Jenny’s Blog

  • Circle Time training in Vietnam - an insight into a beautiful country

    11 March 2014

    Circle Time training in Vietnam - an insight into a beautiful country

    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. 

  • Lovely new catalogue and end of year underspend

    20 February 2014

    Lovely new catalogue and end of year underspend

    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.

  • Positive Parents in Schools Making a Difference - Paving the Way for Very Powerful Parent Workshops

    24 January 2014

    Positive Parents in Schools Making a Difference - Paving the Way for Very Powerful Parent Workshops

    Site 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
  • Announcing the new edition of – “Quality Circle Time in the Secondary School”

    19 December 2013

    Announcing the new edition of – “Quality Circle Time in the Secondary School”

    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

    Aaaaargh ......WET PLAY!

    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. 

  • The Inspirational St Thomas's Clapham and a Working in School Day to Remember

    14 October 2013

    The Inspirational St Thomas's Clapham and a Working in School Day to Remember

    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!

  • We all need to Shine - Who's your Star this Week?

    02 October 2013

    We all need to Shine - Who's your Star this Week?

    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.

  • Let’s talk about the ‘Tell A Good Tale Jar’ and ‘Class Target Reward’ System!

    27 September 2013

    Let’s talk about the ‘Tell A Good Tale Jar’ and ‘Class Target Reward’ System!

    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.

  • A big welcome back to all those starting a new school year!

    09 September 2013

    A big welcome back to all those starting a new school year!

    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!

  • Ever considered the Golden Rules being used at home?

    29 August 2013

    Ever considered the Golden Rules being used at home?

    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:

  • Playing and playfulness – can we still just ‘let go’ and play?

    07 August 2013

    Playing and playfulness – can we still just ‘let go’ and play?

    “The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.” Erik H. Erikson

  • Social and emotional learning - where are we now?

    17 July 2013

    Social and emotional learning - where are we now?

    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.

  • Traditional and New Playground Games

    07 June 2013

    Traditional and New Playground Games

    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 Genevathe incredible importance of playingLaughter in schoolsSchools Need Each Other).


  • Bursting with Pride

    21 May 2013

    Bursting with Pride

    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!

  • Laughter in schools

    10 May 2013

    Laughter in schools

    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.

  • Schools Need Each Other!

    18 March 2013

    Schools Need Each Other!

    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!

  • Positive playtimes with snowballs and sledges in Geneva!

    05 March 2013

    Positive playtimes with snowballs and sledges in Geneva!

    Read how the children in Switzerland were enjoying their playtimes when Jenny went there to train the school's teaching assistants last week.

  • "I am because we are" - Happy Valentines Day to you all

    13 February 2013

    "I am because we are" - Happy Valentines Day to you all

    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.

  • Hi - its Jenny here!

    29 January 2013

    Hi - its Jenny here!

    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!

  • The Incredible Importance of Playing! Just a few places left in Sheffield where you can experience a 'Golden School' for yourself!

    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.