Archive for January 20th, 2015


You know what they say,  those who give up smoking are the really anti smoking, the same can be said of education.  Since I gave up the annoying habit of trying get children interested in full stops and capital letters when they wanted to do something more interesting instead, I have become so anti education system.  I surprise myself at how I look upon it the same it was depicted in the the Pink Floyd video, ‘Another Brick In The Wall’, my revulsion of the system has intensified since having my son and seeing him getting used to Literacy hour and Numeracy hour.

My son goes to a great school where dinosaur eggs and fairy rings can be found in the playground, all of the children are allowed to be themselves and flourish in a small environment.  All the teachers are dedicated and the headteacher likes to get dirty (muddy) with the kids.  The other parents are great and there is no playground or birthday party politics to worry about so in essence everything is pucker.  The only spectre on the horizon is the impact SATs test results have on the school’s OFSTED grading.

It is amazing that the two worst parts of the education system have been reduced to a six letter and three letter acronyms invented by a whole load of toffs that have never experienced children as anything but statistics in long winded reports.  I know they the value added bit so that schools cannot coast any more and low achieving schools can show improvement but the statistics don’t show the things that really matter.

Most parents don’t really give a toss about SATs results because to them their child has achieved so many great things already and the fact that they are still young when they take the tests doesn’t really reflect what they are capable of achieving later on in life. SATs must be the only test that children take that doesn’t reward them with tangible success, if you do well in your GCSE’s you can do A Levels you are interested in, if you do well at A Level you get to the university you want, if you do well at university you increase chances of getting a better job and earning more money.  In reality believing that passing exams alone is going to make you successful is bunkum Bill Gates’s classmates who were good at exams ended up working for him.  Richard Branson was more innovative than academic and Jamie Oliver was a special needs child due to being dyslexic.  They are all millionaires so not doing well at primary school has no real indication of what you are able to achieve.

I completely believe that children should be educated and consider that the social and routine experience of school is as important as the academic part.  The thing that I find difficult to swallow is how children are suddenly expected to develop in a linear fashion when start school as opposed to the opportunistic way I thoroughly enjoyed when my son was younger.

This wonderful infographic by Playdale Playgrounds reminds us how much a child learns through play and that the only levels that they need to be concerned with are the height of the slide.

The Effects Of Play On Child Development



I have to admit that when it comes to the Christmas holidays I am the laziest person on the planet.  I revel in the luxury of not having to do the school run slalom and motivating my son to hurry up so that we can get to school without crashing into anything.  So yes I confess I spent a lot of time during the holidays lying in bed and wandering around in pyjamas.

One morning I was awakened from my lie in by someone doing a survey about how much exercise I had done during the past couple of weeks.  I was too drowsy to fob her off and she sounded too nice to hang up on so I had to engage in weaving a huge web of  fitness lies.

By the end of the survey I had informed her that I had spent at least an hour walking everyday on a variety of terrains, I had eaten three pieces of fruit and five pieces of vegetables and that I spent a lot of time outside because I lived in the country. The only real element of truth was that I lived in the country – the rest of it was deep black guilty lies.

After feeling ashamed of myself for about five minutes I decided to look for inspiration on how I can improve my family’s health so that maybe I can tell the truth next time I am interrogated on the phone.

I had a look online to see if I could find some inspirational sites that would instruct me on how to live a much healthier approach to life but they were generally too overwhelming, serious  and quite frankly put me off.  The last blog I looked at was from the Playdale Garden site where their advice was much more friendly and I particularly liked the suggestion of having fun at the very bottom.  Yes they mentioned exercising and eating the right types and amounts of food but they didn’t lecture and get me reaching out for the Christmas chocolates.

I think that maybe the first resolution I should make is not to lie to people – but where is the fun in that?

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January 2015

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