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Up to speed
Brighton College, Sussex, has introduced touch typing lessons
for Year 9s as part of its life skills syllabus, designed to prepare pupils for university and the world of work.
The school has hired top New Zealand tutor June Perry to deliver the training, using a super-speedy method she developed herself to much acclaim Down Under.
The school’s deputy headmistress Leah Hamblett said: “Studies show that you gain an extra three months’ worth of time every year if you can touch type and it makes sense that an employer at any level would want to hire someone who can not only type much faster than your standard two- nger technique but also concentrate fully on the actual content of the task because typing has become second nature.
“These children are the generation which have mastered all number
of computer software programmes yet they have not been taught the most basic skill of all – how to type. Isn’t that like teaching them to write without showing them how to hold a pen?”
People who type with two  ngers manage between 27 and 37 words a minute, according to Pitman Training, while someone trained to touch type can reach between 50 and 70 words a minute. Within a corporate setting, if a whole team is trained in touch typing, the time saved is hugely bene cial.
This is something that Finns have already grasped. From 2016, all Finnish schools have been required by law to teach pupils how to touch type and speed write text messages.
Chemistry Award
Dr Kristy Turner, who works at Bolton School Boys’ Division, is the Royal Society of Chemistry Schools Education Award winner for 2017. She was born and raised in Halifax, West Yorkshire.
Dr Turner is a teacher, academic and chemistry education researcher working primarily on improving the transition between school and university for chemistry students. In her research work she designs and evaluates creative ways of improving students’ understanding of chemical phenomena. She also researches how assessments in chemistry have changed over time using an archive of historical exam materials.
She said: “I am incredibly honoured to receive this award which highlights the value of the classroom teacher for chemistry students. The day-to-day experience of chemistry students at all levels, linked of course to their teachers, is a huge factor in maintaining the pipeline of talent into the chemical sciences.”
The Schools Education Award is awarded to a teacher or team who
has demonstrated an exceptional ability to teach chemistry and inspire students at any pre- university level, either over a prolonged period of time or by making a large impact in a short period of time. Dr Turner receives £2000, a medal and a certi cate, and £1000 for her school science department. Award winners are evaluated for the originality and impact of their research, as well as the quality of the results, which can be shown in publications, patents or even software. The awards also recognise the importance of teamwork across the chemical sciences, and the abilities of individuals to develop successful collaborations.
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