Author Archives: psychologymagpie

Where have all the playtimes gone?

A study published last week by UCL Institute of Education and the Nuffield Foundation found that over the last 25 years children aged 5-7 have 45 minutes less break time than before, and 11-16 year olds have 65 minutes less. 

The erosion of playtime is unsurprising, given the increasing focus on exam results and school league tables over the last 25 years. I imagine it’s just a case of teachers trying to fit more and more into the school day.

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What can we learn from Eighth Grade?

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is pool-party-e1557175344515.jpg

I watched Eighth Grade last week. It’s a cracker of a film – and it has Enya in the soundtrack (personal teenage fave). One of the things I liked so much was how brilliantly it captures the awkwardness that I remember from a lot of situations you have to endure as a teenager. There’s a great example of this in a pool party that the main character goes to – and the whispered phone call she makes to her dad to come and get her.

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What were you like at 17?

Me at 17 before my Saturday job at Boots The Chemist made me dye my hair back

When I was 17 I was living at home and going to Sixth Form in Devon. My friend Soph had passed her driving test and a carload of us used to go round the country lanes at night in her mum’s car listening to Velvet Pants by Propellerheads. Then we’d all go and get a take-away pizza. Smells of that era that take me right back include Lynx, Archers, CK One and Paco Rabane. Top nostalgic tastes are Pernod & Black (thanks to Han who loved it), scampi fries and cheesy chips.

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How do teachers’ worries about student mental health fit with the research data?

feliphe-schiarolli-445578-unsplash.jpgLast week results from a survey of over 8000 teachers carried out by the National Education Union were released during their annual conference.

The survey included four questions about mental health, asking teachers if they thought there had been an increase in mental health problems since 2017, what provision they had to support young people with mental health problems, what prevents them from supporting children with mental health problems fully, and what mental health training they had had.

The views of the teachers are interesting by themselves, but how do their opinions compare to other sources of evidence
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New Year – ‘one shot’ resolutions and don’t worry how you feel at midnight

new yearNew year is expectation-tastic with its contradictory pressures of having a stonking New Year’s Eve, and then a sanctimonious fresh start on New Year’s Day.  The fantasy is that suddenly, all those things we wanted to be but fell short of last year will suddenly click into place.

In my 20s the focus was mostly on plans for the night of New Year’s Eve. I once spent a New Year on my own. It was great. I made myself spaghetti and wrote a short story. It was good because I had the choice though. Like most things, if you can decide to do something it feels better than if the situation is inescapable. I was alone but I didn’t feel lonely, and I had the luxury of knowing that if I did I could probably run out into the night and find a friend at short notice. Continue reading