An interesting Social Media post came up on my timeline:
“Question from a member: I would like to know what people would do if a member of staff began a romantic relationship with a parent of a child who is one of their key children; parents only separated very recently (within the last 4 weeks) and mom is totally unaware of the situation. Thank you.”
I was intrigued and concerned that a few commented that they felt it was fine for a member of staff to enter into a sexual relationship with a parent from the setting. I have had over 30 years’ experience working within Early Years, in a variety of roles, and I also work as an expert witness. I have seen where negative organisational behaviour of a setting can have a lasting damaging impact, and, more importantly, can fail to keep children and their families safe and protect them from harm.
Safeguarding and protecting children […]
I was delighted to give my expert opinion on BBC Radio on an administrative issue in Gloucestershire, that has had an impact on babies.
Please click on the link to listen: 1:09 in
I read with interest news of the victory in the high court for Jon Platt, who took his daughter out of school during term time. Rightly so, the judges in the high court agreed with Mr Platt.
When my children were at school, I proudly took them out during term-time for family holidays. These included to visit my gran in St. Lucia, around the time of her birthday (which was during term time), as well as for other family celebrations. My gran passed away seven years ago and those special memories that my children have of their great-grandmother are irreplaceable, giving them many stories of their own to pass on. In fact, many of the laugh-out-loud moments that we have as a family are when we reminisce about these holidays – from my sons remembering key events and speaking with a St. Lucia accent to learning the odd word […]
It is my pleasure to have Francis Smith, the owner of Studio Cultivate, with us. I have already had the pleasure of seeing Francis at work in a nursery. Studio Cultivate’s key principle is to realise horticultural potential in people and places. This to me is awesome and connects children with nature and their local environment and provides so many learning opportunities within settings and extension activities for children to do at home. Of course, I had to ask Francis to write a guest blog for me, to share his amazing work!
“In my previous role working as a landscape contractor I came across many underused and underappreciated outdoor school spaces. In a city where green space is limited I felt it a real shame that their potential for learning, exploration and general fun was often being overlooked. Eighteen months ago I set up the educational wing of Studio Cultivate, with the ambition of revealing […]
“Why is this special to you?”
“How do you know when your friends are sad?”
Asking children open-ended questions helps them to think critically and expand their vocabulary. It also builds their confidence, aiding their personal, emotional and social development.
In these Confident Talkers cards, I’ve put together 48 such questions to engage and stimulate conversation with children from two to seven years.
Each card contains a thought-provoking question that can be adapted to any number of situations – inside or out and about, playing quietly, on the go, in the car or at the dinner table. You can use different scenarios and objects to set the scene, such as using something the child has created, describing what their lunch tastes like or discuss how they feel about a special event, such as their birthday or other celebration.
By encouraging conversation children learn new words and concepts, develop active listening skills, learn to problem solve and make connections, and most […]
It is my absolute delight to have June O’Sullivan MBE, the chief executive officer of London Early Years Foundation (LEYF), as my guest host. June is an inspiring speaker, author and regular commentator on Early Years, social business and child poverty. June has been instrumental in achieving a major strategic and cultural shift for the award-winning LEYF, resulting in increased profile and profitability over the past eight years. June continues to advise the government in order to better implement their vision for Early Years.
“Did you know that one in five children under five years is obese? While obesity is highest among older children, already 11% of toddlers are obese and it’s even higher among children living in poverty. Obese children have a 40-70% chance of becoming obese adults. Diet-related ill health costs the NHS £5.8bn every year with childhood obesity-related illnesses, such as asthma, in England […]
I am delighted to hear that the charity Family and Childcare Trust has a dedicated Family Friendly Week. It is right to celebrate the family as a bedrock of society.
There are many pressures on family life: one of my ‘bug bears’ is homework!
My view is that in primary school homework should not be set. School is school and home is home! There is enough of a burden put on children from an early age with SATs in Years 7 and 11.
I have seen parents with their children doing homework on trains, in cars and even walking to school. Parents anecdotally comment that they have to rush back from family events to make sure homework is completed. Children getting into a state because they feel that their homework is not ‘good enough’.
When my boys were little, we had more fun visiting museums and other places of interest […]
I recently read a story, which quite frankly shocked me, both as a parent and an educational professional.
In brief an 11 year old was unable to join her friends for a special end-of-year treat for pupils who had a 100% attendance record. This child had missed one day to attend her mother’s funeral.
Please read her full story.
I have never been a fan of rewards for 100% attendance at school or work, be they certificates or treats, as this creates a culture of shaming those who haven’t achieved full attendance. There will be a variety of reasons for absence, for example a virus, a long term medical condition, or a sensitive personal issue. It is outright discrimination, creates divisions and can make some children feel under pressure to attend.
It can also lead to children becoming ‘people pleasers’. Yes, attending school is important, but children and parents should […]