In my almost two decades of being in childcare education, I have not come across a child having torn earlobe from participating in physical education in the UK. My aim on this topic is to bring a balance equation from both a professional and parent perspective. Research shows no incident or accidents of pupils wearing earrings or studs has occurred during physical activity or swimming. I will be glad to be proven wrong, and the evidence based on a real ratio. The keyword such as ‘Serious accidents have occurred as a result of contact between pupils wearing earrings or studs’are included in school policies and educational establishments., but none on a real accident that occurred. It bothers me that the same swimming pool the public swims is the same pool our children’s activity takes place. The public is not told to take off their earring before swimming, just a thought. In a nursery school setting, I can understand toddlers pulling other toddlers earring, which can result to torn earlobe. However, a more realistic explanation should be provided as to why children in most UK primary schools are being instructed not to wear stud earring.
Parents are baffled as to why this rule exist and have asked questions on various parenting forums on if a child has being hurt from wearing stud earring. As a parent, I have experienced this too, thou the earring was the tiniest nose stud. I believe it is more unhygienic to keep having the earring taken in and out of the ears due to an infection transferred from day to day hand germs. As a childcare professional I understand rules of risk assessment are put in place to prevent any litigation. However these rules have to be based on common sense, cultural diversity and respect for the choice of parents for their children.
On a particular day, I was on the train going to a meeting in London. A group of primary school children got on the train in Mile End. One of them had a visual impairment and guided by an adult whom I believe is the teacher. Three of the children sat on my left side, and one of them decided to pick the newspaper to read.
To my surprise, the teacher told him to stop reading the paper and to put it down. From his body language/observation, the boy wanted to ask why but said ‘yes Miss’. While I was giving the teacher the cold look of why?; that’s how you make a child display disruptive behaviour, and holding back my tongue. Another adult supervising the children noticed this child putting the paper down but encouraged him to go on reading. The boy said ‘Miss told me to put it down.’ This adult turned to the teacher and asked my thoughtful question, why? Her response, ‘we can not control the content in the newspaper.’ The other adult said, ‘oh’. My thoughts responded, ‘are you kidding me.’ At this time of the morning, 95% of the newspaper in the train carriage is metro. This got me thinking about the political correctness of the education system and wanting to put filters in every area of it. If the children were disruptive with the newspaper, this action by the teacher would be justified. What happened to;
Asking the child, what are you reading?
Having a look at the newspaper before concluding on the action to take.
Directing the child to a more child-friendly page.
Engaging the child in educational discussion linked to the curriculum.
What is happening in education? I seem to be getting more dissolution with manufactured educators and the deteriorating of common sense in education. OR am I wrong?
Most parent are interested in teaching their child how to save money or the worth of money. Parents ask, ‘When can I start teaching my child the worth or value of money?’ OR ‘At what age can I teach my child about money?’ OR ‘How can my child have a practical understanding of money?’ I understand that children are taught numeracy at school from about age four and by the time they get to year 1 class they are introduced to using pennies to add or subtract, however, this is theory and not practical. I understand that some parents or childcare practitioners may say “children have role play or play shop in the pretend area” but as the name indicate, it is role play and pretend.
How do we actually teach children to understand the value of money? There has been debate about introducing money matters into UK secondary schools with the help of money advisers, accountants or stock brokers visiting classes, but will this actually work. For me, this is still all practical and not real life experience. I feel parents have a greater role in teaching children the practical aspect of spending and saving money. I have come across parents that indicate they encourage their children to watch money matter programs such as Bloomberg and read stock market shares. These are all good steps in helping children understand money, however this can help in the long term rather than giving instant result.
As parents we give our children pocket money or outing money but how many of us do encourage our children to save, during the month, from their pocket money or return with change at the end of a school outing. Our children go on lots of school trips and are given money to buy souvenirs from their outing but how many parents ask for change left from the money buy the end of the day. Regardless of how much money that is given to children for school trip outing, be it £1.00 or £5.00, I feel parents should always ask for change. This is not an austerity action but rather a starting point in teaching children to save from whatever income they have. I have been trying to teach my 7 year old son money saving tips and always told him to have change from school trip money, regardless of how much was given to him. For the first school trip outings, of cause he spent the whole money, but with me repeating and encouraging him, he finally got it and had some change for me by the next school trip. Did I collect the change from him, of cause not, I asked him to put it in his piggy bank and that it was his to save.
I came across a 12 years old child that has just opened an account. She was very much excited about bieng able to remove money from her account but she was not sure how to put money into the account. My suggestion, children should have a piggy bank at home where they can save money from their pocket money and at the end of the month should be taken to the bank, by the parent, to save the money into their account. It is about developing a culture of giving into the saving accounts and not just collecting from it. Start your child, practically, on the money saving journey and get them into the habit of saving money.