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About Aberdeen Branch

Established in 1935, the Aberdeen Branch serves Aberdeen City and Shire. The branch provides a forum for those interested in early years education and care to come together to share, experience and learn about development in the early years sector.

The Aberdeen Branch of Early Education was founded in 1935 as the Aberdeen Branch of the Nursery School Association. During its 80 years existence it has provided a rich source of learning and development for practitioners working with young children in the north-east of Scotland.

The Aberdeen branch has organised many conferences – both local and national – attracting speakers and audiences from near and far. 

In 1985, to celebrate the branch’s golden jubilee, a weekend event was held at the picturesque Douneside House near Tarland in Aberdeenshire, where our speakers during the weekend included Prof. Brian Sutton-Smith of the University of Pennsylvania, Marion Dowling (a former President of the Association) and Cynthia James who was, at that time, national chair.

In 1993 and, as recently as 2010, the branch was pleased to host the Association’s annual national conference, when once again the spotlight was on Aberdeen to show off the delights of Aberdeen and Shire, as well as to highlight current early years trends.

Meetings of the Aberdeen Branch take place in a regular venue (the McRobert Building in the University of Aberdeen) and we have found that we can sustain around five meetings in a year. We vary the timings of these meetings in order to fit in with speakers’ availability, and uptake can vary considerably.  In line with many associations, the branch has had its ups and downs, but due to the enthusiasm and determination of committee members over the years, it continues to thrive.

Our plans for the year include:

Further information to come in due course.

Our previous events include:

28th September 2015 - 80th Anniversary Branch Celebration with Professor Tina Bruce CBE

9th November 2015 - Panel Event with Fiona Thomson, Jonathan Revell, Kim Connolly and Mary Morris

22nd March 2016 - Two Year Olds – Relationships and Behaviour with Dr. Kay Mathieson

9th May 2016 - Environmental Games & Outdoor Art with Julia MacKay

20th June 2016 - Seeing the Wood for the Trees with Henry Mathias & Branch AGM

27th June 2016 - Back by popular demand! Environmental Games & Outdoor Art with Julia MacKay

6th September 2016 - Sustaining the Ambition with Aline Wendy Dunlop

26th September 2016 - Discovering, Nurturing and Developing High Ability in the Early Years - with Dr Margaret Sutherland

7th November 2016 - Introducing Loose Parts – mixing some added value into everyday play - with Theresa Casey

27th February 2017 - Forest School: Adventure, Risk and Learning - with Martin Pace

27th March 2017 - Throwing out the Plastic: Constructing an environment which supports the development of high quality creative play - with Catriona Gill

25th April 2017 - Children’s Rights in Early Education and Scotland's National Care Standards Review - with Tam Baillie and Henry Mathias

19th June 2017 - Mucky Boots Outdoor Nursery Visit with Dawn Evans

14th September 2017 - Making Music Meaningful in your Setting with Pamela Hossick and Innes Hearns

2nd October 2017 - Following in Froebel’s Footsteps – leading children’s adventures in nature through risk and challenge with Kathryn Solly

20th November 2017 - Scotland’s New Health & Social Care Standards - with Henry Mathias

26th February 2018 – Messy Maths: A Playful, Outdoor Approach for Early Years - with Juliet Robertson

19th March 2018 - Supporting Children in Block Play - with Catriona Gill

24th April 2018 - Creativity and Woodwork in Early Years Education - with Pete Moorhouse

14th May 2018 - Boys, Boys, Boys - Understanding how boys learn and develop to help them reach their full potential in early years settings - with Nicola Jones

18th June 2018 - Exploring the Natural Play Area & Branch AGM

17th September 2018 - Heuristic Play - with Anni McTavish

Cancelled: 1st November 2018 - Poetry in Early Years - with Julie Douglas

21st November 2018 - Planning in the moment with young children - with Anna Ephgrave

AGM 2018 documents:

Aberdeen Branch Constitution June 2018

AGM 2018 minutes

Aberdeen Branch Team

Chair - Myra McRobbie

Vice-chair - Margaret Darling

Secretary - Jas Shoker

Treasurer - Zoe Sadler 

Past events

21 Nov 2018

Planning in the moment with young children

Speaker(s): Anna Ephgrave

01 Nov 2018

Poetry in early years

Speaker(s): Julie Douglas

17 Sep 2018

Heuristic Play

Speaker(s): Anni McTavish

18 Jun 2018

Exploring the Natural Play Area

Speaker(s): N/A

14 May 2018

Boys, Boys, Boys - Understanding how boys learn and develop to help them reach their full potential in early years settings

Speaker(s): Nicola Jones