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John Catt at the Alliance for International Education World Conference October 26, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Conferences, International education.
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John Catt’s managing director Jonathan Evans has recently returned to Woodbridge from the World Conference of the Alliance of International Education (AIE), held at the International School of London in Qatar.

Here, he explains what he took away from his trip from the Middle East (aside from quite a selection of delicacies which the team here are still working our way through):

“Most of all it has been great feeding back all the ideas, the pedagogy,  the enthusiasm, enlightenment and thrill of international education, interculturalism and seeking the place where we come from – the World.

“Ian Hill’s keynote presentation on the final morning put much of the previous two days’ strand sessions into perspective and introduced us to the giants on whose shoulders we stand: Comenius and Dickens et al.

“A medley of student performances made up the finale, sword dancers, virtuoso violinists, singers, drummers, African beats, and guitar strumming; from a variety of international schools in Doha the students put on a great, great show and sent us away with much joy. The presenters through the strands were inspiring and thought-provoking – assessing intercultural competence, the curriculum, global developments and technology, aspects of teaching and learning, culture, language and local and global citizenship. It was a treat.

“In its small way, what did John Catt bring to the party? Learning and teaching about Islam (edited by Caroline Ellwood), with contributions from leading international educators on the teaching of Islam in schools ‘– a step towards improving intercultural understanding’. Mind Your Head (by David Boddy), brought a lot of interest: ‘how the Head Teacher can best cope with the enormous mental and emotional challenges of the job, while reaching for the best in everyone.’

“The four International School Journal Compendiums were admired and it was pleasing to meet university dons regularly using EBSCO to access the ISJ on line; those schools that have a copy of Empowering Kids to Shape Our Future (by Briony Taylor) use them extensively and flicking through the pages of practical exercises its easy to see how inquiring minds of both young and old can gain much.

“The AIE World Conferecne only takes place every other year – watch out for the next in 2014, it’ll be a treat.”

The gap-year guidebook 2013 and www.gap-year.com October 25, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in New releases, the gap-year guidebook.
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We are very pleased to present the 2013 edition of the gap-year guidebook, which is available to order now, and the fully updated www.gap-year.com.

This popular guidebook is now in its 21st year and provides information, help and advice for anyone considering taking a gap-year.

We recognise, of course, that gaps don’t have to be for a year, and we’ve reflected that and current gap trends across the 440 pages.

The guidebook is organised into 12 chapters: Tips for Travellers; Finance; Career Breaks and Older Gappers; Travelling and Accommodation; Working Abroad; Volunteering Abroad; Learning Abroad: Sport; Working in the UK; Volunteering in the UK; and Further Study.

We also have some great articles from those who have already taken a gap, a preface by Phil Murray of www.gapadvice.org and a piece looking at the history of the gap-year, by David Stitt, of Gap360.com. We also feature some of the best pictures sent in from our 2012 Travel Photography Competition.

The 2012 edition of the book received some excellent reviews – the University of East Anglia’s Concrete newspaper described it as ‘like a Google search condensed into an easy-to-read book‘ – and we’re hoping the 2013 version can build on that success.

The guidebook is supported by the www.gap-year.com website, which includes a wealth of gap-year information. It has been fully updated for 2013 and we’ll continue to do so throughout the year.

To order a copy of the gap-year guidebook 2013, then click here.

For anything else regarding the guidebook, including any feedback or enquiries, please feel free to contact me at jonathanbarnes@johncatt.com

John Catt’s Guide to Preparatory Schools October 24, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Independent Education, New releases.
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We are beginning to put together John Catt’s Preparatory Schools 2013 – the leading guide to the UK’s prep and junior schools, which will be published in February.

The guide features details of more than 1500 independent preparatory and junior schools providing education for two-and-a-half to 13-year-olds.

We were very pleased at the success of the 2012 edition, which saw an increasing number of schools opt to take out an enhance profile to showcase the quality of their education.

It also featured editorial including a foreword by Tim Johns, the 2011/12 chair of the Independent Association of Preparatory Schools (IAPS) and an excellent article by Gyles Morris, of Naturesbase, on how learning is enhanced by the great outdoors.

If you would like to get involved with the 2013 edition, please contact me on jonathanbarnes@johncatt.com or 01394 389859 regarding editorial or my colleague Peter Mitchell on pmitchell@johncatt.com or 01394 389853 if you are interested in exploring options for your school.

To purchase a copy of the 2012 guide, please visit our bookshop.

Winners of Prep School magazine photography competition revealed October 23, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Magazines.
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Our magazine Prep School recently revealed the winners of its Photographer of the Year 2012 competition – and we thought we would share those results on this blog.

We had almost 250 entries from dozens of prep and junior schools up and down the country, including a number of first-time entrants.

The high quality of the photographs ensured that the judging process was a tough one and the editor and design team were impressed with the range of subjects and imagination demonstrated by entrants.

After several days of deliberation, we finally settled on an entry by Sherali Sharifov, of Duke of Kent School in Ewhurst, Surrey. Sherali submitted two excellent photos, but we thought this image of a lively class reading session truly captured the essence of life in the classroom.

