Monday 22 October 2012

WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!!! ITV, babies need parents not TV

How irresponsible of ITV Signed Stories to show a photograph of a 2 year month old baby with an ipad in his cot! (picture removed as they have now taken it down)

I was delighted when they began to do signed stories. Using sign with little ones can be useful for many reasons as we know but we also know (as Shelley Ensor of Little Signers Club points out):
1. Screen time for under 3's is not a great idea.
2. The wifi near this baby's head is dangerous.
3. Babies can't learn to communicate from TV, they need the stimulation of their parents speech and to be held too for bonding and attachment.
4. This is over-stimulation for a baby who will kick back with crying fits and not be able to settle. It provides a low-level stress which also can affect the baby's learning 
It shows a complete lack of understanding to promote their 'business' with such  a picture. Parents will see and think it's OK. Let me spell it out IT'S NOT!!!!

For the benefit if the misguided twit who put on the photograph, (that's the politest term I can think of):
  • Babies need the stimulation of human beings to develop language and communication.
  • These skills develop right from birth – attachment is vitally important for this area and early interaction skills are the foundation for future development (Routledge et al) 
  • These skills only develop through interacting with other people – one person responding to another.
  • The attachment to the significant carer that occurs around birth is the basis for communication development.
  • The amount and type of language used at home have an effect on children’s overall language development (Hart and Risley).
  • Good early communication sets the pattern for later childhood and adolescence.

Wednesday 17 October 2012

Cracking Communication conference: Manchester

King’s House Conference Centre in Manchester will hold this exciting event on Tuesday 13th November.

There will be information and advice to help schools support outcomes for all children and young people through enhancing and promoting good language and communication skills. This conference follows on from our successful inaugural Cracking Communication conference held in London and will bring together the leading experts in speech, language and communication from the voluntary, education and private sectors.

The aim of the conference is to link together policy, evidence and practice in order to support schools to identify children with speech, language and communication needs and to enable all children to achieve their full potential through better communication skills. We are very excited about this event, with a fantastic range of speakers including:

  • Anne Duffy, HMI, Ofsted
  • Geoff Lindsay, the Better Communication Research Programme
  • Wendy Lee, Professional Director, The Communication Trust
Keynote speeches
Will link together policy, evidence and practice and you can view the timetable for the day .

Will focus on practical advice and tools that will enable school leaders to consider a range of practical solutions, based on good practice and clear evidence for their own individual communities.

Will also be on offer throughout the day to give participants the opportunity to network and see resources firsthand.

The conference will be suitable for the following audience:

  • Primary and Secondary head teachers and deputy head teachers
  • Curriculum leads, leads for teaching and learning and anyone implementing National Curriculum changes in their schools
  • SENCO's
  • Commissioners in the education and health sectors
Register now!
Book your place now to take advantage of the early bird rate of £150 per delegate

If you would like to register for the event, please visit or contact Jo Bolton


Friday 12 October 2012

Is it good parenting or good schooling that helps our children at school?

Good parenting is more important than good schooling in determining your child's academic results, says new research Trust, good communication and active involvement in a child's academic life 'can help them succeed more than sending them to a good school'

Youngsters do best when their parents help them with homework, emphasise the importance of education and attend school events, researchers found.

Children with supportive parents – even if they attend poor quality schools – tend to outperform pupils at good schools whose parents take little interest in their education.

 The findings prompted the researchers to warn that improving social mobility cannot be achieved only by ‘fixing’ the school system. 

Initiatives were also needed which aimed to enhance parents’ involvement.
What do  you think?

Read more:

Tuesday 9 October 2012

Ban under-threes from watching television, says study

We're often hearing about the dangers of too much TV but now Dr Arik Sigman reveals the results of new research today. He says that parents should curb the amount of time children spend watching television to prevent long-term harm.

 Doctors and government health officials should set limits, as they do for alcohol, on the amount of time children spend watching screens – and under-threes should be kept away from the television altogether.

A review of the evidence in the Archives Of Disease in Childhood says children's obsession with TV, computers and screen games is causing developmental damage as well as long-term physical harm. Doctors at the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, which co-owns the journal with the British Medical Journal group, say they are concerned. Guidelines in the US, Canada and Australia already urge limits on children's screen time, but there are none yet in Britain.
The review was written by psychologist Dr Aric Sigman, author of a book on the subject, following a speech he gave to the RCPCH's annual conference. On average, he says, a British teenager spends six hours a day looking at screens at home – not including any time at school. In North America, it is nearer eight hours. But, says Sigman, negative effects on health kick in after about two hours of sitting still, with increased long-term risks of obesity and heart problems. Read more
What do you think? We'd love to hear your views.