Nursery World Online: Society’s technological drive at odds with child development

To read this article related to a recent survey on children’s “readiness” for school, follow the link below:

Published: 11th September 2017
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

“Cuts blamed for children lacking basic skills at school”

This week the  findings of a survey from 780  school leaders conducted in partnership with the Family and Childcare Trust has revealed that 83% of those questioned thought there was an issue with school readiness.   Of these,  86% thought that the issue had worsened in the last five years.  Around a quarter (24%) were reported as saying that more than half of their intake was not school ready.   Media reports have suggested that cuts are to blame for children lacking basic skills at school (I-Independent 6.9.17).

While cuts have contributed to reduction in services for pre-school children and parents, they are not the only reason for an increasing number of children starting school lacking basic communication and self-care skills.

Twelve years ago a study revealed that the motor skills of 48% of 5 -6 year olds and 35% of 8 – 9 year olds in the sample were immature and that there was a correlation between immature motor skills and lower educational performance.

Since that time we have also seen successive governments push parents to return to work and set targets for pre-school children in aspects of literacy and numeracy with little regard for the developmental needs and abilities of children in the vital pre-school years.

Added to this is an increasingly technology driven approach to living, at odds with young children’s primary biological needs for physical activity, experience and social engagement. Physical and social experience in real time and space are the building blocks for school readiness.  Increasingly, parents often do not have either the time, resources, or in some cases know, that real time engagement is an essential part of human development.

Technology and a “systems” drive approach to living is  squeezing the physical development of children.  Unless there is political and social will to embrace the biological and developmental needs of children within society we will continue to see an increase in the number of children entering school without the physical, communication and social tools necessary to cope with the demands of the classroom.







Published: 7th September 2017
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

Early Years Web Summit

Early Years Web Summit

You can now sign up for the Free online Early Years Summit, focused on children’s physical development. Hear from specialists and experts around the world about the truly holistic nature of children’s physical development.

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Published: 18th August 2017
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

Hawthorn Press – A Modern Fairy Tale by Sally Goddard Blythe

Published: 1st August 2017
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

Published Today: Raising Happy Healthy Children. Why Mothering Matters

Published today, Raising Happy Health Children.  Why Mothering Matters.

Raising Happy Healthy Children is a fully-updated second edition of What Children and Babies Really Need. With new information carefully added, this book examines the crucial early years from a child’s perspective. It draws on the latest scientific research to show how the first few years determine the way children develop, body and mind, for the rest of their lives.

The keys to this development are parents, and in particular mothers. A society which really cares for its children, says Sally Goddard Blythe, values parents and makes it possible for them to spend time and be actively involved with their children for at least the first two years of life. Raising Happy Healthy Children presents convincing research to show how a baby’s relationship with its mother has a lasting, deep impact. Recent social changes, such as delayed motherhood, juggling of work/life balance, limited uptake of breastfeeding, and use of parent-substitute baby
equipment and electronic devices, are interfering with key developmental milestones that are essential for wellbeing in later life. Sally Goddard Blythe says: ‘We need a society that gives children their parents, and most of all values motherhood in the early years.’

  • Latest research about pre-conceptual, baby and child development.
  • Explains how social changes have unleashed a crisis in the experience of childhood.
  • Explores the crucial early years and child development from the child’s perspective.
  • Shows how parents can give their child the best start in life.
  • Values motherhood.

Foreword; Foreword to previous edition What Babies and Children Really Need; 1 Introduction; 2
Conception and society – the politics of fertility; 3 Does early development matter?; 4 Events
surrounding birth; 5 Events following birth – risk factors; 6 Breastfeeding; 7 Movement instinct; 8
Language instinct; 9 Building on the first year – the neuroscience of developing emotions; 10 Factors
parents can control; 11 From Toddlers to Teens: why parenting matters; 12 What needs to be done;
Resources; Bibliography; Index
Sally Goddard Blythe is the Director of the Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology in Chester
which researches the effects of neurological dysfunction in specific learning difficulties and has
devised screening and assessment tools, and remedial programmes. Her other books include The Well
Balanced Child, The Genius of Natural Childhood, and Attention, Balance and Coordination – The
A,B,C of Learning Success.

Published: 1st August 2017
Category: Sally Goddard Blythe

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