Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd October 2017
My Family Week celebrates families of all shapes and sizes, allowing children to tell their own story, about their own family in their own voice.
My Family Week is a reflection on what family means in the modern world and is the brainchild of international Early Years trainer, author and consultant, Laura Henry, who has worked with children and their families for three decades.
My Family Week is celebrating the uniqueness of every family, using the characters from Laura’s popular children’s book series Jo-Jo and Gran-Gran as inspiration.
As part of the week, settings, schools, parents and wider families can take part in a range of activities to help children to tell their own stories.
Stories will be shared and developed online using a variety of social media platforms.
Support for My Family Week:
“I simply ADORE this idea! Families come in all shapes and sizes and celebrating diversity and variety means we accept and […]
An interesting Social Media post came up on my timeline:
“Question from a member: I would like to know what people would do if a member of staff began a romantic relationship with a parent of a child who is one of their key children; parents only separated very recently (within the last 4 weeks) and mom is totally unaware of the situation. Thank you.”
I was intrigued and concerned that a few commented that they felt it was fine for a member of staff to enter into a sexual relationship with a parent from the setting. I have had over 30 years’ experience working within Early Years, in a variety of roles, and I also work as an expert witness. I have seen where negative organisational behaviour of a setting can have a lasting damaging impact, and, more importantly, can fail to keep children and their families safe and protect them from harm.
Safeguarding and protecting children […]
I’m delighted to have delivered a key-note speech (NEYTCO) alongside Ruby Wax and other influential speakers at this ground-breaking conference on Early Years neuroscience.
Sharing a small clip from the day: Please click
I have at times read with interest on social media and heard on my travels, that providers believe that if they don’t undertake training then they will be penalised by Ofsted, with a few claiming that this was the reason they didn’t get Outstanding. To clarify, Ofsted do not require you to have undertaken face-to-face training.
I have said many times that language is important and that it is the term Continuous Professional Development (CPD) that should be used.
Training makes up only a small percentage of CPD. There are many other areas of CPD, including: reading research, journals, papers, blogs, visiting other settings, taking part in webinars, listening to podcasts and attending workshops, briefings and conferences. Training also includes connecting on social media chats, such as #EYTalking on Twitter, watching Facebook lives, inspirations from Pinterest and Instagram. It can even be watching a television documentary or listening to a radio broadcast. I’m sure there is […]
In October, I was honoured to deliver a key-note speech for Babcock Education linked to good practice within leadership. At the conference it was refreshing and inspiring to listen to local educators, who presented on their groundbreaking work with children.
With this in mind, I am delighted to have Amelia Joyner as my first guest blogger from the conference. Amelia spoke passionately about her outstanding provision and what her setting does in practice to ‘narrow the gap.’
Amelia has 13 years’ experience in Early Years, having started on a pre-school committee, moving into administration and then retraining in 2013 to become a teacher. She started work as a pre-school leader at Cullompton Pre School in September 2014. Amelia’s particular passions are child protection and improving outcomes for disadvantaged children.
“I met Laura recently at a conference on leadership and management. I listened to her talk, which happily was after mine (I was much more relaxed by […]
For a number of years, I have been perplexed by the amount of unnecessary paperwork that educators complete within their settings.
It’s important to remember what the EYFS states:
“Assessment should not entail prolonged breaks from interaction with children, nor require excessive paperwork. Paperwork should be limited to that which is absolutely necessary to promote children’s successful learning and development.” EYFS, 2014
On various social media platforms or when delivering training or speaking to clients, I hear comments such as:
“We were told to do this.”
“Ofsted want to see this.”
“The local authority advisor has given us a month to complete this.”
“A consultant/trainer suggested this was the best way.”
As a consultant/trainer, I see myself as an advisor, which means that it is only advice.
In addition, in some settings the system is so complicated that educators are unable to fully vocalise why they do what they do.
“Less paperwork = more time with the children!”
In my opinion, […]
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 […]
I delivered an inset day training session recently to a nursery group. The session was called: ‘Are you listening to me? Really, listening to me?’ In short, looking how educators need to be tuned into children in order to effectively support them with their learning and development.
One of the delegates, who I know from previous training and who follows me on Twitter, said: ‘Laura, I know your son works for Arsenal. What does he do? Love Thierry Henry, best player Arsenal had. If your son ever meets him, please ask for a photograph and autograph!’
I then burst out into The Thierry Henry song. I am an Arsenal supporter as well and I remember going to a game and singing the ‘Thierry song’, loud and clear with the rest of the fans!
She then went on to say how a child in the nursery was an Arsenal supporter and that she’d taught him the song and […]
This weekend was very busy for early years colleagues in the sector including taking part in many professional development activities such as the Nursery Show and the Flourish Summit.
It was busy for me too as I attended the Professional Development Day at Reflections Nursery, in Worthing. I have visited before and was inspired then and even more inspired now. As a trainer, it is a truly reflective experience to be a delegate and soak up new knowledge. On arrival we were treated to apple juice, which was heated up on the garden fire. The fire is surrounded by pebbles which have been sourced from Worthing sea front.
Image copyright to Reflections Nursery
We were then treated to a tour of the nursery by an Educator at Reflections. I was fortunate to be in the group of the Co- Director, Martin Pace. Martin explained that we were only allowed to take photographs of the outdoor areas […]