Parenta August 2020 Magazine


Issue 69





The lowdown on sunscreen

by the Melanoma Fund

Leadership learning through

a coaching approach

Looking at the world

through the eyes of a child

+ lots more

Write for us

for a chance to win


page 8

Supporting children through

separation anxiety

When children come into your setting each day, you are likely to see a wide range

of different ways that children cope with separating from their main carer.



welcome to our family

Hello and welcome to the August edition of the Parenta magazine!

Although the summer weather seems to come and go, the strength of the sun (when it does make an

appearance!) is at its peak during this time. Even with cloud, it is possible for the sun to still damage our

skin. Now that we are able to get out and about and visit our favourite parks and beaches, the Melanoma

Fund, the charity behind ‘Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code’ is urging parents and childcare practitioners to be

vigilant when it comes to spending time in the sun and be aware of the risks associated with sunburn. Turn to

page 36 for the charity’s “lowdown on sunscreen”.

We know that in these times, equality and diversity has never been more important; and as childcare practitioners, it’s vital that

we set a good example to the children in our care, within the ethos adopted in our settings. Tamsin Grimmer explores in detail

how we can celebrate equality and diversity in her article “If you were a chocolate bar or sweet, what would you be and why?”

As many settings start their preparations for the next academic year and the new intake it will bring, come September, some

children may not have left home for up to six months! Industry expert, Gina Smith gives us some valuable advice as to how

to support children in the best possible way as they return to settings in her article “Supporting children through separation

anxiety” on page 14.

We continue our theme of ‘growing for wellbeing’ and this mont,h it’s all about the veggies! We celebrate National Allotments

Week which runs from 10th – 16th August and have some top tips on not only how you can apply for an allotment, but advice

on how one can benefit your setting and the children you care for. Turn to page 7 for our own veggie allotment ‘garden’ craft

(complete with an edible ladybird!) to help you encourage children to eat more salad.

We hope you enjoy our magazine this month – it really is packed with so much advice from our wonderful guest authors, and

all the articles have been written to help you with the efficient running of your setting and to promote the health, happiness and

wellbeing of the children in your care.

Please feel free to share with friends, parents and colleagues – they can sign up to receive their own copy here!

Please stay safe everyone.


Getting the 10

numbers right

Getting to grips with

numbers can change

your whole outlook and

support you making the

right decisions.


Play is crucial in

promoting healthy

child development

and parents have an

important role in

playing with their



Eid- al - Adha

This month sees Muslims around

the world celebrating the end of

Hajj (pilgrimage) with one of the

main festivals, Eid al-Adha.





78 Veggie Child-friendly allotment smoothie ‘garden’

815 Write Write for for us us for for a chance the chance to win £50 to win


15 Guest author winner announced

8 Guest author winner announced

39 Origami starf ish craf paper t cranes


4 Preparations Childcare news for the and ‘new views normal’ and

returning to your setting


612 Father’s Activities Day to at help homechildren

10 Children’s


Art Week

equality and diversity

16 World Humanitarian Day

12 World Oceans Day

20 National Allotments Week:

20 24 Child Playday: Safety everyday Week freedoms

26 Bike everyday Week 2020 adventures





for wellbeing

- The Great



34 How to respond to accidents,

36 National Writing Day

injuries, and emergency situations

38 Diabetes Hiroshima Week Peace Day:

Sadako Sasaki and the paper cranes

Industry Experts

Industry Experts

16 Talking about difference: behavioural

10 Getting the numbers right


14 Supporting children through

18 Storytelling in music: using royalty and

separation anxiety

18 “If magic you were a chocolate bar or

22 Furlough: sweet, what The new would ‘f’ word you be and why?”

22 Storytelling in music: using royalty

28 Three ways to reduce meltdowns

and magic part 3

30 Promoting positive behaviour in pre-school

26 Leadership learning through a

children coaching approach

32 Looking at the world through the

eyes of a child

36 The lowdown on sunscreen by the

Melanoma Fund

Looking at the world through the eyes of a child 32

How to respond to accidents, injuries and

emergency situations 34

The lowdown on sunscreen by the Melanoma Fund 36

Hiroshima Peace Day:

Sadako Sasaki and the paper cranes



news & views

Rishi Sunak unveils ‘kickstart

jobs scheme’ for young

people: employers will get

£2000 for apprenticeships

On 8th July, the Chancellor unveiled a

‘kickstart jobs scheme’ for young people

in his summer statement, meaning

that companies will now be given

£2000 each to encourage them to hire

apprentices aged 16-24; and £1500

for apprentices aged over 25. He also

said that the government will provide

£100m to create places on Level 2 and 3


Sector disappointed with

DfE’s response to EYFS


The Government and 48 early years

sector representative bodies have

submitted their responses to the EYFS

Reforms consultation, which received a

total of 2,452 responses in total.

The Government’s response can be read

here, in full, but in summary, following

the consultation, the Department for

Education has stated:

• It would make a number of

changes to the Reformed Education


• The Communication and Language

programme will remain as originally


• The proposed changes to the Early

Learning Goals (ELGs) will go ahead

• The ELGs for Personal, Social and

Emotional Development; Physical

Development; and Literacy will

remain as proposed.

• The proposal to remove the

statutory duty for local authorities

to moderate the EYFSP in 25% of

schools each year will go ahead.

• Schools will still be required to

submit EYFSP data to their local

authority and this will still be

collected nationally.

• The Government will proceed with

plans to remove the “exceeding”

judgement criteria from the EYFSP

and says that this will “free up

teachers’ time”.

• Teachers will be expected to

continue to identify and stretch

more-able children.

• A need to include oral health

alongside the requirement to

“promote the good health of

children” will be added to the EYFS


• Individual settings and schools will

need to determine how to meet this

requirement and practitioners will

not be required to assess this.

Read the full story on here

This £2bn emergency package is an

attempt to prevent mass unemployment

due to the impact the coronavirus

pandemic has had on the UK economy.

The Ghancellor says this ‘kickstart’

plan is aimed at preventing an entire

generation being “left behind”.

Sunak also announced a new ‘jobs

retention bonus’ and said employers

who bring back furloughed workers until

the end of January will receive a one-off

£1,000 payment for each employee.

Read the full story on here.

Children with low-level SEND

harder to identify due to lack

of training

The Labour party has warned the UK’s

economic recovery could be delayed,

unless emergency funding is provided to

help nurseries and childcare providers

hit by the coronavirus crisis.

Shadow education minister, Tulip

Siddiq, has urged the government to

provide extra funding to nurseries as

she warned mass closures could lead

to parents losing their jobs due to a lack

of childcare. It comes as warnings that

pre-schools, nurseries and childminders

could shut their doors permanently as a

result of the pandemic

Read the full story on here.

Early years services “need

a complete overhaul” says

Children’s Commissioner

The Children’s Commissioner, Anne

Longfield OBE, has urged ministers to

overhaul early years services in England,

stating that the whole pre-school sector

needs reform, as well as additional

funding to prevent mass closures of


As well as an injection of emergency

funding, commissioner Ms Longfield has

asked ministers to use the coronavirus

crisis as an opportunity for a wholesale

review of the sector and to make early

years a central building block of a

national recovery plan.

Read the full story on here.

Baseline assessment data

‘inaccurate and unreliable’

Literacy experts have claimed that the

new baseline assessment for four- and

five-year-olds has “no diagnostic value”,

and provides “no mechanism through

which to promote positive outcomes

for children”. It is also reported

that Reception baseline assesses a

“very narrow aspect” of language

development and a “very limited subset”

of literacy knowledge.

According to the UK Literacy Association

(UKLA), the Reception baseline

assessment (RBA) - which becomes

statutory in September 2021 - will

not provide an “accurate account of

children’s communication, language

and literacy development” or “reliable

predictive data” through which progress

can be measured.

Read the full story on here.

4 August 2020 | | August 2020 5



£3000* TO HELP PAY



The government is giving money to employers

who hire new staff. Start recruiting in August

and earn up to £3000* per apprenticeship!

Let Parenta Training take the strain and help you

find your perfect apprentices - completely free

of charge. We have hundreds of candidates,

just waiting to start their childcare course.

Veggie allotment ‘garden’

There are many benefits to children growing fruit and vegetables including

encouraging healthy eating, teaching responsibility and patience; and

developing social skills. To celebrate National Allotments Week, we have

created a vegetable ‘garden’ to encourage children to eat more greens. And if

you look closely, you might even notice our cute little ladybird!

You will need:

• Assorted vegetables – we used

a carrot, a cucumber, lettuce

and a radish

• Babybel cheese

• Peppercorn

• Knife

• Chopping board

• Bowl

• Vegetable spiralizer - optional




Before you know it, you will have a new

team member and up to £3000* to help

pay your staff wages!


We can help you get up to £3000 for each member who undertakes a

training course, even if they are fully qualified in childcare.

*£2,000 for each apprentice aged 16-24; £1500 for apprentices aged over 25.

This is in addition to the existing £1,000 payment the government already

provides for new 16-18 year-old apprentices, and those aged under 25 with an

Education, Health and Care Plan – where that applies.

0800 002 9242


1. Make sure all the vegetables are washed properly

before using them.

2. Starting off with lettuce, put it in the bottom of the

bowl to create the ‘grass’

3. Carefully using the knife, cut up the vegetables into

small circles.

4. You can then get creative with how you want the

vegetable to look. We created carrot petals, by

chopping small parts of the carrot to create the flower

look. You can be as creative as you want to be. You

can even use a spiralizer to create some strange

looking ‘earth worms’!

5. Once you’re done with vegetables, arrange them in

the bowl.

6. Take the Babybel and cut out an oval part of the

coating from one side of the cheese to create the

head of the ladybird.

7. To create the wings, cut out a triangle on the top part

of the cheese and create some holes in the leftover

part of the coating to create ‘spots’.

8. Take a peppercorn and gently crush it. Pick a couple

of tiny bits of the peppercorn and add it to the ‘head’

part of the ladybird to create ‘eyes’.

9. You are done! | August 2020 7

Write for us!

We’re always on the lookout for new authors to

contribute insightful articles for our monthly


If you’ve got a topic you’d like to write about, why not send an article

to us and be in with a chance of winning? Each month, we’ll be giving

away a £50 voucher to our “Guest Author of the Month”. You can find

all the details here:


to our guest author competition winner, Joanna Grace!

Double congratulations to Joanna Grace this month. Baby Elias was born

in the early hours of 11th July and mother and baby are both

doing well!

Joanna’s final article in her Talking About Difference series,

“Teach children to embrace difference and you teach them to

embrace themselves”, focused on Behavioural Difficulties.

Well done, Joanna!

