Headteacher’s Blog

Thursday 26 October 2023

''It's the back and forth, the responsiveness, that shapes the brain circuits." 

Jack Shonkoff – Centre on the developing Child – Harvard University

Infant's brain is dependent on responsiveness from adults. So all those adorable things that babies do right from the beginning -- coos, gurgles, sounds and smiles -- how an adult responds to those coos and gurgles help shape the brain circuitry. Shonkoff calls these moments "Serve and Return interactions." The baby does something, the adult responds back. Vice versa. 

…brain evidence also supports the idea that babies and children have particularly powerful learning abilities and motivations, and that they do, in fact, learn more than we adults do. If you combine the psychological and neurological evidence, it is hard to avoid concluding that babies are just plain smarter than we are, at least if being smart means being able to learn something new. The advantage we adults have comes precisely from the fact that we were once babies. We can use the finely tuned, specialized, well-oiled machinery we constructed when we were very young to do all sorts of things that babies can’t.

(Gopnik et al, pp.197, 1999)


Sunday 8 October 2023

Your Baby’s Brain: Why the first 3 years matter so much?

 Here are some fascinating brain facts.

  • A newborn has all the brain cells they’ll ever have.

  • Your child’s brain doubles in size in the first year!

  • Children’s brains continue to grow to about 80% of adult size by age 3.

    In fact, your child’s brain creates more than 1 million fresh neural connections (synapses) every second of their first few years of life—more than at any other time in life!