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.
“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 […]
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
“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, […]
It is my pleasure to have Jan White as my guest blogger this week. Jan is fascinated by outdoor learning and play and the many benefits that this brings. She works both nationally and internationally to advocate and support high quality outdoor provision for services for children from birth to five. With twenty-eight years’ experience of working in education, she is author of Playing and Learning Outdoors: making provision for high quality experiences in the outdoor environment (Routledge, 2008), and Making a Mud Kitchen (Muddy faces 2012), editor of Outdoor Provision in the Early Years (Sage, 2011), and Jan also collaborated with Siren Films to make the award-winning training DVDs Babies Outdoors, Toddlers Outdoors and Two Year-olds Outdoors (Siren Films, 2011).
Learning Outdoors in Early Childhood: An opportunity to dig deeply into the why, what and how of playing and learning outdoors for young children from birth to five!
Cooking up something wonderful!
Jan writes […]
As we continue to develop and enhance our practice, in line with the revised EYFS, it is an honour to have Elizabeth Jarman as my guest blogger.
Elizabeth is an internationally recognised education professional who specialises in creating optimum conditions for learning. She is an award winning author. Her work is widely respected and professionally challenges the way that learning environments for children and families are considered.
“When reviewing your environment and the way that it supports your underpinning pedagogy1, pay attention to your children’s stages of development. Create developmentally appropriate spaces that acknowledge where they are at. Here are some ideas to inspire your thinking and help you to audit your context. Consider:
Spaces for one: Children can be egocentric and can’t cope with sharing at first. There are times when even the most mature child needs space and time alone.
Make it OK to be by yourself; a space where adults won’t fit, giving […]
It is a pleasure to have James Hempsall as my guest blogger. James has been the Director of Hempsall’s since 1999, leading a team of 25 trainers, researchers, development officers and consultants in early years, childcare and children’s centres. He has worked with over 100 local authorities supporting them to implement all aspects of government childcare policy at strategic and operational levels.
James writes ”There’s big things happening around two year olds. The government has signalled their importance by allocating significant new funding to the roll out of thousands of new places. At a time when new money is scarce, it is incredible that all roads lead to two year olds and their early education. It is an economic, social mobility, early intervention, poverty and achievement agenda. And one which retains the potential to support families to make sound economic choices, learn and achieve, and close the gap between the least advantaged children and their peers.
I am delighted to have Kierna Corr as my guest blogger. Kierna is the nursery class teacher at Windmill Integrated Primary in Dungannon, Northern Ireland. She is also the Northern Ireland Representative for the World Forum in Early Care and Play. Kierna has been teaching nursery for over 12 years and she is passionate about outdoor learning and the impact that this has on children’s learning and development. She has formed positive links with kindergartens in Norway and Sweden through the British Council’s Comenius Programme. She has adopted a unique approach to outdoor play. Kierna’s class go outside every day, no matter what the weather, as the school provides appropriate outdoor clothing.
Kierna tell us that “June 29th is International Mud Day; this is the second year of this world wide event. The original event came about as a way for some orphans in Nepal to connect with nature and when this story was shared […]
“Children are the most powerful source for a better world” Martha Llanos
It’s great that the government commissioned Cathy Nutbrown (click to view review) Foundations for Quality to review early years qualifications and that they have now set up a Childcare Commission to look at costs involved. However I feel that the government need to consult with a wide range of early years/childcare/education providers, specialists and parents.
The cost of childcare has always been a catch 22 situation, as quality childcare is expensive and parents want to pay less. As a single parent, who used childcare previously, I found that childcare costs made a huge dent in my monthly outgoings but felt that this was a sacrifice worth paying for.
I work with providers across the UK and know that financial investment in early years makes a considerable impact on children’s outcomes. The cliché ‘quality childcare costs’ is not […]
“If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you always got.” Mark Twain
It was refreshing to see that the revised EYFS, Safeguarding and Welfare Requirements has a legal requirement that all settings should have adequate systems relating to how they supervise staff.
A number of my clients (some, currently have robust supervision measures) state that they already have supervision arrangements in place. However, when I ask for clarification this is not quite the case. Generally, what they do have is an adequate appraisal system. (This, indeed, should be in place.)
But it is important that we differentiate between supervision and appraisal; after all from September 2012 settings will need to have clear evidence, especially to show Ofsted how they supervise staff.
To help settings with this, I have attempted to define what these two terms mean:
Supervision: Focused professional and personal dialogue-empowering staff
Appraisal: Formal management evaluation of job performance
From a historical viewpoint we need to analyse the […]
‘Leadership is less about what we know and more about what we’re willing to discover.’ Diane Branson
I recently attended a retirement ‘do’ in my office for Dave who was the receptionist/administrator.
Dave has a very happy disposition and would greet everyone respectfully and with a smile. He would often go out of his way to solve issues and would help you out if you had a query. Nothing was ever a problem for Dave.
When I arrived at the do, Dave was busy sticking labels onto small dishes, labelling them ‘butter’ and ‘margarine,’ even stating the brand of butter! He said to me, ‘Laura, I am just putting these labels on the dishes so that everyone has a choice as some people like butter and some like margarine.’ Wow, I thought to myself, even on his last day Dave is still thinking of others and making sure that there is attention to detail on his buffet […]
‘The only real training for leadership is leadership.’ Antony Jay
Owners frequently ask me “Laura, do you know any decent managers, I have a vacancy to fill?” They also ask ”Why aren’t there enough decent managers?” I have to agree with these owners and think that, as a sector, we need to reflect on this and find solutions.
An effective manager is one who can truly lead a setting into a zone of quality. Over the years I have had many difficult conversations with managers where I have had to inform them that actually their setting is being managed and not led. There are many tell tale signs, for example the quality of the setting is ineffective and the manager does not have clarity around their visions and values in order to lead the setting. I come away scratching my head, thinking this person has been in post for x amount of years and has attended […]