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New blog: Five top pedagogical picks for half term

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Wednesday, 7 February, 2018

Our top pedagogical picks

Here are our five top pedagogical picks chosen from our teaching newsletters to help you to reignite and refuel during half term. They have been chosen to cover a breadth of aspects ranging from leadership, collaboration, early education and wellbeing. Hopefully one or more will appeal. 

Pick and choose from below

  1. Listen to mathermatician Dr Eugenia Chung talk enlighteningly about maths, baking and imagination. For anyone where maths is not quite in your comfort zone, this might help to reframe your ideas about the subject and even give you a new found passion for mathematical learning and teaching. For those of you who love maths, you will love listening to this. After all, maths is everywhere.
  2. Watch the wonderful learning with Reggio Emilia children in this Loris Malaguzzi International Centre video showing how they experience their culture and community on trips into their communal squares and markets. Reggio pedagogy empowers the voice of the child. When we create time and space to listen, children can often say the most remarkable things to enlighten us about their learning processes.This is something we can all be enriched by.
  3. Consider this paper on Collaborative professionalism by Dr Andy Hargreaves and Dr Michael T. O'Connor. I believe that the ten tennets on pages 3-5 in the executive summary are useful markers for our work in education as we continue to innovate and inspire. It might encourage you in advancing towards greater 'collaborative profesionalism'. The paper was presented at the #ICSEI conference that I caught on Twitter (a great place for CPD). The ICSEI is the International Congress for School Effectiveness and Improvement offers an international perspective and their conference papers and keynotes are available on their website.
  4. Browse the Creative thinking and learning project written by Anni Mactavish (free to download). The project booklet shares the creative processes experienced by the learning community at Sheringham nursery school and its partner settings and there are plenty of ideas in the second half of the book for creative learning and activities for practice. The book explains and promotes creating and thinking critically which is a characteristic of effective learning, as outlined on page 5 of Development matters in the EYFS guidance material. 
  5. Explore a Highway Rat trail at a nearby Forestry Commission site (England). If you enjoyed watching The Highway Rat animation and reading the book (excellent for rhyme) then this could be just right for you. Or follow your own trail in local woods, which will do wonders for your wellbeing and if you needed more justification read How nature is good for our health and happiness. For activities and events thorughout the UK Natural resources WalesForestry commission Scotland and Discover Northern Ireland also give helpful information. For more on being outdoors in early years you can see our outdoors and active free resource or look up the outside blogs from Kierna Corr. Getting outside is good for you and it is essential for children. 

If you would like to recieve our teaching newsletters which we share with members, nursery school teaching schools and their partner settings every month, become a member of Early Education. For more refueling and information on early years teaching, take a look at our members' pedagogic pages.

About Early Education

Early Education is a national charity supporting early years practitioners with training, resources and professional networks, and campaigning for quality education for the youngest children. We believe every child deserves the best possible start in life and support to fulfil their potential. A child’s experience in the early years has a major impact on their future life chances.  

Our charity was founded in 1923. Over 90 years later we continue to remain committed to supporting families and the professional development of all those working in early childhood education to ensure effective early childhood education experiences of the highest quality for all children across the United Kingdom. Today, there is an increasing awareness that the earliest years of a child’s life are the foundation for future life chances and achievement.  A secure, safe and happy childhood is important in its own right, and provides the foundation for children to make the most of their abilities and talents as they grow up.


Cathy Gunning is pedagogic lead at Early Education. She is an accredited coach mentor with the Centre for Educational Leadership at the University of Hertfordshire and also works part time as early years lead for a teaching school. Cathy has previously been a primary teacher, early years coordinator and day nursery manager. Her pedagogy was nurtured and inspired during her time as an early years advisory teacher and whilst studying for a masters degree in early years education with care. Most recently she was a nursery school headteacher where she developed and led an integrated centre for 10 years with a multi-talented team. As a reflective practitioner Cathy enjoys continually learning about effective pedagogy in early education and refining her own through research, practice and collaboration.

You can find Cathy on twitter or email her at