Reading with ChildrenPosted on Apr 10, 2023
Reading to young children is an important way to help them to build language skills. It exposes them to new words and ways of using language. It also helps them learn general information about the world.
Books help children to build empathy and learn how to handle challenging feelings.
Reading together with your child gives you and your child a chance to slow down and connect with each other. And the sensory experience of sitting with you and hearing your voice also engages the child’s brain in a way that makes learning easier.
EducationPosted on Feb 4, 2020
This is taken from an address by the headmaster of Shrewsbury School to Third Form entrants in September 2019:
WB Yeats’ definition of education always rings true with me: “Education is not the filling of buckets but the lighting of fires”. Of course, we want our pupils to learn interesting things; to develop remarkable skills; to nurture their own individual gifts and talents. We want them to become the best possible version of themselves.
But there is a deeper project here.
Schools are not about dispensing truths unthinkingly. Schools are about empowering the young to seek truths for themselves; to pursue lives of meaning and purpose; to grow in character. And, in quiet moments, to seek the deeper truths of the spirit.
The dynamics of the modern world make trust, truth and meaning increasingly elusive. Rapid change is the only real certainty. As well as navigating the turbulence and change of adolescence, our children need to equip themselves with the wisdom and skills to thrive; and the virtues and values to be a force for good.
The Shrewsbury School motto captures the deeper project of education: Intus Si Recte Ne Labora – If all is right within, trouble not.
We want our pupils to learn, and to learn deeply in an atmosphere of serious fun. We want them to develop the virtues that allow them to lead lives of meaning, active compassion, generosity, purpose and truth.
The fires we aim to light are the true fires, the torchlights, that guide us through life’s choices; those fires that cast light into dark places; those fires that light the way to truth.
Coronavirus AdvicePosted on Jan 30, 2020
Please see this guidance, which is being updated daily
MeaslesPosted on May 23, 2019
Public Health England have issued an alert (May 2019) highlighting a “significant increase” in cases of measles in primary schools in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and City of Westminster. Information about measles can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/measles/. Parents are very strongly advised to become familiar with the symptoms of measles, and to ensure up-to-date vaccinations to protect their children.
Helicopter parentingPosted on Jun 20, 2018
From The Guardian 19th June 2018
Children whose parents are over-controlling “helicopter parents” when they are toddlers, are less able to control their emotions and impulses as they get older apparently leading to more problems with school, new research suggests.
The study looked at to what degree mothers of toddlers dominated playtime and showed their child what to do, and then studied how their children behaved over the following eight years, revealing that controlling parenting is linked to a number of problems as a child grows up.
“Parents who are over-controlling are most often very well-intentioned and are trying to support and be there for their children,” said Dr Nicole Perry of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, who co-authored the research.
“However, to foster emotional and behavioural skills parents should allow children to experience a range of emotions and give them space to practice and try managing these emotions independently and then guide and assist children when [or] if the task becomes too great.”
Writing in the journal Developmental Psychology, Perry and colleagues in the US and Switzerland describe how they examined the parenting and behaviour of 422 children at the age of two by inviting mother and child into the laboratory and asking them to play with an array of toys for four minutes, then put them away over the next two minutes. The sessions were recorded and researchers rated to what degree the mother tried to take over the task.
At the age of five the team looked at the children’s response to an unfair share of sweets, and their ability to think carefully about a puzzle under time pressure.
When the children were aged five and 10, the researchers asked teachers to rate problems such as depression, anxiety or loneliness in the children, the children’s academic performance, and their views of the children’s social skills. At 10 years the children were quizzed on their attitudes to school and teachers as well as emotional issues.
The team found that once factors including the child’s age, behaviour as a toddler and socioeconomic status were taken into account, more controlling behaviour by mothers was linked both to their children having less control over their own emotions and less control over their impulses by the age of five.
What’s more, five-year olds with poorer control over emotions were linked to worse social skills at the age of 10, while lower levels of control over emotions and behaviour were both linked to poorer academic performance, even after taking into account such behaviours at the age of five. They were also linked to more emotional problems and a poorer attitude to school, as reported by the children at age 10.
However, the study only looked at the mothers’ behaviour at one point in time, and did not take into account changes in parenting or the child’s physical health.
Dieter Wolke, professor of developmental psychology and individual differences at the University of Warwick, noted the team did not look at whether the mothers had an anxiety disorder, but said that said the study was supported by previous research showing lack of self-regulation in early childhood is related to later problems.
“The problem here really is that if you don’t learn skills to self-regulate, how can you self-regulate when you leave the home, like [when] you go to school or you go to university? In a way it is a form of abusiveness – taking this opportunity away from children,” he said, although he noted over-controlling parenting was usually done with the best of intentions.
But Dr Janet Goodall from the University of Bath urged caution, noting that it is difficult to say how much parental control is “too much”, and that cultural factors such how dangerous a child’s environment is should be considered when looking at parental behaviour.
“While the study shows a connection between what they call over-controlling parenting and later issues, it doesn’t say that this is the cause of later issues, it says it goes along with it – and they only observed parents for six minutes,” she said.
Goodall added parents should not be made to feel guilty or judged: “What is really important is that [parents] care about their children, and what their children are doing and what their children are learning.”