May is Mental Health Month

Good Morning!

Mental Health has recently, and rightly so, been the topic of hot discussion and debate. People are starting to research, understand and evaluate mental health, albeit with difficulty, to try and really help sufferers.

May is Mental Health Awareness month and we want to help shine a light on something that has been kept in the dark for a very long time.

Steven Walker, in the book ‘Modern Mental Health‘, has put together a series of mental illness accounts in order to offer an alternative and thought-provoking perspective. In aid of this month’s efforts here is an extract from Hannah Walker’s story- the full account is available here.

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Part One – The Human in the System

Chapter 1: A Survivor’s Story

By Hannah Walker

Introduction

My name is Hannah and I’m a survivor of the military mental health system, the NHS mental health system and a number of psychiatrists.  I suffer from bipolar disorder and PTSD, and I was diagnosed twenty years ago.  In this chapter, I will tell you some of my story.

I was adopted at 4 months into a loving upper middle class family who lived on the Isle of Wight.  I have a sister, also adopted, who is six years younger than I am.  Neither of us has ever wanted to trace our biological parents, because we were happy at home and didn’t feel the need to go meddling.  Both our adoptive parents are now dead, but they would have been quite happy had we wanted to seek our real mothers, but we thought not.  No point.

I went to the local grammar school, and left at the age of 18 having been Head Girl and having collected a few O and A levels – nothing spectacular.  When I was in the Upper Sixth, my best friend died; I later discovered that she had committed suicide.  I had the first of what were to be many, many episodes of mania and depression after that event and had some time off school.  The episode was curious – I didn’t know what was happening to me and didn’t really have the words to explain it to the GP.  All I could tell him was that all the colours went bright outside, and I felt a rush of panic and fear as though I could no longer remain alive and deal with it.  In that instant, I contemplated taking an overdose of painkillers – not so that I would die, but so that I could become unconscious and not have to feel the pain.  I couldn’t be alone, but I couldn’t tell anyone what I was feeling as it was impossible to describe.  The only time I felt “well” was when I was driving a car.  I slept with the light on as I couldn’t bear to be alone in the dark with just my thoughts for company.

My parents hadn’t any idea of what to do with me, so they sent me to my GP, and I tried to explain what had happened to me, without much success.  He diagnosed an extreme grief reaction, without much in the way of a clue as to my illness.  I became even more depressed and started self harming, making up the most outrageous stories as to how I had cut myself.  I spent hours with razor blades, slashing my arms to pieces, and telling the A&E department that I had fallen through windows/dropped a glass which had shattered/been hit by a hockey ball.  No one helped.  No one asked me if I was OK – not even the medics who assiduously stitched me up every time.  I was sent to an Educational Psychologist, but refused to talk to her as she had hinted to me that she thought I was self harming.  Far too ashamed to admit it, I reiterated my stories and told her that I was just very accident prone.  She gave up.

I pulled myself together and carried on as though nothing had happened, which sowed the seeds of later episodes

Please read the rest of the account here for FREE.

If you have a story you’d like to share then please do get in contact. You can reach me at hannah@criticalpublishing.com

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Behavioural Management- free extract

Sunny mornings are the best. They put everyone in a happy mood, suddenly everything is so much more positive.

And to add to such a lovely morning I have a free extract from ‘Supporting Primary Teaching and Learning‘. Fiona Hall yesterday wrote an entry on our blog about how vital a text this is to an aspiring teachers and today we thought “why not show you a snippet of what she’s talking about!?”.

So please enjoy this extract from Chapter 3 on Behaviour Management.

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Individual Needs

Children’s behaviour will be impacted upon by their individual needs. A significant writer in this area is Maslow (1908 – 1970) who suggested that we have a range of needs that exist in a hierarchy starting with the most basic of needs, linked to our survival, at the bottom. Maslow indicated that the needs of one level needed to be met before it was possible to move to the next level. This is shown in figure 3.1.

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Activity

Consider how each levels of Maslow’s hierarchy can be applied to your setting.

If you have any questions you can reach me at hannah@criticalpublishing.com – as always we’d love to hear from you.

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How To Support Learning

Good morning all,

Fiona Hall, author of our book ‘Supporting Primary Teaching and Learning‘ has prepared this entry to aid both teaching assistants and student teachers. This book is ideal for those of you looking to gain an invaluable insight into what pursuing a career in education really entails and how best to support learning.

Have a read and let me know your thoughts if you’ve got your own copy at home!

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Supporting Primary Teaching and Learning is an invaluable guide for school Teaching Assistants or as an ideal starting point for undergraduates interested in a career in education. Aimed at the primary sector, this book gives you the low-down on the essentials you need to gain and develop a career in education with the focus on supporting children’s learning. As well as guiding teaching assistants, it provides valuable insight for those aspiring to become teachers.

The book has been written by expert educators Fiona Hall, Duncan Hindmarch, Doug Hoy and Lynn Machin. Fiona, who worked in primary education and teacher training for many years advises, “This book offers some great advice to Teaching Assistants starting on their Higher Education journey and gives supporting literature for their practice in schools”.  Duncan, who heads up the Foundation degree in Education at Staffordshire University explains: We wanted to create a book that would be really useful for Teaching Assistants or students planning careers in the primary education sector. The chapters have been developed to include relevant contemporary subjects.” The book has been organised into key topics which provide you with the information needed to help you be a successful teaching Assistant. Lynn adds, As well as taking a theoretical standpoint, it also has useful practical advice too.”