A massive thank you to all of our guest authors for writing

for us. You can find all of the past articles from our guest

authors on our website:

Training with Linden

Early Years

Keeping children at the

heart of

early childhood education and care

Tamsin Grimmer is the early years director for Linden

Learning. If you have enjoyed reading Tamsin’s

articles every month, why not invite Linden Early

Years to deliver bespoke training at your setting?

Linden Early Years associates regularly share their

expertise at conferences, INSET meetings, CPD

sessions, workshops and seminars. Training is also

available through online sessions and webinars.

Linden Learning’s early years team has built up a reputation in

the sector for a deep knowledge of how young children learn

and develop. Many of our associates are published authors and

have written regularly for popular early childhood magazines.

We also work regularly in settings and have a real appreciation

of current issues facing staff working in settings across the

country. We look forward to hearing from you!


We understand


that time for professional development is


precious and will work with you to make sure that all our


training Email:

is engaging, purposeful and enjoyable. We offer a range

of packages to suit differing priorities and are keen to discuss

individual needs to tailor support to each setting.

8 August 2020 | | August 2020 9

Getting the numbers right

What is it about numbers that makes them so unappealing to many nursery owners and

managers? Just the mention of break-even points, ratios, turnover and balance sheets causes

many eyes to glaze over and heads to fall. I get it, no-one ever really went into early years to get

bogged down with accounts, invoicing, funding reconciliations and balancing the books.


But knowing your numbers

can give you so much more

- than well - the numbers!

Getting to grips with numbers can change

your whole outlook and support you

making the right decisions at the right time.

And if ever there was a time to need to

do that it is right now. There is a definite

process to go through in order to get a

handle on all this though. Developing your

own knowledge is a part of that process.

Finding ways in which you can actually do

that is not quite so easy. I have found that

there are not that many good sources from

which you can learn and develop the sector

specific knowledge for numbers in our


We are not like other industries. Early years

has an unusual and unique make-up as far

as our numbers go. I’ve sat in front of many

a finance expert and bank manager who

just didn’t comprehend how my business

ran and were looking for ‘traditional’

numbers in the business – which of course

just aren’t there in the same way.

So there have been some costly learning

curves along the way but I hope now, after

21 years of running my own nurseries, that I

pretty much have a handle on the most

important numbers that I want to be

looking at in my early years business. My

mission now is to share this knowledge

and expertise with others and to help them

learn more about what they should be

looking at in their own businesses.

One of my biggest bugbears was that

occupancy seemed to be the only measure

of how well the business was doing. Whilst

I appreciate in principle, the more children

you have should mean the more profitable

you are, in early years, that isn’t always the

case. When it comes to looking at children

attending for your funded (or more

precisely underfunded) hours, then this

can make a mockery of that number as

a measure of the success of the business

overall. But how can you work out what is

right and what numbers to look for?


Through effective budgeting

and reporting!

In my experience, and as I alluded to in the

opening paragraph, not many early years

owners and managers have quick access

to the financials of their business. That part

actually isn’t unique to our sector – it is

common to many business owners! So if

you are waiting until your accountant has

done the annual figures to find out how

well the business has done – then this will

be far too late to react to any issues that

may have occurred during the year. I’m not

saying these historic figures aren’t needed,

of course they are, and indeed they help

inform us and build our knowledge of the

business performance over a period of

time. However, unless you can get some of

these key numbers more regularly, then it’s

like driving in the dark with no lights on.


So how do you create

these numbers?

Well you have to start by being able to

gather the relevant information into one

place that can then report back to you the

numbers which will inform you about

performance. This should happen on at

least a monthly or termly basis. Creating

this can be as easy or as complicated as

you want. A simple spreadsheet in Excel

can give you the key aspects of what you

need. A software accounting package is a

much more professional way to do this but

does require more knowledge and

accurate input. If you don’t have the skills

to do these things, then you should find

someone within, or external to the

organisation, to do it. And if you think you

can’t afford to do this, then you need to do

it even more than you know!


But what will the numbers

tell me?

So whilst occupancy does measure how

many children we have, if these children

are mainly government funded children,

who are not buying additional resources,

then they are possibly more of a drain on

the business than an asset. Many of us

have just had to look at these numbers

for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

recently. How did you do in that? Were

you able to claim the majority of your

furloughed staff or maybe you came into

the 50% or less category? Knowing what

percentage your funding is, compared to

your private income is a valuable number to

indicate whether you can improve on your

profitability. Just tweaking that one number

can then increase your income

considerably. By tweaking different

numbers, then you can literally change the

direction of your business over time.


What will that ultimately

give me?

With an increased income, or decreased

costs, comes more freedom for you.

Freedom to employ other people to support

specific functions in the business, freedom

to improve your provision in any way you

might choose. Freedom even to actually

take some time for yourself, rather than

working all the time, because there are not

enough hours in the day.


So, what next?

As a sector, we are going to go through

some challenging times in the next few

months and so now is the time to take

action and find ways in which you can

develop and grow your knowledge and

skills in this area.

Tricia Wellings

Tricia is an experienced early years

expert, known within the industry for

the support and training she has

provided over the last 21 years. Tricia

has ‘hands on’ specialist knowledge

and is recognised for her prowess with

finance and funding in the industry,

having achieved a £2 million business

that includes five “Bright Kids” day

nurseries. This powerful combination

of knowledge and expertise puts Tricia

in this authoritative position, enabling

her to put herself in the shoes of other

nursery owners/businesses, truly

understanding the nuances of the

childcare industry, from staffing levels,

safeguarding, employment law, the

EYFS, Ofsted and through to managing

the finances.

Tricia’s passion to help others has

meant she has developed a library

of training and education materials,

alongside the policies and procedures

necessary to run a successful day

nursery and is now able to share these

with you through the recently

established MBK Group.

Tricia understands all too well that

finding the right information can be

challenging and she is offering a free

20 minute strategic call to help point

you in the right direction. For urgent,

crisis or consultation packages, please

register with her at

10 August 2020 | | August 2020 11

Activities to help children

understand equality and


When it comes to teaching the early years, we don’t “do” equality and diversity - it’s more about

how as practitioners, we set a good example with the ethos adopted in our settings.

• Story time is one of the most valuable and effective ways of

being able to communicate important messages

- like inclusion and bullying - to the children without making it

sound too ‘serious’. Two great story books that we love, are

“Llama Llama and the Bully Goat” by Anna Dewdney and

“Marlene, Marlene, Queen of Mean” by Jane Lynch.

• The more interactive the session, the better! The use of

puppets not only makes it fun, but can also reveal if there are

any underlying personal issues that you should be aware of.

Children will often open up when they are using a puppet

because it’s not about them and they just love to use puppets!

“The Ugly Duckling”, is a good tale to act out with puppets.

The children can make two duck puppets and then take turns

being the one being bullied and the one doing the bullying.

It’s our responsibility to ensure we are

being inclusive, that we consider the

terminology we use; and assess our

resources to avoid stereotypes.

Your practitioners and staff are role-modelling to the children

every day in their attitudes, speech and behaviours. Therefore,

they play a key part in being able to promote equality and diversity

throughout your setting. Not only that, but they’ll already be

promoting mutual respect and tolerance for those with different faiths

and beliefs as part of embracing the British Values embedded in the


Here are some activities that you can do

with the children in the day-to-day running

of your setting in order to promote equality

and diversity. It’s worth remembering that

it’s better to have these conversations

informally as and when they become

relevant, taking a more organic approach,

rather than in a planned and ‘artificial’ way.

• In general conversation, talk with the

children about their families – ask

them to bring in photographs and then

discuss the make-up of each family.

There will be a variety of dynamics; so

this is a great way of them

discovering that not all families are the

same. This can then lead quite

naturally into stories and discussions

that reflect a variety of different

(non-traditional) homes like blended or

LGBT families.

• Celebrate festivals and events from

different faiths and cultures. Promote

them in your newsletter to parents, on

your social media pages and around

your setting. During these festivals, you

can introduce a range of traditional

foods relevant to each festival during

snack time!

• Provide a language-rich environment that reflects a diversity of

languages, even in groups where English is the only language

spoken. Try singing well-known songs that are not in English,

e.g. “Frere Jaques” or “La Cucaracha” – the children will be sure

to love learning about the little cockroach who

cannot walk but loves to dance!

• Provide positive visual images of the different ways people

look and try to avoid inadvertently reinforcing gender

stereotypes of job roles like a doctor (male) and a nurse


• Play the mirror game and let the children compare their faces

with their friends. What makes us the same and what makes

us different? Do some children wear glasses? Why do we not

all have the same hair colour? Why does the colour of our skin


• As part of adopting British Values, encourage and explain to

the children the importance of tolerant behaviours, such as

sharing and respecting each other’s opinions – you can even

talk to them about their favourite football teams, music or

food - there is no right or wrong – everyone is entitled to an


• Read non-traditional fairy tales and stories, avoiding the

gender-stereotyping stories like “Cinderella”, “Moana”,

“Ferdinand”, “Fix It” and “The Paper Bag Princess” are great

modern tales which promote gender equality.

12 August 2020 | | August 2020 13

Supporting children through

separation anxiety

When children come into your setting each day, you are likely to see a wide range of different

ways that children cope with separating from their main carer. Whilst some children will leave

their parent happily, others will really struggle and experience a lot of anxiety. This is hardly

surprising – they are somewhere different; with people they don’t know, they don’t know when or

if they are going to get fed and they don’t know when or if they are going to go home. We need to

reassure and teach each child what happens in our setting, that their needs will be met and that

they will have a good time.

Now, throw in the strange year that we

have had to the above scenario. Even the

most confident child will not have left their

parents for weeks at a time whilst the

country has been on lockdown, so they

won’t have ‘practised’ being away from

their carer. We’re going to need to be

prepared to support children in the best

possible way as they return to our settings.

Here are some other

things you can do to

support a child with

separation anxiety in your


• Use the keyworker

relationship as much as possible.

A child’s keyworker plays a significant

role in helping a child settle. They need

to form an attachment early on so that

the child can feel more at ease when

the parent leaves. Encourage settling in

sessions where the child gets to know

that key adult, perhaps with the parent

for the first couple of times. If you are

a keyworker, tell the child all about you

so that they know lots about you and

begin to form a bond.

• Be calm and confident when

greeting the child. Show them, and

their carer, that everything is ok.

• Help parents develop a

quick goodbye ritual for when

they leave their child. It might be that

the child waves at the window or it

might be that they leave them at a

particular activity. Encourage the

parents to make it the same everyday

so that the child knows what to expect.

• Pick the time carefully. Try to

get parents to drop off at a time that

the child is not particularly tired or

hungry – the child needs to be at their

best to cope with the challenging

emotions that separation can bring.

