Encouraging Young Swimmers with RainbowSmart

The first time we go swimming is often a time of great excitement, but naturally it comes with many first-time anxieties. With RainbowSmart, those fears can be alleviated, meaning children feel encouraged and empowered to get in the pool.

RainbowSmart storybooks are written around topics that children are likely to experience, such as going to the doctors, the first day of school, and so much more. One of the more recent additions to this collection is based on swimming for the first time, entitled ‘Red Goes Swimming’.

Bridging the Gap in Early Years Education

A recent report on the state of education in the UK from The Times was fairly damning, particularly regarding EYFS. Despite a gradual increase in early years spend-per-pupil since 1990, it still lags significantly behind other educational funding (primary, secondary, further, and higher education).

There are huge questions as to why this is when the early years are arguably the most crucial point of development. Perhaps this is something underestimated in the UK, in that the majority of funding is put into the academic prowess of upper age groups.

Managing the Transition with 1decision

Blog title image of Managing Transition with 1decision by Liam Govey, alongside an image from one of our videos of Maya, her mother and a teacher from her new secondary school

Back in March, it was revealed that almost 1.8 million children missed at least 10% of school in the autumn term. This is an incredibly worrying statistic, which suggests that a lot of children may not have been adequately prepared for the adjustment to Secondary School.

It’s undoubtedly a huge obstacle to overcome for anyone, especially when the friends made in primary school may end up attending different schools. This is before even considering the need to adjust to a routine within a considerably bigger building. The worries are bound to pile up. What if I’m late? What if I get lost? What if I get into trouble for wearing my uniform incorrectly? What if I fall behind my classmates, or struggle to make any new friends?

How RainbowSmart keeps children sun safe

The character Rainbow wearing sun-safe attire alongside blog title of 'How RainbowSmart keeps children sun safe'

Though British weather is unpredictable at the best of times, the summer holidays usually bring at least some sunshine and warm weather. In this week’s RainbowSmart story, Rainbow is visiting the seaside with their grandparents. They learn how they can stay safe when the temperatures start to rise.

At first, Rainbow is reluctant to wear a sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen, having never worn any of the items before. They quickly learn, however, that these things are vital in protecting us from the sun, which is more powerful than many children perhaps realise when they are first made aware of it.

Why reading at home matters more (and more) post-Covid!

Image of Richard Cowie, Creative Director of Reading On Your Head, alongside company logo and title of 'Why reading at home matters more (and more) post-Covid’

We’re delighted to share a guest blog from Richard Cowie of Reading on Your Head; a company looking to revolutionise the way teachers, children and parents approach reading!

The Covid lockdowns have taught teachers and parents a great deal about the limitations of our current approach to reading, as well as how new technologies and making new links between schools and the community can drive improvements.

As we leave what is hopefully the final lockdown behind us and look to the future, it is easy to forget the lessons learned and the range of approaches many of us have tried to wring the most value out of a blended approach to teaching reading.

Learning Kindness like a Language

Young boy and young girl in the grass displaying kindness beside title of Learning Kindness like a Language

A 2018 article from TESSA International School written by Tori Galatro discusses the countless reasons children can pick up languages more readily than adults. These reasons are numerous, but at 1decision we ask; how can we ensure empathy, kindness and compassion are absorbed in a similar way?

To summarise the article, the main advantages children have in language learning are environmental and cognitive. If children become immersed into multilingual environments with fewer inhibitions in terms of being allowed to make mistakes, learning becomes second nature. It is this pure desire to communicate that drives the learning, to quote Galatro directly.

How RainbowSmart Helps Children Understand Developmental and Learning Disabilities

Image from RainbowSmart storybook 'Why Does Purple Play Differently?' alongside title card for the blog on How RainbowSmart Helps Children Understand Developmental and Learning Disabilities'

A 2017 study from Queen’s University Belfast found that autism awareness was higher amongst teenagers (80%) than for younger children (50%). Encouragingly, those that knew someone with autism generally reported positive and supportive attitudes.

Though encouraging, the results from this study only draw upon a small sample of children, and of course the work to increase children’s awareness of autism never stops. This also applies to other developmental and learning disabilities – understanding is the key to a more inclusive environment within and beyond the classroom. As we mark Learning Disability Week, we should take a moment to reflect on how we can help with this.

How RainbowSmart is helping children eat healthily

1decision title image featuring heart shaped bowl of fruit and vegetables

Upon reading the Children’s Alliance report on ‘The Health and Wellbeing of Children in the Early Years’, it was harrowing to discover that the UK was ‘the worst for overall diets across Europe’, with the UK suffering a unique ‘double whammy’ of obesity and food insecurity. The report comes in the aftermath of Covid, but it’s clear that the pandemic has only aggravated rather than caused the problem.

The pandemic has made clear that the system is unfit for purpose when it comes to ensuring children grow up both physically and mentally healthy. Over a decade of abandonment for a lot of communities leads to either a lack of food, or an imbalanced diet, which inevitably causes devastating long-term health issues. Of course, it’s difficult to eat healthily on a budget too, meaning that even when poorer families can eat, it may be a struggle to provide a healthy option.

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