Our second-placed photo came from Molly D’Arcy Rice of Beaudesert Park School in Stroud, a nice example of a close-up portrait with a twist.

Evie Fanthom, from Piper’s Corner in High Wycombe, was chosen in third-place, with the Prep School team impressed with the depth in her photograph of three friends resting in the school grounds.

All three will receive digital cameras courtesy of John Catt Educational. Details of how to enter next year’s competition will feature in the Spring and Summer issues. Once again, thank you to all the schools and pupils who sent in entries and helped contribute to another wonderful competition.

Prep School’s latest issue was the 75th in its 25-year history. The magazine is published three times a year. Potential contributors can contact Michèle at editor@prepschoolmag.co.uk while advertisers can get in touch with Madeleine Anderson at manderson@johncatt.com.

To read the latest edition online, go to www.prepschoolmag.co.uk

To subscribe to Prep School magazine, please visit our bookshop.

The Schoolmaster reprinted by Peridot Press October 18, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Peridot Press.
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We are pleased to announce that The Schoolmaster, Arthur Christopher Benson’s classic account of school life at the turn of the 20th century, has been reprinted for a paperback edition.

Our imprint Peridot Press republished the book last year in hardback format and we have been been delighted at the response.

The Schoolmaster was originally published 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.

The foreword is written by Tony Little, Head Master of Eton College. He writes: “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.”

The Schoolmaster is available via the John Catt Bookshop.

Headmaster’s ’emotional intelligence guide for school leaders’ is launched – and wins glowing praise from TES October 11, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in New releases.
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We were delighted to join the Society of Heads at the Institute of Physics in London yesterday to launch David Boddy’s excellent new book Mind Your Head.

Society members enjoyed a champagne reception at their Autumn Meeting to celebrate the publication of the book, which is sub-titled ‘An Emotional Intelligence Guide for School Leaders’.

We were delighted at the positive response to the book, which has already received an excellent review by Anthony Seldon, Master of Wellington College, in the Times Educational Supplement.

David, who is Headmaster of St James Senior Boys’ School and chairman of the Society of Heads, uses the book to encourage educational leaders to be adventurous, distinctive and, above all, independent.

The author calls on his 30-year passion for philosophy and meditation to inspire heads and aspiring heads to manage the enormous mental and emotional challenges of the job, while still reaching for the best in all around them.

Mind Your Head encourages readers to challenge their experiences both as head teachers and, more importantly, as lead teachers, to educate and to inspire those whose lives they touch on a daily basis: colleagues, parents and, first and foremost, pupils.

For more information about the book, please visit our bookshop.


IB regional conference is a huge show of strength October 9, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in Conferences, International education.
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The Africa, Europe and Middle East regional conference of the International Baccalaureate (IB) was hailed as the biggest yet, attended by more than 1,000 delegates.

The conference was held at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos in Madrid for four days, finishing on Sunday, and it was certainly a huge show of strength from the IB.

Headteachers and teachers left enthused by a busy programme of plenaries, seminars and presentations, as well as by the chance to catch up and share stories with their counterparts at schools across the world.

We were delighted by the steady flow of visitors to the John Catt stand, either to buy books, check school details in the IB World Schools Yearbook, find out more information about our publications or even just to say ‘hello’. It was excellent to meet so many new friends of the company, both new and old.

Managing director Jonathan Evans and I were hugely encouraged and satisfied by the positive feedback to our publications, with many glowing comments made on the quality and range of our titles.

Certainly, sales of Taking the PYP Forward, Taking the MYP Forward and Taking the IB Diploma were extremely brisk – we had none left to bring back with us – and reinforced our belief in the strength and standing of these titles.

We very much look forward to future IB gatherings and we remain committed to enhancing our reputation in the IB community.

For more information about our IB professional development books, please visit our bookshop.

Meanwhile, our team have been busy contacting schools about the IB World Schools Yearbook 2013. If you are interested in an enhanced profile for your school, please contact Peter Mitchell at pmitchell@johncatt.com. For commercial advertising, please contact Madeleine Anderson at manderson@johncatt.com.

New issue of International School magazine – read it online now October 1, 2012

Posted by Jonathan Barnes, editor in International education, Magazines.
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The autumn issue of International School (IS) magazine is now available in print and online.

The publication is the official magazine for European Council of International School (ECIS) members and copies of the new issue have been sent to schools and subscribers.

You can also read the magazine online at www.is-mag.co.uk.

The new issue previews the 2012 ECIS annual conference, which is taking place in Nice from November 21-25 with the theme Forming The Future.

The magazine carries the latest ECIS news, features and comment, including a section on curriculum and a particular focus on business studies.

There is also a cover feature on ECIS’s ongoing work with Water Aid in Nepal.

The magazine, edited by Caroline Ellwood, is published three times a year. To get involved in the magazine, you can email Caroline at CarolineEllwood@ecis.org. For advertising enquiries, contact Madeleine Anderson at manderson@johncatt.com.

For subscription enquiries, click here.