• Bring the children into a

quiet/calm area, if possible,

before moving them to more noise and

chaos. It’s really hard for a nervous

child to settle in a busy/noisy room,

especially if they come from a quiet


• Play music as the child arrives.

This gives the child something to focus

on and makes the setting seem an

inviting, happy place.

• Build a special job into

their routine. You’re bound

to use routine anyway – it gives the

children control because they know

what Is going to happen in their day.

Now, how about adding a special job

into that routine that is just for that

child when they first arrive? Imagine

the boost a child will feel if you say “I’m

so glad you’re here, I need your help

to feed the fish!”. This makes them

feel important, gives them ownership

and control and focuses their attention

away from leaving their carer.

• Use a visual timetable – this

allows the child to see what is going to

be happening in their day and when

they are going home. Giving them this

knowledge helps them feel in control

and therefore calmer.

• Allow comfort toys. They

bridge the gap between home and

your setting and just give that child the

extra bit of support they need. They

won’t need it forever.

• Remove pressure – don’t

expect the child to speak in front of a

group or anything like that if they don’t

want to. If they are given reasons to

feel nervous about coming then this

isn’t going to help their separation.

• Don’t label the child. If the

child hears you describing them as

‘shy’ then they are going to believe it

and become what they believe.

• Recognise how a child

wants to say hello in the

morning. I absolutely love those

posters that give the child the option of

giving a high five, a fist pump, having a

hug or just saying hello. You are

recognising their personality and

respecting what they are comfortable


• Let the parents know once

the child has settled. Just

dropping them a message to let them

know will reduce their anxiety for the

next time they drop off, which will in

turn, make the child calmer.

• Use circle times. In order for

children to deal with strong emotions

they need to learn about them. They

first need to recognise them in others,

before recognising them in themselves

and then begin to deal with them. Use

your circle times to talk about

emotions, then you can gradually

begin talking about how we feel when

we leave our parents. Highlight the

fact that you may feel sad, but that

later in the day you feel really happy.

You can then remind the child of this

next time the parent drops off – yes

you feel sad, but you will feel happy

soon, just like you did yesterday.

• Use empathy. Talk about a time

that you felt nervous going

somewhere. Show the child that they

are not alone in how they feel, but that

things do get easier – empathy is an

amazing tool that works really well for


Many of the things that can make

separation easier for a child need to be

carried out by the parent or carer, and

many of the suggestions above are for the

carer’s benefit as much as the child. If the

carer is anxious, then the child will be

anxious, so we need to support both.

Consider giving parents a leaflet or a link

to a page on your website that gives them

top tips on how best to make separation

easier for them and their child.

Just showing that you

understand the

stress that a

child’s anxiety can

cause parents will

be a great start to

building a positive

relationship with


Gina Smith

Gina Smith is an experienced teacher

with experience of teaching in

both mainstream and special

education. She is the creator of ‘Create

Visual Aids’ - a business that provides

both homes and education settings

with bespoke visual resources. Gina

recognises the fact that no two children

are the same and therefore individuals

are likely to need different resources.

Create Visual Aids is dedicated to

making visual symbols exactly how the

individual needs them.



It’s been a strange time and

going back to the new normal

is going to be met with mixed

emotions. Show the children a

calm, happy environment,

communicate to them what is

happening and show them a

consistent routine.

Hopefully your children

will then settle

quickly and you can

then focus on the

amazing fun

and learning

you will have


14 August 2020 | | August 2020 15




“You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is

like an ocean, if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the

ocean does not become dirty.”

- Mahatma Gandhi

What does it mean to be


humanitarian act can have on someone

else’s wellbeing.

Do we define our humanity by our DNA,

reportedly 99.9% the same as other

humans? Or do we define ourselves by

the cultures and ethnicities we grow up in,

aligning ourselves with those community

values and beliefs?

Are we defined by being homo sapiens

– the only surviving homo genus species,

after the homo erectus line died out over

100,000 years ago.

Or does our humanity stem from

something deeper – an innate desire to

alleviate the suffering of others?

According to several dictionaries, the word

‘humanitarian’ means a person concerned

with reducing suffering who seeks to

promote human welfare.

Many of us may not initially, define

ourselves by the term, but that does not

mean we are not taking on a humanitarian

role in our own neighbourhoods and

communities. You do not have to travel

half-way around the world to promote

humanitarian values. It could be donating

a few tins to your local foodbank, calling

a neighbour who may be unable to get

out, or giving to charity. Anything that you

do which helps others, without thought of

what you might get in return, could be

considered a humanitarian act. And on

Wednesday August 19th, the world will

come together to recognise and celebrate

the difference that even a small

World Humanitarian Day takes place every

year on the 19th of August – a day when in

2003, the Baghdad United Nations

headquarters was bombed, tragically killing

22 humanitarians. The UN set up the day

to “raise awareness of the plight of civilians

around the world who have become caught

up in conflicts, and also to honour and

raise support for the humanitarian workers

who risk, and sometimes lose, their lives to


There are many organisations which offer

humanitarian aid in times of crisis.

Arguably, their role has never been more

vital as virtually every country in the world

has now been affected by the current

coronavirus pandemic, and their ability to

respond and deal with the infection has

varied with their wealth, resources and

infrastructure, leaving some of the poorest

countries at highest risk.

The United Nations Office for the

Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

(OCHA) is responsible for bringing together

a range of humanitarian groups, NGOs,

charities and individuals to ensure a

coherent response to emergencies.

When conflict or disaster hit, it is often the

most vulnerable people who suffer the

most, even when humanitarian aid comes

in from many different areas. Often the

problem is not the lack of aid but getting

the aid to the people who need it, across

dangerous or impassable terrains and

through areas with unstable or fractured

governments and poor infrastructures.

OCHA works to overcome these obstacles

providing leadership and coordination to

mobilise assistance and resources, rather

than providing actual aid itself, but this

service is invaluable if lives are to be saved.

OCHA is guided by the humanitarian

principles of humanity, neutrality,

impartiality and independence, and it

recognises the role that diversity, trust,

national and local ownership and gender

equality play in all that it does. The

humanitarian path is one that helps

regardless of race, colour, creed, or gender.

There are four main UN entities

which have primary

humanitarian roles. These are:

• United Nations Development

Programme (UNDP)

• United Nations Refugee

Agency (UNHCR)

• United Nations Children’s


• World Food Programme


According to the Global Humanitarian

Report 2019, just over one fifth of the

world’s population live in countries with

recurrent humanitarian appeals and

206.4 million people, living in 81 countries

were in need of humanitarian assistance,

with a high concentration of those in just

6 countries: Yemen, Syria, Democratic

Republic of Congo, Turkey, Afghanistan and

the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

International humanitarian assistance from

governments and private donors reached

US$28.9 billion.

Current emergencies include war, famine,

displacement of people, locust infestations

and of course, coronavirus. According

to projections from the UN World Food

Programme, the number of acutely hungry

people worldwide could nearly double

from 135 million to 265 million as a result

of Covid-19, and these are not all in foreign

countries, the incidence of poverty in the UK

is rising too.

Being a humanitarian is not difficult, it just

means caring enough to do something

about the suffering of others and every little

act can make a difference to someone.

How to celebrate World

Humanitarian Day in your


1. Find out about local humanitarian

organisations in your area and invite

them in to give a talk

2. Donate to your local food bank or a

humanitarian charity (see a list here)

3. Sponsor a child – you can do this

through Parenta Trust at https://www.

4. Create a display of ‘Humanitarian

Heroes’. This could be people you

know from your local community such

as NHS, care or youth workers, or

you could have a more international

focus such as UN peace-keepers, aid

workers and medical personnel from

organisations such as the Red Cross or

Médecins Sans Frontières

5. Explain to the children about charity

and that not everyone in the world has

their basic needs met through no fault

of their own. Do this in a way which

will inspire rather than

frighten children. You don’t want to

give them nightmares, but you do

want to encourage them to develop

empathy and kindness. Talk about

success stories, showing how

humanitarian aid is helping people

across the globe. See https://www.

for some news and updates

from OCHA

6. Read some relevant stories such as

“Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller or “Kind”

by Alison Green, illustrated by “The

Gruffalo” artist, Axel Scheffler. There

are also lots of practical suggestions

of things that you can do in “How to

Make a Better World” by Keilly Swift,

published by Dorling Kindersley

“Being human is given; but

keeping our humanity is a

choice”- Anon.

Let’s hope enough of us make

the right choice!

16 August 2020 | | August 2020 17

“If you were a chocolate bar or sweet,

what would you be and why?”

I often deliver a training session

looking at equality and

diversity in the early years and

we begin with this question

as an ice-breaker. Usually this

ensures that our session begins

with a few laughs, for example,

“I would be a strawberry bon

bon because I’m sweet and

have a soft centre” or “I would

definitely be a bar of whole-nut

chocolate because my friends

say I’m crazy!” But the one

theme that I will be always be

able to pick up on, is the fact

that we are all different. The

range of sweets and chocolates

chosen demonstrate that, even

when answering the same

question, there is a great deal of


But what does diversity mean

and how can we celebrate

this in our settings? Diversity

recognises that differences are a

natural part of society and these

are viewed as a benefit not a

threat. So celebrating our

differences with young children

is a great way of showing that

we are all unique individuals. It

helps children to grow up to be

well adjusted adults who do not

feel threatened by other people

who do not look, act, behave or

feel the same way that they do.

There is legislation in place to

protect people who may be

more vulnerable to

discrimination, for example, the

Equality Act (2010) legally shields

certain groups of people with a

protected characteristic from

discrimination in the workplace

and in wider society. It also

shares prohibited conduct,

meaning the different ways

in which it’s unlawful to treat

someone. Sadly, despite

legislation being in place,

discrimination regularly occurs,

even within our early childhood


For example, I am currently

writing a book about developing

a loving pedagogy in the early

years and have been

researching how we might use

appropriate touch within our

settings as a positive way to

build relationships and grow

oxytocin, the love hormone.

I have interviewed several

practitioners to ascertain their

perspective on this and have

found through my discussions

with men and women that

several settings have

discriminated against men in

their settings, even to the extent

where they are not allowed to

fulfil aspects of their role, for

example, changing nappies.

One setting even had a policy

stating that men would not be

allowed to change nappies.

