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 […]
Happy to share my new work Instagram page.
Please follow, I will be sharing everything Early Years, education and parenting.
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.
I enjoyed doing a question and answer session with DadblogUK, on my career path and discussing the Early Years sector. Please click on the link to read.
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 […]
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 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 […]
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 […]
So, the Government is busy recruiting the next HMCI, to replace Sir Michael Wilshaw.
The shortlist has been reported via TES and the education community is in full flow discussing who the Government may choose and why.
One tweet that caught my eye was from the inspiring Sue Cowley, who noted:
“I think it’d be a good idea to have someone with primary experience as the next head of Ofsted. Historically it’s mostly been secondary people.’
I would wholeheartedly agree with Sue. In addition, they should have working knowledge and an understanding of the Early Years.
For far too long we’ve had a top-down approach, which has had a detrimental effect on little people, from inappropriate testing to a lack of understanding of the importance of play within Early Years.
Biology informs us that it all starts from conception. There’s a reason why babies are not born […]
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, […]