Anti Bullying Week: Using Poetry to Promote Talking and Healing – Pooky Knightsmith

Anti BullyingPoetry can prove a great way into difficult conversations in therapeutic, classroom or family settings.  In this chapter from Using Poetry to Promote Talking and Healing, author Pooky Knightsmith offers a series of poems to help get people talking about issues surrounding bullying and abuse this Anti Bullying Week.

Click here to download the extract

Using Poetry to Promote Talking and Healing includes a collection of over 100 poems written by the author with accompanying activities, as well as a 50 prompts to encourage clients to write their own poems. A complete resource for anyone considering using poetry to explore difficult issues, and a creative way of exploring important mental health issues in PSHE lessons, this book will be of interest to youth, school and adult counsellors, therapists, psychologists, pastoral care teams, PSHE co-ordinators and life coaches, as well as parents.

Anti Bullying Week: What role can teachers play in building a better school community? – Pete Wallis

anti bullyingWhen writing the text for What are you staring at?, a graphic novel about restorative justice in a school setting, I couldn’t resist taking a side-swipe at the antiquated system of school detentions, as a repost to the endlessly repeated rhetoric calling for ‘discipline’ to be brought back into the nation’s schools. By pointing out that more often than not, slapping a detention on a young person for wrong-doing is actively counterproductive, I hope to illustrate how ineffective a punitive system is for resolving behavioural issues or engendering self-discipline within a school community. In one of Joseph Wilkins’ most evocative images, our protagonist, Jake, is seen sitting alone in a large classroom. He is serving a detention for punching Ryan, a pupil in the year below, and we see him simmering with anger and resentment at the injustice of it all. At this point in the book, no one has taken the trouble to tease out the story behind his violent behaviour, and because the punishment hurts (as it is designed to) he is minded to take revenge on the very person he harmed in the first place – namely the innocent Ryan – for being the ongoing cause of his pain. Precious little scope there for reflection, understanding, resolution or healing. Continue reading

Anti Bullying Week: The Importance of Teaching Empathy to Children

bullyingIt’s Anti Bullying Week, so we thought we’d share this extract from Alison Knowles’ new children’s book Ollie and the Golden Stripe.  In this story, Ollie learns the importance of empathy when his classmate Adam is bullied during a game of football. Empathy transports Ollie into Adam’s shoes and teaches him not to laugh at Adam, but to understand and share his feelings.

Click here to download the extract

Alison is also the author of Ollie and His Superpowers.  The books are designed for parents and schools to help children be the best version of themselves.

Anti Bullying Week: Sticks and Stones

Anti bullyingIt’s Anti Bullying Week, and to mark the occasion we thought we’d share this extract from Naomi Richards and Julia Hague’s new book Being Me (and Loving It) which contains 29 easy-to-read stories to help build self-esteem, confidence, positive body image and resilience in children aged 5-11.

In this story, Ginny becomes upset when the older girls in the playground start calling her names. Turning to her mother for advice, she learns that it is best only to listen to the people who you care about and to ignore those who you don’t. The story is accompanied by notes for the educator to support discussions and reinforce the messages being taught.

Click here to download the extract

Speech therapy and LEGO® bricks – Dawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester

speech therapyDawn Ralph and Jacqui Rochester, co-authors of Building Language Using LEGO® Bricks, discuss the use of LEGO® as a powerful and fun intervention tool for helping children and adults with severe speech, language and communication disorders, often related to autism and other special educational needs.

This intervention has been used with a range of children and adults.  As most of our clinical experience has been with children we have referred to participants in this article as ‘the child’ or ‘children’.  However, we have trained professionals who have used this approach with adults.

Building Language using LEGO® Bricks– a practical guide evolved from our attempts to implement LEGO-Based Therapy (LeGoff et al 2014) with children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).  We soon discovered that we needed to make significant adaptions to allow this client group to access it successfully.  Dr LeGoff, in his original research, invited extensions of his approach.  We decided to take up the challenge. Continue reading

Adoptive parenting can be tough, but also wholly rewarding – Sophie Ashton

AdoptionSophie Ashton, author of The Secrets of Successful Adoptive Parenting, describes the emotional struggle she went through soon after her daughter moved in.  Admitting that she did not anticipate the emotional toll it would take on her and her husband, she nonetheless says that adoption can be a wholly rewarding experience that brings joy, hope and fulfillment.

