If you are looking to commission training, our recommended model is a series of linked sessions in preference to a single day. This allows practitioners to embed their learning and make a long-term difference within their setting. The courses below complement one another and are suggested delivery models for training and development, which can be tailored according to your needs. Our Associates can come up with other bespoke packages of targetted support, or around specific themes, to address any issues you may have.
We currently suggest the following models:
- Developing early writing: a series of three linked sessions with Jasmine Pasch, Anni McTavish and Julie Cigman
- Leadership: a series of three linked sessions with Jane Cook and Fiona Kemp
- Characteristics of Effective Learning series with Julie Fisher, Nancy Stewart and Kym Scott
- Elemental Play and Learning Through Risk, Challenge And Adventure Outdoors - 2 Day Course with Kathryn Solly
- Creativity course series with Nicola Burke, Pete Moorhouse and Anni McTavish
- All you need to know about working in the EYFS - course series with Ruth Moore
You can view the course outlines below:
Session 1 - Becoming an independent writer - with Julie Cigman
• Developmental stages in writing from mark making to writing sentences
• Phonological awareness to phonics
• Opportunities in play and adult-led activities to write simple labels, signs, captions through to writing sentences
• Practical ideas for book-making
• An enabling environment for writing in play, inside and outside
Session 2 - Early physical and sensory development of the child - with Jasmine Pasch
Recognising the importance of movement, dance and play opportunities for babies and young children in the development of firm sensory and motor foundations.
· Exploring the connections between physical movement and brain development, and how this contributes to overall development
· Considering the significant developmental patterns of the first two years of life. What kinds of movement do babies and young toddlers need to do, and how can we support them? (based on the work of Bette Lamont, Seattle USA)
· Looking at children as meaning makers and communicators through story and image as they acquire expressive language
· Making connections with later learning skills needed for school.
· Creating an enabling environment for physical and sensory development inside and out - considering risk, and keeping children safe as they play and grow.
The session will include practical exercises (so come suitably dressed to move).
Session 3 - Becoming an early writer: drawing and mark-making - with Anni McTavish
• Understanding why we write
• Phonological awareness
• The skills involved in early writing
• Oral language to early writing
• Writing for a purpose / Functional literacy
• Developing confidence to put pencil to paper (or other media) (CoEL)
• The role of the adult in modelling,scribing
• An enabling environment for writing in play, inside and outside
All sessions will includesmall group work, whole group discussion, DVD presentations, and case studies.
“Student achievement in a school almost never exceeds the quality of its leadership and management.” Fenton Whelan, Lessons Learned, 2009
This statement is as true for the early years as any other phase of education. The role of the early years leader is both rewarding and challenging in its complexity. We take on our first leadership role on the first day of our practice when we begin working with a nursery nurse or teaching assistant. We develop it as we extend our influence beyond our own classroom to engage with a wider group of parents, teachers, support staff, senior leaders and other professionals – including those from outside education.
This programme builds on the strengths of the early years practitioner, focusing on the knowledge and skills essential for inspirational leadership and effective supervision (a new requirement in the revised EYFS). Using an interactive, coaching style of delivery, each session will include time to acquire new information, develop new skills, provide opportunities for reflection and to plan for practical applications.
Working collaboratively with the course tutor and each other, delegates will:
1. Increase their knowledge, skills and confidence in motivating and engaging an early years team
2.Develop a range of coaching and mentoring techniques to support the development of good and outstanding practice across the team
3.Build knowledge and understanding of how to develop and deliver a quality vision for early years, including managing change and engaging parents
4. Develop effective supervision practice
Whilst it will be possible to book onto individual sessions, each session is designed to complement the others and delegates will benefit from attending all three:
- What kind of a leader do you aspire to be? Inspiration, motivation and the power of emotional intelligence in leading for quality in the early years
- Effective supervision, including the practical development of coaching and mentoring skills
- Positive relationships: engaging other adults, conflict resolution and problem solving
Delegates will be provided with essential and optional reading and gap tasks. Those signing up for all three sessions will also have access to the course tutor by email throughout the course for questions, clarifications and support.
Who should attend?
