This Week’s Good News: gender neutral school uniform, a bird that boogies, and boxing classes for ADHD

Kathryn Wheeler
By Kathryn Wheeler,
updated on Jul 12, 2019

This Week’s Good News: gender neutral school uniform, a bird that boogies, and boxing classes for ADHD

Be inspired by the good news stories that brightened up our week

All school uniforms in Wales to become gender neutral

girl at school jumping

Pupils will now have a choice about what uniform they want to dress in

School uniforms aren’t the most comfortable things at the best of times. Add unnecessary gendered rules, and the whole ordeal starts to get a bit hot under the collar.

But in a forward-thinking move from the Welsh government, starting in September all uniforms in Welsh schools will now be gender neutral. Gone are the days when girls had to wear skirts and boys trousers. Pupils will now have a choice about what uniform they want to dress in.

In guidance published 10 July, the board writes:

‘A gender neutral school uniform policy may list items of clothing which are permitted to be worn in school, without any requirements for items of clothing to only be worn by students of a certain gender.

‘Failure to allow a pupil to wear uniform that reflects their gender identity may constitute discrimination on the basis of gender reassignment under the Equality Act.’

It’s about time that old-school attitudes about gendered uniform were excluded from the dress code; this move is another step towards a more inclusive environment for everyone.

Actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt invites Twitter followers to showcase their creativity

Actor, writer, director, producer, singer, and all-around good guy Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been filling the feeds of his 4.21 million Twitter followers with creativity, after inviting them to share videos and photos of their creative pursuits using the hashtag #MakeYourMark.

‘For the next hour I wanna do something with you all, together here on Twitter,’ he wrote in a tweet.

‘Post a photo of you making music. Could be a photo of you singing (karaoke, even), playing an instrument, writing lyrics... Maybe even dancing to some tunes.’

Submissions quickly flooded in, coming together to make a celebration of creativity, and a passion for music.

‘All these #MakeYourMark music photos keep getting posted. Love ‘em so much. They make me feel inspired and optimistic. Keep posting ‘em. Let’s continue celebrating our love of music making. <3’

Looking for some creative inspo? Browse the thread yourself.

Birds get their boogie on, without being taught the moves

We’ve all fallen down a late-night internet rabbit hole of dancing bird videos… Right? Just us? Well, the point is that the natural rhythm and funky moves of our feathered friends are hard to resist.

But now, a new study has found that behind the dance moves, the birds have sophisticated cognitive control and creativity not seen in any other animals.

Aniruddh Patel, a psychologist at Harvard University, was inspired to study the phenomenon after he was captivated by videos, uploaded to YouTube in 2007, that showed Snowball the cockatoo throwing down some serious moves.

After studying Snowball – who has 14 unique dance moves that they whip out depending on where the music takes them – Patel concluded that parrots and humans share a unique ability to dance to music, switching up moves depending on the mood.

"Parrots are unusual because these complexities are coming together in their brains," Patel told CNN. "When these capacities come together, it leads to the impulse to dance."

John Travolta, watch your back – it’s Snowball’s time to shine.

Boxing classes are helping children with ADHD

For a lot of children with ADHD, mainstream school is a hard place to be.

Jamie and Levi were the ‘naughty kids’ before they were diagnosed with ADHD, and both were expelled from their schools.

Nathan Powell is the boxing tutor stepping to stop children like Jamie and Levi from slipping through the net.

“School is not for some kids,” he tells the BBC. “They come in here, they feel comfortable with us, and we can chat about what’s going on in life.”

The charity, Empire Fighting Chance, uses boxing to help children with ADHD channel their energy into a new skill. And their work is making a real difference.

"I used to lose my temper easily. I started a lot of fights and used to mess up the classrooms,” said Levi. "The diagnosis and medication helped, but it's the boxing that really helps as I'm always so full of energy and struggle to concentrate.”

Schemes like this are vital for ensuring that no one in our community gets left behind, and we can’t wait to see more like this one.

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