Everyone’s adoption story is unique and special to them. Yet many include the similar frustrations associated with the adoption approval and matching process and/or the emotional anguish associated with the loneliness and heartache of infertility.

Our story is but one of many, and one with which many people will identify.  Getting through the adoption approval process took my husband and I two years, followed by 13 months to find our daughter and a further 10 months of waiting for the matching panel to approve us as her parents.  As you can imagine there were many frustrations along the way.  On the plus side, by the time Lucy moved in we’d had many years to read adoption related books, attend courses and prepare for her arrival.  We were super excited and felt more than ready to welcome Lucy as our new daughter into our home. Continue reading

Ten teacher tips to keep a student with ADHD on track in class

ADHDDiana Hudson, author of Specific Learning Difficulties – What Teachers Need to Know, looks at the common challenges that children with ADHD may present in the classroom, and suggests ways that teachers can help them to stay focused and get the most out of their lessons. 

Sensitive teachers can make a huge difference to the happiness, confidence and academic success of children who have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Continue reading

We Need to Talk about Pornography – Vanessa Rogers

pornographyIn this extract from We Need to Talk about Pornography, Vanessa Rogers discusses the impact of pornography on young people. At a time when it has never been more accessible and the likes of revenge porn and sexting are on the rise, there is a growing need for more dynamic education around what pornography is, how sex is portrayed in the media versus reality and how pornography can affect sexual relationships, self-esteem and body image.

Click here to download the extract

Vanessa Rogers addresses this gap in sexual education by providing a comprehensive resource to support anyone who might be involved in sex education for young people. Through open conversations around sex and pornography, parents and educators can encourage healthy and respectful relationships in future generations. Packed with ready-to-use lesson plans and activities, and outlines for staff CPD sessions and parent workshops, this book is an essential resource for PSHE teachers, senior leadership teams, pastoral care teams, school counsellors, youth workers, school nurses and others. Click here to find out more about We Need to Talk about Pornography.

Dyslexia, a disability or an ability to think differently? – Veronica Bidwell

dyslexiaIn this article Veronica Bidwell, author of The Parents’ Guide to Specific Learning Difficulties, explains the numerous ways that teachers and parents can support the learning of children with dyslexia.  She suggests adopting a holistic approach that engages all the body’s senses, examining the bigger picture before delving into the subject matter and recapping little and often with the aid of memory gadgets.  Packed full of advice and practical strategies for parents and educators, her book is a one-stop-shop for supporting children with Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLDs), ranging from poor working memory, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, through to ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), Specific Language Impairment and Visual Processing Difficulty. 

In an interview on Woman’s Hour this week Jo Malone, the brilliant fragrance queen, talked about her life and how she built and sold a multi-million pound company, battled cancer and then built up her new company, Jo Loves.

Jo mentioned her failure to succeed in school and the fact that she had left with no qualifications whatsoever. This, happily for the rest of us, did not deter the entrepreneur. Her fragrant oils, creams, candles, colognes and perfumes are loved and have made her a household name.

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How can parents support their child with dyslexia? – Neil Alexander-Passe

alexander-passeNeil Alexander- Passe, author of Dyslexia and Mental Health, talks about the different ways that parents can support their child with dyslexia who may be struggling at school. He explains that, with the right encouragement and communication with teachers, there is every chance that a child with dyslexia will thrive in today’s day and age.

 

Contrary to public perception, you do not outgrow dyslexia. The dyslexic child who struggles with literacy will likely become a dyslexic adult who also struggles with literacy.  What has changed, however, is that today’s schools have a duty of care to support the additional needs of their students.  Unlike older generations of dyslexics who quite likely had a negative school experience, teachers have a responsibility nowadays to make sure that SEN students are recognised, that they are made to feel included in the classroom, and that they are not subjected to humiliation and left behind.  In fact, teacher training is finally introducing a compulsory SEND element, which means that all teachers will be judged on their ability to support the special educational needs of their pupils.  What, though, can parents be doing to ensure their child with dyslexia enjoys school?  And how can they help their teachers provide the best support?

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