SEN Magazine Article – Focussing on Attachment

Nicola Marshall looks at what schools can do to support pupils with attachment issues The culture of any environment is really important. It determines what’s acceptable and what isn’t. It sets the tone for how people are treated and how their needs might be met. Real change happens when we address the ethos of an establishment […]

When are we all 100% present?

I read an article this week that raised an issue I’ve been frustrated over for some time now. Why do we insist on punishing children for things out of their control? This article spoke of children being penalised for being off sick from school – not being allowed on trips, being shamed for having attendance […]

Focus – What’s important right now?

If you’ve been on this journey with me for a few years you will know that every year I choose a word for the year as my kind of goal or intention. It covers my professional and personal life and often pops up throughout the year in different guises. This year as I’ve been reflecting […]

December arrives at Tyler’s School

Tyler is a fictional character as are all the others mentioned in this short piece about the lead up the Christmas. Tyler – Christmas What’s all the big deal about? I don’t get it. It’s just like any other day for me. Mum having a hissy fit coz we’re not helping out, me little brother […]

Is it empathy or something else?

Empathy – the ability to sense and share the feelings of others – to feel what they might feel. I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy lately, for a number of personal reasons. It also is a subject that comes up time and time again in our Attachment training as it’s a common sign of […]

Fantasy or reality?

It’s that time of the year again when our minds turn to some of those stranger traditions we have – Halloween to be specific but also some of the myths and legends around Christmas. If you’re an avid reader of my musings you will know that we have three adopted teenagers and I seem to […]

The big 3

I was reading an article this week on the ‘dangers of sweating the small stuff in the classroom’ and it really resonated with me. There are so many times that my teenagers come home with detention slips and warnings about seemingly minor things. I know as education staff it may not seem minor, or those […]

What do you see in this generation?

I wonder if we were on a desert island with no other parents or adults around to judge – would we raise our children in the same way we are now? People can be so judgemental and I’d be rich if I had a pound for every time someone has given ‘advice’ on how to […]

How important is the space?

At BraveHeart we usually talk about how important relationships are to our children and young people. Whether you’re a parent or carer, education staff or work with children in any other capacity I’m sure you agree that relationships play a huge part in enabling young people to feel safe, and to be able to learn. […]

Anxiety in Pre-Schoolers – Guest Blog

Dr Andrés Fonseca is a consultant psychiatrist with 16 years of clinical experience. He holds an MSc in psychiatric research methodology from UCL and is honorary lecturer at UCL (division of psychiatry) and University of Roehampton (psychology department). He is co-founder and CEO of Thrive, a company that develops software to improve mental health combining […]

Compliance is not always good

I spent the day on Thursday last week comforting my 16 year old daughter after she opened her GCSES results. I know it’s not an uncommon occurrence to feel disappointed at the results you may have received when you feel you did your very best, but it is just another indicator of how difficult our […]

How do we learn what’s appropriate?

Who says what is actually appropriate and how do we learn it? I’ve been mulling over this question for the last few weeks in my own life. As my teenagers struggle between finding their own identity and pleasing us, as I question some of the important values there are in my life and as I […]

Three little words

“Nicola has not reached her full potential”, “Nicola could have tried harder”, “Nicola does not apply herself as she could” – anyone else recognise these remarks from your school reports? Yes, not unusual I’m sure. I’ve been pondering the messages we try to give out to children and young people in schools through the things […]

Not another way to punish?

This week my secondary school where my boys still attend (our daughter left last week) have decided to bring in yet another behaviour modification system. Something they truly seem to believe will change behaviour in the classroom and will make our young people all of a sudden ‘decide’ to behave appropriately. This system has angered […]

When people can’t show remorse

A controversial thought I was driving to work a few mornings ago and the news was on. They were talking about decisions to look at whether we have more stringent punishments for parents who mistreat their children in any way. If the parents blame other people or don’t show remorse for their behaviour then we […]

What’s your hierarchy of needs?

Abraham Maslow’s theory know as the Hierarchy of needs has been around since 1943, and published in his paper ‘A Theory of Human Motivation’. If you work with children and young people in any capacity, it’s probably a theory you’ve come across time and time again. Basically Maslow believed there are layers of needs, such […]

Mental Health First Aid Review

Last week I attended our first Mental Health First Aid course. As it’s not a course I’ve participated in myself I decided to attend along with the other education staff in our area who’d booked on the course. It was such an amazing few days I wanted to write a blog review and maybe give […]