Early Years Coordinators, Managers and practitioners aspiring to leadership positions in the early years
“Even in the course of last week I find that the skills I’ve gained are impacting positively on the sometimes difficult conversations that arise. I’m more confident, less stressed and surprised by the speed with which resolutions are being reached” Simone, Southwark
· “Really enjoying the course – interactive, safe, sharing, non-threatening.” Lorraine, Greenwich
· “The greatest learning has been the confidence Jane inspired in us and the way she encouraged us all to believe in our potential “ Greenwich
· “Empowering, warm, interesting”
Course Outline for Characteristics of Effective Learning series with Julie Fisher, Nancy Stewart and Kym Scott
Creative and Critical Thinking: challenging children’s ideas and understanding - with Julie Fisher
This course examines one of the EYFS key characteristics of early learning. It considers the differences between creative and critical thinking and explores what provokes children to think in these different ways. Through the use of DVD material it will enable practitioners to consider the impact of resources, the environment and their interactions on children’s thinking, reasoning and understanding.
- Creative and Critical thinking – what are the differences between them?
- How do children demonstrate creative and critical thinking?
- What provokes children’s thinking?
- Having their own ideas/Making links/Choosing ways to do things
- Planting an idea rather than interrogating with questions
- Interactions that support creative and critical thinking
The Power of Play - Ensuring challenge and progression through child initiated learning in the EYFS - with Kym Scott
Explore the vital role of play in young children’s learning during this exciting and interactive course.
· Hear the evidence linking play based learning to the highest outcomes for children, and understand the theory behind this
· Learn how to provide challenging, open ended play experiences which extend children’s thinking and encourage the highest levels of motivation and engagement
· Consider the key role of the adult in sensitively supporting and extending children’s self- initiated learning
· Explore how to develop a rich environment indoors and outdoors, that maximises the potential for learning at the highest levels
· Gain a multitude of ideas for ways of supporting children’s academic learning through exciting, play based experiences that can be cheaply and easily provided
· See numerous visual examples of inspiring practice from schools and settings that have been judged ‘Outstanding’ by Ofsted
· Leave feeling inspired, informed and confident to teach young children the way they learn best
Target audience: nursery and reception teachers, nursery and reception practitioners, teaching assistants, nursery managers, EYFS leaders, subject leaders, senior leaders
Active Learning - with Nancy Stewart
As one of the three Characteristics of Effective Learning, Active Learning holds a central place in firmly putting the child in the driving seat as the agent of their own learning. A strong learner holds a basket of attributes that work together to support lifelong success:
· a growth mindset
· high motivation toward goals that are rewarding for their own sake
· deep involvement, perseverance, seeking and enjoying challenge, bouncing back from difficulty.
Children are powerful learners from birth, but adults play a crucial role in supporting children to maintain their self-belief and motivation to learn. This course will outline theories of motivation, and explore implications for practice in the way we interact with children and the opportunities we provide in the early years.
Elemental Play and Learning Through Risk, Challenge And Adventure Outdoors - 2 Day Course with Kathryn Solly
This two day course is typically spread over consecutive days for Early Years leaders/managers in small groups who are keen to enhance and develop their pedagogical practice outdoors. This can be adapted for separate terms with a gap-task, and to allow for reflection on what has been implemented following the first day.
- To consider different ways of seeing children - powerful, active and adventurous.
- To reflect upon how we can ensure our outdoor spaces provide for these confident risk-takers and adventurers by using the elements and nature.
- To enhance practitioner confidence and practice in challenging children by providing adventurous play with different resources including loose parts.
Day One :
- Presentation of principles, practice and theory of risk, challenge and adventure via outdoor play and learning.
- Exploration of resources and books etc.
- Discussions in groups about outdoor provocations
- Planning next steps
Day Two :
- Feedback by groups as to progress with next steps
- Presentation about outdoor leadership and physicality
- Sharing DVD material
- Exploration of loose parts
- Planning next steps
Enabling musical enviroments with Nicola Burke
This course offers practical ideas to develop and enhance music provision in settings. Participants will be given handouts and introduced to a free online resource which they can use following the session. The session will be practical, interactive, and will draw upon film footage of children’ music making to enable practitioners to further their understanding of children’s musicality.
