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Professional Generosity (being good at sharing!)

I’m delighted to have Sarah Vickery, the assistant head of the Exeter Children’s Federation, writing as part of the Exeter series. When I heard Sarah speak about professional generosity at the conference I was punching the air! Sarah mentioned #EYTalking on Twitter, which I set up four years ago and I’m also known as the ‘Queen of Early Years sharing’.

Sarah writes:

“I’ve been teaching for twenty years now, starting off in a primary school in Tottenham, North London, before returning home to teach in Devon (and get married, start a family etc.!). It was here I discovered a love of all things Early Years in my first Reception class role, and I never looked back! I hope if you met me you’d realise how joyful and rewarding I find teaching in Early Years. I’m a hands-on, out-in-all-weathers, get-messy, get-stuck-in and get-the-glitter-out kind of teacher. Loving Early Years has, I believe, helped me lead successful Early Years teams […]


Look through the window and what do you see?

“Windows mean light, wisdom means Windows!” ~ Mehmet Murat ildan

On a recent Twitter chat called #Kinderchat Geoff Billing, an Early Years colleague, wrote this tweet.

“I remember @LauraChildcare tweeting once about not being a fan of stuff covering windows..stuck with me and changed my practice! #kinderchat

I responded:

“I sure did! Even my sons point out settings that have painted windows. Blocks out natural light & looks tacky! #Kinderchat

Other colleagues also tweeted their thoughts on painted windows within settings.

My views are very clear that windows are there for one to see outside and connects the outside in! So I’m often surprised when I still see settings that have painted their windows with either tacky paintings and/or worse still, with the paint peeling off the window.

Some settings have said to me they paint their windows so that passers-by can’t look in. If this is the case, it’s better to ‘frost’ the windows half […]


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 […]


H.A.P.P.Y!

I was extremely delighted to see that the United Nations acknowledges happiness and well-being via the International Day of Happiness on the 20th of March each year. In support of humanitarian efforts around the world.

This U.N. Resolution identifies the pursuit of happiness and well-being as fundamental human goals. Let us celebrate this day with the children and families with whom we work. The day strongly links to supporting children’s personal, social and emotional development.

I for one will be celebrating!

I am equally excited that Pharrell Williams is a leading ambassador for the United Nations Foundation. Linked to his international hit song ‘Happy’, Pharrell has called this ’24 hours of happiness’. He has asked his fans to donate to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund.

On a recent flight I watched the film ‘Despicable Me 2‘, where […]


In the heat of the night!

On Thursday night I had the pleasure of attending the Margaret Horn lecture (United World, Entrepreneurial Leaders) which was hosted by LEYF. In brief Margret Horn, was the founder of LEYF when it was then called the ‘Westminster Health Society’.

June O’Sullivan, CEO of LEYF, eloquently chaired the evening.

It was an inspiring event and I listened attentively to three key note speakers; Greg Kyle-Langley who shared his insight on One Young World, an organisation that brings together the young people from around the world, Tom Sweetman, from Sticky Board, shared his dedication on bringing local communities together and finally Paul Spinks, a Manager from Bright Horizons and co-Chair of the London Men in Childcare.  Paul spoke passionately about the importance and challenges of men working with young children within early years.

Paul Spinks – Key Note

Another key discussion was […]