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Shortly before Christmas 2015, the Parliamentary Education Committee announced that they would address the question: 'What are the purposes and desirable qualities of education?'. Fantastic. We contributed, (see Diary article) and attended their conference. It has all now gone very quiet.
But not outside of Westminster.
We were delighted to find that a coalition is emerging, and we are now members. It is called 'More Than a Score' and its campaign is to re-enliven education. It too is addressing the question 'what are the purposes and desirable qualities of education': and it is a group of determined organisations and people.
At MTAS 2016 conference, author Tanya Landman posed the question "Are we in sinister territory? Do politicians actively want to switch children off from learning, from thinking for themselves?"
Well, that caught me up short! Did you know? Google told me, no-one else.
So here is Wikipedia:
"Universal Children's Day takes place annually on 20 November. First proclaimed by the United Kingdom in 1954, it was established to encourage all countries to institute a day, firstly to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and secondly to initiate action to benefit and promote the welfare of the world's children."
Is this forgotten now in the UK? Is it buried in the same drawer where we will find the iconic phrase from the 1989 Children Act: 'The children's interests are paramount'?
"Universal Children's Day offers each of us an inspirational entry-point to advocate, promote and celebrate children's rights, translating into dialogues and actions that will build a better world for Children."
Whatever the day, let's take the opportunity, delight and opportunity, not only promote society as fit for children but also a place where children's voice is heard:
The image is from the 'Planetary Messages' video of the children of Reggio, and they have something to say, as do all of ours - can we listen? Here it is: I know we've shared it before, but ...
The Children's Garden, Stamford, one of the nurseries in our network, is seeking a pedagogical leader to join them in developing their practice. Do please pass it on to anyone you feel may be interested and suitable: Here is their call:
The Children's Garden Day Nursery and Montessori Pre-School, Stamford, Lincs,
"We believe that if Maria Montessori was alive today, that she would have taken further her knowledge and research. Her ideas that the environment was the third teacher – a prepared environment, and that children are born with innate gifts and resources to create themselves may well have led to profound change which would reflect the practices taking place in the Reggio Emilia area of Italy today.
We are a nursery daycentre committed to developing our understanding and practice, recently inspired by the work of Reggio Emilia's preschools, and have launched into the excitement of change through a recent Sightlines 'Developing Environments of Enquiry' course.
It is our hope to develop our own pedagogy with an experienced and inspirational leader who can help to move us into deeper thinking and understanding about this approach.
The right candidate will have extensive experience about the Reggio Emilia approach, be confident in delivering staff development and training, and be experienced particularly in working with children under five. We are in the early stages of our journey so we're looking for someone with a mature approach who is able introduce new ways of working with sensitivity and patience. A knowledge of Montessori would be helpful. Salary to be discussed based on experience and expectation of delivery.
You can read more about us online: https://stamford.tcgnursery.co.uk/