Thursday 24 February 2011

Kit on for Fairtrade started!

I planned to play home, safe, a week before fairtrade fortnight.  It was in half term and neither of our regular staff could be there, and the majority of parents we usually rely upon to support staff were on holiday, we had a high turnout (35 children) ranging in age from 0 to 8, and I had all three of my own children to watch out for too.

So I turned up 9:45 for 10, at the same time as the first of parents were arriving.  I decided to get out the bulkiest, heaviest kit out (why make things easy?), realised forgot bread - dash to shops, back again, Three children still there, and happy (don't worry, had good friends there to look out for them while I popped out to shops).

By the end of snacktime, I was hot, sweaty, tired and time to start 'Kit on' workshop.  Running a workshop with your own three children (2, 4 and 7) is a bit of a risk, but sometimes it can work to your advantage.  Today they really got into the activity and helped run it with their friends, and the parents of their friends.  I was particularly chuffed with the way Arthur and Jago talked about the day afterwards.

Patch in a dress
Paraphrasing Arthur describing to Mum - 'It was really good.  First we dressed up Patch (another Dad), then we worked in teams and dressed up our parents, but not Daddy.  Then we dressed some of the children.  I was one of them.  Then we dressed up everyone and we all got chocolate (thanks John Boyle and the Coop)  It was all for fairtrade because we should be buying fairtrade clothes.'

He'd got all of it, and understood the order (and probably why) of activities - choose someone willing to give anything a go (Patch), involve the parents, have fun (don't get pompous about fairtrade), get everyone participating.  I had been tempted to chat a bit about Uzbekistan and state sponsored child labour picking cotton and I'd totally forgotten to do the Cotton-picking song, and other songs (which was a shame).  Also not so sure how much the under twos got from it, but if they had fun putting clothes on Mum, then all is well.

Cotton picking interview
More Photos
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Saturday 19 February 2011

Techno Toddlers riding homemade horses

I was taking photos of children at our stay and play, and immediately the children wanted to see themselves.  Inagine a world where you couldn't see the photo immediately? Not for these toddlers.

My  Blackberry, only marginally younger than the children, looked like a bit of a brick to them.  They all had their fingers trying to push the photos on to see some more.

Two thoughts - first of all, this touch screen technology is genuinely easy enough for a toddler to use, and the toddlers in my stay & play have access to cutting edge technology.  Hmm.

Also a good excuse to show our video.  Horses made by residents at Evergreen Care Home, ridden by the Jockeys at Kings Heath Community Centre Stable (consent from parents).

Thursday 17 February 2011

Horse racing at KHCCSP

A great day today, racing the horses made by residents at Evergreen!  We put together a quick video/slide show from photos taken.

Next week I'm planning to bring in all three of our children for a visit to Evergreen, maybe start planning for the next swap - residents, parents and children have all suggested interest in music, but how to do?

Wednesday 9 February 2011

Risk Assessing the Internet

Yesterday was the eighth Safer Internet Day.  One of the schools I work in took the opportunity to have an e-safety workshop with everyone in the school (nursery to year six), and also with parents interested.

In any risk assessment, there are two main actions to take - to remove the risk, or if that is not possible, to 'manage' the risk and reduce the possibility and size of the potential hazard.  Schools/ISP providers can and do block sites seen as 'risky'.  However, if you remove all the sites which could be risky, you remove much of any use on the internet (see Kevin's post).  The whole of  'social media' on the internet, could, and often is, seen as too risky for children.  But if we remove access at school, how is that protecting children at home, or preparing them for use of social media?  What about the families and others at home, who likewise may not be aware of risks to them or their children using the internet?

I am particularly impressed with Paganel Primary to grapple this tricky issue and to make a longer term commitment to work with parents and children to safeguard their internet use, through the initial e-safety workshops, but also to continue with digital surgeries for parents and children to support their school community as a whole to make better and safer use of the internet with their children.

Craig's e-safety workshop with nursery children
Craig Gilman's e-safety workshops exposes the extent to which children already take risks on the internet - children as young as 7 or 8 may have facebook accounts across the UK.  Soon it could be the majority of young people with regular access to a computer will have a facebook or other social media network accounts by the time they leave primary school.

If we ignore the problem, and attempt to screen children from social media, the more likely children will not be honest about their use of the internet (Six out of ten children 'lie about age on internet') and more likely people really will be harmed by their internet use

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Thursday 3 February 2011

Puppet Horses made

We finished 4 ponies ready for horse race at KHCCSP next week!  Doris has named hers Dorothy, Margaret made Ned, and the other two are nameless at the moment.

Great response at the community centre to photos at stay & play in the morning. I've put up print off of blog and KHCCSP garden blog on the boards.  The Children like spotting themselves, friends and asking questions about what people are doing.  Parents very positive about the project too, and much more positive about photos being taken.