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Posts from March 2021

Back to School in Bedford
It is no secret that children of this generation love screens! Screens have become an integral and natural part of daily life for most young people and while they undoubtedly have many benefits, as parents we are also acutely aware of the damaging impact screens may bring and many of us are desperately trying to limit screen time for our children.  
 
 
After months of home schooling and social restrictions, children in the UK have spent more time than ever on electronic devices. This has been the safest way to access education and socialise with others amid the pandemic. However research shows that children who spend a lot of time on screens are more likely to develop eye problems, weight problems and trouble with reading and writing. They are also more likely to show a range of other physical, social and mental issues. 
 
However it is important to note that the use of screen time can't simply be categorised as 'bad'. Not all screen time is equal of course. Spending time on an educational site, watching a family film together or using using Face Time to connect with loved ones will have more benefits to a child than that child sitting alone passively watching a film for instance. 
 
In 2019 Dr Taren Sanders did a study on children and screen time, categorising screen time in to five categories; passive, interactive, social, educational and other. While educational screen time was linked to better results in school and brought no bad health effects compared to more passive screen time, the impact as reported by Dr Sanders was "quite small". The real problems showed up in children who spent more than eight hours a day on screens. 
 
At Marvellous Minds we appreciate that screen time can bring certain benefits and we appreciate that particularly during this challenging time of the current pandemic children will inevitably spend more time than usual on screens and parents have needed to rely on screens more to juggle the challenging demands of work, homeschooling and other chores. However, we also believe that we can help and do our bit to reduce the use of screen time in children and we know that when it comes to education and children's learning, screens will never be able to replace the human element of a really inspiring teacher. 
 
That is why at Marvellous Minds we have decided to offer a truly screen free learning environment for the students we work with. Students at our centre are taught by tutors-not computers. In each class our students will work with one or several tutors (depending on the size of the class), using our own written learning materials. Students will be encouraged to ask questions, contribute with their answers and discuss topics with peers within the class. Our tutors are always on hand to help with whatever a student finds challenging and by keeping our classes small we allow for a individually tailored approach to our teaching. We appreciate that students learn in different ways and our tutors are committed to finding fun and engaging ways for children to learn.  
Some of the learning prompts we use in our classes include alphabetic puzzles, pictures, clocks, counters, number lines, story cubes and flash cards. There are also a number of mini black and whiteboards in each of our classrooms which students are encouraged to work on. Interactive learning methods and structured teaching takes place instead of computer time. 
 
We would love to hear your thoughts on screen time. Do you think they have their place in the classroom? And how, if at all, do you think they should be used by teachers? 
Marvellous Minds Holiday Club
Our popular Holiday Club is back! This Easter we will be offering fun, creative and engaging Easter Booster Sessions designed for students to catch up on any missed learning, excel in their studies and have fun with our lovely team of tutors. 
 
Our sessions will be offered from 10am to 1pm on  
 
Tuesday 30th March 
Wednesday 31st March 
Thursday 1st April 
 
as well as 
 
Tuesday 6th April 
Wednesday 7th April 
Thursday 8th April 
 
The price is £30 per day with a discount for block bookings. We accept childcare vouchers. 
 
For more information about our holiday sessions or to reserve a space for your child click here to contact us 
Tuition Centre Bedford
Many parents across the country will be breathing a sigh of relief as today marks the day of the end of home schooling and the return to the classroom for students. After months of learning from home today is the start of the road back to normality and the effort to catch up on the loss of learning children have endured. 
 
 
Exam Centre Bedford
Since the start of the Covid pandemic an increasing number of families have taken their children out of school in favour of homeschooling meaning what was already a large number of homeschooled children in the UK is increasing even more. These children, along with other students who are not attending mainstream school for a variety of reasons such as bullying, exclusion and special educational needs, will therefore need to find an alternative setting in which to take their exams and gain their GCSE and A level qualifications. 
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