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Laura Henry

Posts byLaura Henry

Managing Behaviour – seriously?

I continue to be intrigued by the way the EYFS talks about ‘managing children’s behaviour’. Considering what we now know about how a child learns and develops, is ‘managing children’s behaviour’ still a useful term to use within Early Years?

My views are that we can’t manage children’s behaviour, as we need to give all children the skills and tools to regulate their own behaviour, so they can resolve conflict and be emotionally grounded both within their early years and beyond.

Educators can indeed help children with self-regulation, which is different from the traditional training in ‘behaviour management’ within Early Years.

Educators require skills such as recognising a child has suffered a trauma and supporting the child sensitively to help them communicate how they are feeling; assisting children to resolve conflict through negotiation and giving them the language skills to do so; helping children know they have a voice and are able to contribute to [...]


Your name’s not down, you’re not coming in

I recently read a story, which quite frankly shocked me, both as a parent and an educational professional.

In brief an 11 year old was unable to join her friends for a special end-of-year treat for pupils who had a 100% attendance record. This child had missed one day to attend her mother’s funeral.

Please read her full story.

I have never been a fan of rewards for 100% attendance at school or work, be they certificates or treats, as this creates a culture of shaming those who haven’t achieved full attendance. There will be a variety of reasons for absence, for example a virus, a long term medical condition, or a sensitive personal issue. It is outright discrimination, creates divisions and can make some children feel under pressure to attend.

It can also lead to children becoming ‘people pleasers’. Yes, attending school is important, but children and parents should not feel they are in [...]


Get Connected

Quick question: Do you use social media?

Over the years, the one piece of advice I most often give to providers and educators is that they should sign up to receive the regular email updates from Ofsted, Department for Education and the sector press. It is vital they keep up-to-date with legislation, guidance and other important information that may affect their practices and, if necessary, make changes.

Nowadays my advice is that they should also be using social media (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Blogs, etc).

Last week I attended an evening seminar titled: ‘Close Encounters of the Digital Kind’. 

There were interesting speakers and discussions on how we should embrace social media from a business point of view.

Social media can be used in a variety of ways within your setting: to market your setting, sharing positive aspects such as raising funds for charity, a new mud kitchen or sharing an innovative area in your practice.

However, it can [...]


Key person approach – past, present and future!

A few months ago I was contacted by a lady via social media: ‘Are you the Laura that worked in a nursery in North London, in the 80s/90s?’ Included was a picture of two children in carnival costumes.

I immediately recognised the children, who were twins, brother and sister. I was their key person!

Mum and I spoke on the phone. The first thing she said to me was: ‘Laura, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking care of and looking after my children.’ Well, the tears started to roll down my face.

Mum recalled how delighted she was when she saw her two children perform in the Christmas concert I put on. Fast forward to the present day: the boy is a budding actor while the girl works with children.

Mum was a single parent to twins and studying for a degree at the same time. We all know that studying [...]


Children don’t do Autumn, they do kicking leaves….

I came across an interesting blog on the wonderful land of Twitter, appropriately titled: ‘Are you addicted to Themes? A tale about themes, a Caterpillar and change.’

As with most of the inspiring blogs and other information I come across, I always share, this time via LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. The majority of colleagues agreed with Denita’s analysis of ‘no themes’, with a few saying they still use themes and topics to make sure that children have variety. My view is that Educators who still hold on to the security blanket of themes, do so as a result of pedagogy practice within their Early Years professional development, in particular how they learned to emotionally connect with and to communicate with children. It is more important to know how [...]


Will England be there?

World cup song kindly devised by my brother:

Using the sample from the Piranhas’ song Tom Hark. Click here to listen.

Links to Early Learning Goals, especially Mathematics – numbers:

‘They add and subtract two single-digit numbers and count on or back to find the answer.’ Early Years Outcomes, 2013, Department for Education.

Will England Be There?

By

Simon Williams

“There’s 32 teams

There’s 32 teams

There’s 32 teams

There’s 32 teams

Will England be there?

Will England be there?

Will England be there?

Will England be there?

 

This the year that we’re off to Brazil

We’re gonna watch the England play with lots of skill

In 1998 it was held in France

But over in Brazil we’ll do a Samba dance

 

There’s 16 teams (x4)

Will England be there? (x4)

 

This is the song that we’re gonna sing

Don’t matter who we play coz we’re gonna win

The sun is shining and it’s going great

And then we’re left with the final 8

 

There’s 8 teams [...]


It’s good to talk!

#EYTalking is the FREE weekly ‘touch in’ within Social Media for anyone, be they a practitioner, childminder, teacher, educator, trainer, lecturer, tutor or assessor working within Early Years education or childcare nationally or internationally. We also have parents joining in. I created #EYTalking, managing it on a weekly basis. Topics we have covered include outdoor learning, parents as partners and literacy; we also have guest hosts, such as the Department for Education and other Early Years colleagues.

We share ideas as well as resources such as research and blogs. In addition, we comment on Early Years childcare and education issues.

Many colleagues have noted that #EYTalking is now one of their areas of continuous personal and professional development (CPPD), commenting that they write up reflections and actions to improve their practice, including sharing new ideas with colleagues and parents. For this purpose, I have created a useful reflective log


Philosophical Play in the Early Years Setting

Communicating with children and interpreting their play and language requires skill and a sensitive approach. Therefore it gives me pleasure to have Sara Stanley, who supports children by using a philosophical approach, as my guest blogger

Sara is a registered level 1 SAPERE Trainer and National and International keynote speaker. She runs workshops, in service training and courses in Philosophy for Children (P4C) and enabling enquiry based classroom environments. She is also involved in long term projects working in Early Years settings in South African townships, working with Nali’Bali, PRAESA, the University of Cape Town and the DG Murray Trust.

Sara writes:

 “It could be said that children are at their most philosophical in their formative years. If you take Socrates’ provocation that “All I know is that I know nothing” then we see everything as new and puzzling. To a child the whole world is a new and strange place; a place where some things make perfect [...]


Me do it! Me do it!

I was in the supermarket the other day when I overheard a child say to her dad ‘Me do it, me do it, Daddy!’ as she tried to help him with the shopping. I smiled to myself as I remembered my eldest son saying the same to my mum when he was little and she was trying to put his coat on him.

These incidents illustrate how, from a young age, children want to be independent, yet, for some reason they are not given the opportunity to be independent. I am not only talking about being physically independent, for example children being able to dress themselves, but more importantly having an independence of mind to make decisions. By this I mean having a choice, even in something as simple as choosing which socks to wear or choosing between an apple or a banana.

Our job as parents is to give our children the tools and skills to [...]


The little red book and the revised EYFS 2014

Scanning the revised EYFS 2014 I noticed Section 2.5: “Practitioners should encourage parents and/or carers to share information from the progress check with other relevant professionals, including their health visitor…… Providers must have the consent of parents and/or carers to share information directly with other relevant professionals.”

To support this requirement I am sharing a few pointers, which I disseminate during training and consultancy visits with educators and teachers, regarding the importance of the child health book. This book is one way in which parents can communicate their child’s development with the key person.

The “little red book” contains important information that the setting could use to identify the child’s starting points and determine how to further support the child both in the setting and at home.

It is also a positive way to start to build a long term, positive relationship with the parent.

Of course, parents have the right not [...]