Education Ruby…

The way you measure a society’s soul is by the way that it treats its children.
Nelson Mandela

Kidz Newz no. 142 – 4th May 2015

Welcome to Kidz Newz, especially to all new subscribers. Kidz Newz is a regular newsletter with information and teaching tips for anyone involved with young children. You are receiving this because you have attended one of my workshops, purchased a book, or you have requested to be on the mailing list. Thank you. Please forward this to anyone you feel it may be of interest to. Feedback is welcome. Don’t forget to stay in touch on our Facebook Page and watch out for our exclusive fan page competitions.

Educating Ruby – what our children really need to learn

My publishers, Crown House Publishing Ltd (in the UK), have recently released the above title. When I read a short synopsis I had to have a copy and it arrived today in the post! I am telling you about it because I think it looks terrific and I think all teachers should have this on their library shelf, after having read it many times, of course!

In a nutshell, the authors, Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas, suggest that education today requires a totally different approach because we live in a totally different world, similar to the ideas about university presented in Willy Russell’s Educating Rita. They state quite emphatically that children today need what they refer to as, ‘The 7 Cs of success’. These are – confidence, curiosity, collaboration, communication, creativity, commitment and craftsmanship. Armed with these skills, children will be better equipped to tackle the real world of the 21st century as well as succeeding in exams. Here is an excerpt from the introduction by Professor Tanya Byron –

I struggled at school. It was a highly academic girls’ school, and its hot-house atmosphere didn’t suit me. At one teachers’ meeting, my parents and I were told, “Tanya will never be a high-flyer”.

Jo Malone, the multi-millionaire businesswoman and fragrance queen, was told by a teacher that she was lazy (Jo is dyslexic) and “would never make anything of her life”. Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and thousands of others were written off by their teachers – because their way of learning didn’t fit that of the school.

As a clinical psychologist working in child and adolescent mental health, I often meet children and young people who are struggling at school to such a degree that it has severely compromised their mental health and daily functioning. There are thousands of children today who are showing increasing rates of depression and anxiety disorders, struggling to hold on to a positive sense of self-worth. Some literally give up. And their parents are at their wits’ end wondering what to do for the best.

While the mental health of our young is a complex, multifaceted issue driven by biological, psychological and social factors, I believe that the current education system is out-of-date and out of step with the learning needs and habits of young people…

While not wishing to be critical of teachers or of schools, instead the authors suggest the need for an urgent revamp of our current system. This book is a powerful call to action.

If you would like to read the synopsis (highly recommended) please go to –

If you would like to purchase your copy (equally recommended), please go to –

Quotes of the Week

All of these are from Educating Ruby.

“Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
– Martin Luther King

“It was a teacher that changed my life; not because he taught me my times tables but because he helped me rebuild my confidence through my parents’ divorce. I am Ruby, you are Ruby, we are all Ruby. Thank you Guy Claxton and Bill Lucas for breaking us out of the battery farm.”
– Richard Gerver, author of ‘Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today’.

“Most people believe schools should do their bit to help children become ‘rounded individuals’ as well as developing their intellectual strength. The obsession with measuring our schools through testing their pupils means that too many children are on a relentless treadmill which is self-defeating. Ruby and her friends need an education with all its richness, with teachers who bring learning alive and supported by parents who play their full part. It is not too complicated and Educating Ruby explains why the system needs to change and what everyone can do about it.”
– Mick Waters, Professor of Education, Wolverhampton University.

Berty Button Gets A Team

While on the subject of publishing, you may not be aware that one of the strings to my bow is writing for children. I was approached by Berty Button Kids to write a series of picture books for the 4-8 year-old market. The above title was published in October 2012. (A boxed set of 4 books is due out later in the year.) I was recently interviewed by blogger Linda Harachi. To see the blog and interview please go here.

Linda is also selling the book so you might like to purchase from her at the website above, or from me at The price is AU$15.00. Here’s what it’s about –

Berty Button has to go to Cairns. Can the new recruits hold the fort while he’s away? The new trucks do their best but somehow all the deliveries get mixed up. Can they fix up the mess before Berty Button returns? Find out in this heart-warming and funny adventure about what it really means to be part of a team.


Marlene’s books and workshops should form part of any teacher education programme. She has a lightness of touch combined with a great showmanship which encourages children of all ages to participate. I have known Marlene for several years and have always respected her focus, professionalism and dedication to her craft. I love the energy and vitality of her training sessions and her books provide a comprehensive programme for use in a variety of settings.”

Service Category: education
Year first hired: 2008 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Expert, Good Value, Creative
Recommendation by Mary Mountstephen MA (SEN) AMBDA via LinkedIn

Fantastic to give teachers the confidence to use music, dance and drama every day. It’s so important!
Jenni Axtell, Hereford UK

…Recently at the University of Westminster where I have been carrying out some research on the Rapid Sensory Learning programme, we discovered that more than 63% of the students were kinaesthetic dominant and yet were learning in highly auditory/visual environments. Educators like Marlene Rattigan should be encouraged to share their knowledge and information because by using multi-intelligences in the classroom and encouraging children from a young age to use their imaginations, to become aware of their body and the necessity for listening, participating and knowing that they are a success because they tried something new, will, I believe, reap extra-ordinary results in the future citizens of this glorious planet we live on. I will certainly recommend this book to nursery school educators and parents with young children.
Review by Kathleen Ginn, Developer of Rapid Sensory Learning & Conscious Creation


The differences between Aussies, Brits, Americans and Canadians

Canadians: Endure bitterly cold winters and are proud of it.
Brits: Endure oppressively wet and dreary winters and are proud of it.
Americans: Don’t have to do either, and couldn’t care less.
Aussies: Don’t understand what inclement weather means.

Americans: Drink weak, yucky-tasting beer.
Canadians: Drink strong, yucky-tasting beer.
Brits: Drink warm, beery-tasting yuck.
Aussies: Drink anything with alcohol in it.

Americans: Seem to think that poverty and failure are morally suspect.
Canadians: Seem to believe that wealth and success are morally suspect.
Brits: Seem to believe that wealth, poverty, success, and failure are inherited.
Aussies: Seem to think that none of this matters after several beers

Americans: Spend most of their lives glued to the idiot box.
Canadians: Don’t, but only because they can’t get more American channels.
Brits: Pay a tax just so they can watch 4 channels.
Aussies: Export all their yucky programs, which no one there watches, to Britain, where everybody loves them.

About The Author

Marlene Rattigan B.A., Dip. Ed. (ECS), CELTA

Marlene Rattigan is an Early Childhood teacher, a teacher of English as a Second Language, and from 1987-2000 was a nationally accredited fitness leader. Her background is in music education. A keen interest in motor development in children led to the creation of Kidz-Fiz-Biz which she taught successfully for 13 years. Marlene also conducts workshops for children, teachers and parents at schools, in the community and at festivals. She has produced teaching manuals complete with audio CDs which are an extension of her ‘Kidz-Fiz-Biz’ program.

PO Box 6894, East Perth WA 6892, Australia
T: +61 8 9355 4890 M: +61 (0) 410 64 2781 E:

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Until next time … continue being a legend in your classroom.

Marlene Rattigan, Editor
Kidz Newz

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