Motivation – how to engage students?

My current teaching revolves around tutoring, as part of the UK Government’s National Tutoring Programme. This tutoring is designed to support students who have lost out on education because of the Covid Pandemic.

One thing myself, and others, are finding is a lack of enthusiasm/motivation from students to participate. The tutoring provides an ideal environment for catch-up but many students are just not that bothered. No doubt there are many factors as to why this is so but my thinking is: if the need to sit a public examination is taken away, will students then want to do tutoring?

So, this is an interesting point to ponder. What really engages and motivates students to learn in school? For older students, certainly, I would say that the need to pass an examination will motivate many but not all. But for younger students, what really motivates them?

More soon on this!

nilsbird training

PISA – What happened in 2018?

A report in the Guardian newspaper – – says a report (soon to be published in the Review of Education) will claim that PISA maths results, from 2018, might show inflated scores for 15 year olds in England and Wales.

The report says the study, carried out by UCL Institute of Education, suggests scores were inflated because the sample was unrepresentative: low levels of participation in the test and not enough representation of lower achieving students.

This year will be the next round of PISA tests. I wonder where the UK will sit?

What do you think about the PISA tests? Does your country consider international comparisons important?

Let me know your thoughts.

nilsbird training

Mathematics Question – Number 15 and beyond!

Mathematics Question – Number 15 can now be found at This time the combination of topics is – geometric sequences, ratio and surds.

From Mathematics Question – Number 17, onwards, I plan to post each question on the blog, as well, with extra comments that will then appear in the Mathematics Questions – Newsletters. So, basically, each question, plus comments, will become part of the blog and then the newsletter will appear periodically, bringing together, each time, three questions plus comments (as it does now). Hope that makes sense!

See you soon,
nilsbird training

Debates about what we believe!

As I write this post, Joseph Hubbard ( is working on his materials for an interesting debate that will happen tomorrow night (Saturday), 10:00 pm UK time.

Joseph Hubbard works as a trainer for nilsbird training, presenting materials and support specifically for Christian teachers (

At 10:00 pm UK time tomorrow (Saturday), Joe will be debating with ‘Snake Was Right’. The topic of the debate is ‘Young Earth Creation & Noah’s Flood–It Didn’t Happen!’

You can watch the event live at the following link:

I would encourage you to tune in, if you have ever considered, or are prepared to consider, alternative opinions to what you might have been taught (and always assumed was true).

See you soon.


Mathematics Questions – Newsletter No. 4

Welcome to Mathematics Questions – Newsletter No. 4 – support for Mathematics Questions 10 to 13

Download the previous Mathematics Questions – Newsletters here

Before I dive into the newsletter, I thought I’d point out that you can still receive the Mathematics Questions – Newsletter straight to your inbox. Sign up here.

To contact me regarding anything to do with this newsletter, use the contact details shown in the side bar.

Continue reading

Welcome to nilsbird training – the blog

I would like to welcome you to the nilsbird training blog. Although I have tried blogging before, this is my first proper attempt, so please bear with me!

The purpose of the blog is for me to share news about what I am doing with nilsbird training, interesting facts and other useful stuff for education. You can access the blog directly by using You can also contact me directly using any of the contact information shown in the side bar.

One of the first things you will notice is the Mathematics Questions – Newsletters category.

I am now up to Mathematics Questions – Newsletter No. 4. This can be found in the Mathematics Questions – Newsletters category. Previous versions are available for download at, where all the questions the newsletters refer to can also be found.

So, as I say, welcome to my blog.

Please come again!

David Bird
nilsbird training