11 March 2014
I was so excited! I have worked before in schools in Malaysia and Thailand but to be asked to travel to Vietnam to work with four schools felt extra special. If I am really honest, it seemed extra attractive, exotic and mysterious because I was a 60s child brought up on the usual clutch of Vietnam movies – The Deer Hunter, Apocalypse Now, Good Morning Vietnam, and the like, so my imagination was still stuck in the brutal beating up of a country ravaged by war. In my mind, wilfully or just lazily, time stood still and I had failed to enquire further, but suddenly I was poised on a Vietnam adventure.
20 February 2014
Hi Everyone - we, at Positive Press, have all been beavering away (see our new hardworking beaver!!!) to produce lots of new resources to save you time and to give you loads of ideas for practical things to help life in classrooms and playgrounds be kinder, calmer and more focussed – and therefore more productive.
24 January 2014Site photo 54
When working on positive behaviour with teachers, we can become very focused upon children’s expectations and behaviour just at school. It was a pleasure for Jenny, while working with the very dedicated staff from Beckford Primary School recently, to be invited to also hold a parent workshop. Jenny first demonstrated circle time with children for the parents to observe. In the following session with the 44 adults who attended, Jenny explained about circle time and why suggestion boxes are used so that children can lead the agenda. Amongst many other initiatives and tips, she also spoke about the importance of celebrating the positive things that happen rather than focusing on the negative. The parents were very keen to ask questions and talk afterwards and the following are just a few of the comments they wrote:
- Thank you for inspiring the children. Life is so much more than learning your ABC and numbers.
- Really inspirational and thought provoking – will be using … read on
19 December 2013
People often assume that Quality Circle Time is for younger children when in reality the need of secondary pupils is just as great. Pupils in primary schools become accustomed to having a regular, safe space in which to spend invaluable time with their peers listening, speaking, being heard, learning essential life skills and contributing to their school community. Just when life starts to get harder and pupils transfer to secondary school, in addition to facing the extra challenges of having different teachers for different subjects, and different rooms and systems, many lose their weekly Circle Time sessions so they lose all the benefits they had gained during regular Circle Times.
11 November 2013
Aaaaaargh … WET PLAY!! Two words that strike dread into the soul. Not only am I regularly quizzed, on my lunchtime conferences, for good ideas on how to make the most of it – but I still, even having given up proper teaching years ago, experience regular wet play too.
14 October 2013
The following article was written by a very enthusiastic, positive headteacher – Phil Ward – for his regular parent’s newsletter after I had spent a day working in his school – St Thomas’ Clapham. I worked directly with children, eating with them in the dining hall and going out with them in the playground as part of this teacher training day - one of the things that makes our company unique. We call it a WISD (Working In School Day) – and not many heads know it exists!
02 October 2013
Everyone has a light inside them. Nelson Mandela famously urged us all to allow our light to shine strongly and not to hide it through fear. If anyone is entitled to talk in these terms it is Mandela. To be hidden away for 27 years and to come out with a strong light of forgiveness is truly inspirational. May his light of wisdom, humour and love shine on long after his death.
27 September 2013
Sometimes its really good to think about how to motivate children to be really positive and to notice each other’s good social skills and good listening. In our experience, many pupils respond really well to group incentives – here are some ideas that are already embedded in the QCT model.
09 September 2013
Well, here it is. The new term. Starting so soon after our biggest break in the year … where we saw sun, felt
freedom, participating in play and as one wag said – we were actually human beings and human doings!
29 August 2013
After revisiting New Zealand in 2012 we received a lovely “Golden Rules at home” story that we would like to share with you. This fits so well with our thoughts on the Golden Rules and toddlers that we have recently created a whole new boxed set especially for young children.
The teachers that Jenny trained were highly enthused about the model and even the parents became very involved. So much so that one of the teachers received a lovely little story to this effect from a parent:
07 August 2013
“The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.” Erik H. Erikson
17 July 2013
Never has supporting social and emotional intelligence been more important than now. There’s such a huge government push on academic attainment that quite often the whole child can be forgotten. Each of us has many intelligences and for each of us to have a sense of self-esteem and self-confidence we need to know all our different selves. We need to value our ability to get on with people, to give warmth, to defuse conflict, to be calm under pressure, to be positive and joyful at times as much as we value doing well in tests. Currently there is no space in the curriculum for this emphasis and social and emotional learning has to take a back seat.
07 June 2013
I have written before about how getting playtimes and lunchtimes golden and fun for children and adults is my passion (see previous blogs - Sledging in Geneva, the incredible importance of playing, Laughter in schools, Schools Need Each Other).
21 May 2013
I've just been to my daughter Meg’s exhibition of her two new films at the incredibly wonderful, prestigious, and groundbreaking Jerwood Space. She films her life. Hmmm – viewing these as her Mum is a sort of bittersweet experience!
10 May 2013
Laughter in schools
Laughter is fabulous. So much has been written scientifically in the last decade about how it is physically so good for you but lets never forget how it nourishes your spirit. It lifts you out of the ordinary every day routine to touch the part that really matters – that we can’t control anything in life. The unexpected ‘likeness of being’ that laughter brings connects us to the real treasure that life has to offer us. The moment when laughter joins us together through giggles, smiles or even belly laughs and we feel the absurdity of our seriousness, we are truly splendidly human.
18 March 2013
Living as we do, in such troubled educational times, schools need each other for support, wisdom and inspiration. The old barriers of competition, one-upmanship and insecurity need to be dismantled to allow the winds of a more spiritual approach to sweep through the landscape. We need to be bigger than the problems that trouble us and by reaching out to others we’ll find the solutions for ourselves too. Read on for my blog about a brilliant lunchtimes project!
05 March 2013
Read how the children in Switzerland were enjoying their playtimes when Jenny went there to train the school's teaching assistants last week.
13 February 2013
We all loved this little story and would like to share it with you.....
An anthropologist proposed a game to the children in an African tribe. He put a basket full of fruit near a tree and told the children that who ever got there first won the sweet fruits.
29 January 2013
Hi! Its Jenny here! We're so excited - we are waiting for our new 2013 catalogue from the printers (in fun Beano-esque style) and we are sending out the first in our new series of ezines!
21 January 2013
The Incredible Importance of Playing! Just a few places left in Sheffield where you can experience a 'Golden School' for yourself!
We, adults and children, all need our senses inspired and invigorated in order to be really imaginative – and there’s probably no better stimulation in the world than SNOW!! Suddenly play fights, sculptures and snow angels appear from nowhere.
My daughter is 32 … down came the snow and out went Meg with our previously packed away Christmas polar bear to look at the new world from his point of view. Her images made me smile and want to share them with you.