Three little words

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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“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 […]

Be brave in Education

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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I had a worrying and all too familiar email from an adoptive parent this week about her child’s experience at school. In this case a Secondary School but I know many children who have these experiences at Primary School too. I know I may also be preaching to the converted here as many of you […]

Keep yourself to yourself

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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‘The only way to avoid criticism is to say nothing do nothing and be nothing’ – Aristotle. Wow what a quote and sometimes I do feel like that – you know those days when anything you say or do just seems to come against resistance from those around you? Sometimes well intentioned comments to ‘help’ you and […]

Where in your life are you drifting?

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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I have a confession to make this week – one I’m slightly embarrassed about but I don’t mind admitting to my blog friends out there. I love country music. Yes I know it’s a terrible confession but it’s true. Not that I know much about the genre. I am learning what kind of country I […]

Peace in Schools and Goodwill to all children

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Well the song goes something like that eh? Peace on earth and goodwill to all men….as we are in the last week of the school year for 2014 I wanted to write a message of thanks and hope. Over the last year I have met hundreds of education staff on our Attachment training and I’ve […]

What’s so silly about the silly season

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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The silly season is well and truly upon us. The decorations are out – in the shops if not in our homes, the music is on, the presents are being bought and the excitement (or anxiety) is beginning to show itself. Yes it is that wonderful time again – Christmas! Whether you love or hate […]

What do children want?

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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In our educational system and in our homes rewarding (or bribing) children to behave the way we want to is rife. We dangle prizes, stickers, certificates, house points, happy points, golden time and even money (in some high schools) in front of children expecting them to dig deep within themselves and find the motivation to […]

The internal spreadsheet

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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For some vulnerable children who’ve experienced a difficult start in life things being all fair and equal is so very important. In fact it’s like they have an internal spreadsheet that tots up everything; “Billy spent three minutes on the computer and I only had one”, “Sally’s got 20 sweets and I’ve only got 19”, […]

Secondary trauma in schools

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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As a parent of three adopted children secondary trauma is something I think about often – the impact of living with children who’ve experienced early trauma. However I’m also beginning to see more of this in education. I’m sure it’s always been the case but maybe we never identified it as such. If you are […]

We’re always being assessed

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Two of my children are now in Secondary School and the assessing begins – in fact it started way back in Primary School. Assessment of levels of achievement each year, targets to reach, standards to maintain, constant measuring and assessing where children are against the average child. What is an average child though? I don’t […]

All for one and one for all – education equality

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Should all children be treated the same? It’s something we hear often that children need to be afforded the same privileges, time and energy spent on them. However does that mean we use the same techniques, systems and approaches with every child? You’ll know if you have your own children that you can’t treat them […]

Who has the reigns?

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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We all would like to believe we have full control of our lives. I’ve heard over the years, and whole heartedly believed, that we can change the course of our lives, that we can always make a change if we really want to and given the right set of circumstances. However as I get older […]

High School hates

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Mine is a somber reflection on school life tonight – I came across this quote recently and it really resonated with my experiences with my two eldest at High School. ‘I never learned hate at home, or shame. I had to go to school for that’. Dick Gregory  Schools seems to be a place for learning […]

What’s so wrong with rewards at school? (Part 3)

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Which brings me to my final question – what do we hope to achieve by rewarding children? In the traditional sense with our reward charts and sliding scales of behaviour charts we are hoping they will tow the line and conform to the ‘right’ ways of behaving according to us. However you have to remember […]

What’s so wrong with rewards at school? (Part 2)

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Yesterday we looked at what we reward children for …… today our second question – why do we feel the need to reward children? We are told that what you focus on is what you get and I can see that. The more you comment on the negative things and complain about how awful something is […]

What’s so wrong with rewards at school? (Part 1)

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With over 13 years working in personal development Nicola Marshall has attained numerous skills and a genuine care for others. She is a fully trained coach, adoptive parent as well as the founder of Brave Heart Education.
Nicola Marshall
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Something I’m asked time and again, whilst doing training for schools, is how can we use rewards effectively with children who’ve experienced trauma? Well there are a few fundamental questions we have to ask ourselves first:- What are we rewarding children for? Why do we feel the need to reward? What are we hoping we […]