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AGM & Autumn Conference 2018: "I am 5 and I know everything"


Saturday 10 November 2018


Early bird rate: £75 members, £95 non-members - extended until 28th September
Standard rate: £90 members, £120 non-members - if booked after 28th September


Our Autumn Conference will showcase the latest research evidence about how children learn, including the development of language and communication in infancy and early childhood; will challenge us to think how we can value and protect opportunities for playing and learning in real social situations in early years settings, and will give concrete examples of how schools are already using well-established tools such as Helicopter Stories to support language and literacy development in ways in a principled and evidence-based way.  Join us to hear how Early Education will campaign to ensure any changes to the EYFS don’t jeopardise the quality of early years curriculum and pedagogy, and be part of the discussion of how the sector can let government hear its concerns loud and clear.

9.00 Registration opens

9.30 Annual General Meeting*

10.30 Refreshments and networking

10.50 Welcome and introductions
Professor Cathy Nutbrown, President of Early Education

11.00 Playing in and about life experiences
Rod Parker-Rees, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Plymouth

Children spend a lot of time learning about life experiences in the rather strange environments we design especially for them, but most will spend more time learning in the flow of daily life in and around home and family. Rod will focus on what research can tell us about different kinds of learning and knowing, focusing on the “soft” knowledge which we gather from social interactions and which informs our ability to predict and understand other people’s behaviour. This soft knowing can be much more difficult to record and quantify than more stateable “hard” knowledge. This makes hard knowledge more valuable to policy makers, curriculum planners and inspectors who need to be able to ignore the local peculiarities of particular contexts. Rod will consider the implications for how we can value and protect opportunities for playing and learning in real social situations in early years settings. We have to learn (together) how we can play the system.

12.00 Waiting to be asked…
Isla Hill, Education Director, Make Believe Arts and Bonnie Mendoza, Reception teacher

The minute children are introduced to Helicopter Stories they take to it as though they have just been waiting to be asked to tell their story. Isla will talk about the impact of Helicopter Stories on 5 year olds, including input from Helicopter Stories Champion, Bonnie Mendoza, Reception teacher with years of experience using the approach in her school.

13.00 Lunch

13.45 Communication, Language and Foundations for Literacy: The Early Years
Professor Usha Goswami, University of Cambridge

In this talk, Usha will give an overview of some of the recent research into the development of language and communication in infancy and early childhood, highlighting the fundamental importance of having conversations with young children. She will also give an overview of recent work in educational neuroscience, showing the core role of rhythm and rhyme in early language processing, with important implications for the acquisition of literacy.

14.45 Reclaiming our early years curriculum: a conversation about ways forward

16.00 Close

The programme and timings may be subject to change.

* The AGM is free to attend.  Please indicate below if you plan to attend the AGM in addition to the Autumn Conference.  If you wish to attend the AGM but will not be attending the conference, please email us.

Rod Parker-Rees
Isla Hill
Usha Goswami
Event type: 
AGM & Seminar
Middlesex University, College Building, The Burroughs, London NW4 4BT
Saturday, 10 November, 2018

Standard rate: £90 members, £120 non-members 

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