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The longest established, best-read, free parenting magazine in the South.

ABC Magazine is the FREE local parenting magazine offering practical parenting advice to everyone with young children. From babies to big kids!

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summer 2017 edition


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 Recent Articles

Three things a school can do to prepare children for the 21st century

By | Education | No Comments

by Sarah Partridge
Early Childhood Leader, International School of London in Surrey

High on a prospective parent’s checklist is often a school’s Ofsted rating, but with over 80% of schools in the UK being judged as ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ what other factor>s should be considered in choosing an education for your child? Key questions to ask are: how are schools preparing students for the 21st century and how are they developing the skills our children need to be ready for life beyond the school gates?
ISL London

As an educator and a parent of two teenagers, I would like my children to develop as confident, tolerant, well-balanced citizens who have critical thinking and problem solving skills, plus the resilience necessary to succeed in a challenging world. This article outlines three ways in which schools can develop these attributes in their students: use of the outdoors, service learning/community engagement and a well-being focus.

Outdoor Learning

The physical benefits of time spent outdoors are well known, however, there are other positive impacts that being in a natural environment can have on children. For example, I recently observed a group of primary children in the school’s forest working together to figure out the best way to erect a tarpaulin, despite wet weather and limited resources. To be successful, the children needed to demonstrate
resilience and use problem solving skills in a way that would have been difficult to replicate in the classroom. These skills link with the following OFSTED statement: “When planned and implemented well, Learning Outside the Classroom contributed significantly to raising standards and improving pupils’ personal, social and emotional development.”

Learning Outside the Classroom – How far should you go?
OFSTED report 2008.

Service Learning/Community Engagement

An emphasis on real life learning opportunities allows students to connect what they are learning with taking action. At the same time, this plays an important role in developing their understanding of the positive impact they can have on the world around them. A four year old in my school, who was initially nervous about an upcoming visit to an elderly care home, came back bursting with enthusiasm to tell me he had made a ‘new friend’ there. This now confident young student then explained to me, step by step, how he had taught this new friend to play a ladybird game and asked when he could go back. These real-life experiences allow our children to develop the skills to become well-balanced, responsible and tolerant individuals; skills so important in these uneasy times. This is echoed by a quote from the Kellogg Foundation: “Educators are drawn to service-learning because they believe it produces important educational results for students, schools and communities. In individual interviews, they can clearly articulate their observations of the effects. They give many examples of students becoming more altruistic and caring, growing more concerned about their community and community issues, and learning more in specific content areas.”

The Impacts of Service-Learning on Youth, Schools and Communities,
W.K. Kellogg Foundation


According to global rankings on student well-being published by PISA in 2017, UK pupils are amongst the unhappiest in the world. The study found that one in six of its students are unhappy, ranking the UK 38th out of 48 countries in its happiness study. It also reported that UK students were more anxious about testing than students in other countries. The high stakes testing culture in UK schools seems to be affecting the well-being of our children. Schools need to find a way to respond to this. Well-being should be given a central place in a school’s programme and not just be seen as an add-on. Mindfulness programmes, therapy dogs and opportunities for exercise are just some of the things that schools can do to support good mental health. But schools can also take action by not over-emphasising to children the importance of testing. Education is not just about examination results, as highlighted in the following report: “It is widely recognised that a child’s emotional health and well-being influences their cognitive development and learning, as well as their physical and social health and their mental wellbeing in adulthood.”

Promoting children and young
people’s emotional health and wellbeing – Public Health England report 2015

My own children are coming to the end of their time in school and I am fortunate that they attended schools that placed importance on all of the areas outlined above, as well as many more aspects of what I regard as a well-rounded education. I
urge any parent looking for a school to take a moment to reflect on what they really want for their child and how the school they choose can prepare them for this.

ISL Surrey is an independent primary school in Woking, for children aged 2 – 11. The school provides an outstanding education, with a curriculum based on the principles of the International Primary Curriculum (IPC).
There is in addition extensive wrap-around care and a focus on student well-being.

Make time for teeth…

By | children's health, Health | No Comments
by Lisa Costigan
Rottingdean Dental Care

Lisa Costigan from Rottingdean Dental Care has practiced locally for 27 years. During this time she has dealt with many dental injuries and is very keen that all parents should know what to do if their child damages a tooth.


What should I do if my child damages a primary (baby) tooth?
You don’t have to do anything yourself to the tooth. However it is important that you visit your dentist as soon as possible. NEVER put back a knocked out primary (baby) tooth as you could damage the permanent tooth below.

Why is important that I visit the dentist straight away?
Your dentist will want to assess the injury and monitor the tooth. If it has become very loose they may want to remove it as there could be an airway risk. If it has been mildly displaced from the socket they may be able to reposition it. Sometimes if the movement is very slight the tooth will reposition spontaneously.

How can I care for the injured tooth at home?
Avoid giving hard food for two to four weeks and if possible avoid use of a pacifier or nursing bottle. Remember to keep brushing the tooth as it is important to keep it clean. Look out for any changes around the injured tooth. Colour change is a common sign of primary (baby) tooth trauma and may range from yellow to grey to black. Always return to your dentist with any concerns.

Can an injury to a primary (baby) tooth damage the unerupted permanent tooth?
During the first years of life the primary (baby) teeth are very closely related to the permanent teeth which are forming inside the bone. When injury occurs in the primary teeth in this period it can affect the appearance of the permanent teeth, which could erupt with white or brown marks or a deformation in the crown. It may also disturb the eruption time of the permanent tooth.

What should I do if a permanent tooth is broken or knocked out?
• Find the tooth. Hold the tooth by the crown (the white part), not by the root (the yellow part).
• Re-implant immediately if possible.
• If contaminated rinse briefly with cold tap water (do not scrub) and put the tooth back in place. This can be done by the child or an adult.
• Hold the tooth in place. Bite on a handkerchief to hold it in position and go to the dentist immediately.
• If you cannot put the tooth back in, place in a cup of milk or saline. When milk or saline or not available, place the tooth in the child’s mouth (between the cheeks and gums).
• Seek immediate dental treatment as your dentist will need to take an x-ray and place a splint on the adjacent teeth. Follow up treatment will depend on the stage of root development of the tooth.

Lisa advises that due to the frequency of the tooth injuries all parents should download the Dental Trauma First Aid App which is endorsed by IAPT (International Association of Dental Traumatology).

Rottingdean Dental Care was opened in 1982. It became the first practice in Sussex to hold both national quality standards BDA Good Practice and Investors in People.
Email: info@rottingdeandental.co.uk


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