Health Promoting Schools can improve some areas of health, but more research is needed

My grandfather had a nearly religious conviction of the value of physical activity. No weekend was complete without a strenuous bout of outdoor exercise, regardless of the weather.  New England gets cold and damp, and his five children would prepare themselves for winter excursions with some reluctance. ‘Healthy body, healthy mind!’ my grandfather would say, exhorting them [read the full story…]

Only phonics instruction is proven effective for treating reading disability, says systematic review

Reading instruction was once a topic guaranteed to ignite passionate debate among teachers, mostly between proponents of phonics instruction and supporters of whole-language approaches. Although this particular controversy has become less heated in recent years, with many endorsing a hybrid or mixed-methods approach, there remains a great deal of interest in the relative merits of [read the full story…]

Impact of School-Wide Positive Behaviour Interventions and Supports

The impact of poor behaviour in schools can have wide-ranging detrimental affects on learning, wellbeing and social development. School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS or PBIS), originally created by Horner and Sugai (2006), is a whole-school behaviour intervention program. It has been widely implemented in more than 16,000 schools across the United States, with [read the full story…]

Sit together and read… Oh, and discuss the print to help with spelling.

Open book on grass

I remember discovering the joys of storybooks in the 1970’s, as Grandpa Elf and I would sit in the dappled shade of the trees, reading story after story set in the woodland. For human children, tucked up in their beds, tales of deadly wolves and evil grandmothers may well have had a scary edge, but [read the full story…]

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Girls just wanna have fun! Helping female children and adolescents develop into happy, healthy, successful and sociable adults.

Silhouette jump

My last blog (Boys, don’t cry!) addressed the many challenges that can present themselves to boys during childhood and adolescence, and cause them to veer off the road from healthy development. Girls by no means have it easy! When compared to boys, girls are more likely to present with mental health problems (Merikangas, 2010). Furthermore, [read the full story…]

Boys, don’t cry! Guiding male children towards health, happiness, success and socially acceptable behaviour

Shattered glass

During childhood and adolescence, any number of life events can present challenges to children’s wellbeing, threatening their chances to become physically and mentally healthy adults. Boys are more likely than girls to drop out of school, be delinquent and drink alcohol, and they are less likely to go to college than their female counterparts (Bandy, [read the full story…]

Teach your teachers well… Effective programs for Primary Science

Viruses and bacteria

Governments across the world are increasingly realising the importance of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in determining the success of economic futures. Postgraduates of STEM subjects can play an important role in steering the economy in the right direction by driving innovation, undertaking significant research and providing much-needed entrepreneurship. Teachers who are confident with [read the full story…]

Cochrane review inconclusive about the impact of music education on the reading skills of children with dyslexia

Dyslexia is a specific learning disorder characterised by difficulty with spelling and decoding words. The NHS Choices website explains that people with dyslexia typically have trouble with: phonological awareness (the ability to identify the units of sound within words) verbal memory (the ability to remember a sequence of verbal information for a short period of [read the full story…]

Is there a balance between appreciation and challenge for teachers?

Balanced stones

National and international research consistently shows that the most significant factor in raising educational achievement is the employment and retention of good quality teachers. Teacher recruitment and retention; an historical context In recent history, the UK Government has introduced many initiatives to tackle the problems of teacher recruitment and retention (Menter, 2002), including bursaries for [read the full story…]

Social skills groups are of some benefit for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders

Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) cover a range of developmental disorders, including Autism, Asperger Syndrome and Rett’s Syndrome. ASD can involve a variety of symptoms, which fall into 3 main categories: Difficulties with social interaction Impaired language and communication Unusual patterns of behaviour and thought Social interactions can be extremely difficult for children with ASD, and [read the full story…]