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New Framework for Ofsted Descriptors

I have updated the free resource on Ofsted Descriptors to reflect the new framework. There is a useful reflective and impact document that settings can complete as a team and useful links to support your practice. Click here to download this valuable resource.

This resource is free, however, I ask that you consider making a contribution to the Jermain Defoe Foundation, a charity that I am an ambassador for.

“The Jermain Defoe Foundation was founded in 2013 by England footballer Jermain Defoe to support homeless, vulnerable and abused children in his family’s home country of St Lucia. Jermain’s grandparents came from the Caribbean island and he has been visiting every year since he was a young child. St Lucia is well known as a paradise holiday destination but little is heard of the poverty and abuse suffered by children there. Since the launch of The Jermain Defoe Foundation, we have expanded our cause […]


Instagram

Happy to share my new work Instagram page.

laurahenryconsultancy

Please follow, I will be sharing everything Early Years, education and parenting.

 


Special Podcast: Ofsted’s new Education Inspection Framework

I’m delighted to welcome back Gill Jones and Wendy Ratcliff from Ofsted to record this special Early Years Leaders Podcast, in partnership with Blossom Educational.

We discuss the new Education Inspection Framework, with a focus on Ofsted’s rationale for the term cultural capital and what inspectors will be looking for in practice. Gill and Wendy give an overview of intent, implementation and impact. The new framework places emphasis on observation and discussion with educators and Gill and Wendy share examples of what inspectors will focus on.


Symbolic item for every child

I watched with emotion this clip from BBC Family & Education on Facebook.

In brief, six-year-old Bodhi, who is autistic, showed delight every time he walked past the large cuddly gorilla. The gorilla unfortunately disappeared and its owner, Jason, searched for another one and Bodhi was delighted again.

This story reminds me of my eldest son, Rian, who as some of you know is on the autistic spectrum. When he was younger and attended a local pre-school, his behaviour was ‘a cause for concern’. This was before his diagnosis. Rian’s ‘thing’ was Thomas the Tank Engine, and I have since been told that some autistic children love Thomas.

On entering the pre-school each morning, Mary used to hand Rian the Thomas train from the shelf. This made Rian feel that he belonged and grounded him.

Mary sadly died of cancer a few years ago, but I will never forget the kindness that she showed my son.

On my […]


Keep on moving….

I recently shared this statement via social media: “Indeed, outstanding doesn’t mean that a setting is perfect! Quite the contrary, it is all about constantly improving from a 360% perspective.”

A few tips on consistently improving:

Clarity about your values and how they mirror in practice
Doing your best for every child
Staff form meaningful, personal and positive relationships with children
Environment challenges and supports children’s development
Teaching clearly supports children’s current development and their next stages
High standards in place, which staff are committed to
Robust leadership, which is different from managing
Rigorous auditing of practice not only completed by management, but by the whole staff team
Moderation meetings to discuss children’s learning and development
Stakeholder involvement and consultation
Meaningful and regular two-way communication between home and setting
Self-evaluation is a team effort
Full understanding of reflective practice and use as a catalyst to improve
Regular reflective professional development that impacts on practice
Child’s voice and opinions are heard

If you would like to discuss in detail how […]


Disqualification by association

It is with pleasure that I have Debbie Alcock, of Influential childcare as my guest blogger. Debbie has been in childcare for over 30 years, 19 of these spent in inspection and regulation, first with the London Borough of Barnet and then with Ofsted. She has held many positions in Ofsted: as a policy writer, inspector, team manager, area manager and lastly as a regulatory inspector dealing with serious concerns and safeguarding. She currently works as a freelance trainer, consultant and writer. In addition, Debbie plays a strong part in the Ofsted Big Conversation and is the London lead for NEYTCO.

Debbie writes:

“Disqualification by association is one of the 11 reasons that a person may be disqualified from working with children. Since the 1989 Children Act there has been legislation […]


Effective and Safer Recruitment

Please see Nursery World for my new four part monthly series on Effective and Safer Recruitment.


RIGHT from the start early years good practice films: assessment

New from Ofsted:

‘RIGHT from the start’ is a suite of six films showing examples of good practice in the Early Years Foundation Stage (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 […]


Forty Years On

Sylvia Fields, Director of Lincolnshire Montessori is my guest blogger. Sylvia reflects on her forty years in education:

This year my twin sister and I are celebrating forty years in education – and what a journey it has been!

I can trace my first work in early years back to the 1970s. Following the birth of my first son we joined the local playgroup in a church hall, and from that point I knew that all I wanted to do was work with children. In those days – before baby cafe, drop in sessions and mumsnet, the Pre-School Playgroup Association, as it was, played a crucial role as a social function for parents and children. Committee led pre schools were practically the only early years provision in our area, and I was pleased to join with other mums running the group in a voluntary capacity.

Playgroups were very much a women-led movement, and our involvement was about having […]