What students really gain from experiencing ‘living, breathing geography’

Committed to providing students with unforgettable learning opportunities, the Geography Department at The McAuley Catholic High School in Doncaster are advocates of learning outside the classroom.

This year alone, the school have embarked on a number of Geography Trips with specialist group tour operator Rayburn Tours, venturing to destinations such as the Bay of Naples and IcelandThese invaluable opportunities have enabled pupils to discover new skills, experience different cultures and be inspired by ‘living, breathing geography’.

Rebecca Quigley, Geography Teacher at McAuley, is passionate about teaching and inspiring a future generation of geographers. Dedicated to making a difference to her pupils’ learning and development, her ultimate aim as a Geography Teacher is:

“To instil a lifelong curiosity about the world in young people. I want my pupils to ask why, to be out in different countries and places and to see particular things and question why it’s there, why it looks like that.”

Whilst classroom learning undoubtedly provides the foundation of education, there is so much to be gained from supporting indoor learning with outdoor experiences. Students can observe how the world works in real life situations, adding depth to curriculum-based learning and bringing the subject alive as they encounter real world examples first-hand.

“One of the unique aspects of geography is that we have field work as part of our discipline. We can stand at the front of a classroom and talk about processes, theories and concepts, then actually take pupils to that particular place and see it in real life right in front of them. I think it not only consolidates but enhances their knowledge.”

Teachers are in the privileged position to not only teach, but also inspire future generations, shaping who they are and how they perceive the world around them. By providing students with exceptional learning opportunities both outside the classroom as well as in, students gain real benefits from a holistic education.

“I think it’s something that teachers should take advantage of and think about the fact that you’re in a position to take pupils to any country in the world, to expose them to new places, new people, new skills and give them memories that will last a lifetime.”

But why is it so critical to instil a sense of awe and wonder in young people about the world around them?

“It’s so important because so many of the world’s current and global issues boil down to geography and it’s the young people who sit in front of us who we’ll be turning to in order to solve some of these problems.”

Hear from Rebecca herself and her own experiences in the video interviews featured on the Rayburn Tours blog.

If you’ve been inspired by The McAuley Catholic High School to plan an international experience, Rayburn Tours would be delighted to hear from you.

Creating tailor-made tours for groups since 1965 and over 23,000 passengers each year, Rayburn Tours is passionate about inspiring young minds and creating quality international experiences.

Tel: 01332 347 828   Email: info@rayburntours.com   Visit: www.rayburntours.com

NEW DIGITAL PARTNERSHIP TO BOOST SCIENCE AND NUTRITION TEACHING IN PRIMARY SCHOOLS

Alimentarium Foundation & Discovery Education Launch Exciting New ‘Food and the Body’ Digital Classroom Resources

 

Thousands of primary school pupils are set to benefit from a new partnership between Switzerland’s Alimentarium Museum and Discovery Education Espresso, which will deliver exciting digital resources to classrooms and transform the teaching of science and nutrition in UK schools.

 

The 3-year initiative will see Alimentarium, the world’s first ever food museum, collaborate with Discovery Education Espresso to create fresh and engaging multi-media content which will unlock food science secrets and switch pupils on to nutrition.

 

The Alimentarium Foundation – a foundation of Nestlé since 1980 – is recognised as an international public learning centre for all issues relating to food and nutrition, and the new resources will allow schools to tap into this expertise. Developed in partnership with the Museum’s experts, the content will include dynamic interactive videos, activities and games, supporting the teaching of Science and PSHE at primary level.

 

The bold new resources will take pupils on a fascinating exploration of the human body, teaching them about the science of eating and nutrition in a fun and accessible way. Taking a journey through the digestive system, children will explore the amazing processes that keep us alive, and understand what makes our bodies tick. They’ll also investigate the important role of food in positive body image, and learn how ‘mindful eating’ and being alert to the senses can help us to eat well.

 

Announced at the start of UK Healthy Eating Week, the new partnership is already underway and film-makers and education experts are busy putting the finishing touches to the new resources. The first module – Food and the Body – will be launched in Discovery Education Espresso’s digital learning service from September.

 

Ursula Zeller, director of the Alimentarium said:

 

“The Alimentarium believes that its partnership with Discovery Education is a perfect opportunity to broaden access to accurate knowledge on food and nutrition for primary school children. By enriching the Alimentarium Academy online educational platform with new resources for the younger population, the Alimentarium and Discovery Education are together making an important contribution to raising consciousness worldwide for more informed choices from an early age.”

