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January 2011 magazines; sneak peek December 21, 2011

Posted by millycotton in Independent Education, International education, Magazines.
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It’s been a busy few weeks in the office – pulling together the magazines, adding the finishing touches and having them ready for print before the Christmas break. International School (is), Conference & Common Room and Prep School are now set for their January release date. We thought we’d pass on a few further details, in anticipation.

January 2012As Conference & Common Room nears its 50th anniversary, the editorial is as rich as ever. Neil Carmichael, MP for Stroud and a former chair of governors and a member of the Education Select Committee, discusses, alongside Edward Wild, former Development Director of Wild Search, how the quality of governing bodies has never been more vital than in the upcoming years. Roger V Mobs, a regular guest at the Heatherblend Club Banquet, finds himself in a fairly precarious position, somewhere up a drainpipe. Fergus Livingstone, Headmaster of Lord Wandsworth College, raises issues about support for the academies programme. And the Headmaster of Ratcliffe College since 2009, Gareth Lloyd, looks back at the annual conference.

Meanwhile, Prep School, now in its 73rd edition, features Marion Scott-Baker, Head of Pre-Prep, Cheam School, strengthening the case for high quality early years education. She takes an in-depth look at how children learn to read and strongly promotes a unified approach to phonics. Headmaster, Richard Foster, of Windlesham House School in Sussex, beautifully details how the surprise addition of a Victorian ‘secret garden’, has inspired his year 2 class. Will Bersey, director of music at St Edmund’s School in Canterbury, explains the school’s exciting new friendship with the English Chamber Orchestra. And NQT teacher, Henry Lamb, shares his passion and personal experience of how sport has an amazing role to play in the life of a prep or junior school.

Lastly, the Spring issue of is comes, as always, with lots of photos from the ECIS Autumn conference – this year we travelled to Lisbon. Cue lots of smiling faces and a few glasses of wine to boot. Also included are the words of Dr Mary Hayden, as she looks forward to celebrating the tenth year of The Alliance for International Education, with details of their 2012 conference in Doha. Kevin Gilbert, Principal of the middle school, Collège du Léman, Switzerland and co-founder of the Serenje Orphans Children’s Home (SOCH) in Zambia, details the benefits of an ECIS Outreach Grant, as a fish farm is created nearby. David Thomas asks ‘how can a school be a true learning community if its governing body isn’t learning how to perform better?’ The importance of continuing professional development, he states, must extend to boards and governing bodies. David is Chair of ACS International Schools, UK and Qatar, and Chair of the ECIS Governance Committee. And Lacy Chapman, lower school Principal at ACS Cobham International School, explains why outdoor learning is not just about messing around outside.

We are extremely pleased with all three magazines, and look forward to hearing your feedback. Relevant issues will be making their way to a staffroom near you – do keep an eye out. Additional copies can be ordered through the John Catt Bookshop. Happy Christmas from all of us here.

The Following Game, mentioned in The Australian December 20, 2011

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in Peridot Press.
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It was a nice surprise to see Jonathan Smith’s excellent memoir The Following Game – published in June by our imprint Peridot Press – mentioned in a feature in The Australian newspaper yesterday.

Eminent journalist Gideon Haigh, writing about John Inverarity’s promotion to chairman of selectors for the Australian cricket team in a feature titled On the hunt for a few good men, explains how Inverarity spent some time as a teacher of mathematics at Tonbridge School in Kent, UK, where he met head of English Jonathan Smith. Haigh writes:

Perhaps the salient distinction between Inverarity’s career and that of one of his modern charges is that at the peak of his success he decided to put his career on hold, in January 1976 accepting a job in the mathematics faculty at Kent’s Tonbridge School, which came about through a friendship with the school’s most distinguished old boy, Colin Cowdrey.

“I felt that cricket was getting a grip of me, that winning the Shield had become an obsession,” explains Inverarity. “And things in Perth were at the time probably just a little easy. You had good standing, some authority. I thought: “It’s probably better for us as a family if we go off somewhere for a while on our own.”

At Tonbridge, Inverarity, his wife Jane and daughters Alison and Kate became friendly with the novelist Jonathan Smith, father of the future Test batsman and gifted journalist Ed. In Jonathan Smith’s recent memoir of life as a cricket lover and father, The Following Game, he describes Inverarity as possessing Montaigne’s quality of “severe gentleness”.