This is unacceptable and an

example of sex-discrimination in

the work place.



under the Equality Act

1. Age

2. Being or becoming a

transsexual person

3. Being married or in a



4. Being pregnant or

having a child

5. Disability

6. Race (colour,

nationality, ethnic or

national origin)

7. Religion, belief or lack

of religion/belief

8. Sex

9. Sexual orientation

It is against the law to

discriminate against

anyone because of these

Very young children tend to

pick up discriminatory

attitudes or stereotypical

knowledge and

understanding from their

parents and other adults

close to them as well as from

the learning environment

around them. For example, if

a boy is told by his father not

to play with “girls’ toys” he

will receive the message that

he must only play with certain

toys. Therefore we need to

ensure that the messages we

are giving in our settings are

being inclusive to all

children and are counter to

any stereotypes they might

hear elsewhere.

Children tend to base their

stereotypes on physical

appearance like skin colour,

gender, size and physical

disability and by the age of

about four or five, we may

observe children choosing not

to play with another child in a

discriminatory way.

Obviously we need to

challenge this and encourage

a more inclusive approach,

whilst accepting that we

are not always friends with

everyone and that’s OK. It

is not OK, however, to be

unkind, leave someone out

of a game or exclude people

because they are different.

There are some great books

that address this, for

example, Michael Rosen’s,

“This Is Our House”, and

“When the Dragons Came”

by Lynne Moore and Naomi


The majority of children are

very open when talking about

differences and we must

remember not to be

offended if they talk bluntly

or in a manner that could

appear rude. They are not

yet old enough to understand

about social etiquette and

regularly make faux pas-type

comments, for example, “Why

is that man’s head all smooth

and shiny?” So a gentle reply

stating, “We’re all different

aren’t we, look my feet are

bigger than yours” should be

enough to deal with the

comment in the spirit in

which it was stated. We can

also talk about difference to

children in positive ways, by

sharing our observations of

the world and the diversity

within it.

If we get to know our children

and families really well, we

will be less likely to make

assumptions about them

and we can ensure that our

policies and procedures are

as inclusive as possible. For

example, when finding out

about a family, can we ask

about adults who are special

to the child, not just have

space on the form for mother

and father, which assumes a

traditional family make-up.

Can we ensure that we listen

to the voice of the child about

who is important to them?

In order to promote

positive values and

challenge stereotypes

we can:

• Effectively role model

the values you want to

promote yourself.

• Value and celebrate

children for their

uniqueness and

individuality whilst also

sharing similarities, so

that children can see

what is different about

each other but also what

is the same.

• Talk openly about what

makes people different

from each other, without

expressing any

judgement or approval or

negativity, for example,

“he wears glasses and

has black hair”, “she

does not wear glasses

and has ginger hair”, or

“she has a daddy who

looks after her at home,”

and “he has two

mummies looking after

him. “

• Accept differences

between children and

have an ethos of

permission where there

are no gendered toys or

resources, they are all

available to all children.

• Ensure the use of modern

photographs of parts of

the world that are

commonly stereotyped

and misrepresented.

• Help children to learn

positive attitudes and

challenge negative

attitudes and

stereotypes e.g.

using puppets, persona

dolls, stories and books

showing black heroes or

disabled kings or queens

or families with same sex

parents, having a visit

from a male midwife or

female fire fighter.

• Audit your resources

and books to ensure

that all groups within

society are represented,

e.g. LGBTQ+, disability,

people of colour, different

family groupings. Do any

displays or posters show

positive photographs and

celebrate diversity?

• Help children to develop

an understanding about

different festivals and

celebrations by beginning

with those that the

children in your setting

celebrate and widening it

to your local

community and the wider

world. This will help to

make them more

meaningful and


• Provide ways of

preserving memories of

special events, e.g.

making a book,

collecting photographs,

tape recording, drawing

and writing.

• Use food as a way of

recognising difference

and share a meal

together, perhaps linked

to different celebrations

or family traditions.

• Invite visitors into your

setting, e.g. dentist or

shop keeper or visit

different areas in the

community, e.g. fire

station, community

centre, church, mosque,

local shops.

• Play different types of

music and encourage

the children to move to

the music in imaginative

ways. Bring in

instruments from

different cultures and


• Avoid making

generalisations about

how boys and girls play

as this will reduce the

likelihood of creating

gender stereotypes.

Do not group children

according to gender, e.g.

boys wash hands first,

instead you could say, “if

you’re wearing red, wash

hands”, or “if your name

starts with ‘XYZ’ you can

go outside…”

• Ensure that all children

have the opportunity to

participate in all

activities, making

reasonable adjustments

to the activities if needed.

• Share books and pictures

about other children ‘just

like me’, include children

from around the world,

fiction and non-fiction

from different families

and backgrounds.

• Draw or paint ‘Wonderful

Me!’ self-portraits using

correct colours for skin

and eyes and compare

with their friends.

• Choose stories and

rhymes that show

different ways of life in

our country and around

the world e.g. travellers,

different houses and

homes in other countries.

• Explain carefully why

some children may

occasionally need extra

help or support, or why

other children feel upset

by a particular thing.

• Make a display with the

children, showing all the

people who make up the

community around the


I have recently joined a

LGBTQ diversity group which

aims to produce some free

downloadable resources and

booklets which will provide

advice and guidance for early

years settings. It is important

that we support our children

to learn about themselves,

celebrate difference and feel

included within our settings

and wider society.

You can find out more

by visiting https://

The website content is

growing daily so do check on

a regular basis.

Tamsin Grimmer

Tamsin Grimmer is an

experienced early years

consultant and trainer and

parent who is passionate about

young children’s learning and

development. She believes that

all children deserve

practitioners who are inspiring,

dynamic, reflective and

committed to improving on their

current best. Tamsin particularly

enjoys planning and delivering

training and supporting early

years practitioners and

teachers to improve outcomes

for young children.

Tamsin has written three books

– “Observing and Developing

Schematic Behaviour in Young

Children” ; “School Readiness

and the Characteristics of

Effective Learning” and “Calling

all Superheroes: Supporting

and Developing Superhero Play

in the Early Years.”

You can contact Tamsin via

Twitter @tamsingrimmer, her

Facebook page, website or


You have heard it said, ‘out of the mouths of babes’ and

my daughter told me the other day, “It’s good that people

are different Mummy because otherwise everything

would be boring if we were all the same!” And I couldn’t

agree more! So if I were a chocolate bar or sweet, I

would be a bag of jelly beans so that I can celebrate the

diversity of so many different flavours!

18 August 2020 | | August 2020 19

National Allotments Week:

growing food for health and wellbeing

Have you ever fancied a shot at “The Good Life” – following in the footsteps of TV couple, Tom

and Barbara Good, dropping out of the rat race and exchanging your daily commute for some

wellies, a spade and bag of seed potatoes? Maybe you’ve done just that in the last few months, as

lockdown has forced many people to stay at home.

If you have, you wouldn’t be alone. Gardening is one of our country’s national pastimes. Even

adults aged 25 to 35 rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities.

We’ve previously looked at children’s

gardening and the social and mental

wellbeing aspects of gardening, but if you

don’t have an outdoor space or garden to

grow things in, these things could seem out

of your reach.

That’s where allotments come in, and this

month sees National Allotments Week,

running from 10 to 16th August,

highlighting allotments in the UK and how

growing your own food can help your

health and wellbeing.

National Allotments Week is run by the

National Allotment Society (NAS) who work

with landlords, individuals, community

groups and governments, championing

people’s ancient rights to work on the land

and working to preserve allotments spaces

up and down the country. HRH the Prince of

Wales, himself a keen gardener, is a patron

of the society which is made up of eleven

regional bodies and thousands of

individual members across the country.

The theme for this year is ‘Growing Food for

Health and Wellbeing’ and if you already

have an allotment, you could join in the

Allotments Week Competition to tell the

story of your allotment in video or

storyboard form. If not, then read on to find

out more.

What is an allotment?

An allotment is an area of land, which can

be leased either from a private or local

authority landlord, for the purpose of

growing fruit and vegetables. You may also

be allowed to grow ornamental plants, or

keep hens, rabbits and bees. You can

usually put up sheds and greenhouses too.

Traditionally, an allotment is measured in

rods (aka perches or poles), which is an old

measurement dating back to Anglo-Saxon

times (approximately 5m). The accepted

size of an allotment is 10 rods, about 250

square metres or the approximate size of a

doubles tennis court, although this can vary

and half plots are often available.

Allotments are usually grouped together

and run locally by an allotment association

which leases the plots. Gardeners pay a

small membership fee and agree to abide

by any constitution and by-laws as laid

down by the Allotments Acts. Rents are

usually less than £100 per year for a

standard plot although this may vary across

the country and can be as low as £10 or

higher than £100.

A brief history of allotments

The concept of people leasing land to

work on dates back to Anglo-Saxon times,

and landowners in medieval times used

the feudal land law to allocate tenancies

to individuals. However, the system we

recognise today started in the 1800s when

land was given to the poor so they could

grow food. The changes brought about by

the industrial revolution and the lack of any

welfare system, meant more and more

people needed help to feed themselves. In

1908, the Small Holdings and Allotments

Act was passed, mandating local

authorities to provide enough allotments

according to demand. Further changes

in the 1920s and the outbreak of war in

1939 led to a surge in allotments, and the

successful WW2 “Dig for Victory” campaign,

resulted in over one million allotments in

the UK in the early 1940s.

Globalisation, pressures on land use for

housing, and the success of supermarkets

and convenience stores after the war led

to a decline though and today, there are

around 300,000 allotments in the UK. But

they are still popular and a 2013 survey

revealed that 67% of authorities had

waiting lists, with an average waiting time

of 6–18 months. In recent years,

programmes such as “River Cottage”,

garden centres and chefs like Jamie Oliver

have successfully promoted a ‘grow your

own’ message and the lure of allotments

shows no sign of abating.

How to get an allotment

Contact your local authority or parish

council if you know of allotments available

in your area. If you are not sure, you can

look on the government website here and

search using your postcode. The NAS also

publish a list of available plots advertised

by their members here.

How an allotment can help your


There are many benefits, including:

• Increased contact with nature

• Increased wellbeing and

mental health

• More opportunity for

physical activities

• Learning about the

natural world and

observing wildlife

• A chance for teamwork

and social interaction

• Teaching children about tools and how

to use them

• A sense of achievement to help build


• Fresh, healthy produce to use for

cooking or crafts

• Learning about life cycles or caring for


• Increased sensory space

• A chance to involve parents/

grandparents in out-of-school activities

• The opportunity to inspire a ‘greener’,

more environmentally aware


Things to consider

Before taking on an allotment, think

carefully about some of the following:

1. How much time and what human

resources have you got? – allotments

take a lot of work so plan carefully

based on the resources you have

2. Are you taking on an

existing plot or will you be

starting from scratch, which

may involve a lot of weed

clearing or heavier work?

3. How close is the plot and

how will you get there

and back safely?

