Category : Recommended Resources

Recommended Resources

Is it a bird, is it a plane – no, it’s a book!

Superhero play is ever present in most settings, but it can be difficult to accommodate or ensure that learning is taking place.

However, this new book from Nicky Simmons and Ginny Morris, can really help to identify learning. Usefully linked to the EYFS, ‘Enhancing Provision Through Superheroes‘ is arranged into the areas of provision, from outside, maths, literacy to investigation and creative areas. This makes it very easy to use for planning and organising superhero play in the setting.

Read More
Recommended Resources

Anthology of Educational Thinkers – perfect for all practitioners!

I love reading about the different perspectives and pedagogical approaches to young children’s play, learning and development. It is fascinating to me that different people can view the same scene of children playing, but be able to analyse this in many, many different ways.

The more you reflect on different types of pedagogy, the greater your understanding of how children learn, play, grow and develop. It is vital that practitioners don’t fall into the (very easy) trap of ‘We’ve always done it like this’ and forget to reflect on their own practice.

There are some great opportunities for self-reflection and professional development, such as attending conferences, having professional discussions with others in networks or sharing on social media sites. But for quiet, personal reflection there is nothing to beat a great book, especially if it challenges some of your existing thinking.

So, when I received my copy of ‘An Anthology of Educational Thinkers’ written by Sally Featherstone, I was a little nervous that this would just reinforce all my current thinking, giving few opportunities for reflection.

How wrong can you be!

Read More
Recommended Resources

The New SSTEW Scale

The new SSTEW – Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being Scale for 2-5 year olds

SSTEW cover

by Iram Siraj, Denise Kingston & Edward Melhuish

I was very excited to see that there was to be a quality assessment tool for Sustained Shared Thinking and Emotional Well-being (SSTEW). As I’m sure you know, I’m a massive fan of Sustained Shared Thinking, and its benefits, but measuring the quality of Sustained Shared Thinking is massively difficult.

How can you really analyse the quality of interactions, which may only be a few minutes long?

Read More
Articles Recommended Resources

Reducing the paperwork

Whenever I visit settings to do training, or ask practitioners what would make their job role more satisfying, the usual response is “less paperwork”. I have been discussing this with Catherine Lyon, an experienced nursery owner, who has developed her own solution for this problem.

In this guest blog, Catherine explains the rationale for her software as well as its benefits.

I’m also very pleased to tell you that Catherine will be attending the North West EYP/T Development Day on 20th March 2015, in Warrington. Do come along and see Catherine in action.

Read More
Recommended Resources

Early Years Science

I was really excited to be asked to review a new book about science in Early Years.

Inspiring science book image

Science is an often overlooked part of the early year’s curriculum, but most children are natural scientists. They investigate, try new hypotheses, experiment and are tenacious. They are curious, and not yet biased by what is ‘supposed’ to happen, willing to accept the evidence.

However, very few practitioners seem to plan for or develop science in their setting.

Read More
Recommended Resources

My Book: Sustained Shared Thinking

sst-coverSustained Shared Thinking is fundamental to good Early Years practice.
It costs nothing, yet research (via the EPPE project) has shown that it improves outcomes for children by supporting their deep level learning and holistic development.

This book clearly explains what Sustained Shared Thinking is and examines the skills and expertise needed to initiate, encourage and facilitate it. It explores the attitudes, knowledge and understanding that a practitioner in any setting should adopt in order to start or develop successful Sustained Shared Thinking.

Read More
Recommended Resources

My 5 Favourite Books for 3rd Year Students

research booksIt’s the start of the new academic year and I’m getting the usual increase in questions about suitable text books. This year there’s been more questions about third year degree (Level 6) books.

It is very difficult to make recommendations because the books you will need will depend on your third year choices, possibly your choice of dissertation subject matter and the modules or units that your University offers in the third year.

So I have chosen five books here, which I think will cover a wide range of subject areas, whilst being academically at Level 6. They also happen to be personal favourites of mine as well.

Read More
Recommended Resources

Developing as a Reflective Early Years Professional – Book Review

Developing as a reflective EY profI’m thoroughly enjoying the new series from Critical Publishing books. The latest one, Developing as a Reflective Early Years Professional, deals with the highly elusive and complicated concepts of reflective practice and reflection.

Chapter 1 is by Carol Hayes and is all about reflective practice. There are some great examples of a range a reflective models and how these link to early years. One of Carol’s thoughts struck me particularly – the use of the word practitioner suggest ‘doing’. We all know settings (whether Nursery, childminder, nanny or teacher) are all about doing, but maybe there should be times when we consider ourselves thinkers, reflectors or researchers.

Read More
Recommended Resources

Characteristics of Effective Early Learning

This week I have been reading all about the different aspects of the Characteristics of Effective Early Learning, in a book of the same title. This is an excellent book, edited by the very knowledgeable and enthusiastic Helen Moylett.

The book has 8 very different chapters, based around the Characteristics of Effective Learning as described in Development Matters (the underpinning knowledge of child development for the EYFS in England). There is a chapter on each of the 3 characteristics: playing and exploring; active learning and creating and thinking critically.

Read More
1 2 3 4