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Early Years Summit: Autumn 2018

I always love it when the Early Years Summit is on – a fantastic way to learn something new or refine your current skill set at no cost. Be sure to visit to watch the videos as the week progresses!

Here are some of the talks that I am particularly looking forward to – I will edit with my thoughts once I have watched them 🙂

Alistair Bryce Clegg: Playfulness and Learning

What do we mean by ‘Playfulness’
How children’s learning and playfulness are linked
Strategies that you can implement in your environments to increase playfulness
Reflecting on your environment from the children’s perspective

Vanessa Dooley: Effective provocations in the environment

How to make environments that excite and interest children (and adults)
Effective – and cost effective – items of provocation
Essential elements for an outstanding environment

Jamel Campbell: The role of networks in supporting practitioners

The ways projects and networks can support practitioner’s wellbeing
The role of the employer and Jamel’s experiences with LEYF
Jamel’s story book for children

Christopher Phoenix: The role of networks in supporting practitioners

Helping ‘our story’ or self-narratives to be positive and affirming
How to change ‘our story’
Encouraging educators and practitioners to self reflect

Ursula Krystek-Walton: Safeguarding in practice

Implementing safeguarding policies and procedures, whatever your setting size
Methods for improving, updating and reviewing safeguarding
Top tips for safeguarding so children really benefit

Rachel Buckler: Safeguarding

The unique role of the Early Years in safeguarding children
Updates of safeguarding legislation and procedure
Differences between neglect and abuse
Working with families and other professionals

Jon Rolnick: Physical activity and children's development

How agility, balance and co-ordination support children’s mastery disposition
Ideas for structuring a physical activity session
Top tips for practical and cost effective physical activities

Diana Suskind: Stonework Play

Making children’s learning and understanding visible through Stonework Play
How ‘Tarry Time’ during Stonework Play can increase empathy, compassion and respectful interactions
Bringing children closer to nature and inspiring meaningful stories
International Stonework Play Day 3rd November 2018

Susan Stacey: Emergent Curriculum and pedagogical documentation

How practitioners and educators can use the emergent curriculum to support children
The role of pedagogical documentation in making learning visible
Top tips and ideas to support children’s wellbeing

Sandi Phoenix: Children's Wellbeing

Phoenix Cups framework
Recognising children’s wellbeing and their needs through their behaviour
Top tips for Cup filling for educators and practitioners

Also some fantastic advice for all aspects of early years education including childminders, Nursery staff and Nannies.

New (School) Year Resolutions
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New (School) Year Resolutions

I always consider the 1st September as my new year, so with that in mind I have been considering what my ‘New Year Resolutions’ may be for the upcoming school year.

1: #JustDoIt

I am guilty for putting off simple tasks and thinking ‘I will just do it later’. The problem being that by the time it is ‘later’ I am either distracted by something else or simply too tired to do it. So my mantra for this year is Just Do it!

Observations need adding to journals? … Just do it!
Sheets to be stuck in books? … Just do it!
Need to tidy my desk? … You get the idea!

These tasks are never as bad once you get started, it is when it builds up that it becomes this massive mountain to conquer.

2: Work/Life Balance

I would imagine this is a top priority/concern for most teachers. I am definitely someone who enjoys searching for new ideas for provision and reading books related to teaching/Early Years but I also find my weekends being taken up by planning and assessment. I really want to make time to focus on something that can completely take my mind off work. Recently I have taught myself how to crochet and have really enjoyed the process of making items, so definitely want to try and continue that at least 3 times during the week. Also, the holidays seem to mark the time I can read … and I certainly try to cram in as many books as I can! During term time I tend to use Audible during the commute to work but often have an additional book on the go on my Kindle – so again, would like to aim for at least 10 minutes a night or for at least 3 nights in the week.

A great app for trying to develop a work/life balance is Fit2Teach. Answer a set of questions about your day and you receive a score, the aim being to remain in the green.

I am pretty rubbish at logging my answers each day so would like to achieve a full month of scores … and being optimistic, maybe even a month of green scores!

Do you have any of your own school year resolutions? Feel free to share them in the comments 😀

Review: Using Characters and Themes to Inspire Early Learning
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Review: Using Characters and Themes to Inspire Early Learning

Main Details:

ISBN-13: 9781138696143 ISBN-10: 1138696145
Authors: Jo Ayers; Louise Robson
Publisher: Routledge
Published: December 2016
Purchase: £18.99 from Routledge

A great selection of themes/activities that tap into children’s interests and really encourage them to  take a lead in their learning. From a teacher’s point of view, the activities were easy to implement into the weekly session and covered several areas of the EYFS.

Continue reading Review: Using Characters and Themes to Inspire Early Learning

Tutorial: Pokemon QR Codes
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Tutorial: Pokemon QR Codes

I have a group of children who are absolutely obsessed with Pokemon Go. We have used wooden blocks as phones and thrown red mobilo in order to catch “Christmas Pikachu”. So what better way to get some engagement in phonics than combining to two!

The idea being that children use iPods with a QR Code reader and ‘catch’ the Pokemon by reading what pops up on the screen!

I have written a tutorial on how I did this and have also included my QR codes as a free download – click below to carry on reading!
Continue reading Tutorial: Pokemon QR Codes