All posts tagged: education

All Children are Artists

Sally Reynolds, Head of Art at Alleyn’s, tells us how to encourage our children’s artistic development. Why is Art so good for us? Art has a unique place in the human psyche; combining both the intellectual and emotional faculties. Engaging in the creative process can be a deeply personal and rewarding one in which art allows a space for reflection and for making sense of the world. “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” – Pablo Picasso Making art is serious play and is an important expressive outlet for children, giving them the freedom to experiment, develop their imagination, and providing fun and relaxation. For teenagers, it is a tool they can use to explore their own identity and interests, often making work about personal and social issues they feel strongly about. Art also encourages independence and critical awareness, with children from GCSE level onwards becoming used to researching and directing their own projects. Developing your child’s interest in Art London is a brilliant city for children …

Education news: Texts that Tempt

Mandy Reid, Librarian at Alleyn’s Junior School tells us how to encourage a love of reading in our children. “Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away!” (Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr Seuss) This promise captures perfectly the potential a story can offer a child; a journey that will fire the imagination and introduce weird and wonderful worlds. For many of us there can be no greater pleasure than sitting down with a good book, but we cannot assume our children feel the same way. Some may enjoy reading passionately but others may feel daunted; if we can get them off to a good start, reading can become a lifelong pleasure. Finding Inspiration Encourage children of any age to explore a wide range of books. Your local library is a great place to find a huge array of books. Your child might choose anything from a picture book or a quick read to a graphic novel or a classic. Reluctant readers may find listening to audio books …

Education news: Playing Out

Nicola Price, teacher in charge of Forest School at Alleyn’s Junior School, talks about the benefits of unstructured play outdoors. As a child of the 70s I had the experience of ‘playing out’ with a group of neighbouring children. We spent days exploring, building, and experimenting – always working together and keeping an eye out for the younger ones. We made ramps for bike jumping, a proper raft to fish from, and climbed trees to imitate birds and experience a bird’s eye view. We would often be out all day without interruption or adult direction, only stopping for lunch. These days children can miss out on the benefits of active learning in the environment; time spent listening, looking closely, thinking, imagining, problem-solving, risk-taking, team work and perseverance. Forest School is doing much to bridge this gap for children, offering them time for child-led activities in the natural environment. Your children might have a Forest School session at their school or nursery but do not despair if they don’t. You can foster the resilient, confident, independent …

Ben Jones, Director of Science at Alleyn’s, tells us how to introduce our children to astronomy

Stephen Hawking once said that ‘to confine our attention to terrestrial matters would be to limit the human spirit,’ and all must agree that there is little more mind-bogglingly wonderful than thinking about the scale, structure and order of the universe. So what better way of exciting our children about Science – and indeed perhaps even what it means to be human – than by introducing them to Astronomy? Here are some ideas on how we can encourage and feed curiosity: Birthday stars When we look into space we are looking back in time. While light travels very fast, given the scale of the universe, it can take many years for light to travel from stars to us. This means that there are stars that emitted the light we see today, in the year we were born! Use this site to find such a star Toilet paper solar system Even our modest solar system is huge with a scale that is difficult to imagine. And this is where toilet paper comes in. Using several rolls …

Education news: Yoga for children

Sarah Thomas, Junior School teacher at Alleyn’s, and qualified Hatha yoga practitioner, on the benefits of Hatha Yoga for children and adolescents. As the inimitable ‘Mr Magorium’ in the film bearing the same name, Dustin Hoffmann says: “Your life is an occasion – rise to it!” In other words, live life well and as fully as possible. In order to ‘rise to the occasion’ however we need to be physically, mentally and emotionally well so we have the resilience to deal with all that life throws at us. Childhood Stress It is well-documented that our busy lives leave us stressed and children too are party to this. Busy home lives, school lives, homework deadlines, and revising for exams all contribute. Add the intrusion of social media, peer pressure and messages from society as a whole into the mix, and children can be bombarded from all sides at a vulnerable stage in their lives. How Can Yoga Help? As a ‘mindful’ practice, Yoga belongs in the ‘wellbeing toolkit’, providing practical exercises to strengthen the body, calm …