 

Catherine Howard, Director of Educational Partnerships at Discovery Education said:

“Discovery Education is delighted to be joining forces with Alimentarium. We have a shared mission to raise awareness of the issues of food and nutrition, and our combined expertise will enable us to create digital classroom resources with a difference. Together we will help schools to deliver teaching with real impact, encouraging pupils to think about the science of nutrition in an exciting way and to make healthier choices for a lifetime.”

Discovery Education Espresso is one of the UK’s leading digital learning services, delivering dynamic curriculum matched content to 1.8 million pupils in over 6500 schools.

The new Food and the Body Module will be available to schools with a Discovery Education Espresso subscription from September 2017. Schools interested in a free trial of the Discovery Education Espresso service can request one here.

 

Starting in Uganda, sharing of big data to enable investment in education

LONDON, 13 June 17 – Millions more children could end up getting an education, when Opportunity International (OI) shares its experience and data on education microfinance, enabling others to invest in education.

With 263 million children out of school, banks and other financial institutions have been reluctant to lend into developing countries’ education because – in their view – of the small margins and high risks.

But with backing from philanthropists, donors, and impact investors, OI’s EduFinance (OEF) programme has been running counter to this trend, helping children to access affordable private education by lending to schools and to parents. To date, it has helped 2 million children access quality education.

The non-profit organization currently works with 12 microfinance institutions in ten countries and its education loan portfolio is growing rapidly, almost quadrupling since the end of 2012. It now wants to accelerate this progress by working with more financial institutions.

“We want to be an industry catalyst for affordable education, and to be truly transformational we need to persuade more players to invest into this sector,” said Nathan Byrd, who runs the OEF programme.

“That is why we are planning to share the enormous amounts of data that we have gathered, helping others to measure risk extremely accurately and to reduce that risk almost to zero,” he said.

At the end of March 2017, the OEF total active portfolio consisted of nearly 45,000 loans worth just over US$21.4 million and benefitting nearly 450,000 children. Repayment rates on its loans are more than 99 percent.

“In a very real sense, we are filling the ‘missing middle’ by which medium-sized financial institutions fail to lend into this market, put off by small margins and government regulation,” he said.

“This is a major market failure, which we simply have to correct,” he said. “Education holds the keys to poverty reduction for literally millions of families around the world.”

At the end of 2016 OEF was given grant funding to build the first open-platform credit model for education lending, developed initially for Uganda.  The platform will offer automated credit algorithms, so that others can minimize the risks of lending into the education sector, allowing banks to go rapidly and effectively to scale with their education lending.

Managing Transitions in Early Years

Research suggests that transitions are central to young children’s development and emotional wellbeing, and the way in which the first transitions are handled could have a significant impact on the child’s capacity to cope with change in the short and long term.

Early years practitioners should ensure children are fully supported through these key transitions and plan for them appropriately, says Elizabeth Walker, Lead Commentator with Wolters Kluwer’s Croner-i Early Years.

 

Moving from home to nursery or childminder

Starting at an early years provision or childminder offers exciting opportunities as well as challenges, and this transition needs to be managed sensitively and effectively. When a child leaves the home environment for the first time it can be an anxious and emotional time for the whole family.

The principle of well-planned transitions and of working with parents to ensure that children’s needs are met appropriately is embedded within the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS). Transition should be viewed as a process rather than a single event and children, practitioners and parents should all be involved in the process.

Practitioners need to develop policies and procedures to ensure that they support children to make smooth and successful transitions. The following checklist includes the key areas that providers should consider when they are developing transition policy and procedures.

  • Evaluate communication and correspondence with new parents, ensuring information is clear and welcoming.
  • Develop a clear settling-in policy and share it with parents.
  • Offer parents a welcome pack with photos of the staff and the provision.
  • Hold story times or drop-in sessions so new families can get to know the provision before their child starts.
  • Ask parents for as much information as possible about their child including their feeding, sleeping and changing routines so individual needs can be planned for.
  • Organise home visits and introduce the child’s key worker.
  • Use photographs of children (taken with parental permission) for labels and in welcoming displays.
  • Offer staggered admissions.
  • Invite parents to stay with the child as they adjust to the new environment.
  • Encourage children to bring a familiar object from home, such as a teddy or blanket.
  • Access and read all incoming information on individual children.
  • Highlight and brief all staff on those children who may be vulnerable and/or have special educational needs.
  • Liaise with outside health/education/social service professionals who may be involved with particular children.
  • Review how each child is settling in on a daily basis with parents/key worker and use a settling-in diary.
  • Respond sensitively to parents’ anxieties.
  • Have a planned review or parents’ evening to assess how the child is settling in.
  • Have a parallel procedure for children who start in the middle of terms or at other times.
  • Make provision for parents with English as an additional language or those with poor literacy skills.
  • Ensure experiences are provided which reflect children’s home life and culture.
  • Meet with staff to review and update transition policies and procedures.

