The new academic year will soon be upon us. Some parents will see their child head off for university. You may look at this as freedom-at-last: your child will be leaving home, allowing you to do what you have longed to do all these years. Some of you will fear the empty nest syndrome. And for others, possibly most, a mixture of both.
It is becoming increasingly necessary for technologically advanced societies to become more consciously aware of the ways in which they introduce their children to the essential, complex human mediation of narrative, and how this might be more effectively managed to nurture healthy psychological and social development.
Whilst discrete programmes to prevent emotional difficulties or support social and emotional learning may be successful in some schools, no single programme is going to be the magic wand for all children in all schools. Rather what is needed now is a new coordinated approach which combines different areas of activities and integrates all policies, staff and external professionals.
The mere act of creating, designing and putting something on paper is incredibly complex. You touch emotions, you practice fine motor skills, planning, imagination. Some amatuer artists produce incredibly accomplished pieces, but that's not the point really. Scribbles can and do have the same dignity and importance.
What you wear affects you psychologically. It can profoundly alter your mood. It also influences how others respond to you. And the visual illusion created by cut and fabric dramatically changes the appearance of your body. Your clothes can affect your job prospects, your love life and even your self-image.