Don’t take life for granted

I believe the National Health Service is something we truly pride ourselves on in the UK. It was created in 1948 with the aim to provide healthcare for all and is still available to all today for free. It is important to remember that through the Christmas period doctors, nurses and health care professionals are working tirelessly in order to provide the highest quality care for those who are unwell. Without their dedication many of our loved ones would not be here today.

I came across this article which put everything into perspective for me. Without the efforts of the exceptional team at Great Ormond Street Hospital this little boy would no longer be with us.

http://www.standard.co.uk/news/london/give-to-gosh-i-support-great-ormond-street-because-without-them-i-would-not-have-him-a3145276.html

We must remember to not take life for granted and to appreciate everyday. Also, thank you to all of those working in the NHS, you’re doing a good job.

Girls can be superheroes too

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Gender stereotypes are seen daily amongst us. We often place stereotypes on children without even realising it, for example, encouraging little girls to play with dolls whilst encouraging boys to play with trains and cars. However, we must allow children to express themselves in any way they choose which is why I LOVE this dress. It symbolises that girls can be superheroes too.

Get together again

I was sat watching the TV yesterday and an advert popped up that automatically grabbed my attention. The Center Parcs – Bears advert focuses on a family where technology has taken over, a common sight in the Western world. The father bear goes to work in a stereotypical office job although all he wants to do is be at home with the family but once he is home he is ignored by his children who are glued to ipads, ipods and the TV. The family do not eat together and communicate due to these technological advances, a sad reality.

Towards the end of the advert the family gather together for a holiday. When they arrive they discover what the outside world is really like, a beautiful place filled with wonderful sights and sounds. The bears have fun together as a family, they communicate, play together, explore together and simply spend quality time together.

I’m fully aware that technology has its benefits but what we must remember is that sometimes you just need to switch it off. You never know what may happen tomorrow so spending time as a family is extremely important. We often become so wrapped up in seeing what others are doing on social media sites like Facebook that we often forget what is happening in our own reality. I feel this advert captures what is happening today’s society perfectly. Nature benefits children in so many ways.

Watch the advert here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn0QYIinIk0

 

Why Santa Claus is magic

I recently came across this video which put a smile on my face. Many children across the world visit “Santa” throughout the Christmas period, however, for some it can be a traumatic experience. It can be a real problem for those with communication difficulties in particular.

Whilst there is some speculation about whether encouraging children to believe in Father Christmas is the correct decision or not, I feel this video captures the true meaning of Christmas, a happy child.

Enjoy.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-3349020/Heartwarming-moment-kind-Santa-uses-sign-language-ask-girl-hearing-problems-wants-Christmas.html

Shaping children’s minds

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I found this picture whilst flicking through Pinterest. It can be interpreted in many ways but I personally believe it highlights the current education system present in the UK today. I’m not blaming teachers as I believe the majority of them disagree with the current system which involves following the curriculum in order to achieve the governments targets and ultimately high SATS scores. The system does not allow for any individuality but rather focuses on ensuring each individual hits specific (often unrealistic) targets. Children’s imagination is being limited and cut down so that everyone is on the same level. Everyone is different and I firmly believe the education system in the UK should allow for this. It’s sad that children are told what and how to think rather than allowing them to think outside the box.

The picture shown above shows the current role of teachers in early years and primary school settings. A difficult job I must add. Education, specifically in the early years, should focus on exploration and development rather than shaping children into specific ideologies.

How ‘twisted’ early childhood education has become

Valerie Strauss recently published an article about how early childhood education has drastically changed based on the views of child development expert Nancy Carlsson – Paige.

Link available here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/answer-sheet/wp/2015/11/24/how-twisted-early-childhood-education-has-become-from-a-child-development-expert/

I found this article particularly interesting at it focuses on the view that young children are being deprived of play, an extremely important part of development. Due to Governmental demands, education is becoming more about reaching targets, and encouraging children to grow up too fast. Rigorous testing occurs even in early years settings, something I firmly believe is not necessary. Children should be allowed to just be children and enjoy their time in early years settings. This is a time where social development should be of importance as well as speech and language development.

In the article Nancy expresses that previous research has been conducted with findings that suggest children need to move and be interactive, however this doesn’t seem to be the case in the majority of early years settings of today. Children are becoming increasingly bound to tables and movement is being restricted. Running is also discouraged and boys are increasingly reminded to be less aggressive and to play nicely. Of course health and safety are important but children learn through experience. If we allow children to just be children, to explore and to enjoy being young then surely this will benefit them in the future. Look at Finland, Norway, Sweden for example, they often top educational achievement tables yet formal education doesn’t begin to around the age of 7.

Carlsson – Paige sums up her speech with a paragraph of reflection about how learning doesn’t just occur through formal lessons but rather through the arts and play etc, eduction is more than just reading and writing:

“We all share a common vision: Education is a human right and every child deserves one. An excellent, free education where learning is meaningful – with arts, play, engaging projects, and the chance to learn citizenship skills so that children can one day participate — actively and consciously – in this increasingly fragile democracy”.