Sometimes a child needs to move to a new nursery or childminder due to a change in circumstances. Staff should support this transition by ensuring that there is good communication and information-sharing with both the family and the new provision.

SEN

A transition for a child with special educational needs (SEN) or disability may need additional planning to ensure that it is smooth and successful from the beginning.

It is good practice for early years providers to arrange a meeting to discuss the transition once they have received information about a child’s additional needs. Ideally this should take place in the term before the child is due to start, to enable sufficient time for any plans or support to be put into place.

Parents and any professionals involved with the child should be invited. The provision should plan for any necessary training, resources or adaptations that are required before a child starts.

 

Moving from room to room within the provision

Practitioners should be aware that even when children are happy and settled it can be a big step for them to move to a new room within the provision with older children or different activities and routines.

Room-to-room transitions also require planning and staff should ensure that children are fully supported in this move. Key points to consider include the following.

  • Introduce a new key person to the child and his or her parents before they move rooms.
  • Organise settling-in sessions in the new room so that children can adjust to the new environment and staff gradually.
  • Consider how a child’s friendships will be affected by moving rooms.
  • Transitional objects such as special teddies or blankets may help the process.

 

Moving to Reception Class

Starting school is a huge step in any child’s life and staff from both early years provisions and schools need to work together to support families in this transition.

It is important that children and parents are given opportunities to familiarise themselves with the school environment so that they can start building relationships with the key members of staff. Parents and carers need to have clear information about what will be happening in the transition process and how they can support their child.

Practitioners should therefore ensure that there is good communication and information-sharing between themselves and parents prior to a child starting school.

Preparation for the transition should begin early and childcare providers should develop positive relationships with schools to facilitate the process. Good practice involves:

  • identifying a transition co-ordinator to liaise with schools
  • organising visits from school Reception teachers and introducing them to children in their current provision
  • talking to children about starting school and offering opportunities to share their feelings, such as at circle time
  • providing school role-play activities, such as uniform or book bags and reading books about starting school
  • encouraging independence at lunch and snack times
  • encouraging children to develop independence when putting on their coats/shoes and with personal self-care in readiness for starting school
  • providing the new school with children’s records of development, interests, special needs, etc
  • considering the children who are not yet old enough to move to school and how they are feeling about their peers leaving.

 

Moving from Reception to Year 1

The move from Reception to Year 1 is a key transition in a child’s education, as it is when they move from the EYFS to Key Stage 1 and the start of more formal schooling. This also needs careful planning and preparation, and Reception and Year 1 staff should work together to ensure a smooth transition and continuity.

There is a statutory requirement to complete the EYFS profile for each child at the end of the Reception year. This provides parents and carers, practitioners and teachers with a well-rounded picture of the child’s knowledge, understanding and abilities, their progress against expected levels and their readiness for Year 1.

The profile should be used to support a smooth transition to Key Stage 1 and help Year 1 teachers to plan an effective and appropriate curriculum that will meet the needs of all the children.

Ideas for effective transition practice include the following.

  • Facilitate visits between Reception and Year 1 children.
  • Organise non-contact time for EYFS and Year 1 staff to discuss individual children and data.
  • Communicate clearly with parents and carers about the transition into Year 1.
  • Plan an open evening to introduce new teachers and explain the structure and routines in Year 1.
  • Pair a Reception child with a Year 1 “buddy” to share experiences.
  • Ensure Year 1 practitioners build on the EYFS approach.
  • Provide opportunities for Year 1 children to experience structured play-based activities.

 

Changes within the family

Children may also have to face changes in their home life which will require additional support from early years practitioners. Other types of transitions that children may experience include separation or divorce of parents, a new sibling, moving house or the death of a family member.

Children going through these transitions may be experiencing a range of emotions or a sense of loss. Staff should work with children and their families to provide a safe environment in which to support the child’s individual needs. Developing a secure attachment with a key worker is essential to supporting transitions. Early years practitioners have an important role to play in supporting children when they are experiencing strong emotional upset. Keeping to familiar routines, such as going to nursery, can help to reduce a child’s anxiety. It is common for children’s play to reflect what is happening around them and this is a healthy response which should be encouraged.