4. Do you need

insurance? – see the

NAS site for leads on


5. What tools/equipment/plants will you

need? You could run a fund-raising

campaign in your nursery or ask parents

for donations of things they no longer


6. Remember to write a thorough risk

assessment before starting

7. Chart your progress in pictures, videos

and share on your social media

Allotments can be great fun - but

don’t just take our word for it,

read about some nurseries who

are already enjoying the

benefits of an allotment on their

own websites:

1. http://www.






For more information, see:



20 August 2020 | | August 2020 21

using royalty and magic part 3

We follow up our royalty and magic storytelling in music series this month by introducing the

next set of characters in the Magical Musical Kingdom and their related rhythms. As children

become used to musical ideas, they begin to see similar patterns and relationships in everyday

life as well! And as always, all songs are available on


As a quick reminder, our

background planning to the

Magical Musical Kingdom included:

Time: 10 parts, 10 characters,

10 musical skills

Rhythms: movement-based (gross

motor), progressively halving or

doubling note lengths

Melodies: pentatonic-based (5 notes),

progressively using more notes

Ages: non-walkers, toddlers and

walkers (broadly, birth to 7)


Character: Princess Semiquaver

Music note: semiquaver/sixteenth note

4 quick jogging steps: jogging-quickly,

jogging-quickly, jogging-quickly,


Physical warm-up:

Shoes off, calmly (no talking) listen to

instrumental music while jogging quickly,

jogging quickly around the room, any

direction, either holding baby, or holding

hands with our new walker or pre-schooler.

Vocal warm-up:

Warm up our voices: Do you have your

whispering voice? Yes, I have my

whispering voice. Do you have your

speaking voice? Yes, I have my speaking

voice. Do you have your princess voice?

Yes, I have my princess voice! Do you have

your singing voice (singing like an

ambulance tune)?

Storytelling in music:

Yes, I have my singing voice (ambulance

tune). Ready to sing!

Song 1: Princess Semiquaver (game)

Circle dance together, holding a scarf

between you in each hand, and doing the

actions in the song. Stop and give

yourself a cuddle when you sing the last

line: “you’re the one my darling!”.

Song 2: Built My Princess (instruments

– body percussion)

Clap against your partners hands

together on the beat while you sing the

song, and then when you say “farewell”,

wave, and find a teddy or soft toy, and clap

their hands the next time you sing the song!

Story part 5:

In this household lived the King’s most

precious person, his daughter, Princess

Semiquaver. Semiquaver moved even more

quickly than the Queen and was often

running quickly or spinning in fields, forests

and near ponds with all the animals of

the Kingdom. Starting very quietly she got

louder and louder as she got further away

from the castle. One day when she was at

the pond, she saw a little frog. He had a

beautiful golden head and she thought he

looked like a little prince so she called him

Frog Prince.


Make and decorate a frog with a golden

head. Dance around the room with it,

singing the song!


Have a dance competition or a disco!


Character: Frog Prince

Music note: dotted-quaversemiquaver/dotted

eighth notesixteenth


Gallop (short-long steps): short-long,

short-long, short-long, short-long,

Physical warm-up:

Shoes off, calmly (no talking) listen to

instrumental music while doing a gallop

(short-long, short-long steps) around the

room, any direction, either holding baby,

or holding hands with our new walker or


Vocal warm-up:

Warm up our voices: Do you have your

whispering voice? Yes, I have my

whispering voice. Do you have your

speaking voice? Yes, I have my speaking


Do you have your prince voice? Yes, I have

my prince voice! Do you have your singing

voice (singing like an ambulance tune)? Yes,

I have my singing voice (ambulance tune).

Ready to sing!

Song 1: Hopping hopping (game)

Hop around the room, either like a frog or

on one leg (depending on development),

and then on the last line, blow kisses: “kiss,

kiss, kiss!” and stand up tall for, “now I am

a prince”.

Song 2: The Little Bells (instruments)

Find instruments that chime like bells and

take turns playing them each time you sing

the song.

Story part 6:

Princess Semiquaver always visited Frog

Prince with a juicy bug and one day, Frog

Prince did a froggy somersault trick and told

a funny joke. She laughed out loud, and

thought he was so clever that she gave him

a kiss. Poof! Suddenly he disappeared and

a handsome prince appeared in his place,

from a spell that a naughty goblin put on

him. He loved his new name so much that

he was known by everyone as Frog Prince.

He used to croak very loudly and was so

glad that now he could speak quietly, too.

His favourite sport was horse riding and

now that he was a person again, Frog

Prince could ride his horse.


Make and decorate a paper horse. Walk

around the room with it, singing the song!


Find some funny jokes to tell everyone!


Character: Goblin

Music note: 6/8 timing

(dotted-crochet dotted quarter note)

Slower steps, like a rocking boat, side-toside:

slow step, slow step, slow step,

slow step

Physical warm-up:

Shoes off, calmly (no talking) listen to

instrumental music while doing a slow,

rocking step (slow-slow) around the room,

any direction, either holding baby, or

holding hands with our new walker or preschooler.

Vocal warm-up:

Warm up our voices: Do you have your

whispering voice? Yes, I have my

whispering voice. Do you have your

speaking voice? Yes, I have my speaking

voice. Do you have your goblin voice? Yes,

I have my goblin voice! Do you have your

singing voice (singing like an ambulance

tune)? Yes, I have my singing voice

(ambulance tune). Ready to sing!

Song 1: Goblin (game)

Scatter scarves, pages, small things that

can easily be gathered around the room,

and take 2 slow steps to reach them and

collect them up as you sing the song.

Song 2: Goblin Protector (instruments)

Use instruments with a long sound, like

bells, and tap them as you sing the song.

Story part 7:

Far away from the Magical Kingdom, in a

dark and dreary cave full of broken

instruments lived Green Goblin, the

naughty, creeping goblin who turned Frog

Prince into a frog. He didn’t like musical

instruments, only the sound of voices and

when he was cross, he crept around and

broke all the instruments he could find. He

was very cross with Princess Semiquaver

for changing the Prince back so he did

another magic spell and crept into the

castle and stole the King’s jewels, taking

them to a secret tower, far away from the

castle. Everybody was very sad and King

Crotchet and Frog Prince were furious.


Draw the Goblin’s messy cave. Walk around

the room with it, singing the song!


Choose something to be the king’s jewels,

and play “hot-and-cold hide and seek”!

(Call out cold if the seeker is far away, or

hot if the seeker gets closer to it!)

Frances Turnbull

Musician, researcher and author,

Frances Turnbull, is a self-taught

guitarist who has played contemporary

and community music from the age

of 12. She delivers music sessions to

the early years and KS1. Trained in the

music education techniques of Kodály

(specialist singing), Dalcroze

(specialist movement) and Orff

(specialist percussion instruments), she

has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology

(Open University) and a Master’s

degree in Education (University of

Cambridge). She runs a local

community choir, the Bolton Warblers,

and delivers the Sound Sense initiative

“A choir in every care home” within

local care and residential homes,

supporting health and well-being

through her community interest


She has represented the early years

music community at the House of

Commons, advocating for recognition

for early years music educators, and

her table of progressive music skills

for under 7s features in her curriculum


Frances is the author of “Learning

with Music: Games and activities

for the early years“, published by

Routledge, August 2017.

The next article in this series includes

the final characters, again, with ideas

and tips on game, craft and activity


22 August 2020 | | August 2020 23

Playday: everyday freedoms

everyday adventures

The first Wednesday in August (5th August 2020), is national Playday and we promoted it last

year with suggestions of how to join in with big events organised across the country to

encourage children to play. This year is different, due to the restrictions placed on gatherings

and large social events because of coronavirus. So, in line with the official Playday site, we are

championing something different this year, and that is a child’s right to play at home, giving you

some research findings and tips we hope you will share with your parents/carers to help

everyone get the greatest benefit that comes from everyday playing.

The roles that an adult takes on may be

decided by several factors including the

time they have available, their confidence

in taking on the role, as well as the general

confidence and needs of the child/children


The same report also identified different

types of play that children/adults can

engage in, such as

• Social play – play resulting from

social interaction with others

• Object play – the active, playful

manipulation of objects

• Pretend play – creating alternate

realities to the real world

• Physical play – physical activity in

a playful context

• Media play – play involving


In his book, “Children, Play and

Development” 4 , Dr Fergus Hughes suggests

a non-exhaustive list of ways that adults

can enhance their child’s play in the early

years, giving 4 important skills:

1. Being sensitive to children’s


have fun with their children at home,

leading to benefits for the whole family.

Ideas for playing at home

It is easy nowadays to put a screen in front

of children and expect them to entertain

themselves, and there are times when we

have all done this. However, in the spirit of

the best play possible, why not suggest that

parents think about?

• Arts and crafts activities

• Mark-making, be that with pencils or

crayons, or in different kinds of media

such as mud, sand or pebbles

• Jigsaws and puzzles which they work

out together

• Treasure hunts

• Physical play and tickling

• Board games that can be done as a


• Traditional card games such as Snap

and Go Fish, or more modern ones

such as Dobble

• Dressing up and acting out stories

from books or plays

• Take a visit to your local playground –

they are not just ‘swings and

roundabouts’ nowadays, but children

can enjoy dinosaur- or pirate-themed

playgrounds, to name a few, and

there’s all manner of climbing,

balancing and acrobatic equipment for

them to enjoy

• Take the children into the woods and

play Robin Hood, or build a den

• Do some wild art or follow a nature


• Roll down a grassy slope together

having races

• Go to the beach and play in the sand –

building sandcastles is for any age!

• Visit the National Trust and look at their

“50 things to do before you’re 11¾ “

booklet – it’s full of adventurous play

ideas for outdoor play – you may just

need to adapt some of the ideas for

younger children

Whatever you do, playing

should be fun, so make it


2. Maintaining a playful and

available attitude

3. Trying to keep children at

optimal engagement

• Play computer games as a family,

rather than just letting children play


Outdoors play


1. The Importance of Play in Promoting

Healthy Child Development and

Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds

Play is crucial in promoting healthy child

development 1 and the importance of

parents playing with children (especially

fathers) was highlighted recently in

research based on data from 78 studies 2 ,

which reported that children whose fathers

spent time playing with them at a very

early age, found it easier to control their

behaviours and emotions, which can have

a beneficial effect on children as they get

older. Fathers tend to engage in more

physical play like chasing, tickling and

piggybacks, which researchers believe may

help children learn to control their feelings.

What advice can you give to

parents/carers to help?

