Supporting your Child’s Literacy 

Supporting your Child’s Literacy 

Thank you to those who joined the Springboard workshop on developing your child’s reading ability. Included below is a summary of the key points covered, for you to put some of the techniques into action. For those who did not make it, we hope these top tips will prove useful for you also. 

Top tips

1. Remember to use the sounds of the letters (phonemes) and not the names of the letters when helping with reading, e.g. f-l-o-p.

2. Make time to listen to your child talking and ensure you make eye contact; you will see the excitement building or maybe you’ll see confusion and know you have to take your story slower.

3. Reading aloud instantly creates a sense of wonder at the world, develops children’s vocabulary and is an opportunity to increase their willingness to communicate thoughts and feelings.

4. Encourage expression when reading and use gestures freely, the more animated you can be, the more interesting a story is for young children.

5. Encourage them to make up their own stories whilst you write them down.

6. Point out phonemes and words for children to read in the home and outdoor environment e.g. back of the cereal packet, on the underground.

7. Words that cannot be sounded out, e.g. said, could, some, should be taught as whole words.

8. Play games like ‘I spy’ or ‘Simon Says’ but use the phonemes instead of the letters

For more information on understanding the Phonics Screening Check click here


Better Sleep

Better Sleep

Better Sleep - Doing What Comes Naturally

Thank you to those who joined Barbara Mariposa in her talk 'Better Sleep.' Here is a little reminder of how to take this inspiring information home with you to bed! For those who did not make it, we hope these top tips will prove useful for you also!

Top Tips

1. Manage your energy levels and emotions so stress chemicals don’t build up through the day - give yourself time to recover and rebalance your physiology after an upset.

2. Dial down the pressure. Press Pause through the day and take one minute once an hour (1 x 1) to practise heart-focussed breathing.

3. Build rituals to power up at the beginning and power down at the end of the day and stick to them.

4. Bookend your day - Ikagai (a sense of purpose ) in the morning, and w.w.w. journal (what went well journal) at bedtime.

5. Get an alarm clock and get up when it rings - don’t hit snooze. Do not calculate how much sleep you got.

6. Declutter your mind. Write down all the things that you are carrying in your head before you get into bed. Write down any things you need to do tomorrow. Let the paper carry them for you.

7. Make sure your bedroom is a haven for relaxation. Dark, warm, quiet, comfy, digital-free.

8. In bed, scan through your body from toe to head, including face and eyes, and if you find areas of tension, imagine them warming, softening and expanding.

9. Know your own mind. Label what kind of thoughts are occurring on repeat and file them away in the appropriate box. e.g “work” thoughts, “family” thoughts, “about me” thoughts, “regret” thoughts, “self-critical” thoughts.

10.Use the 4 x 4 breathing technique to generate an internal state that allows recovery and repair even if you are not fully asleep.

11. Remember that sleep is a natural function that you cannot lose - the more you let go of tension around it, the better it will be. 

We hope you have a great week...and some great sleeps! 

Rapid Balanced Meals

Rapid Balanced Meals

For those of you who joined the Rapid Balanced Meals workshop hosted by Chris Sandel on 21st June, we hope you found it informative and inspiring. 

Included below are the key points that Chris covered, and some ways for you to explore further. Even if you missed the workshop, you may find some of these tips and ideas helpful. 


Rapid Balanced Meals - Top Tips

There is much confusion about what “healthy food” means. In simple terms it is choosing food that is as minimally processed and close to what is found in nature

Just knowing what is healthy doesn’t guarantee you’ll eat in this manner. Set up your environment so these are the most likely foods that you will choose (because as humans, we typically follow the path of least resistance)

When trying to change habits, focus on one thing at a time and remember the 3 R’s – Reminder, Routine, Reward

Prioritise prepping food and making quick and simple meals that can be created in less than 20 minutes

Keep healthy non-perishable food in your bag and desk at work so you are never caught out

Eat before you get too hungry. The hungrier you become, the more palatability will win out over healthful choices


How Environmental Factors Impact Food Choices

Listen to Chris’ podcast which explores how environmental factors like glassware size and restaurant environment can affect food choice

Snack Suggestions

Click here for inspiration from Chris on healthy and satisfying snacks



Inspiration for Healthy Snacking

Inspiration for Healthy Snacking

Chris Sandel's Inspiration for Healthy Snacking

Root veg paired with cheese (e.g.beetroot, squash and feta salad; sweet potato with cottage cheese; butternut squash, sage, and goats cheese; parsnip chips with cheddar cheese) - all of these can be made in bulk so there are lots of servings

Fruit with dairy (e.g. berries with yoghurt; stewed apples and pears with yoghurt; dried figs and dates with cheddar cheese; fruit smoothie)

Beef jerky/biltong with some carb (e.g fruit, root vegetables, rice, oatcakes, etc)

Gelatine based snacks (e.g. gummy squares; orange juice with gelatine; tea with gelatine and some dried fruit)

Making broth or soups and having these for your snacks. If the soup is vegetarian and doesn't have broth as the base, have it along side some some cheese or tinned tuna or add some gelatine (or really any form of protein)

A boiled egg or two with fruit, dried fruit or root vegetables

Have mini meals (e.g. small jacket potato with tuna and/or cheese; packet prawns with some fruit or root vegetables, a couple of chicken wings with some fruit or root vegetables; egg fried rice)

Some other suggestions –

  • Cheese and crackers
  • Popcorn along side cheese or gelatine or yoghurt (basically any form of protein) 
  • Bean salad (if you can digest it)
  • Pumpernickel bread with avocado, olive oil, salt and pepper (have with a drink with gelatine to include protein)
  • Rye bread crisp with cottage cheese
  • Oatcakes with chicken liver pate
  • Tuna with sweet corn on oatcakes.
  • Home made potato salad or coleslaw (have with some form of protein eggs, biltong, gelatine, cottage cheese, etc)

Really you can mix and match these things, with the goal being that your snack contains some carbs, protein and fat.