Nathan Wallis is coming to Darfield High School to share his insights on play-based learning

Engaging your brain

by Ann van Engelen

Nathan Wallis, the host of the documentary All in the Mind and co-host of the TV Series The Secret Life of Girls is coming to Darfield High School to present his talk — Engage Your Brain on Tuesday, May 5.

“The talk focusses on the social/emotional aspects of brain development for two to eight-year-olds and adolescence and how feelings impact our thinking,” says event organiser Oonagh Beharrell.

“I have watched his videos online and listened to his interviews and found his research on play-based learning very helpful with my parenting. I thought it would be great to get him out to Selwyn so other parents, educators and caregivers can share in the wealth of his knowledge in person.

“The topics are relevant to all learners who want to feel engaged, enthusiastic and passionate about what they do. He highlights how play-based learning helps our tamariki to develop. It is about gaining skills to engage with others, how to take turns and get along with others through relational skills at any age.

“Children need to know about boundaries, how to regulate feelings and name them, and we all need to discover how to calm ourselves down. When we are in an aroused state, it is OK to feel, but we need to be able to name the feeling. It is a lifelong process, but the earlier we gain the skill set, the better equipped we are and the two to eight-year-olds’ brain is best wired for this. “My daughter and I attend Darfield Playcentre and playcentres already embrace play-based learning philosophy, so this evening will add to our knowledge. A fundamental educational mistake that New Zealand society has made over the last few decades is thinking that the earlier we get ready to be seven, by learning numeracy and literacy, the better off our tamariki will be. Come along and find out why this is not the case.”

For tickets, look up Engage-your-brain-Darfield at