Growing up third...

Photo by Devonyu/iStock / Getty Images

Prompted by the arrival of the latest Royal baby, the Office for National Statistics has revealed that there were 696,271 live births in 2016. Of these, 100,359 were mothers' third-born children.

Clinical psychologist Linda Blair commented that there are certain personality traits that can come from your standing among siblings. "You get wiser with each child. So third-born children grow up with more relaxed boundaries. There are the children most likely to be creative and risk takers. They can try anything. The third child has a lot of people to look up to."

IS that true? A fundamental belief at Coffee Bean Education is that ALL children should have the opportunity to explore their creative capacities and that good schools create the circumstances and environment for that to happen. Whether you are the oldest or youngest sibling, creativity is something that we can all pick up and explore.

Book Review...

Photo by ClaudioVentrella/iStock / Getty Images


One easy way to help children (and adults) develop a growth mindset is to introduce them to books which promote persistence, love of learning, learning from mistakes and other key growth mindset ideas. Here is a list of some popular books which do just that:

Ages 1 - 4

The Cow Tripped Over the Moon by J. Willis

The Empty Pot by Demi

The Little Engine that Could by W. Piper

Frederick by L. Lionni

Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss

Ages 4 - 8

After the Fall by D. Santat

Your Fantastic Elastic Brain by J. Deak

I Can Handle it by L.Wright

Rosie Rever Engineer by A. Beaty

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by M. Pett

Ages 9 - 12

Some Kind of Courage by D. Gemeinhart

The Key to Extraordinary by N. Lloyd

If I Stay by G. Forman

My Fox Ate My Homework by D. Blaze

Ronia, The Robber's Daughter by A. Lindgren

Ages 12+

If I Stay by G. Forman

James and the Giant Peach by R. Dahl

Stone Fox by J. R. Gardiner

Hatchet by G. Paulson

Maniac Magee by J. Spinelli


Mindset by C. Dweck

How Children Succeed by P. Tough

Year of Yes by S. Rhimes

GRIT by A. Duckworth

A Whole New Mind by D. H. Pink


Support for SEN Pupils...

Photo by benjaminec/iStock / Getty Images

Alarming to see recent statistics showing that that pupils with special educational needs in England are dropping further behind their classmates in national primary school tests. The gap between SEN pupils and their peers has risen from 48 percentage points in 2016 to 52 this year, according to school league tables published by the DfE showing the results of around 16,000 primary schools.

The stats show 18% of SEN pupils reaching the expected level in reading, writing and maths, compared with 70% of their peers without special needs.

As well as SEN funding being in crisis, there seems to be little if any alternative action being taken in terms of developing specific enrichment programmes for SEN pupils. Many high-performing jurisdictions around the world are enlisting the support of music, drama, art, outdoor education, design and technology specialists to provide support for SEN pupils who whilst they might struggle with more traditional 'fixed' academic disciplines, really seem to thrive and enjoy the more creative opportunities which allow them to explore and play with ideas. Our challenge is surely to square this circle and give all SEN pupils opportunities to flourish.