7 May 2016

The week we #letthekidsbekids

This week was bonkers! Like REALLY bonkers! 

We went back to work on Tuesday and decided to keep the kids off school for one day, to support the #letthekidsbekids campaign. We worked with the campaign by providing a logo to use and because we feel strongly about education....and the happiness of children.

So, we kept our children out of school for a day of home learning. We did this as we feel strongly that we want our kids to be kids again and enjoy learning for learning's sake not just for league table figures. We are passionate about bringing back creativity and fun to the classroom! 

As we were working that day, we bought our children to work with us at Flossy and Jim's and decided we would hold a day of celebrating childrens creativity! So, while we were painting a mural in Brixham harbour, we invited the kids on strike to bring their artwork down to us, and help us celebrate their imaginations and their creative side! We pinned their work up in the harbour for everyone to see and admire.

Parents all over the country joined forces on 3rd May for a day of fun learning, and a lot of the people campaigning were wearing our Flossy and Jim designed t-shirts for the event! Our t-shirt even made it on the front of 'The Times!' Well done this child for a really good protest face!

We had loads of support on the day from people coming to see us and discuss the campaign. We had even more people coming down all week showing their support. We even had a head teacher who drove down from Wales to give us a hug! She was really emotional and said that in her experience a lot of teachers and schools she has worked with all feel the same. She felt there was too much emphasis on tests and league tables.

The campaign news spread fast. We were live on BBC Devon Radio, did two interviews for the BBC news and for our local newspaper. The campaign featured on news all over the country, and we were on TV in France and on ABC News in America! The #letthekidsbekids campaign was going global!

This headline totally makes me sound like a kidnapper.

Back in Brixham, we had a lot of fun on the day...and our local community project taught children about art, illustration, journalism, social media and politics! Most importantly, we felt that children learnt that they do have a voice. They went home knowing that they do matter, and their thoughts and feelings do count. They learnt that sometimes you have to speak up for yourself if something doesn't feel right.

We were really appreciative of all the support we had, and we had hundreds of messages on social media from some really lovely people.  On the flip side, we also had a lot of criticism from twitter trolls. We call them 'trolls' as that was how they described themselves on twitter, and the abuse we got was not constructive or of any value to a fair discussion.

We were also accused in the news, of using our children as 'political bait', as the children had no voice. This was our point exactly. The children didn't have a voice. We felt we were able to give them just that. We were in no way 'puppeteers of the children'.... parents nationally were reacting to their childrens anxieties and from what they had seen first hand from their children. This is Miles in his home-made t-shirt - love it! Anyone know what a 'fronted adverbial' is? Apparently a six / seven year old should know! 

People will always have an opinion, and people will always argue. In perspective, we kept our children off school for one day, we signed petitions and we raised awareness for a campaign, in the hope changes will be made for future children. Our wish for the future generation is that they are very well educated, and have a desire to learn. We feel strongly that putting children through forced examinations from the age of six, is not the way forward, and could potentially damage a childs passion to learn. 

Anyway, we have had our say. Enough of our opinions....here is a photo of Jim looking thoughtful, with a lovely cup of tea from 'i.scream' - thanks Shell! (She does make a good cuppa.)

Here is a photo of Kai and Kaitlin, looking very proud of themselves...and so they should, they did really well on the day chatting to people, learning about the media, painting, how to run a business and chatting to journalists! *Phew!*

The day was about making learning fun! Learning should be FUN!

On the day we had amazing woodwork skills!

Arthur drew his first self portrait, and thoughts about the day!

Miles drew a whole comic! It was AMAZING!

Kaitlin drew a picture about what she thought about 'SATs' tests. 

Kai and Kaitlin in front of the BBC Spotlight van. That is a lolly stick in Kaitlins mouth, she is not smoking...she has not gone too crazy.

Jim touching up the BBC van with his paintbrush. 

Cheese! Interview for the newspaper!

We would like to say a MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who supported the campaign. The campaign has gone really well, and at the moment of writing this the petition has 49065 signatures. If you would like to sign the petition you can do so here:

Let's hope for a fun future of learning for all of our children. Let us know below if you joined the campaign. What did you get up to?

This is political F & J signing off. We won't be back for a while don't worry! Usual silliness and unicorn-ness will return next week! Xx