Last week I had the pleasure of attending Fashioning Winter: From Fairy Tales to Fashion at Somerset House, for the start of their winter season events.
The evening was hosted by Shonagh Marshall, curator at Somerset House and Camilla Morton, a London-based fashion writer. In brief, the panel discussed storytelling within fashion (even quoting some of my childhood favourites, such as the Princess and the Pea, Sleeping Beauty, and the Elves and the Shoemaker) and how these stories influenced the work of fashion designers Alexander McQueen and John Galliano.
A poignant comment from Camilla was ‘Every object has a story’. I listened attentively as Camilla spoke about narratives in stories and how these can bring a fashion show to life.
This made me reflect […]
On Wednesday 19th November 2014 we celebrate International Men’s Day. With this in mind it gives me great pleasure to welcome David Wright, owner of Paint Pots Nurseries, as my guest blogger.
Together with his wife, Anna, and their son, Joseph, David owns Paint Pots Nurseries in Southampton, a small group of nurseries and preschools whose motto is ‘Love, Laughter and Learning’. David is an advocate and campaigner for Men in Early Years, speaking at conferences and in the media. He set up and coordinates the local Southampton Area Men in Early Years (SAMEY) network.
‘If you are male and working in any capacity with young children, the chances are that you will have been approached to take a survey, to complete a questionnaire or to be the subject […]
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 […]
“Be Kind, for Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle” ~ source unknown
This summer, like the majority of the world, I was both shocked and saddened to hear that Robin Williams, the outstanding actor and comedian, had taken his own life.
One of the discussions triggered by the news of Robin’s death was the wider issue of mental health. It was unfortunate, to say the least, to hear a few insensitive and ill-informed comments about Robin: ‘he had everything that he needed’, ‘he had all the money, why would he take his life?’
From what we know about mental health, it does not discriminate – it is an illness; it covers a wide spectrum, including anxiety/stress as well as severe depression.
The statistic from Mind UK is that, at any given time, one in six employees is suffering from a mental illness.
Therefore, even within a small Early Years setting, there could be a member of staff who […]
It is my pleasure to have my colleague Alistair Bryce-Clegg as a guest blogger.
Alistair enjoyed a successful 10 year career as the Head teacher of a three-form entry Infant school and Early Years unit in Cheshire. Alongside his headship he established a consultancy career specialising in the education of children in the Early Years.
Demand for his consultancy became so great that Alistair left his headship and established ABC Does… (abcdoes.com).
Most of his time is spent supporting practitioners in their settings or delivering keynotes and training, specialising in all aspects of Early Years practice and management, for both the maintained and non-maintained sectors nationally and internationally.
Alistair is also an award-winning author and product designer, whose work has been published in a number of books and magazines; he also sits on the advisory board for Early Years Educator (EYE). Alongside support and training for a range of settings […]
It is refreshing that the Government has introduced a new incentive of free school meals for young children.
Over the last 10 years Jamie Oliver has campaigned for healthy school lunches. I applaud him for his tireless campaigning to promote and make changes in what our children eat whilst they are at school. Children should be given freshly cooked food.
One of the things I strongly dislike about the school lunch environment is the use, in some schools, of these trays:
My reason for disliking them is that prisoners’ meals are served on these trays! Surely our children deserve better than this?
There is excellent practice in the classrooms, but then at lunch-times there is a shift in quality, which could easily be avoided. In essence, quality practice should be seen in all areas […]
“The real system of education is one where the children of rich and poor, of king and subject, receive education through crafts.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
It was a pleasure to be invited to Mumbai, India, by my friend Swati Popat Vats Director of Jumbo Kids, Podar Education Trust.
I have known Swati for many years from working together in our roles as National representatives for the World Forum for Early Care and Education.
One of the values of Jumbo Kids is ‘the heart, hands and the head’ which I love; it links into the three characteristics of effective teaching and learning. The curriculum is also influenced by Reggio, Montessori and Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences.
I was also excited to hear that one of the first trustees of Podar […]
I continue to be intrigued by the way the EYFS talks about ‘managing children’s behaviour’. Considering what we now know about how a child learns and develops, is ‘managing children’s behaviour’ still a useful term to use within Early Years?
My views are that we can’t manage children’s behaviour, as we need to give all children the skills and tools to regulate their own behaviour, so they can resolve conflict and be emotionally grounded both within their early years and beyond.
Educators can indeed help children with self-regulation, which is different from the traditional training in ‘behaviour management’ within Early Years.
Educators require skills such as recognising a child has suffered a trauma and supporting the child sensitively to help them communicate how they are feeling; assisting children to resolve conflict through negotiation and giving them the language skills to do so; helping children know they have a voice and are able to contribute […]
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 […]