Lead author Fiona explains: “We’ve kept it relatively short and focuses on some of the priorities with recommendations for further reading when appropriate.”

So, we think this book will be an ideal starting point for Teaching Assistants employed in the sector as well as appealing to undergraduate education students.

If you have any questions you can reach me at hannah@criticalpublishing.com – as always we’d love to hear from you.

Keep up to date on all offers by subscribing to our newsletters, following us on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.

Are you excited for the London Book Fair?

Ladies and Gentlemen- it has arrived!

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The London Book Fair– the biggest, the baddest and the most anticipated book fair of the year!

Julia Morris, co-director of Critical Publishing, would like to share what she is most looking forward to at the book fair this year.

Not long now! Just one sleep until the London Book Fair starts. It’s an exciting prospect.

The scale of it all certainly has the capacity to daunt. Critical Publishing, with a staff of 3, is clearly a tiny fish – if not a speck of plankton – in a very big sea. But equally it’s the number and quality of exhibitors that really makes you feel part of what is a thriving, innovative and creative industry.

It really is a chance to drink in everything around you, from some of the hugely impressive stands of the big publishers to the more modest tables (scattered with equally impressive products) of smaller companies. It’s a great place to get ideas, see what your competitors are doing and get your head round some of the latest tech.

There is a glamorous side to the event, with the chance that you might just brush shoulders with a great author or an up-and-coming celebrity who has just released their autobiography. But for me the event is characterised by the more down to earth necessity of meetings, catch-ups and networking. Back to back appointments see me rushing from one end of the great hall to the other, desperately searching for that elusive stand number and the even more elusive place to sit down.  I look anything but glamorous by the end of the first day!

However at that point there is always the IPG party to revive the spirits and a refreshing glass of wine to enjoy with friends and colleagues.

If you’re at the book fair then come and say hi to us.

Any other questions please direct to hannah@criticalpublishing.com – as always we’d love to hear from you.

Keep up to date on all offers by subscribing to our newsletters, following us on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.

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Think you can teach?

Hello world and happy belated Easter!

Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend and we have a treat for those of you returning to work this week!

Our new book, ‘A Concise Guide to the Level 3 Award in Education and Training‘ is out TODAY and with 15% off on our website!

Enjoy this entry from one of the authors Lynn Machin.

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Think you can teach?  Great to hear it!

The Concise Guide to the Level 3 Award in Education and Training is the ideal starting point if you’re considering getting into teaching or are just beginning to teach.  Aimed at the Further Education sector, this book will give you the low-down on the essentials you need as you begin your new and exciting career.

The Guide has been written by expert teacher educators Dr Lynn Machin, Duncan Hindmarch, Sandra Murray, Tina Richardson and Fiona Hall, from the Ofsted grade one rated School of Education at Staffordshire University.  Having already written several successful education books, including the Complete Guide to the Level 5 Diploma in Education and Training, and the Complete Guide to the Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training, the team wanted to create a work which focused on the basics.  Duncan, who worked for 10 years in an FE college as a languages lecturer and Teacher Trainer explains: “We all have a background of teaching in FE colleges, and thought it would be great to pool together our expertise to help newcomers to the sector.”  Fiona adds: “We remember how difficult it was starting a new job in an FE college so we hope this book will be an ideal companion to help you make a good impression – with both your employer and your learners.”

The book has been organised into key topics which provide you with the information needed for your AET qualification.  Crucially though, it also gives you the practical tips and advice you need to get started: “We’ve covered the basics” summarises Sandra; “approaches to teaching, plan learning, assess and what many of us fear at first – managing behaviour.”

Lead author Lynn explains: “We’ve kept it short and simple – at under 100 pages, the book simply focuses on the priorities of what you need to know.  However, we also guide you towards further practical study for when you gain more experience.”  With this in mind, literacy teacher trainer Tina adds: “We have provided specific study skills guidance to help you with the academic requirements of the AET.”

So, we think this book will be an ideal starting point for both your AET studies and the start of your professional journey as a teacher.  So, as we asked at the beginning: “Think you can teach?”  With our book, we hope to help you answer a resounding: “YES!”

If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing: hannah@criticalpublishing.com

Keep up to date on all offers by subscribing to our newsletters, following us on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.

The Last Science Extract

The end of National Science week is finally here and therefore so is the last extract from our new book ‘Key Concepts in Primary Science‘.

Here is a outline of each chapter for you to enjoy- and don’t miss out on the 15% off deal on our website!

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For a sample of our new book click here or visit our website.

If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing: hannah@criticalpublishing.com

Keep up to date on all offers by subscribing to our newsletters, following us on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.

Free Science Extract 3: Introducing the Concept Map

It’s nearly the end of the week so sadly this means it is also nearly the end of National Science Week.

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For those of you that are unaware, this week we’ve been showcasing extracts from our new science book ‘Key Concepts in Primary Science‘.

In this extract we’d like to introduce you to the concept map. Every chapter or “key concept” is introduced first by highlighting the standards laid out in the national curriculum (see yesterday’s blog post here) THEN with a concept map.

Enjoy this concept map of ‘Materials and their properties’.

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For a sample of our new book click here or visit our website.

If you have any queries then please do not hesitate to contact us by emailing: hannah@criticalpublishing.com

Keep up to date on all offers by subscribing to our newsletters, following us on Twitter, Facebook and on Instagram.