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.
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).
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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.
04 December 2012
Its Jenny's daughter Meg here - Mum is horribly busy at the moment and can’t find time to write … but she’s not too busy for her 6 grandchildren so we had such a nice night I thought I would sneakily go on Mum’s blog and tell you all about it …
16 November 2012
Only last week I wrote about the Greenwich school who had brightened up their children’s lives with the Golden Rules, Golden Tickets ….and the Golden Throne – where the lucky winner of the Golden Draw could choose to sit on the Golden Throne during the weeks assembly. Then, in the same week arrives the story and photos from another Golden Hearted Teacher in New Zealand who, having met me some years ago, has developed a celebration reward called the Golden Walk. Children who have made a breakthrough in any academic, social or personal way are chosen by other children or the teacher to walk the Golden Walk. Barefoot they walk down that carpet with all their peers clapping. Their golden-hearted teacher Wendy reports that they are so thrilled they almost float. But do you know what? The longer I work in schools the more deeply I understand its never the idea that’s working – it’s the passion and enthusiasm from the teacher for the idea that is working. I’ve been in thousands of … read on
15 November 2012Children dressed as Ghandi
This simple statement has such a moral ‘punch’ to it. It is attributed to Ghandi – and its simplicity and stark truth are certainly his hallmarks. Many years ago when I first started working in India my daughter and I, when in Mumbai, went to Ghandi’s house. It was as if he’d just walked out of the door. Nothing hidden away, tidied up or behind glass; just notebooks open mid-sentence, pens left on the table, books that he loved tied in string, as if time had stood still and you could actually feel his intensity of activity contrasted with the stillness in pools of light. The only indication that he left years ago was that the sun’s rays could hardly penetrate the layers of dust permeating the tiny wooden room.
For years I have battled with the statement’s challenge – i.e. just be the change! I can think of so many instances when I have demanded, nagged or just plain expected other people to ‘step up’ and understand what I needed. In relationships I wa … read on
28 October 2012
A few days ago at Greenacres Primary School & Children’s Centre, Eltham, London I walked into an emotional richness and goldenness. Every day in my training I urge schools to put the golden rules into the ‘heart’ of all they do.
26 October 2012
Jenny wrote this blog entry in the gorgeous - Victoria Shanghai Academy in Hong Kong and enjoyed the view from probably has the best playground view in the world (and that is said from a woman who played queenie, queenie, who’s got the ball with children in Rio – under the glare of the outstretched arms of the Statue of Christ on the mountain!)