Early years practitioners can support children by:

  • sharing stories about transition or loss appropriate for the child’s age
  • observing children to identify behaviour changes, areas of interest and friendships
  • having puppets and dolls in the role play area for children to use to express themselves
  • allowing children to express their emotions through mark making and painting
  • talking about emotions during circle time.

It is important to remember that some transitions will affect the whole family and parents may also need support. Staff should offer information such as advice line numbers and details of recommended professional bodies in a supportive and professional way.

 

Further information

  • The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage — Setting the Standards for Learning, Development and Care for Children from Birth to Five, Department for Education (DfE)
  • Seamless Transitions — Supporting Continuity in Young Children’s Learning, DfE
  • Early Childhood Transitions Research: A Review of Concepts, Theory, and Practice, Vogler Pia, Crivello Gina and Woodhead Martin
  • Pre-school Learning Alliance

 

© 2017 Wolters Kluwer (UK) Limited

 

INDEPENDENT SCHOOL OFFERS FREE PLACES FOR LOCAL PUPILS

A popular London fee-paying school is offering two local children prized places at the establishment . . . worth more than £11,000 a year per child.

Avenue House School, an independent day school in Ealing, is looking for two new Year 1 pupils to be awarded up to a 100% discount on tuition fees, starting in September 2017.

The school’s bursary scheme opened for applications on Monday, June 5th and is aimed at attracting parents who believe their child will benefit from an education at the school but are prevented from joining for financial reasons.

School proprietor David Immanuel says: “I wish to broaden access to the school by offering eligible parents means-tested financial support with the payment of fees.

Children here are taught in small classes where they can develop an excellent work ethic and achieve high standards in academic and non-academic subjects.”

Mr Immanuel adds: “Avenue House is not an academically selective school.  To be considered for a bursary, however, children will be required to undertake an informal assessment to identify potential.  We wish to ensure that financial assistance will be offered to those children who show the potential not only to benefit from an Avenue House education but also to contribute positively to school life academically and perhaps with other talents – in sports, music, art or drama – in order to further enrich the school community.”

The process is as follows:

• Parents/guardians make an appointment to visit the school

• Arrangements are made for assessment of the child

• Parents/guardians are required to complete a bursary application form, which seeks to establish the financial circumstances of the household

• The Headteacher identifies those children who are likely to make sound academic progress following admission and possess the potential to develop the quality of his or her work and benefit from participation in the wider, extra-curricular activities on offer at the school

• All bursary applications for children will be processed by an external specialist bursary company who will report their findings to the Governors

• Places at the school and the level of financial support to be provided are awarded at the discretion of the Governors. Parents are notified accordingly

For more information about bursaries please contact: Justin Sheppard, Headteacher on 020 8998 9981

 

BookTrust comment on the announcement of Lauren Child as the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate

Lauren Child, artist and highly-acclaimed author and illustrator of the bestselling and award-winning Charlie and Lola and Clarice Bean picture books and Ruby Redfort novels, has today (Wednesday 7 June) been crowned the 10th Waterstones Children’s Laureate. Child was presented with her medal from outgoing Waterstones Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell at an afternoon ceremony at City Hall in Hull, which is UK City of Culture 2017.

 

BookTrust Chief Executive Diana Gerald on the announcement of Lauren Child as the new Waterstones Children’s Laureate:

 

“BookTrust is very proud to be managing The Waterstones Children’s Laureate and we are delighted that the hugely talented Lauren Child will be succeeding Chris Riddell in this extremely important role. Each of the Children’s Laureates has been wonderfully different from each other, whilst still promoting a core belief of the transformative power of reading. The Children’s Laureate programme is a vital element in championing, and embedding, the importance of children reading for pleasure which fully mirrors BookTrust’s mission- to inspire a love of reading for pleasure in all children through our programmes. We look forward to seeing Lauren shining a cultural spotlight on children’s books and championing creativity for children across the country”

London student wins National Theatre New Views playwriting competition

A play written by 17 year old Beattie Green from St Marylebone School in London has won the National Theatre’s annual playwriting competition for 15–19 year olds, New Views.  Beattie’s play Dead Don’t Floss was chosen out of over 300 entries for a performance by professional actors at the National Theatre in July.  Entries came from sixty-three schools across the UK, as well as a partner theatre programme at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

The winning play was selected from a shortlist of ten by a panel of judges including NT Senior Dramaturg Nina Steiger, playwrights Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) and Anupama Chandrasekhar (NT writer in residence), and actor Tamara Lawrance. The play will be performed in the NT’s Dorfman Theatre on 4 July.