Some parents play instinctively with

children, but not all. A report on

parent-child interactions at the

Minnesota Children’s Museum 3 , suggested

that parents may need some guidance to

successfully facilitate play, and that they

could basically take on one of 4 roles whilst

playing with their children, including:

• Onlooker – adults observe children

playing but generally do not disrupt

the play

• Stage manager - adults help set

the stage for their children’s activities

but do not get directly involved

• Co-player – a co-player typically

takes on a small, supporting role or

suggests different directions the play

could take whilst the child takes the


• Play leader - a play leader actively

guides the play from within,

suggesting or allocating roles or

scenarios. Nursery staff and teachers

often take on this role when working

with groups that may not have initially

chosen to play together

4. Being willing to participate in

social games

For more information on what these mean

for parents/carers in a practical sense, see

the article by Juliet Rayment on the benefits

of play for children under 2. These ideas

have been backed up with other data 5

into the beneficial roles of sensitive and

responsive parenting which suggest

parents should tune into their child’s

emotions, concerns and needs (sensitive)

and then provide them with appropriate

levels of support/reassurance (responsive),

which apply equally well to playing as they

do to dealing with a child’s behaviour.

Ideally, adults need to be sensitive AND

responsive when playing with their children,

whilst allowing the child/children to lead

the play in the most part. Here are some

ideas for ways that parents/carers can

Playing outdoors has many advantages

and there are countless ways to help

children play outdoors in a garden or park.

• Water is great for children to play

in, but you must NEVER leave young

children alone whilst water is about.

That said, there is much fun to be

had jumping in and out of sprinklers,

playing safely in a paddling pool or just

splashing about with water with some

containers and a washing up bowl

• Set up a fun obstacle course

• Have a fun kickabout (great training

for sports such as football and rugby),

or just practice hand/eye coordination

by throwing/catching or bat and ball

games. Help children by using larger

bats which are light and easy to hold,

and softer balls

2. Physical play with fathers may help

children control emotions, study finds


Summary on Play and Learning

4. Children, Play, and Development

5. Sensitive or Responsive Parenting

24 August 2020 | | August 2020 25

Leadership learning through

a coaching approach

“I’m on a giant Ferris wheel and I can’t get off ”

As a coach, my work takes me into settings to work with leaders and managers juggling

competing demands. Jennifer invited me in to her nursery as she wanted to discuss her new

role as leader of a large nursery. She said “Everyone suddenly wants me! I’m completely

exhausted and I have hardly started the things I promised myself I would do today! And

then they come around again the next day. I’m on a giant Ferris wheel and I can’t get off.”

One thing a coach can do is help leaders sort out the complex demands of the job. This

article explores a first coaching session.

In “Leadership and Management in the

Early Years” (2013), Jane Cook talks about

the importance of effective leadership.

“Working in Early Years we know that

good quality education and care makes a

difference to children’s lives and that this

continues to have a positive impact many

years after the child has left the setting. The

quality of provision and children’s

outcomes are nearly always reflected

through the quality of the leadership and

management.” Jennifer has taken over

from a long standing owner/manager, who

has recently retired. The nursery has an

excellent reputation and Jennifer is

committed to maintaining this, but this role

feels like a big jump in her career.

I drew Jennifer’s attention to the fact that

most leaders and managers will have been

practitioners first and this provides an

excellent platform for leadership. From

working with children and families,

practitioners acquire a huge range of

communication skills. They know how to

plan and set up an inspiring learning

environment. They are experienced at

making insightful observations and

planning next possibilities for children’s

learning. I saw a shift in Jennifer’s body

language as she recognised the skill set

she already brought to the role. She sat

forward in her chair and became more


There are a range of techniques and tools

which coaches can consider to match each

client’s needs. In this first session I invited

Jennifer to list all the jobs her role entails.

She created a big pile of sticky notes, each

with a different task, and I suggested she

sorted these into categories. She ended up

with eight key areas. Jennifer considered

how satisfied she was with each area and

rated them on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being

not satisfied at all and 10 being completely

satisfied. I then introduced the ‘balance

wheel’ as it resonated so well with her

image of the Ferris wheel. Jennifer

created her own balance wheel as a visual


Her areas and scores

were as follows:

Recruitment = 9

Jennifer spends much time on recruitment

as turnover is high, with the former

manager moving on and the old practices

under review. Jenny saw this as a great

opportunity to recruit her own new team.

Safeguarding = 9

Jennifer feels confident about this complex

area. She has already been a safeguarding

lead and is familiar with the legislation. A

local authority training session is booked for

whole staff training soon.

Business/finance = 8

Jennifer has an excellent business

manager and for now feels this is in safe


Children’s centre = 7

There are strong links with the co-located

centre and Jennifer has a positive attitude

to multi agency working. She has started to

have weekly catch-ups with the centre lead.

Eventually she would like the centre staff to

visit the nursery and invite ‘stay and plays’

with centre parents in the nursery garden.

Staff development = 5

Jennifer wants to make sure the new staff

they blend with the established members in

a sensitive and supportive manner. She is

reticent about leading the older

practitioners who are more resistant to

change. She wants to think about how to

manage this effectively.

Teaching and Learning = 5

Jennifer is keen to spend quality time in the

rooms with the staff and children and has

not yet done this enough. She is concerned

there are some areas of practice that need

to be developed, especially with the new EIF

(Ofsted 2019) framework in place. This is a

priority area for her.

Networks = 4

It is early days and apart from getting a

coach, Jennifer is still wondering who can

best support her in her new role. She is

thinking about getting a mentor and has a

couple of names to contact.

Governance/trustees = 3

As a new leader, Jennifer is anxious about

her accountability role to the trustee board

and has her first meeting coming up in a

month’s time.

Jennifer then created

an initial action plan:

1. Teaching and learning –

prioritise time in the rooms, observing

practice and talking to staff about their

understanding of child development

and how they plan for their key

children. She will do a timetable for two

morning visits a week from next week

and then two afternoons a week.

2. Networks – follow up the two

contacts she has to see if she can find

a mentor. Contact other local nurseries

and introduce herself and arrange a

coffee morning with other managers,

perhaps off-site to start.

3. Governance – look at the format

for previous reports and invite the Chair

of trustees in for an initial meeting so

she can get to know a bit more about

what to expect, in advance of the full

board meeting.

I clarified with her the plan and when she

might do these actions and how she will

review her progress. We agreed to have a

follow up session in six weeks’ time.

After the session, Jennifer found the

balance wheel was a very helpful visual

tool. She commented: “I feel I have

managed to get off my own Ferris wheel

that was noisy and confusing. I can now

look at it with more objectivity and clarity.

And I’ve created a new wheel I can be in

control of.”

Top tips for new leaders

1. Remember, as a practitioner

you have lots of skills that

can transfer into your

leadership role – make a list of

these or talk through with a trusted


2. Allow yourself time to get to

know the setting – either

because it is new to you or because

you now see it through a different lens

3. Make a list of everything you

do now and try to prioritise

your workload

4. Try your own balance wheel

and rate your satisfaction

with each area on a scale of

1-10. What areas are you happy with

and what areas need attending to?

Create an action plan of first steps and

set a time to review your progress

5. Think who can best help you

– and make contact soon. Remember

other leaders were new to their role

once, too

Ruth Mercer

Ruth Mercer is a coach and

consultant, with a career background

in early education. Ruth is committed

to creating a positive learning

environment for staff, children and

families. She has a successful track

record of 1:1 coaching for leaders and

group coaching across the

maintained and PVI sector. She

supports leaders and managers in

developing a coaching approach in

their settings through bespoke

consultancy and introductory training

on coaching and mentoring for all


Ruth is currently writing about

coaching with a playful approach.



Reference: Cook, Jane (2013)

In “Leadership and

Management in the Early

Years: Practical Preschool


26 August 2020 | | August 2020 27

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Eid al-Adha

- The Greater Eid

This month sees Muslims around the world celebrating the end of Hajj (pilgrimage) with one of

the main festivals in the Muslim calendar, Eid al-Adha, also known as The Greater Eid.

Islam has many feast days and festivals, as

do most of the world’s main religions, but

unlike many Christian festivals, which exist

on set days of the year (such as Christmas

Day on 25th December), the Islamic

calendar follows the lunar cycle, and

therefore each year, the festivals fall on

different days when defined by the

Gregorian calendar of January – December

which a lot of the world follows.

The current Islamic year is 1441 AH. In the

Gregorian calendar, 1441 AH runs from

approximately 31 August 2019 to 20 August

2020 because the Hijri epoch on which the

Islamic calendar is based, began in 622

CE, when Muhammed travelled to Medina

with his followers to found the first Muslim


Eid al-Adha begins at sunset on Thursday

30th July, 2020 and finishes at sunset

on Monday 3rd August. In common with

other religions such as the Jewish faith, the

Islamic day starts at sundown rather than

at midnight.

Approximately 23% of the world’s

population follow Islam, with the largest

concentrations of people in North and West

Africa, the Arab states, the Middle East

and Indonesia 1 , although the religion has

spread throughout the world and 1 in 20

(5%) of people in the UK identify themselves

as Muslim 2 .

Islam believes that there is only one God,

similar to Christianity and Judaism but

Muslims prefer to call their God, ‘Allah’.

Islam holds that there were many prophets

including the patriarch, Ibrahim (Abraham)

as well as Moses, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus and

finally, Muhammad, who Muslims believe

to be the last prophet from God. The main

message of all the prophets was the belief

in only one God and of human’s

responsibility to show kindness and love to

each other.

There are ‘five pillars of Islam’

which underpin the faith. They


1. Profession of faith (shahada)

2. Prayer (salat)

3. Alms or charity (zakat)

4. Fasting (sawm) such as that

observed during the month

of Ramadan

5. Pilgrimage (Hajj) to the holy

city of Mecca

Eid al-Adha means ‘sacrifice’ and is the

celebration following the Muslim annual

pilgrimage to Mecca (the Hajj), which all

adult Muslims are required to undertake

at least once in their lifetime. Muslims from

all around the globe travel to Mecca, the

birthplace of Muhammad, to say prayers at

the Great Mosque, and visit the holiest of

Islamic buildings, the Kaaba, which

Muhammed is thought to have restored

and consecrated to Allah.

Eid al-Adha also commemorates the

prophet, Ibrahim’s obedience to God.

Muslims believe that when God

commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his first

son, Ishmael, to prove his loyalty, Ibrahim

was so faithful that he was prepared to

follow God’s command, even driving away

the devil by throwing stones at him when

he tried to persuade Ibrahim to disobey. But

God was so pleased with Ibrahim’s

obedience, that at the last moment, he

replaced Ishmael with a ram/lamb (a

traditional sacrifice at the time), and

Ibrahim’s son was spared, so Eid al-Adha

is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. A

similar story of sacrifice is also part of the

Christian and Jewish religions although in

those religions, Abraham (Ibrahim) was told

to sacrifice his second son, Isaac.

