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Five simple ways to help your child get into the wild

The Guardian | Patrick Barkham | Tuesday 13 January 2015 

The Oxford Junior Dictionary may have dropped words such as ash and catkin but let’s not jettison nature for the nagging demands of technology. 

It would be hard to find a more striking example of our alienation from the natural world, and how we are denying children a relationship with wild things. This is not, however, a war of words.


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Oxford Junior Dictionary’s replacement of ‘natural’ words with 21st-century terms sparks outcry

Margaret Atwood and Andrew Motion among authors protesting at dropping definitions of words like ‘acorn’ and ‘buttercup’ in favour of ‘broadband’ and ‘cut and paste’

“A” should be for acorn, “B” for buttercup and “C” for conker, not attachment, blog and chatroom, according to a group of authors including Margaret Atwood and Andrew Motion who are “profoundly alarmed” about the loss of a slew of words associated with the natural world from the Oxford Junior Dictionary, and their replacement with words “associated with the increasingly interior, solitary childhoods of today”.


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the giant wiggle | action for children | 19 March 2015

The Giant Wiggle is a sponsored walk for children under and around the age of 5 years old. Anyone can hold their own Giant Wiggle event; nurseries, children's centres, playgroups, families and friends!

We are now taking registrations for The Giant Wiggle, taking place on 19th March 2015.



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New Reports

3 NEW REPORTS : activematters library section

The 5th Intercultural Arts Education Conference: Design Learning    


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Exercise before starting school may be the key to Finland’s excellent PISA results

Jyrki Reunamo, Docent and Doctor of Philosophy (Education) at the Faculty of Behavioural Sciences | University of Helsinki | 14.04.2014

“Children must be provided with ample opportunities for different types of physical activity and for learning basic physical skills before they start school,” Reunamo states. “Our results lead to practical measures, which can be very simple. For example, when teaching mathematics, children can count sand bags instead of using pencil and paper.”


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Dinner lady quits after being told she can not make children eat healthy meals

Manchester Evening News | Luke Traynor | Dec 27, 2014

Mary Bancroft tried to make sure youngsters chose a healthy option so state-funded pupils wouldn’t simply gorge on confectionery and sugar-packed drinks.

A school dinner lady quit her job of 26 years after she was told she couldn’t stop children ordering just cakes instead of regular meals at lunch - with taxpayers’ money.

But Salford City Academy was unsure how the school stood legally, and so the health-conscious pensioner was forced to stay silent.


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How to screw up your child's schooling: Simply follow our tongue-in-cheek guide

The Indepedent | HILARY WILCE | Wednesday 03 December 2014


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Kids Who Know Food Brands Better, Weigh More

Bitescience | 19 December 2014

A study in Appetite shows that children with better knowledge about food brands are more likely to be overweight. Exercising is not enough to reduce the link between brand knowledge and weight. 

Are TV viewing and food brand knowledge related to children’s weight status? And does exercise reduce this relationship?


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School Finds Music Is the Food of Learning

New York Times |   | DEC. 19, 2014

Academically, students at Voice did significantly better than the city average on New York State math exams last year, with 70 percent of its students passing, compared with 39 percent citywide. Their English performance was less impressive, but with 39 percent passing, it still beat the citywide average of 30 percent.

Humming aside, Ms. Athens, a fourth-year teacher who has never taught elsewhere, said the students appeared to learn skills in their music lessons that translated to her classroom.

“They learn to stick with something hard and breaking things down into steps,” she said. “And work together as a group at such a young age.”


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Dancefloor anxiety leaves four-year-olds feeling ungroovy!

The Telegraph | By Roger Dobson | 14 December 2014

The tendency to be a “wallflower” emerges at the age of four, according to a new study.

It has long been associated with the troubles of adolescence, but the tendency to be a “wallflower” emerges at the age of four, a study suggests.

Researchers claim a child’s fourth birthday marks a turning point when he or she senses that peers may view their dance technique with a critical eye.

While more than half of children aged three and under eagerly take to the dance floor, their enthusiasm apparently wanes after their fourth birthday. By the age of 12, just 12 per cent are willing to dance in front of strangers.


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The Play Doctors | December Newsletter

This month, the Play Doctors have a new design with specific areas for Schools and Early Years and also for Parents and Childcare. This is in addition to the general news area and dates for your diary.


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Tablet Use Beneficial To Young Children’s Literacy Learning

Bitescience | 11 December 2014 

A study published in the Australian Journal of Education explored whether access to tablets in the home environment relate to young children’s literacy skills. Results indeed show that 3- to 5-year-olds who have access to a tablet at home have greater literacy skills (better letter sound knowledge and name writing skills). Interestingly, the amount of time children spend on a tablet is no indication for better literacy skills.