Dead Don’t Floss opens with a teenage girl practising her stand-up routine alone in her bedroom.  She has lots of great material, but as the play progresses we realise that her story isn’t just full of dead funny jokes, it is also full of death – and that really isn’t very funny.

Beattie Green said: “New Views didn’t feel like a competition for most of the process and I think that’s one of the great things about it. The emphasis is on trying something new, finding your voice and hearing other people’s stories. I wouldn’t have started writing if it wasn’t for this competition so I’m very grateful that the National Theatre run programmes like this for young people. There is a lot of emphasis on “core” subjects in school and creativity can sometimes be overlooked, so for me projects like this are more important than ever.”

Playwright and judge on this year’s panel, Simon Stephens, said: “The calibre of writing on this year’s New Views shortlist was thrilling. Each piece was distinctive and clear, alert and bracing. The writers wrote with real imagination and inspiring compassion. Reading the shortlist was an experience that charged me with great enthusiasm at a time when our country needs its young voices to sing more clearly the ever before. Dead Don’t Floss captivated all of us with its wit and sadness, its wisdom and its bravery. It is a singularly beautiful piece of writing.”

New Views encourages young people to write plays about issues which are important to them, exploring key contemporary questions and dilemmas. Students in the programme follow an online playwriting course written by Jemma Kennedy, with additional contributions from celebrated playwrights including Roy Williams, Alecky Blythe and James Graham, and are mentored in school by a team of 17 professional writers.

New Views is supported by Old Possum’s Practical Trust, Chapman Charitable Trust, Golsoncott Foundation and The Steel Charitable Trust.

Booking opens on 12 June. For more information visit: nationaltheatre.org.uk/newviews

School Leadership Needs To Change…

The last decade has seen increasing levels of pressure, public scrutiny and personal accountability begin to seriously impact on the mental health and emotional well-being of our nation’s Head teachers and school leaders.

 

Education commentators have noted how burnout and ‘disappearance’ from the profession are on the rise. Meanwhile, Governors are now reporting recruitment has become a “major issue”. Among those who have remained in the profession, feelings of fear, isolation and self-doubt are now widely reported.

 

A former Headteacher and Director of Integrity Coaching, Viv Grant who experienced first-hand the cost of school leadership (Read her story in the Guardian) and has been working with School Leaders for the last decade, has decided that something needs to change.

 

That’s why, on the 19th October 2017, Viv and Integrity Coaching (the company she founded to support School Leaders after she left Headship) will be hosting a new type of conference – an ‘Education for the Soul’ Conference in Euston, London.

 

The conference is designed to tackle some of the biggest questions affecting education and the experience of school leaders today and help Head teachers and senior school leaders to improve their schools without sacrificing their own well-being. Viv Grant had this to say about the conference…

 

“In the last decade, I’ve seen how School leaders are now forced to sacrifice their well-being on a daily basis to simply survive in the profession. I’ve coached Heads on a brink of a nervous breakdown and have witnessed the inhumane treatment of those who have been let down by the system.”

“SAT’s and GCSE results, OFSTED grades and league tables appear to have more importance than the people behind it all. This is not how education should be. This is not how we fulfil society’s hopes and dreams for our children. “

 

“This is conference aims to find solutions, establish new ways of leading that will transform the daily reality of School Leadership. It will give Heads and school leaders the chance to focus on their emotional needs and rather than ignore them, realize these needs must be addressed if they are to successfully serve the needs of their staff, children and the communities they serve.”

 

Renowned Speakers such as psychologist Vanessa King, board member of ‘Action for Happiness’ and author of ‘Ten Keys to Happier Living’ and Dr Neil Hawkes, founder of ‘Values Based Education’ will explain what needs to be changed to create a more humane approach to raise and maintain standards across our schools and keep Heads in the profession. There will also be a selection of workshops delivered by experts from the fields of emotional resilience, Authentic School Leadership and Well-Being”.

 

 

To find out more about this new type of conference, visit: www.integritycoaching.co.uk/conference

 

Industry immersion: teachers get hands-on experience at IBM Computing Summer School

This July, teachers will have the chance to step out of the classroom setting and into the technology industry with the IBM Computing Summer School, which will take place 3-5 July 2017, at IBM Southbank (one of three Summer Schools that IBM is delivering this summer). The three day course, which will be delivered by IBM professionals, alongside staff from the award winning London Connected Learning Centre, is aimed at primary school teachers with a responsibility for computing in school.

