Welcome to the Author Blog for Sheila Nutkins. Here you will find information and Sheila's own thoughts and opinions on topical issues relating to early childhood education and care.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Upstart Scotland campaign for play-based approach to early learning

Check out the Upstart website at http://www.upstart.scot/

to find out more about -

Scotland’s children are Scotland’s future. To realise their full potential, they need the very best start to their education. The western countries with the best records in education don't start formal schooling till children are seven. Instead they have a kindergarten stage based on well-established principles of child development.
Current Scottish policy supports a developmental approach, but the structure of our schooling system makes it difficult to deliver. A statutory kindergarten stage ensures that the ethos of education for the under-sevens is different from that of formal schooling.
In today's fast-moving, high-pressure world, children need more opportunities to learn through play (especially outdoors), to develop their spoken language and social skills, and to build sound foundations for academic achievement. Please read Why Upstart? to find out more about our aims and if you’d like to be kept up-to-date with the campaign, register for the monthly newsletter on the right sidebar form.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Hats off to multilingual families!

Hats off to multilingual families!- Teachers, schools and multilingual pupils
Go to this link to see blog by Leena Helevaara Robertson on multi-lingualism http://blog.finnish-institute.org.uk/2016/02/hats-off-to-multilingual-families.html
She says in conclusion:

When my sons were born in London, I became very active in establishing a Finnish Saturday school for them. I wanted them to make personal relationships with other Finnish children, play in Finnish, read and write in Finnish, and connect with the Finnish community in England. Today there are 160 Finnish Schools around the world.  And guess what? Other linguistic minorities do exactly the same.  The whole world over. Particularly in urban areas. There are networks of Portuguese, Greek and Turkish schools around the world supported by their embassies. There are many, many others including Mandarin Chinese schools where they do much more than celebrate Chinese New Year and eat noodles.

If teachers are interested in cultures, and in multiculturalism, these are the best places to visit to see what kinds of cultural practices are transported. Best places to form connections, friendships even. The other fascinating aspect is to see how much these communities value education, including learning the school language, whilst aiming to keep their own languages alive. 
Every time I visit these schools it takes my breath away to see their commitment. Hats off to them all.