highly for science and is more numerical than linguistic so is plotted in the far bottom-left corner. The size of the circle indicates the proportion of accepted students with an A-level in that subject.

The graphic is best viewed on the Telegraph website here.

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Who is teaching our children to code?

I’ve just finished a 1200 word feature on the sorry state of ICT education in the UK for the Telegraph’s education section. Many thanks to Mark Surman, executive director of Mozilla, and Iain Livingstone, president of Eidos, for their help.

Young Rewired State, Code Club and Apps for Good do fantastic work, and since the article went live a lot of others have contacted me about their own outreach projects, including the London Borough of Havering which is encouraging its year 2s to download the visual programming language Scratch at home.

Full text of the article is on the Telegraph’s website here, or after the fold.

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‘It smells of science’: hands-on at the Royal Institution

I’ve just spent a fun day in the labs at the Royal Institution for the Telegraph’s education section, taking part in a full day’s biochemistry workshop for GCSE-aged school pupils. Its part of their outreach project aimed at getting more young people into science – who will hopefully go on to study it at university.

The skills gap in science, technology and engineering is growing at an alarming rate, with an estimated shortfall of 10,000 graduates a year.

My feature can be found on the Telegraph website here, or after the fold.

Many thanks to David at the Royal Institution for letting me take part (and lending me a lab coat).

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