Back by popular demand, teachers will be encouraged to explore effective ways to support colleagues in teaching computing; better understand the computing programmes’ attainment targets; get to grips with assessment and progression; and develop imaginative and creative ways to embed computing across the curriculum. The programme will explore the principles of computational thinking, digital literacy, online safety and information systems within real world contexts, including IBM’s commercial and social programmes.

Julia Lawrence, director, London Connected Learning Centre explained why she is looking forward to working with IBM UK this summer, “Our long-standing partnership with IBM is very significant for the CLC and the schools in which we work.  It enables us to help teachers and their students gain a deep understanding of the computing curriculum using IBM’s industry expertise.  From understanding the computer science behind the Wimbledon Championships to gaining insight into IBM Watson, schools are exploring the curriculum through transformational new technologies, making computing real and relevant to those who have to teach it.  We’re very proud of our work with IBM and look forward to delivering our fourth summer school with them this July.”

Mark Wakefield, Corporate Citizenship & Corporate Affairs Manager at IBM UK, explained why London Connected Learning Centre was the ideal partner for this event: “Education is a longstanding passion for IBM – we rely on a good supply of well-educated, digitally skilled young people entering our workforce, as do our clients. To ensure students effectively develop these skills, those teaching them need to be confident that their IT skills and training are up to date and that they are able to appropriately contextualise the subject that they are teaching. In the digital space, very few organisations have a real understanding of the pedagogy around technology; London Connected Learning Centre is the exception, they are experts in the area and simply have the educational knowledge that we don’t. Their focus is on teachers as much as students, which is crucial for us! Our relationship with London Connected Learning Centre spans over 15 years so we’ve seen first-hand how important they are as an organisation, and we trust them implicitly.”

To find out more about the IBM Computing Summer School, or reserve your space, contact Kim Morrison, kmorrison@londonclc.org.uk or call 0207 720 7514. The course requires a small £25 commitment fee to secure your place.

Support Needed To Launch Vital Critical Thinking Book For Children

AN ACADEMIC has launched a crowdfunding campaign in order to publish a book on critical thinking, which she says is vital to put an end to what other experts have called ‘teaching children to be stupid’.

 

Tutor, Eliza Abioye (PhD.) has written the critical thinking workbook, which is aimed at children who are six years and older, as she believes youngsters are currently taught the ability to think critically far too late in life and it is actually damaging their potential to learn.

 

Her view is shared by other academics such as Gwen Dewar PhD. who wrote an article entitled ‘Critical Thinking –are we teaching our children to be stupid’ on the website Parenting Science*.

 

Eliza, who lives in Crumpsall, Manchester, said: “Kids can learn to be critical thinkers. One way to achieve this is by making them solve problems or answer questions requiring higher-level thinking; hence the inspiration behind this book.

 

“‘1, 2, think!’ is a book based on the integration historical and current research. The questions in this book were carefully designed with the primary objective to stimulate critical thinking in children and if we don’t ask and challenge them, we are essentially encouraging them not to think – some even argue teaching them to be stupid.”

 

Critical thinking is a skill most adults will be very familiar with but which tends not to be introduced to children until they are in secondary school. Eliza and many other educational experts believe that it is far too late and even then enough emphasis is not placed on teachers helping their pupils use it.

 

She said: “The book is aimed at children over six because critical thinking is a vital skill early on as it helps them to solve daily challenges. We should not be waiting until they are nearly teenagers before we help them develop it.”

 

Now Eliza, who is 29, is launching her critical thinking workbook on popular crowdfunding website ‘Indiegogo’ today (19 May 2017). She is hoping to raise around £5,000 to enable her to print an initial run of at least 500 workbooks. For those keen to invest in the project there are rewards to be had in the form of copies of the workbook and an associated critical thinking colouring book. It is Eliza’s intention to produce a series of these books of which ‘1, 2, think’ will be the first.

 

She said: “This is the first in a series designed mainly for children who are six years and above. I see ‘1, 2,think!’ as a book that will not only be very beneficial now, but is a form of investment for the future development of thinking skills in children. Even adults can benefit from this book by using it as a mental exercise – you would be surprised!”

 

For more information about the book which contains a series of exercises for children to do and to contribute to funds for the book visit https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/1-2-think–3#/