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Stephenson Smart trainees' approach to learning impresses




Homework. Nothing new, part of the weekly routine, not a shock in any way at all.

So why does it seem like I’m asking the boys to give up football for a month every time I mention that it needs to be done.

Oliver, the least grumbly one, will sit down without too much cajoling and get it done, but Samuel is another story.

Neil Gayton, accountant at Stephenson Smart (21382811)
Neil Gayton, accountant at Stephenson Smart (21382811)

A typical Sunday in the Gayton household normally consists of my wife and I thinking up ways to make the whole concept sound even the least bit enticing.

He needs, shall we say incentivising somewhat. We do this appealing to his competitive nature, by calling his homework “challenges”.

Once we finally get him to engage, I hear myself saying ‘the pencil is not for sticking up your nose’ and ‘if you could just write one more sentence’. He needs the toilet, he’s distracted by a fly, you get the picture.

Afterwards we all need a lie down in a dark room.

There’s a lot of comments in the media about how much homework children should get and what is acceptable.

Luckily I think the boys get just about the right amount from their school and it stands them in good stead for the future, when studying becomes paramount to any chosen career.

We have six offices at Stephenson Smart spread across Norfolk and Cambridgeshire and at the moment we have around 25 trainees all working towards AAT, ACA or ACCA accountancy qualifications.

I’m always very impressed with their approach to learning, their organisation and how determined and dedicated they are.

They receive training support from Kaplan in Norwich and from their managers, such as myself, but a lot of it comes from the way they approached homework and projects at school.

Their ethos and attitude means that many of them qualify months before they are expected to.

With that in mind I think I might send one of them to help Samuel with his homework - it will give them the challenge of their life.


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