Key Person & Attachment - Early Years Matters The Key Person Children thrive from a base of loving and secure relationships. This is normally provided by a child’s parents but it can also be provided by a key person. A key person is a named member of staff with responsibilities for a small group of children who helps those children in the group feel safe and cared for. The role is an important one and an approach set out in the EYFS which is working successfully in settings and in Reception classes. It involves the key person in responding sensitively to children’s feelings and behaviours and meeting emotional needs by giving reassurance, such as when they are new to a setting or class, and supporting the child’s well-being.
How Are Happiness and Learning Connected? We've all heard of the fight or flight response. We go into survival mode when threatened by something or someone. We either put up our dukes (literally or metaphorically) or take off running (literally or metaphorically). Students often go into survival mode when they feel threatened by an overwhelming cognitive task or confusing text, or when they are called on and don't know the answer, or are confronted or teased by another student (or a teacher!)
One theory all teachers with disruptive children should know about Imagine a classroom where children are unable to wait their turn or stay focused on their work. They are easily distracted, cannot remember basic instructions or hold enough information in their head to solve problems – skills teachers rely on in order to teach successfully. These behavioural issues are all examples of problems that can arise from attachment issues – based on the relationship between children and their main caregiver. Attachment theory is now one of the world’s most well-researched theories about human development. Can Free Play Prevent Depression and Anxiety In Kids? Over the past 50-60 years, play time in kids’ lives has been drastically cut. School days and years are longer and parents often schedule enrichment activities for their children instead of giving them space to direct their own play. Children are rarely given the freedom to direct their own activities, leading to a persistent rise in children feeling that they have no control over their lives. And, while correlation doesn’t prove causation, Dr. Peter Gray, who has been studying play for years, says there’s strong evidence that in this case, the decline in play is leading to a rise in depression and acute anxiety among young people. Check out his TEDx talk for all the details on this fascinating area of research.
Which Early Childhood Experiences Shape Adult Life? By Maanvi Singh, NPR Most of us don’t remember our first two or three years of life — but our earliest experiences may stick with us for years and continue to influence us well into adulthood. Just how they influence us and how much is a question that researchers are still trying to answer.
Why Empathy Holds the Key to Transforming 21st Century Learning By Thom Markham Like other aspects of modern life, education can make the head hurt. So many outcomes, so much important work to do, so many solutions and strategies, so many variations on teaching, so many different kinds of students with so many different needs, so many unknowns in preparing for 21st Century life and the endless list of jobs that haven’t been invented. What if we discovered one unifying factor that brought all of this confusion under one roof and gave us a coherent sense of how to stimulate the intellect, teach children to engage in collaborative problem solving and creative challenge, and foster social-emotional balance and stability—one factor that, if we got right, would change the equation for learning in the same way that confirming the existence of a fundamental particle informs a grand theory of the universe?
What to consider when teaching English in large classes How many students do you teach? Do you feel that your classes are too big? Author and education consultant Jason Anderson looks at the issues and offers some potential solutions. For many of us, our classes are larger than we would like them to be. They can present a number of challenges that teachers of smaller classes are less likely to face. But what exactly do we mean by large classes? Whole Child Development Is Undervalued Child development should inspire lifelong learning across different spaces and communities. Research suggests that "whole child development," not routine or standardized classroom-based learning, empowers children as creative and engaged citizens who can strengthen the wellbeing of a whole society. It is crucial, then, to nurture their creative abilities to express themselves, understand others, and navigate complex amounts of information so that they can confidently solve the problems of a world that's changing faster than ever. The question is how to make such an approach both systemic and sustainable. Whole Person Socio-emotional, physical, creative, and cognitive capacities are deeply intertwined and equally important in ensuring a child's wellbeing, learning, and growth.
How to teach children English using illustrated storybooks What makes illustrated storybooks such a good resource for teaching young learners of English? The British Council’s Gail Ellis, co-author of a storytelling handbook for primary English language teachers, explains. Listen to an interview with Gail in our podcast and register for her webinar taking place on Thursday, 2 October. Illustrated storybooks provide an ideal resource for helping children learn English. This is because children love listening to stories. Storybooks present language in familiar and memorable contexts, and high quality illustrations help children understand as they match what they hear to what they see.