Autumn Provocation – Hedgehogs!

I genuinely have a love for Hedgehogs, they are lovely creatures and a gardeners friend as they love to eat slugs. They also make me think of Autumn as they usually like to snuggle up in the copious amounts of leaves that fall down.

I’ve created a little provocation for Arthur, my own (less than prickly) Hedgehog who is about to visit my children. He doesn’t yet have a home to hibernate in so my children need to discuss and research what Hedgehogs need to eat and sleep in.


I’ve created a little story around Arthur meeting me at a castle (I’m currently on holiday and went to visit Bamburgh castle.)

Have a read of the story I created and you’ll see the provocation points within which allow the children to ask questions and find out facts –¬†Click Here to Download

Please do let me know how you get on.

Is this true or not?

After my last post I thought I’d open up another line of debate amongst us Early Years Practitioners and Professionals.

One of my colleagues showed me this article from a recent edition of The Times which has heard from a Senior Church of Scotland Cleric who states that children now are totally unable to accept failure because parents and society has taken away the concept of losing and has “coddled” them. Do you think this is true?

Coddled Children
Copyright The Times Newspapers

Thought for the day.

And a worrying thought it is.

In Scotland there is a motion to bring in assessment of primary 1 children to test them on literacy and numeracy. Although any primary teacher will tell you that assessment is ongoing and done through observations the Scottish Government, in their wisdom, have decided this isn’t enough and want this test brought in.

Apart from the fact I think it is adding to the already overburdened workload of teachers it is also putting a great deal of unnecessary pressure on young children. However while listening to a report on BBC Reporting Scotland tonight something the reporter said made alarm bells ring with me.

They mentioned the curriculum. Yes, that horrible document that I don’t like. The alarm bells rang because primary 1 and early learning and childcare share the same Early Level of the curriculum. So, if primary 1 is under threat of these assessments how long before children in Early Learning are being out through this?

Are we forgetting they are children and not items of data?

I’m actually angry

A colleague at work drew my attention to a line in one of the children’s story books that actually made me angry then and there on the spot. Not just angry but disappointed and let down.

The book in question was a Peppa Pig story. I’ve been a fan of Peppa and her family and friends as I feel it’s quite a joyous and well made programme. I understand that the landscape of children’s TV has changed so much that the inevitable merchandise has to be sold alongside it and one of the least offensive is books. However there was one that magically appeared in my room this week and was read by my colleague who immediately showed it to me after she had read one line a few times trying to make sense of it. Here’s the page in question:

Peppa Pig is Copyright Astley Baker/E One.

I guess you’ve seen the line that made me angry? “Women are useless at this” REALLY!?!?!

Before I’m accused of taking it out of context let me clarify it’s the choice of words that have angered me. As Early Years Practitioners we hold it high in our beliefs that our children are capable of doing anything they want to if they try hard. To read a sentence like this in a well loved and popular character’s story is just wrong and is setting the equality movement for women back.

I’m about to contact the owner’s of Peppa Pig to ask why they allowed this.