STEM education: why are we still waiting for change?

Posted on Nov 18, 2016 in Writing, Zookeeping | No Comments

There is lots of buzz about changing the nature of science education this week – at the STEM across Europe conference that I was lucky enough to attend; with the launch of BBC Learning’s Terrific Scientific, and at today’s Cambridge Primary Review Trust Conference (find out more: #euroSTEM, #CPRT2016, #terrificscientific). Just over 100 years ago, […]

The perils of going with the flow…

Posted on Oct 6, 2014 in Writing, Zookeeping | No Comments
The perils of going with the flow…

This weekend, I threw a party for 30 five-year-olds. Call me naive (and many parents did) but this was the plan: The reality was less Oranges and Lemons, and more like riot control. At least I had plenty of time to think about this blog, as I re-rolled 105 metres of toilet tissue (first rule […]

It’s official: Sons are bad for your health

Posted on Mar 26, 2013 in Zookeeping | 8 Comments

So, the hot news in evolutionary biology is that women with sons die earlier than women with daughters. Nature, which I read all the time (when I’m not following links tweeted by @zooarchaeologis), reported that each son born shortens a woman’s life by 34 weeks. I have three boys, so that’s nearly TWO YEARS of […]

Say it with flour

Posted on Mar 10, 2013 in Zookeeping | 5 Comments

There were Mother’s Day cards to collect at preschool pick-up. They’d asked every child to answer the question ‘I love my Mummy because…’ and stuck the answers to hand-painted pictures. I got a preview of other kids’ answers as my four-year-old’s keyworker flicked through the pile: I love my Mummy because… “She tickles me and […]

World Book Day costume for mischief makers!

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 in Writing, Zookeeping | No Comments

I wrote a piece for Guardian Children’s Books for World Book Day on 7 March. Click here to read it on the Guardian website! Red Riding Hood and Cinderella are huddling at the bus stop. Horrid Henry is hanging around the school gates. The playground is packed with Gruffalos. It can only be World Book […]

Boy oh boy oh boy

Posted on Jan 14, 2013 in Zookeeping | 20 Comments

Happy news: this week saw the publication of MOB Rule, a book that celebrates life as a mother of boys. Like the author, I’m besotted with my bunch. But I know that most passers-by are not thinking ‘lucky you’ as I stride past, towing three trainee men. I know this because so many have taken […]

A spoonful of salt helps the offal puree go down… and other retro parenting advice

Posted on Dec 5, 2012 in Zookeeping | 8 Comments

I’ve been reading my parents’ parenting manuals recently. It’s astonishing how much has changed in 33 years. Many 1970s child development experts advised the exact opposite to their modern equivalents. Haven’t taught your child to read before s/he is three? You’ve missed your chance, bozo, is the message of Teach Your Baby to Read (Glenn […]

I don’t suppose you have a copy of Fly Fishing…

Posted on Oct 23, 2012 in Writing, Zookeeping | No Comments

Last week we hit Cornwall’s beaches for a summer holiday. Postponed to autumn because we suspected a holiday might not be very relaxing with three children under four. As it turns out, that long-awaited fourth birthday was not a marked transition towards adulthood, turning oldest chimp into useful third pair of hands. Instead, his chimpacity […]

Battle of the adjectives

Posted on Aug 7, 2012 in Zookeeping | One Comment

My lucky, lucky sisters are on grown up gap years, spending 2012 travelling the world. Great timing on their part, as they are several continents away just as my desperation for a babysitter peaks. Still, I get occasional updates to break up the domestic slog. ‘Just been hang gliding over Rio’. ‘Survived the parachute jump! […]

Setting an example

Posted on Jul 26, 2012 in Zookeeping | One Comment

The moment I saw this Post-it Quote on my son’s nursery wall was the moment I realized he has no idea I work from home while he’s at nursery. Cue an explanation that I write books for children to read, and plenty of references to Mummy working on the computer. A few months on, I’m […]