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Keep informed with news, articles and stories about all things related to children, young people and families.

Children have a key role in teaching families about healthy eating, says the NHS

According to the National Health Service in the UK, children have an important role to play in teaching families about healthy eating and obesity. The medical director of the NHS has encouraged the British government to make education its key focus in tackling obesity. The statement was made after a key government advisor on childhood obesity, Professor Susan Jebb, suggested that schools have an important role to play in teaching children about obesity, with the…
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Should schools teach mindfulness?

Meditation has been found to offer significant health benefits and to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety and pain. Research is now examining the usefulness of teaching mindfulness and meditation in schools. One school found that teaching yoga and meditation to students significantly lowered their levels of the stress hormone cortisol while other schools found positive effects on attendance, performance and a lowering of suspension rates. Further studies have found a positive impact…
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Has Digital Killed Play?: Part 1 – The Importance of Play

Play has an important role in children’s lives, not only as a means to act out key events in a child’s life, but also as a way to escape difficult emotions. Piaget (1962) wrote: “We can be sure that all happenings, pleasant or unpleasant, in the child’s life, will have repercussions on its dolls” But play is not just important to younger children. The period of early adolescence (10-14) is a key age to learn…
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Has Digital Killed Play: Part 2 – The Place of Digital in Play

So are children playing less because of the widespread adoption of digital devices? Two recent research studies carried out by FK&Y show not. Despite concern about the time children spend online, there is evidence to show that parents are taking a sensible view of the place of digital in their children’s lives. The IKEA Play Report was carried out in 2015 by FK&Y in 12 countries and interviewed nearly 30,000 parents, children aged 7-12 and…
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Hashtags and emojis – How social media influences children’s use of language

The internet and social media are having a profound impact on how children communicate and express themselves, offline as well as online. While it is often assumed that social media and text speech will have a detrimental effect on young people’s communication skills, others argue that children use these new additions to the English language in a creative and innovative way. Oxford University Press recently announced ‘hashtag’, the term for the symbol ‘#’ used to…
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2015 Volunteers’ Week and the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service

Volunteering among young people is increasing, and the government’s ‘Step Up to Serve’ campaign has encouraged this. Volunteers’ Week is an annual event that takes place on 1-7 June, celebrating the contribution of millions of volunteers across the UK. The event is run by NCVO in partnership with Development Scotland, Volunteer Now and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Events take place throughout the country showcasing the different volunteering roles on offer, taster sessions and team…
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More children reading for fun

According to an annual survey carried out by the National Literacy Trust, an increasing number of children are reading for fun in their spare time. The report surveyed 32,000 children between 8 and 18 years old. 40% of children said they thought reading was ‘cool’ and 41% said they read daily outside school, up from 32% in the previous year. The research suggests that there are persistent differences between boys and girls, with 47% of…
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Report claims exam results improve with school ban on mobile phones

A report by the London School of Economics found that a ban on mobile phones in schools can positively impact exam results. The authors argue that despite the benefits mobile technology offers, phones are often a distraction for young people and can reduce productivity. Schools in four British cities were monitored and results showed that exam results increased by 6% in schools that had introduced bans on mobile phones. Low-achieving and low-income students were found…
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Online manners more important than computer skills

Schools should be teaching children how to behave online before they teach computing skills such as coding, according to American cyber law expert Parry Aftab during a presentation at Facebook’s international headquarters in Dublin. Aftab argued that digital devices increase children’s opportunities to act impulsively and without consideration for the consequences of their actions, thus creating long lasting problems for some. Aftab expressed particular concern for young people taking intimate photos and sharing them, without…
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Study finds link between television viewing and obesity

A strong link between childhood obesity and television viewing has been found in a study presented to the Pediatric Academic Societies in the US. The study found that Nursery and Primary age children who watched at least one hour of television a day are 50% more likely to be overweight. These children were also found to be far more likely to be obese. The American Academy of Pediatrics currently recommends that children watch no more…
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