The session will explore:
- Tuning into children and communicative musicality
- How to create enabling musical environments using instruments
- Auditory environments - how we can use recorded music effectively with young children.
- Effective planning for musical activities linked to the EYFS, supporting all areas of learning through music making
- Observing children’s creative musical play and how to nurture and interact with children’s music making
- How to encourage and support composition
Introducing woodwork in early years education with Pete Moorhouse
Woodwork is hugely popular and provides a rich source of enjoyment as well as learning. The impact is profound and long term. Deep levels of engagement and intense concentration are common and the children often remain involved in their explorations for extended periods. Woodworking allows children many opportunities including; expressing their imagination, problem solving and sustained perseverance with challenging tasks. The learning outcomes have been remarkable and encompass all areas of the EYFS.
This practical session will look at ways in which woodworking can be safely introduced in your early years settings. We will look at the theory and how woodwork meets many learning and development aspects of the EYFS. We will examine the historical context and look at examples from other countries that have been working successfully with wood for many years. There will be explanations of the most suitable tools for young children and instruction on how best to use them. We will look at the most suitable woods. Information on potential suppliers of wood/ tools will be provided. Explanations on how to set up a woodworking area. Suggestions for activities, open-ended explorations and longer term projects. There will be practical elements during the day for practitioners to explore the tools, gain confidence and share the experience of making creations in wood.
From this course you will:
- understand the value and theory of woodwork.
- learn about the historical context of woodwork
- understand the potential of woodwork for creativity and critical thinking
- learn how to introduce woodwork safely, implementing an effective risk assessment.
- understand the most suitable tools for young children and how to use them.
- be confident to develop a woodworking area.
- know where to buy the most appropriate tools and materials
Nurturing creativity through expressive arts and design with Anni McTavish
This one-day training will focus on the arts and how practitioners can nourish children’s creative thinking and learning in this area. As well as taking part in a host of exciting practical activities, participants will review their current practice and the different experiences that fall under the arts and design "umbrella".
Aims of the session:
- Deepen your understanding of what outstanding practice in the arts looks like and how art and design promotes crucial skills and positive dispositions for learning.
- Using the SSTEW (Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being) Scale for 2-5 year olds as a guide, discuss your own practice in the arts, celebrate successes and identify areas for development.
- Take part in a variety of creative arts experiences and discuss how to support children’s creative and critical thinking through the interactions you share.
This course is suitable for any practitioner working with children from birth to 5, for those new to working within this age range and for those looking to refine their practice. Each session can be booked individually, but atttending the whole series will allow you to build on your learning and include gap tasks to help you reflect and apply what the courses have covered.
Each training day will be supported by videos and photographs of children from the trainer’s current setting.
All you need to know about working in the EYFS - Part 1
An opportunity to discuss, explore and consider:
- Developmental needs of our youngest children
- Enabling environments
- The adult role in observing and interacting
- Progress – what does it look like? How could it be recorded?
Gap task: Choose an element of the first day you’d like to develop to bring to the next session.
All you need to know about working in the EYFS - Part 2
An opportunity to share and discuss your story so far. Bring a memory stick with your journey (in the form of a PowerPoint, photos, or other short presentation).
The afternoon session will be looking at early mark marking, drawing and writing:
- Exploring why, when and how children write.
- The environment and resources required to enable this to happen
- The knowledge practitioners need to know about the process of early writing
- Each training day will be supported by videos and photographs of children from the trainer’s current setting.
Gap task: Discuss with your Headteacher/Manager the next steps for development (and bring them to the next session!).
All you need to know about working in the EYFS - Part 3
This final session will reflect on the year as a whole, and consider the next steps for development.
Feedback from Headteachers/Managers will help form the basis of the discussion, and looking at how practice can be exemplified within your school or setting, using the following questions as provocations:
- How can your provision be developed further to follow the interests of the children in your care?
- What do you have in place currently that you would like to change?
- What will you put into place for the next cohort of children?
Fancy commissioning one of these models of delivery? If you have any questions or queries, please do get in touch: we can offer bespoke solutions to your training needs. Just complete our booking enquiry form