During the festival, Muslims may kill a

goat, sheep or cow and see this as a

symbolic gesture to remind them that they

should serve others, and it is traditional for

Muslims to take meat from the animal and

distribute it to the poor. Many Muslims also

donate to charity.

Attending the mosque as a family is also

a tradition at this time of year, and families

will dress up in their best clothes to pay

homage to Allah. They also hold feasts

and visit families and friends to celebrate


Eid al-Adha is a public holiday in Muslim

countries, but Muslims in the UK may also

take the day off work or school to celebrate

this festival in the same way that many

Christians take time off at Christmas and

Easter to follow their own religious festivals.

By participating in the celebrations and

festival, Muslims show that they too are

prepared to sacrifice their lives to God.

Ways to celebrate Eid al-Adha in

your setting?

1. Hold a special feast or picnic to mark

the festival days – why not bake some

special cakes in the shape of domestic

animals to show their significance to

the festival?

2. Ask the children to donate something

to a charity; it could be a toy or a book

or something similar, but ask them to

clean it thoroughly in line with Covid-19


3. Make up some food parcels to take

to the food bank or to deliver to local

people in need.

4. Do some crafts related to Islamic

ideas or symbols, such as create the

‘five pillars of Islam’, a sun and moon

mobile, or have a go at making an

Islamic calendar. You can find some

age-appropriate resources listed at

the bottom of this article. Be mindful of

Islamic traditions and rules though, as

to some Muslims, it is not considered

appropriate to make images or models

of the holy Kaaba, for example.

5. Sing - there are some children’s songs

on YouTube and a very catchy one here

singing “Eid Mubarak” which in Arabic

means, “Blessed Feast/Festival”, which

we guarantee you’ll be singing all

week once you hear it!

6. Invent some games which remind the

children of the religious stories – you

could organise a treasure hunt to get

some supplies to people in need, or

play a game of chase to symbolise

Ibrahim chasing away the devil.

7. Dress up in your best clothes to

celebrate the day.

8. Make some paper prayer mats with

the children and decorate them with

different pieces of colour paper to

represent the amazing patterns found

on them in reality.

Whatever you do, have a fun time and

remember to send us your photos to Eid Mubarak!

Resources for Islamic crafts:






30 August 2020 | | August 2020 31

Looking at the

world through the

eyes of a child

When a child’s behaviour seems irrational and over the top,

it is often because we are looking at it through the eyes of

an adult. Sometimes we can think children are being

uncooperative or stubborn, when in reality, all that they

are doing is acting their age.

Stacey Kelly

A child’s ability to concentrate, to

regulate their emotions and to make

rational decisions is limited and it is

important to remember this and to make

sure that our own expectations are realistic.

Problems are relative. When we look back

at our 15-year-old selves, we will think that

the problems we faced then were trivial.

However, the emotions that we felt at the

time were very real and cut deeply. We

might look back as an adult and think that

we had nothing to worry about, but that

doesn’t take away the fact that at the time

we felt devastated. The younger we are,

the more trivial our problems will seem

through our adult eyes. However, no matter

how small they may seem to us now, it is

important to remember that at the time,

they were a big deal and had an impact

on us.

Quite often, toddlers become devastated

about the smallest of things. However, in

their little world, these problems are huge.

Again, they are relative to their age and

the emotions they are feeling are just as

powerful as the emotions we felt at 15

and now as adults when things go wrong.

Just because the problem a child is facing

seems insignificant to us, does not mean

that it is not important to them. By trying to

look at the world through their eyes, rather

than our own, we will be able to have

more compassion and handle the situation

in a more empathic way. Just like in our

teenage years, all they often need is an

arm around them and some understanding

because to them, the world feels like it is


Every child is an individual

It is also important to remember that

children are little people with their own set

of thoughts and opinions. Every child will

have their own strengths and

weaknesses and they certainly will not all

fit into the same box. What works for one

child won’t necessarily work for another. As

a parent myself, I sometimes can’t believe

how different my son and daughter are.

They both have the same parents and

were raised in the same way, yet both

have completely different personalities and

temperaments. My son is very laid back but

when he loses it, he loses it! My daughter,

on the other hand, has big emotions and

can be very energetic. I also know that both

of my children like to do things in their own

time – just like their mummy! However, just

because they are little doesn’t mean that I

can’t respect that part of their personalities.

If it is going to be bedtime, I give them a 5

minute warning. Sometimes they negotiate

10 minutes and that’s okay. I give them a

timer and they know that when it goes off, it

is the time that they agreed. Nine times out

of ten they take themselves off to bed with

no problem. If I want them to do something

like get dressed for school, I will put their

clothes in front of them and ask them to

get ready in 5 minutes. Sometimes they will

ask if they can finish what they are doing

first and I will always make sure that I have

enough time to say yes. I think it is

important to not hold children to higher

expectations than we can live up to

ourselves. If I were busy doing something, it

would really annoy me if someone

demanded that I stopped immediately to

do something else. Why would it be any

different for my children? Yes, they need

to learn respect and boundaries, but in

my opinion, I have to lead by example.

The best way for them to learn all of these

things is to see them being demonstrated

in the behaviour of the people around

them. Sometimes my children will argue

after we have agreed something and they

will try to push the boundaries. However, it

is in these times that I stand by our

agreement and reinforce it.

Meltdowns and tantrums are a natural

part of a child’s development. However,

throughout it, all it is also important for us

to look at our own expectations and to

make sure that they are not too high. We

also need to try to look at the world through

a child’s eyes because through our own,

we won’t ever be able to fully understand

and have compassion. If we want children

to have a voice and be strong minded

when they are older, we need to give them

the opportunity to be all of these things

when they are younger. If we want them

to be kind and respectful, we again need

to demonstrate all of these things through

our own behaviour. Yes, it can be frustrating

when a child is screaming because they

have simply been given a red pen instead

of a blue pen. However, if we can take our

focus away from the problem a child is

facing and whether it is deemed as big or

small and just start seeing their struggle

and sadness, it will allow us to be more

compassionate and empathic parents and


Stacey Kelly is a former teacher, a

parent to 2 beautiful babies and the

founder of Early Years Story Box, which

is a subscription website providing

children’s storybooks and early years

resources. She is passionate about

building children’s imagination,

creativity and self-belief and about

creating awareness of the impact that

the early years have on a child’s future.

Stacey loves her role as a writer,

illustrator and public speaker and

believes in the power of personal

development. She is also on a mission

to empower children to live a life full

of happiness and fulfilment, which is

why she launched the #ThankYouOaky

Gratitude Movement.

Sign up to Stacey’s Premium

Membership here and use the code

PARENTA20 to get 20% off or contact

Stacey for an online demo.


or Telephone: 07765785595

Facebook: https://www.facebook.




Instagram: https://www.instagram.




32 August 2020 | | August 2020 33

How to respond to

accidents, injuries, and

5. Manage long-term effects

Finally, assess any longer-term needs

following an incident. This may mean

looking at the mental health of affected

people and offering counselling or trauma

services to manage any detrimental effects

following an event.

emergency situations

An accident is an adverse event that is unintended, unplanned or unexpected; it may

lead to an injury or an emergency situation. But just because something happens that is

unplanned, does not mean that it is unplanned for! In responding to accidents and

emergencies, planning is essential.

General rules

1. Prevention is always better than


2. If an accident happens, stay calm

3. Follow practiced procedures/


4. Report, investigate and review

5. Manage any long-term effects

1. Prevention

Risk assessments may be time consuming

but they are vital to prevent accidents and

injuries. Make sure that you have

undertaken thorough risk assessments

of all areas of your work including play

areas, outdoor spaces, kitchens, general

workspaces, trips and visits, etc. Having

risk assessments not only helps to

minimise accidents, but also helps prove

that you have done everything in your

power to prevent them.

A risk assessment should:

• Identify any risk or hazard: where is it

and what is it?

• Determine who is at risk and how: e.g.

cooks at risk of scalds

• Evaluate the level of risk and decide

whether it can be eliminated (e.g.

remove a trailing wire), or if not, what

you can do to minimise or control it?

• Record your findings in electronic or

paper form

• Monitoring and review your risk

assessments regularly

2. If the worst happens - stay


The first rule in dealing with any emergency

situation is to stay calm and don’t panic,

and encourage others to do the same. In

an emergency situation, your body reacts

by going into survival/fight-or-flight mode.

It prepares by overproducing cortisol,

which can reduce your critical thinking and

increase your emotional response, so your

ability to make effective,

critically-thought-through judgements

fades, which could cost lives. Deep

breathing, systematic tensing and

releasing of muscles, and slow counting,

are all ways that

can help you regain

a calm and clear


3. Follow practiced procedures/


Having procedures/protocols to follow in

the event of an accident or injury is

essential for all nursery settings. You must

ensure that your staff know what to do and

have practiced for any potential

eventualities. It is your legal responsibility to

do so, or you could be held negligent in a

court of law.

One article cannot advise you what to do in

every emergency situation – each setting is

different, has different staff with varying

expertise and qualifications, so it’s

important to write your own specific

procedures and protocols for dealing with

each event.

You should consider including:

• serious injury to a pupil or member of

staff (e.g. burn, fall, transport accident)

• missing children

• damage to premises or property (e.g.

fire or flood)

• criminal activity (e.g. intruder or bomb


• severe weather (e.g. snow or flooding)

• public health incidents (e.g. flu


• local community disaster

Your plans should cover procedures for

incidents that might occur during and

outside your normal operating hours,

including weekends and holidays if these

will affect your ability to operate, and any

extended services you run such as early/

late hours or holiday activities.

Protocols should be clear and in a

step-by-step format including:

1. How to make the area safe to prevent

further harm

2. The process for calling the emergency


3. The person responsible for

administering first aid – you should

always have a trained first aider on site

but what will you do if they are late/

stuck in traffic etc?

4. The roles that people will undertake

in the event of an emergency – e.g.

managing the response/carrying out

required tasks

5. The process for informing relevant

parents/carers or next of kin

6. The procedure for managing

information to parents/carers, the

community, social media and perhaps,

to outside reporters and journalists

At all stages, identify who is responsible –

this might be a named person or an

identified role, e.g. “the duty first aider”.

However, if you identify a role rather than

a person, you need to keep and display

prominently, the name of the said “duty first

aider” for each day.

It is also important to consult with any

governing of advisory board you may have,

to gain their support for your plans, and to

publish them so that all members of your

team know how to respond or where to

find the protocol information.

It is then vital that you regularly

practice each emergency plan so that

you are well prepared if the worst happens.

If you discover something is not working as

well as it should, then change your

protocols to improve them.

