Category Archives: Uncategorized

I am compelled to share this

Truly, there are no boundaries to the surreal.

Or perhaps Rockhampton Regional Council wishes to demonstrate its sense of humour.

playground-sign-s-africaOr a particular world view taken to its logical conclusion – reductio ad absurdum

With thanks to Liselle Wolmarans  and Free Range Kids

Follow-up: copy of email from anti-sats test strike campaign – thought you might like to know

Wow what a 24 hours!

KS1 SPaG cancelled, national media outlets getting in touch with us to speak to YOU our lovely supporters up and down the country about the incredible #KidsStrike3rdMay events YOU are organising, mentioned in the New Day newspaper and on BBC Radio 4 breakfast news!  We also hit the 10,000 likers mark on our facebook page!

We believe this is the first time parents have made such an active stand against the Government on a national scale and we have achieved an incredible amount in just over 3 weeks by WORKING TOGETHER to show our SUPPORT for schools and teachers.

We are delighted that KS1 SPaG tests have been cancelled, however we need to carry on our campaign to make sure this is only the start as OUR children still have other SATs to sit in 2016.  We have the perfect chance NOW to show that teacher assessment alone IS enough and SATs should be removed from OUR schools.

For everything you need to take part on 3rd May please visit the Let Kids Be Kids website  – there’s FAQs, absence letters and you can add your event to our map to ensure that every person who makes a stand is accounted for.  Many wonderful headteachers and lovely class teachers have come out to support our campaign – we really think this is a turning point in how our children will be taught in the future.  Thank you for being a part of it.

We are very close to 25,000 people signing our peititon to support a SATs boycott… please keep sharing… Parent Power is proving to be very powerful!

http://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/parents-support-sats-boycott-kids-strike-3rd-may

Thank you, Let Our Kids Be Kids.

For its own sake – an end of year mull (of the non-alcoholic sort)

Looking back over the past, say, thirty years, future historians might think it distinctly queer that we have spent so much effort and time in promoting a view of play that is somewhat to the side of what we value, what we believe: that is, the non-instrumental value of play.

But who are ‘we’? ‘We’ are those who hold that play is its own justification, that it is an expression of, and initiation into an idea of freedom. That its outcome is itself. That it is a state of mind, a state of being.

It is that the player is sovereign in their own self-created world. Play may have instrumental value in the pursuit of extrinsic goals, but it may not; in any case there are plenty of other ways to achieve any amount of extrinsic goals that, really, play should not need to bother itself about that. Adherence to this way of thinking is beyond, or before, any evidence that might be adduced in its favour. Evidence here is redundant, this because for those holding the above as true and necessary, it is beyond refutation. Continue reading

When the evidence bites back

I quote:

For three-and-a-half years, all pupils at St Ninians primary have walked or run a mile each day. They do so at random times during the day, apparently happily, and despite the rise in childhood obesity across the UK, none of the children at the school are overweight.

The daily mile has done so much to improve these children’s fitness, behaviour and concentration in lessons that scores of nursery and primary schools across Britain are following suit and getting pupils to get up from their desks and take 15 minutes to walk or run round the school or local park.‘  The Guardian Monday 28 September.

The scheme was introduced by the now retired Headteacher, Elaine Wyllie. In an interesting interview on the Today Programme  (6 November. The interview starts at 2.43.32, near the end of the programme) she filled out more details of the scheme: Continue reading

Making Places to Play – Is not Enough

A useful contributioon to developing a more wide-reaching critique. The ‘Is not enough’ tag line is correct. It prompts the question, ‘if not enough’, what then?

Playground Guru

This article was first published in Playground Professionals Newsletter, July 20, 2015

trash boys

As a child of the sixties I spent my teen years grappling with the issues of the Vietnam War, the free speech movement, and civil rights. Our generation wanted to do something to make the world a better place.

Having graduated from San Francisco State with a major in art I went on to Pacific Oaks to learn to be an early childhood educator. One of the great things about Pacific Oaks is that they had preschool classes on campus and all of the graduate students had daily interaction with children. It was at Pacific Oaks that I first experienced a loose parts playspace. We used cable spools, old doors, boxes, tarps, and the like.

Seeing how well these worked I realized that I could combine what I could use in my background from both school and like…

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Blog 22

Reblog of Anita Grant, ‘The world seems to have become a darker place and this belief is surrounding the children.’

Islington Play CEO

The numbers are lower at the adventure playgrounds. Parents are worried about letting their children out and children are worried about going out. Regular users and those children who are dropped off and picked up are coming but there are no passers by.

Islington feels like a quieter, sadder place.

I have been speaking to people living and working in the borough as much as I can, there is sorrow but there is also fear. One mum said she no longer feels able to let her son go to play with his friend on the local estate – an estate where there have been a number of knife attacks. Knife attacks by children on children that are not reported on the front pages because nobody died. Another mum talked about her fear when she knows her son is walking back home at 10.30pm from his class. She knows she can’t…

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Dear Arthur…

Arthur Batram kindly commented on my last piece, ‘On Evidence. On the Political’. (See the comments section after that article)  For reasons that I hope will become clear if you care to read on, I thought that his piece too rich simply to leave a short comment-type reply.  So, in a scatter-gun sort of way, I’ve tried to respond to his musings. 

But if you’re looking for sustained argument on one topic in what follows, turn away now, you will not find it here.

Arthur,

Thank you for what Word Press defines as a ‘comment’ (this on my piece  ‘On Evidence. On the Political’).

It is in fact not a ‘comment’, so much as a stream of consciousness laced with your customary erudition, tangential references, entertaining allusions, bewildering double-backs leading to what one assumed (hoped?) was the last – that is, final –  thought  only to find oneself in yet another wild flower meadow sown by your mind’s emissions.

Excellent!

For those readers who get to, say, word 505 of your ‘comment’, only to despair that there are another 1,090 to go (but who’s counting?) – read on!  Patience can – mostly – be rewarded, certainly if one takes a look at the links and references. So thank you for the link to Professor of Theology James P Carse.  Looks like  a rich theme to explore, not least because he puts training in its place:

To be prepared against surprise is to be trained.  To be prepared for surprise is to be educated. Education discovers an increasing richness in the past, because it sees what is unfinished there. Training regards the past as finished and the future as to be finished. Education leads to a continuing self-discovery; training leads to a final definition. Training repeats a completed past in the future. Education continues an unfinished past into the future (This from a paper about his work )

I think I have it right – no doubt you’ll correct me if required – when I say that your comments were a good deal to do with politics; in particular, the qualities – attitudes of mind – required to grapple with and oppose established configurations of power. Continue reading