Rethinking Education after COVID-19

Rethinking Education blog post

It seems obvious to point this out, but the pandemic has been hugely damaging for our collective wellbeing. Therefore, the recent report stating that children are falling behind in speech and understanding is not particularly surprising.

Though unsurprising, the situation is far from hopeless. One thing this pandemic has brought to light is the need to focus on mental wellbeing as a priority. Many would dismiss this as conjecture, or claim that this is easier said than done, but we only have to look at the academic success of countries like Finland where mental health is a priority.

ENGLAND: A Team To Be Proud Of

England 1decision Blog Post

When Bukayo Saka stepped up to take the decisive penalty that was ultimately saved, I couldn’t have felt prouder of what the England team had given us this summer. Trophy or not, it’s clear that England has a talented squad of young men to take them forward.

That said, it is with regard to matters beyond the pitch that this England team shines brightest. Not only have the vast majority overcome considerable barriers of class and race to get to where they are, they continue to do things that buck the trend of the stereotype of the detached footballer with more money than sense. Now we have some true heroes to believe in, regardless of what they do on the football pitch.

Ending Rape Culture: In Schools and Beyond

Ending Rape Culture blog post

Trigger warning: rape, abuse, eating disorders, self-harm, suicide, violent abuse, paedophilia, child abuse.

On 10 June 2021, a shocking Ofsted report emerged stating that some girls can be contacted by up to 11 boys a night asking for nude images. The report goes on to explain that many boys go on to create multiple accounts to harass women when they are initially blocked. Nine in ten girls also either experience sexist name calling, or are sent explicit photos/videos. The scary part of all of this is thinking about just how much goes unreported.

Children's Mental Health: Suffering in Silence

Children's Mental Health Blog Post

I think we can all agree that the conversation of mental health over recent years has definitely become more prominent than ever before, and it is incredibly heartwarming to see. Increased awareness of mental illness itself is so important, and it is fantastic to see schools have started to incorporate the discussion within the classroom.

Although this is a great step forward, it poses the question - is children's mental health talked about enough or are we simply ticking a box? When mental health is discussed, it is usually related and catered to young adults who are struggling, but what about children who struggle with these issues? What guidance can they find to help them with their struggles?

As it is such a complex issue, children need to first understand the concept of mental health to truly gauge how it works and how it can affect people uniquely.

Dealing with Sensitive Issues

Dealing with Sensitive Issues Blog

There are delicate subjects we rarely speak to our children about, especially those of a much younger age. But there are ways of getting through without the dreaded emotional tax.

With so many things in this world warranting our attention, and, more often than not, our stresses and worries, it can be difficult to put on a brave face. Whether this stems from the terrifying things we see on the news every night, or the financial predicament we may find ourselves in, keeping these fears hidden from our children can be exhausting.

All this said, literature is a powerful tool that carries so much weight when it comes to educating our children on all kinds of delicate and sensitive issues. From recognising disability at an early age right through to dealing with abuse or bullying, picture books and cartoons show us an escape from reality that is actually grounded firmly within it.

Navigating the Post-COVID era

Navigating Post-COVID blog post

When it comes to educating our children on the more prescient issues of our time, it can prove a daunting task. All that said, it need not be as daunting as it may seem on the face of it.

In many ways, the youngest generation of the COVID-19 pandemic have already experienced life at its worst without knowledge of anything better. A lack of connection to both friends, families, and occasionally our classrooms when the WiFi fails.

To put it simply, our children have had a rough time of things. Though we’ve all had it tough in one way or another, one can only imagine how difficult it must be for children that know nothing but a world in the midst of a pandemic.

The world can be a terrifying place at the best of times, especially for those of an early age. Add a life-altering virus into the equation and it is easy to see why so many of childbearing age are reluctant to even bring children into the world. As we cautiously approach the post-COVID era (or at least the post-vaccine era), it’s so important that children come to realise that they are about to realise a new normal of their own, and this one has the potential to be eye-openingly beautiful.

Everyday Racism: A Tale from my Primary School Days

Everyday Racism blog post

It seems as though my Primary School days were only yesterday. Though it was almost two decades ago, some of the trials and tribulations of my formative years still remain fresh in the memory.

In many ways, I had been too young to know any better with regard to treating others with the same respect and dignity I’d felt deserving of. In other ways, however, picking up on right and wrong felt a lot easier.

I was fortunate enough to have attended an ethnically diverse Primary School. On first encountering my non-white classmates, I had barely questioned the fact that some had different skin colours to me. As far as I was concerned, it was part of life. I had filed skin colour along with hair colour, height and eye colour as things that just happened to be different between people.

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