4. Report, investigate and review

There is a statutory duty in the UK to keep

records of accident and injuries. This could

be in an accident report book, and you

should clearly record the details of the

accident, what happened, who dealt with

it and what actions were taken. You can

then make investigations and changes to

your risk assessments and protocols where


In addition, you must report all serious

incidents to the governing country. For

example, in England, Ofsted-registered

childminders, nannies and nurseries

must report all serious accidents, injuries

and illness to Ofsted and other local child

protection agencies. This includes child

death. In addition, RIDDOR requires you to

report all injuries, diseases and dangerous

occurrences in the workplace


For more information:

• https://www.childcarehealthandsafety.













Basic first aid procedure

In an emergency, you should remember to

go through the primary survey which you

can remember by using the mnemonic,


D – Danger – check for danger and make

sure it is safe to approach

R – Response – check if the casualty is


A – Airways – make sure their airways are


B – Breathing – check for signs of


C – Circulation – check their pulse, check

for bleeding and either try to stop the

bleeding or put the person into the recovery


You should call the emergency services

on 999 as soon as you can. If there are

other people around, ask them to call for

you whilst you administer the basic first aid.

A more detailed reminder of these can be

found on the St John’s Ambulance website

or the Scottish NHS first aid site.

34 August 2020 | | August 2020 35

The lowdown on sunscreen

by the Melanoma Fund

The lowdown on sunscreen

The summer is here (we think!), and

naturally you are keen to spend the day

outdoors. The first thing that many of us do

(if we care about our skin health) is to reach

for a hat and the sunscreen. However, if

you are confused by sunscreen, you’re not


What is a sunscreen?

Simply put, sunscreen is a substance

applied to the skin to reduce the intensity of

the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays entering the

skin and damaging vulnerable skin cells.

Sunscreens can take many forms including

creams, milks, lotions, gels, foams, oils,

ointments and sprays.

The active ingredients of a sunscreen are

generally a mixture of organic and

inorganic chemicals that absorb UV and

convert it into harmless warmth, scatter

the incoming UV rays away from the skin

and so prevent them entering the skin and

causing harm.

The Sun Protection Factor

We normally see something called the Sun

Protection Factor, or SPF, on the front of the

bottle but what exactly is it telling us?

The SPF is usually taken as how much

longer skin covered with sunscreen takes

to burn compared with unprotected skin.

So, if you burn after 10 minutes in the sun,

then using a sunscreen labelled with, say,

SPF 15, is taken to mean that you can safely

remain in the sun for 10 x 15 = 150 minutes,

or 2½ hours, before burning.

What SPF should I choose

when I buy a sunscreen?

If preventing sunburn from all day exposure

is your goal, we can calculate that

for most people with white

skin an SPF 15 should, in

theory, protect them

from sunbathing

all day on a beach in southern Europe or

Florida as long as the sunscreen is

regularly reapplied. But many people who

use SPF 15 report getting sunburnt – this is

due to a mismatch between

manufacturers’ testing and the reality of

how much and how carefully you actually


So, to compensate for the difference, an SPF

30 is recommended, especially if you plan

to spend several hours in strong sunshine.

Sunscreen Star Rating -

what does it tell us?

When you pick up a bottle of sunscreen the

first thing you see is the SPF rating on the

front of the bottle. But turn the bottle over

and on the back is the Star Rating, which

can range from 1 to 5 stars, as shown here:

We know that by reducing the intensity, or

strength, of the sun’s UV rays on our skin,

we reduce the likelihood of damaging our

skin - either by getting sunburnt that day or

developing skin cancer later in life.

Nature understands the importance of

this so that when we seek natural shade

by stepping under a tree, or wear clothing

to protect our skin, we reduce the overall

strength of the sun’s UVB and UVA rays

almost equally. In other words, Nature

is providing us with balanced protection

against both UVB and UVA.

And that’s just what we would like to

achieve when we apply a sunscreen to our

skin. So how do we know if we are getting

balanced protection? That is where the Star

Rating comes in. The higher the number of

stars, the more balanced the protection.

So, the next time you’re wondering what

sunscreen to buy, the first thing to do is to

look at the back of the bottle and choose

one offering 4- or 5-star protection.

Then decide on what SPF you would like. If

you are keen to protect your skin as much

as possible, you need to choose a

sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher.

From a practical viewpoint most sunscreens

are now either 4 or 5 stars, so the great

majority of modern products are already

providing balanced protection.

Tips for applying sunscreen

• Apply sunscreen liberally to exposed

areas 15 to 30 minutes before going

out into the sun.

• Do not rub the sunscreen into your skin

but spread the sunscreen as uniformly

as possible over the surface of the skin

and allow to dry.

• Re-apply sunscreen to skin 15 to 30

minutes after sun exposure begins.

• Re-apply sunscreen after vigorous

activity that could remove sunscreen,

such as swimming, towelling or

excessive sweating and rubbing.

Is it safe to use sunscreen

on babies?

Ideally this is best avoided in infants less

than 6 months of age as babies’ skin is

thinner than that of adults, and it can

absorb the UV active chemical ingredients

in sunscreen more easily, therefore

increasing the risk of an allergic reaction.

The best approach is to keep infants

under 6 months out of direct sun and

in the shade as much as

possible. This is especially

important between the

hours of 11 am and 3pm

when UV rays are most

intense. As well as

shade, make sure your

child wears loosefitting

clothing that

covers the skin and

keeps them cool - and

do not forget a sunhat.

If there is no way to

keep your baby out of

the sun, you can apply a

small amount of high SPF

sunscreen to small areas such

as the cheeks and back of the

hands. Do not forget that babies can

easily overheat, which can be extremely

dangerous, so shade is best.

Is there evidence that

sunscreens prevent skin


Although there are some data to indicate

that sunscreens have a role in

preventing skin cancer, we lack the strength

of evidence that would be expected before

a new drug was introduced as a treatment.

This does not mean that we should not be

using sunscreen. Just because we don’t

have sufficient evidence doesn’t necessarily

mean that they are not effective as a way

of reducing our risk of skin cancer - and

theoretically we would expect them to

be, as sunscreens absorb UV and UV

is a major risk factor for skin cancer.

Top tip

Make sunscreen application a bit

of fun and encourage children to

put a dot of sunscreen on each

cheek, nose and their chin and

carefully rub it in (avoiding the eye

area). They can add squiggles of

sunscreen to any part of their arms and

legs not covered with clothing.

Getting children

outdoors and into sport!

Although organised outdoor activity has

been curtailed for most of this year, things

are slowly getting back to a new normal.

The Melanoma Fund, which runs the

Brian Diffey

Professor Diffey is an international

authority on sun protection and

amongst other things, invented the UVA

Star Rating adopted by Boots and which

remains the world’s longest running

measure of UVA protection for


As well as being an Emeritus

Professor of Photobiology in

Dermatological Sciences at Newcastle

University, prior to retiring from the NHS,

he was Clinical Director and Professor

of Medical Physics at Newcastle

General Hospital. Professor Diffey is the

Scientific Adviser at the Melanoma


Outdoor Kids Sun Safety Code is urging

parents to check that organisers of activities

are ‘OK Accredited’ and if not, ask them to

do so. This will ensure that they are keeping

everyone sun protected and aware of the

risks associated with sunburn. For further

details, visit

36 August 2020 | | August 2020 37

Hiroshima Peace Day:

Sadako Sasaki and the paper cranes

Hiroshima Peace Day is held each year on 6th August,

the anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima.

Origami Paper cranes

The word ‘orizuru’ means paper crane in Japanese.

All you will need to create this craft is a square piece of craft paper. Although origami looks

complicated, it’s just lots of paper folding and the children will just love the beautiful paper

cranes they have made with you.

Following her death, friends and family

raised funds to erect a lasting memorial in

honour of both Sadako Sasaki and all

children impacted by the effects of the

atomic bomb. In 1958 a statue of her

holding a golden crane was unveiled in

the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park. A

plaque on the statue reads “This is our

cry. This is our prayer. Peace in the world”.

Who was Sadako Sasaki?

Sadako Sasaki was only two years old

when the atomic bomb was dropped on

Hiroshima. She developed leukaemia as

a result of the radioactive rain that fell

over her city and was hospitalised in 1955.

While in hospital, she was inspired by the

ancient Japanese legend told to her by her

father. According to folklore, anyone who

can make 1000 paper cranes would have a

wish granted by the gods. She spent her

time folding origami paper cranes, hoping

for a wish to cure her illness.

Sadly, Sadako died on 25th October 1955.

The stories vary as to whether she

completed her 1000 cranes – one states

she managed to fold 644 and her friends

completed the task after her death; and

other state that she exceeded her target

and folded 1400!

Every year on August 6th, young people

from all over the world leave thousands of

paper cranes at the memorial in

memory of Sadako and during the

evening, a Peace Message Lantern

Floating Ceremony is held on the nearby

river. Some 50,000 local citizens and

visitors, as well as ambassadors and

dignitaries from around 70 countries,

gather here and write messages of peace

on the lanterns.

We’ve recreated Sadako’s paper cranes

for our craft this month, and you will

see on the opposite page, that with a

few folds, you too will have many paper

cranes, which the children can colour in

using their favourite chalks or pencils,

for added effect. We hope you enjoy our

origami craft!


1. Fold the paper in half diagonally,

unfold it and then fold it again

in the other direction. Unfold the

paper again.

2. Turn the paper over to the other


3. Fold the paper in half horizontally,

unfold it and then fold the paper

in half vertically and unfold it


4. Bring the top point down to the

bottom, while also folding the left

and right corners down into the


6. Now starting with your square

base, make sure the open end

is at the bottom. Fold both lower

edges to the central crease.

7. Fold the top section down and

then unfold the previous three


8. Pull one layer up from the

bottom, along the creases you

just made and push the left and

right edges inwards.

9. Turn the origami over to the other

side and repeat the same steps

of the squash fold on this side.

11. You should now have a diamond

with two skinny “legs” on the

bottom. Lift the upper right corner

and fold it over to meet the upper

left corner (like you’re turning the

page of a book).

12. Pinch the skinny part and pull it

away and then fold it on top to

create the head.

13. Turn the crane around and pull

the other skinny part to create tail

(don’t fold it).

14. Fold down the wings and your

crane is complete!

5. You should now have a diamond

shape, with a crease running

down the centre, which is now

your square base.

10. Next fold both lower edges to the

central crease and flip the

origami over and do the same on

the other side.

38 August 2020 | | August 2020 39

Invest in the development

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ALL furloughed staff qualify for a funded

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Take advantage for you or your staff TODAY before furlough ends!

Payment plan available for your 5% contribution

Did you know…

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