When Sue Palmer attended a risque party in the 60s the seed of her mission to change children’s education in the United Kingdom was sown. Sue’s passion for learning, inspired by the writing of Sybil Marshall, has led her to be a successful author on education and childhood. Her commitment to a play-centred, Kindergarten style education for young children has become a full-blown campaign, particularly in Scotland.

In this ‘Inspiring Success’ interview we learn about her mission. We get a better understanding of the background of the educational tradition in this country. It’s quite an eye-opener.

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Gary Sutton

Gary Sutton, media analyst, screen-writer and journalist, writes about a defining moment in his education.

My Catholic primary school had a deserved reputation for success at the 11+ examination. What we did – and what other schools in the area failed to do – was hold mock 11+ exams in the weeks approaching the real thing, so on the day of the proper test, we were seasoned, and unsurprised. Passing the 11+ secured a place at the local grammar school and a path to a successful middle-class future. Failure led to the local secondary modern, skewing one’s opportunities towards a blue-collar job.

I was particularly adept at the kind of thinking required by IQ tests like the 11+. There was little doubt that I would pass. My best friend Pascal was a prodigiously gifted artist and seemed no less intelligent than me. But the nature of the 11+ meant that his chances of passing it were slim.

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I have published this interview on International Women’s Day 2021 because it has particular relevance to the theme of the event, which is #choosetochallenge.

In our ‘Inspiring Success’ interview, Sian Edwards talks about the lack of women at the highest level of orchestral conducting and why that may be. She also tells of the work she and others are doing to redress the balance.

In addition, Sian tells us how she achieved her own success and talks about her passions and pet projects, as well as talking about how to conduct an orchestra in a pandemic.

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In this, the first ‘Inspiring Success’ video I interview Professor Alyssa Westring, Vincent de Paul Associate Professor of Management and Entrpeneurship at DePaul University’s Driehaus College of Business. We talk about how to create more successful lives as parents.

Juggling work, home, well-being and community life can make life incredibly challenging – even more so during Covid-19. Alyssa’s book ‘Parents Who Lead’ gives a practical framework for creating greater synergy within our lives.  She talks about her focus on Values and the Four-Way view used in her work with families and she explains her research into the impact of Coronavirus.

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With just a few weeks at best before the final exams for GCSEs, A levels and University Degrees, there are quite a number of us who are feeling rather stressed. The exam season is stressful for everyone and anxiety can really making the whole process more painful.
Some of us can take heart that a small amount of exam anxiety may actually contribute to better results. In a recent session I did with a group of 15-16 year-olds some were incredibly blasé about their upcoming exams. Would these pupils really give their best on the day with that attitude? During the run-up to the exam day it helps to have that little bit of fear, telling you to make the best of the remaining time. If you were completely laid back about your results you would be inclined to work less hard, revise less and therefore perform poorly and get lower marks.
Stress and worry are there for a reason, they are among the body’s natural warning systems and they can help us perform better.Read more »

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