“There was kindness but there was toughness,” writes Smith. “There was understanding but there was expectation.” He describes Inverarity as possessing an ability to look “hard and straight at the world as it is, with hope, and certainly with a measure of idealism, but with clear eyes.”


The Schoolmaster, by AC Benson, now available December 19, 2011

Posted by Alex, Managing Director in New releases, Peridot Press.
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Our blossoming imprint Peridot Press is proud to be repubishing The Schoolmaster, Arthur Christopher Benson’s classic account of school life at the turn of the 20th century.

I am delighted to say that the book arrived back from the printer’s just a few minutes ago – although the sub-zero temperatures inside the delivery lorry ensure it can’t accurately be described as “hot off the press”…

The Schoolmaster was originally published 100 years ago when the world was a very different place – and yet Benson’s strikingly honest words about his chosen profession are, in the main, still relevant today.

Benson was born at Wellington College, educated at Eton and Cambridge and spent his life and career at both. He also had a successful career outside of education; he was the editor of Queen Victoria’s letters, a lyricist and a prolific diary writer.

“…please, can we have this man as the Minister for Education, and can we have him now.” Jonathan Smith, author of The Learning Game and The Following Game, in his introduction.

“Benson was a man of many parts, but above all he was a consumate schoolmaster, dedicated, stimulating, idealistic yet wise to the ways of the world, and more importantly to the wiles and needs of teenage schoolboys. His book The Schoolmaster is personal and idiosyncratic and remains one of the best accounts of schoolmastering that has been written. I am delighted to see this work back in print, which for A C Benson is the most fitting memorial.” Tony Little, Head Master, Eton College, in his foreword.

The Schoolmaster is available via the John Catt Bookshop. The book follows on the heels of the summer publication by Peridot Press of Jonathan Smith’s acclaimed memoir The Following Game.

Summer in February December 16, 2011

Posted by millycotton in John Catt Educational news, Peridot Press.
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Jonathan Smith, author of The Following Game and great friend of the company, is set for an exciting 2012. He has adapted his novel Summer in February for the big-screen, to be directed by Christopher Menaul. Another familiar face, Dan Stevens – perhaps best known for his role in ITV1’s storming success Downton Abbey – and an old pupil of Jonathan’s when he taught at Tonbridge School, will both star in the film and executive produce. Set to join him as acclaimed painter, AJ Munnings, is busy bee, Dominic Cooper. Congratulations to Jonathan – we eagerly await the film’s release, penciled in for the end of next year.

‘With an increasingly accomplished cast and a rich and resonant novel as its source material, we think this sounds like a promising little Brit-flick.’
– totalfilm.com

The Following Game is, of course, still available to purchase from the John Catt bookshop – a truly wonderful book and a perfect Christmas present.


the gap-year guidebook 2012 December 9, 2011

Posted by millycotton in the gap-year guidebook.
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We’re working hard to spread the word of our wonderful gap-year guidebook, and I’ve just come across a fantastic review in the UEA’s Concrete newspaper. The travel team describes the guide, now in its 20th edition, as a ‘Google search condensed into an easy-to-read book’ – high praise indeed. Boasting a ‘bright design and clear layout’, the book covers a vast range of opportunities – with its comprehensive directory and interesting editorial – both at home and abroad. A must-have (and a perfect Christmas present!).

The Specialist Schools and Academies Trust conference 2011 December 5, 2011

Posted by millycotton in Conferences, Magazines.
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A huge thank you to everyone at The Schools Network for a fabulous conference in Birmingham last week. Academy magazine received a fantastic response – once again – as Alex and I worked hard to ensure both the delegates and exhibitors alike were aware of our wonderful new publication.

Written by  professionals, for professionals, the magazine serves to comment on this vibrant and growing school sector, and to advise those schools either contemplating obtaining academy status, or indeed those already embroiled in the conversion process.

Please feel free to browse through the launch issue of Academy, and/or visit our bookshop for subscription details. Moreover, if you are interested in providing interesting editorial for the magazine, please contact our editor, Paul Strong via email (editor@academymag.co.uk).