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Carlisle and Eden

About Carlisle and Eden Branch

A long-established branch which covers northern Cumbria/Penrith areas. We run a full annual programme of meetings and sessions on a wide variety of early years themes. Our conference in March is always well-attended and provides an opportunity to meet other practitioners from the North-West. Our Branch committee is long-serving and is representative of different early years sectors.

We hold a twilight session each school term, usually at 7.30pm. The sessions are held in schools, private nurseries and childrens’ centres and occasionally in forests or puppet theatres! We try to vary the venues each year so that meetings are accessible to all. These twilight sessions have a variety of themes and are often practical in their nature with ideas for you to take back to your settings. Sometimes we have a forum for discussion or updates about national/local initiatives which impact on Early Years settings. Pre-Booking is not usually required for twilight sessions.

In November each year we hold a Saturday morning seminar at Tullie House in Carlisle. We have a guest speaker, often from out-of-county and in the past we have covered themes such as schemas, planning through child-initiated interests and using recycled materials to enhance creativity. Booking forms would normally go out about a month before.

In March we hold our annual conference in the Penrith area. Again, delegates have the opportunity to hear at least two high-quality speakers, often of national acclaim, as well as viewing exhibitors’ stands and buying books and resources. For catering purposes, all places on the March conference need to be booked, and forms usually go out several weeks before the event to those settings on our emailing list or through the school portal system.

Our plans for the year include: 

5th February 2018 - “Bees, Bugs and Butterflies” - Setting out an outdoor habitat to encourage wildlife - with Dave Caryl

3rd March 2018 - Annual Cumbria Conference - Communication Friendly Spaces - with Elizabeth Jarman

9th May 2018 - The Value of Physical Play

26th June 2018 - Capturing the Moment—capturing children’s learning through photos and videos - with Mark McKiernan

For more information, please see our flyer of events 2017-18.

Our past events include:

7th October 2015 - Supporting Children’s Creativity through music, exploring media and fostering imagination - with Veronica Broyd, Catherine Reding and Allyson Jenyon

28th November 2015 - Is Education in the Foundation Stage better in Scandinavia? - with Barbara Kenny

2nd February 2016 - "The Essence of Childhood" - Exploring child development

5th March 2016 - "Igniting the Spark!" - Maths, Risk and Challenge - with Elaine Bennett and Kathryn Solly

4th May 2016 - Mud Kitchens!

2nd July 2016 - Annual Day Trip! 

5th October 2016 - "Childhood Obesity – from the Inside, Out!" - with Alex Pearson

8th February 2017 - “Building Brains through Sensory Play” with Anne O'Connor

4th March 2017 - Annual Cumbria Branch Conference, with keynotes from Kym Scott on the "Power of Play - How to ensure challenge and progression through play and practical experience, and Lee Owston HMI: ‘Teaching and Play in the Early Years—a balancing act’

10th May 2017 - An Introduction to consulting with children using the Floorbook approach - with Kay Rooks

20th May 2017 - “Making my own mark...naturally!” - with Paddy Beels

29th June 2017 - Visit to James Rennie Specialist Communication and Interaction College, with Headteacher Kris Williams

3rd October 2017 - Opportunities for children to experience multiculturism in a meaningful way - with Barbara Kenny

25th November 2017 - Sing A Song—Tell A Tale! - with Anni McTavish

Carlisle and Eden Branch Team

Chair: Helen Mitchell 
Secretary: Amanda Wakefield
Treasurer: Natalie Sealey


Past events

05 Feb

Bees, Bugs and Butterflies - Setting out an outdoor habitat to encourage wildlife

Speaker(s): Dave Caryl

25 Nov

Sing a Song – Tell a Tale!

Speaker(s): Anni McTavish

03 Oct

Opportunities for children to experience multiculturism in a meaningful way

Speaker(s): Barbara Kenny

29 Jun

Tour of James Rennie School, Carlisle

Speaker(s): Kris Williams

20 May

Making my own mark…naturally!

Speaker(s): Paddy Beels