Children & Family

Mayor of London gives support to new London schools food growing initiative

Food Growing Schools: London launches on 20th June 2014 bringing together the very best of London’s food growing expertise, with the ambition to inspire every school in London to grow their own food by the end of 2016. Supported by the Mayor of London and the Big Lottery Fund, the launch coincides with recent changes to Government school food policy (School Food Plan, free infant school meals, cooking in the curriculum for all under 14s). Read more »

Food for Life Partnership founder shortlisted for Inspirational Woman of the Year award

Jeanette Orrey MBE

Food for Life Partnership co-founder Jeanette Orrey MBE, was one of five women shortlisted for the 2013 Daily Mail Inspirational Woman of the Year Awards held last night in London (11 November 2013).

Jeanette is a former school dinner lady with over 20 year’s practical experience of providing good school food. Founded in 2003, the Soil Association led Food for Life Partnership works in nearly 5,000 schools across England improving school food and increasing cooking and growing skills. Read more »

Caffeine consumption may slow down brain development in puberty

Humans and other mammals show particularly intensive sleeping patterns during puberty. The brain also matures fastest in this period. But when pubescent rats are administered caffeine, the maturing processes in their brains are delayed. This is the result of a study supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). Read more »

‘Risky play’ good for children, says Forest School study

Children are more likely to flourish when allowed to indulge in “risky play” outdoors unhindered by excessive adult supervision, a new report suggests. Education experts spent a year studying a group of 13 children from Meadowlane Primary School in Cardiff as part of a Forest School programme to assess how our woodlands can help their development.

The report concluded that children were adept at policing themselves and were more likely to learn from the environment around them if permitted to play without too much adult interference. Read more »

‘Disconnected children’ mean nature is at risk

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Family feeding ducks and geese at Dove Stone RSPB reserve, March 2011. (Ben Hall

The RSPB has developed a brand new approach to measure how connected children are to nature, working with leading academics at the University of Essex. It comes as a result of growing concerns over generations of children with little or no contact with the natural world and wildlife.

The lack of connection to their environment is one of the biggest threats to UK nature, according to the RSPB. Read more »

Innovative natural play area trialled at a Glasgow primary school reduces accidents and bullying

The play area allows children a natural space with hills, valleys, willow tunnels and a rope bridge

An innovative new natural play area trialled at a Glasgow primary school has been hailed as a remarkable success, with a 94% reduction in accidents and bullying since its introduction in 2009. Read more »

UK children plan to re-claim their streets

Sustrans has launched a new design competition to see what children across the country would like to see on the street where they live. Read more »

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