The future’s not yet written but I’ll make sure it’s ours

https://www.facebook.com/275135933136/posts/10156068917813137/

I don’t usually post my political/environmental views but I feel passionately about saving our planet and sharing it with all the living creatures that occupy it too.

Iceland have released their Christmas advert that has been banned due to it’s political stance on palm oil production.

There is a saying that “ignorance is bliss” and for many the words palm oil probably means nothing and if so, I strongly recommend you give this advert a watch before it’s too late. If palm oil production and deforestation continues at the same rate as present there will be nothing left for future generations.

The future is not yet written but let’s make it ours to share.

Nurseries are substitute parents

I came across this article on the Telegraphs website about how an increasing number of children are beginning school with extremely poor language.

Whilst it seems natural to read your child a bedtime story, talk with them or teach them letters, this is not the case for all parents. It is becoming increasingly common that pre school/nursery staff are the ones teaching children basic language skills as these disadvantaged children have unfortunately not learnt these skills at home.

Having good language skills are an essential component in life and therefore it is crucial that these skills are mastered early on. Language impact many other areas including literacy, hence a lack of language leads to difficulties within school, in the wider community and later on in life in terms of jobs.

Please find the link below:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/01/children-starting-school-unable-speak-use-toilet-ofsted-head/amp/

Suzie and Cruzie

What a lovely girl with a wonderful positive view of life spreading awareness of autism through her own book. I don’t know about you, but when I see children doing amazing things it restores my faith in the next generation and makes me realise that they’re a pretty good bunch and bright, talented individuals. Sienna, you’re a star.

Under pressure

 

This week has been SATs week for year 6 pupils across the UK and these unfortunate individuals are under high levels of stress at the mere age of 11. I stumbled across this post by a woman called Abi Elphinstone and feel that she has summed it all up so well.

Enjoy.

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For all the kids sitting their SATs this week 😘 (My academic records show that I got A*s in English Literature and English Language at GCSE, an A in English at A level and a 2.1 degree in English from Bristol University. I taught English in secondary schools and I am now a children’s author with multiple book deals. But despite this, I scored 40% on an English SATs test last week.

I am not against exams nor am I against working hard. In every school visit my message is one of resilience, perseverance and grit, both in exams and life. But I am against the pedantic, restrictive and irrelevant testing of children. The SATs papers demand a knowledge of fronted adverbs and subordinating conjunctions and I feel that with this mechanical approach to learning we risk warning a generation of children off writing.

Accurate spelling, grammar and punctuation are important. Precision and confidence in expression empower us. But getting children to parrot back complex grammatical concepts is education at its most futile, and its most depressing. It is reminiscent of the Gradgrindian education system Dickens satirises in Hard Times and a system that champions modal verbs over creativity stifles imagination and individuality.

I am not a writer because I knew what fronted adverbs were at school. I am a writer because the wild landscape of my childhood filled me with wonder. I am a writer because learning made me curious and adventurous. I am a writer because books carried me to new worlds and language filled me with delight. I am a writer because I refused to quit when my books were rejected.

Language is fluid and playful (thank you Roald Dahl for snozzcumbers), and I learnt invaluable lessons about empathy, courage and hope from the stories I read as a child. Lyra Belacqua taught me to be brave and Mildred Hubble taught me that you don’t need to be the brightest or prettiest girl in the room to be the heroine of a story. So, kids, your worth is not quantified by your SATs scores. Learn the power of language but remember the best writing is original and brave. Like Shakespeare’s – who also wouldn’t have passed that test.

Regurgitate

I’ve posted about the British and American education systems before and my anger towards them both.

I was educated through the British education system and at the time I was naive as to what the aim of it really was. I went through the motions as did every other student and gained some good grades at the end of it all and that was that. The system simply requires students to sit in a classroom for 7 hours a day, learn as much as possible and regurgitate all the information when necessary for exams.

I’m not too sure how much I actually learnt throughout my school years. At times it felt as though I only tuned in when the teachers said “this’ll be in the exam.”

The picture below sums up how i feel about the system perfectly. Hopefully, one day, change will be made and education will be more about learning and less about regurgitating for exams.

Babies best friend

They say that dog is mans best friend but this video shows that dog is in fact babies best friend too.

I don’t think I have ever seen anything so precious in my entire life.

If you’re having a bad day this’ll definitely cheer you up, enjoy!

Girl power

I really interesting read about how gender stereotypes are becoming less rigid.

The article states how when asked to draw a scientist 1 in 3 21st century children draw a female scientist compared with 0 children before the year 1996. More females are also undertaking science degrees which is a real step in the right direction!

It’s really nice to hear some positive news in regards to gender stereotypes.y undergraduate dissertation was on this topic hence my interest in this area.

Link below:

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cnn.com%2F2018%2F03%2F20%2Fhealth%2Ffemale-scientists-kids-drawings-trnd%2Findex.html&h=ATMY1Dg4hF1AUvnl4cyd6Hw6Nbf_H7ZS-6e2je0dowXKTIzw7sOX3pwPzVaGSbwMrO-8fFJ_vGAm4tB29EquSyMxg_EpuV58en8hoOJ2fDpw09yRFQm5yw&s=1

One day they will be…

Something I feel passionate about is tackling gender stereotypes at an early age and encouraging boys to play with girls toys and visa versa. I really love this picture as it shows how happy little boys can be if we just let them play with “girly” dolls. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, at the end of the day it’s just a toy but there are parents out there who shape their children’s minds into believing boys must play with “boys” toys and therefore say unkind words to boys such as those in this picture. Let’s make it a norm that a toys are unisex after all, your son may be a dad one day.

On the fence

Below I have attached a link to a video regarding language delay in infants due to increased screen technology use.

This is certainly a bit of a taboo topic in recent times but it is unclear whether screen technology is all bad news.

Whilst this video/study states that increased screen time for children is at the forefront of language delays it is unclear whether this is a causal relationship. There could be other factors responsible such delays including mother’s spending increased time on mobile phones which results in speaking and engaging with the child less. It is important to consider other viewpoints and watch/read everything with an open mind.

What are your opinions on technology leading to language delays? I’m certainly on the fence!