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Tag Archives: EYFS

The whole thing’s daft, I don’t know why – to teach or not to teach?

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 […]


Are you listening to me? Listening and responding to children©

Listening to others is indeed a unique skill and it is extremely important that educators are able to listen to children effectively to support their needs.

In fact the United Nations Rights of the Child states: “A child’s opinion should be taken into account on anything that affects them.” And “Children should have information disseminated in a way that enables them to make choices and decisions. “

If you would like to book this course, please  email me:

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The Weekend that Was!

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 […]


Doing nothing?

Part of children being able to create and think critically is that they should be given the opportunity to be reflective. This gives them time to make connections and create.  To foster this practitioners should, at times, stand back and allow children to be quiet in their play, as this can be an indication that they are thinking, processing information and planning their next steps in their play.

I remember this thought provoking anecdote from Vivian Hill, Director of Educational Psychology Training at the Institute of Education when she recalled the time she was called into a school to assess a four year old boy in the nursery department who spent his whole time day-dreaming, head in hands and looking out of the window. “His teachers were worried. I asked him what he was thinking about. ‘I wonder why it’s harder to pedal uphill than down?’ he replied.  He was thinking about elementary physics.” ~ The […]


Values & Choices in Early Years Education

Often on my travels practitioners will ask me do I know of any nurseries in the UK that have adopted the Reggio Emilia philosophical practice. Straightaway I say ‘Reflections Nursery, in Worthing!’ Having visited Reflections myself, I am well aware of their inspirational practice and the positive impact that this has on children’s learning and development. Therefore, I am very excited that Martin Pace, the owner and Director of Reflections Nursery, is my guest blogger writing about their approach to early learning.

Martin has worked in the childcare sector for 20 years. Reflections Nursery is a 115-place nursery; Winner of UK Nursery of the Year 2009/10; Worthing Business of the Year 2010/11 and Southern Business of the Year 2011/12. The nursery was awarded ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted at its last inspection in 2010.

Martin has attended eight study tours of the infant-toddler centres and pre-schools of Reggio Emilia since 2003 and is studying for an […]


Changes to Childcare-For Parents

Dear Parents

I am a parent of two boys and an early years specialist and have worked within the early years sector for over twenty –six years.

I am writing to you because I want to raise your attention to a government proposal that might affect your child’s learning and development opportunities if you use childcare.

You may have heard that the Minister for Childcare, Ms Truss, is proposing changing the adult to child ratios in early years settings. For daycare settings this will mean that for your children who are aged two – three there will be one adult for six children and within home based settings childminders  will be able to have up to four children aged five and under.

The majority of early years settings, academics and experts are against these higher ratios as, like me, they care about your children and the negative impact this will have on their learning and development. One provider said […]


Elephants Never Forget! Attachment and loss

Like most of the nation, I have been glued to watching Sir David Attenborough’s new documentary titled ‘Africa,’ which is on BBC1 at 9:00pm on Wednesdays.

I am fascinated by the filming and the profound images of nature which in part, to the human eye, seem very cruel.   David’s narrative during the documentary is balanced throughout and thought provoking.

During a recent episode they showed a herd of elephants walking through Kenya, desperately seeking food as a result of the recent drought.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01pwtsj/Africa_Savannah/

The most heart pulling clip for me was when the baby elephant could no longer go on, as she was too exhausted and weak.  Her mother, rather than continue with the other herd of elephants, stayed with her and tried to encourage her; stroking and rubbing her calf – demonstrating an instinctive mother- to- baby bond.

Her mother remained with her until the calf passed away and one could clearly […]


Continuing Personal and Professional Development of the EYP in Early Years

It is an honour to have Kathy Brodie as my final guest post of 2012.

Kathy is an early years trainer and consultant and a lecturer in Early Years at Stockport College. She also undertakes coaching and mentoring, for practitioners with the Early Years Professional Status(EYPS).

Kathy has had articles in many publications as well as a chapter on Personal, Social and Emotional Development in ‘Early Years for Levels 4 & 5 and the Foundation Degree’ edited by Dr. Francisca Veale (Jan 2013: Hodder Education). Her book ‘Observation, Assessment and Planning: Bringing it All Together’ will be published in May 2013 by Open University Press.

Kathy writes:

“Many people with EYPS are currently worried about the future of status and the impact this will have on their personal and professional development. This is in response to the Nutbrown review which has put forward the suggestion of an early years teaching qualification replacing the EYPS (Nutbrown, 2012:8).

However, even though there […]


Want to be a Rock-Star, Or Better Yet a Stone-Star With a Heart?

I’m so happy to have my friend and colleague, Diana Suskind, guest blogging for me. Diana is an international early childhood consultant and artist who brings her creative spirit to support children with their personal, emotional and social development.

Diana has shared her passion working overseas with colleagues and children, teaching for many years as an associate professor at Fitchburg State University, Boston, Massuchusetts, United States of America.

 

“This is me and my mom and we are a family and both have a heart” stonework logo

Diana writes:

“I guess we can’t be a little rock but rocks, especially stones, can inspire us to play with them for they are simply a natural resource. They do appeal to children and adults alike in any country or culture. No two stones are the same. They have their own shape, their own weight, color and markings. They are one of a kind just like each of us. Different stones, […]


#EYTalking

I am launching a new initiative #EYTalking, via Twitter. In short, every Tuesday evening between 8:00pm and 9:00pm we will share national and international news, stories, research, blogs, documents and guidance via Twitter, using the hash tag #EYTalking. If you are a nursery, pre-school, day-care, childminder, out-of school club, nanny, school or you provide a service as a trainer, consultant, publication, organisation, company, college or university with an interest in early years and childcare then this is for you. Also, parents and carers who have an interest in early years will also find #EYTalking on a Tuesday evening the perfect opportunity to connect. There is a wealth of information out there which can be obtained from many sources, I often hear colleagues saying ‘I never have the time to navigate my way around websites and read threads on forums, etc’ or ‘Ooh, I missed that Tweet!’ With #EYTalking once a week, you will have the […]