Tag Archives: CPD

Articles

Early Years TV is here!

I’m really pleased to be able to announce my exciting new venture: Early Years TV.

Over the last few months we’ve been beavering away behind the scenes to create what I hope will be a wonderful resource for professional development for all Early Years practitioners and educators. It’s a weekly “TV show” where I interview some of the leading experts in Early Years who share their top tips and ideas – all for free.

We cover topics like practitioner’s well-being, nurturing your staff, scheme & schema, safeguarding and workplace diversity, all the way through to leadership and management, health inequalities, news updates, and sometimes simply examples and stories to inspire you.

Each interview is posted at 6pm on Friday evening (UK time) and is available to watch completely free for a week, until the next episode is posted.

If you sign up to get updates, you will get an email to let you know which video is on now and what is coming up in the next episode. You can unsubscribe from this at any time.

In the very near future, we’ll be offering a monthly membership, where, for a small fee, you will be able to access the previous videos from the library back catalogue as well as watch the current videos for as long as you are a member. You can buy Lifetime Membership now, which is a one-off payment for all videos, forever – and there’s a FREE Early Years TV notebook and pen for the first 100 Lifetime Members!

We do hope you enjoy Early Years TV, find it inspirational and useful for your practice with the children.

For more information and sign up:
https://www.earlyyears.tv/

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Training Courses

University of Chester Conference, 3rd July 2015

ChildrenI was delighted to hear of another Conference being held in the North West of England. It is an International Conference and is a partnership between the University of Chester and International Early Years, on Friday the 3rd of July at the University of Chester’s Warrington campus.

The focus of the day is the ‘Business of Early Childhood’ and will explore new international perspectives on:

  • Early Childhood leadership
  • Interdisciplinary Thinking
  • Social Impact
  • Engagement with Business

The cost of the day is £125. You can find more information and booking details at:

** The conference is now over **

For further information, contact: c.macdonald@chester.ac.uk

Image by: ann_jutatip

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Viewpoint

EYPS New Standards and Reviews

The new EYPS Standards have been unveiled.

The 39 have been reduced to 8, with subclauses. They can be found here

On the whole, they reflect the previous Standards, but without the confusing overlap and repetition. There is a logical progression (almost Bronfenbrenner-like) through the Standards, culminating in the all important leadership aspect. Most satisfyingly they are NOT just a rehash of the QTS standards!

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Recommended Resources

Great ideas for using Twitter for your CPD

Twitter and your CPD

Twitter and your CPD

As time goes on I’m finding more and more that I’m turning to Twitter for my CPD for the latest news, reviews, reports and information.

Twitter has 6 distinct advantages over traditional ‘Googling’ or checking websites obsessively:

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Viewpoint

More Sources of Information

More sources of information

A large part of being a good practitioner – whether an EYP or Level 3 – is keeping up to date with information. If you are also studying for a qualification, such as a Foundation Degree or BA, it is essential to have reliable, good quality materials to hand.

With this in mind, I have gathered together a range of web-based sources of information that will support your own Continued Professional Development (CPD) and help on your course.

First up is the perennial Times Educational Supplement (TES), which can be found here.

This site has just completed its update to reflect the revised EYFS and has some really useful links for each area of Learning and Development. It also includes a professional and pedagogical Development button with great resources for preschool and Reception aged children.

Next is the amazing TED site, which can be found here.

Some fascinating, thought provoking talks by the very best in their area. Short of time – look for the ‘under 6 minute’ lectures. The full lectures are only around 15 minutes.

Search for “children” and you will find lectures on ideas as diverse as ‘how children teach themselves’, Alison Gopnik talking about babies, ‘5 dangerous things you should let your children do’, Steven Pinker discusses the thorny issue of nature vs nurture and, of course, Sir Ken Robinson on creativity, education and his unique view of life.

Caution: Do this on a day when you have plenty of time – the lectures are totally addictive and you may find several hours have gone by when you surface!

David Renfree has guest blogged for me on here before, but I would like to spotlight a really useful resource that David has developed, which he describes as “A search engine for finding reliable information on Early Years, Education and Social / family policy” .

By gathering a range of relevant sites, David has created a customised search engine, so you know that the results are going to be relevant to Early Years.

For example, put “scaffolding” into Google and then use David’s search on the right hand side of his site . See the difference?!

Just to change directions for a minute, if you are preparing to do some action research for your course, you may be interested in the national children’s bureau’s (ncb) Guidelines for Research with Children and Young People.

As well as the guidelines there are some very interesting models of involvement and further reading ideas.

Staying with interesting course material, check out the early childhood research and practice site where there are hundreds of peer reviewed journals. This is an American based organisation, but don’t let this put you off. It’s great for global perspectives and the tricky compare and contrast essays.

Whilst on the compare and contrast theme, the Open Early Years Education (Open EYE) campaign site here has some alternative viewpoints on the EYFS, amongst other things.

Finally, a bit of an unusual one for you. Try checking out BBC iplayer and search “child”. There have been a number of very interesting radio and TV programmes that offer views of childhood around the world and can be referenced in assignments.

Hopefully these will provide you with plenty of reading material.

If you have a favourite website, why don’t you let me know?

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Recommended Resources

Fabulous Resources

As a trainer and lecturer, I’m always on the look out for resources that will support best practice in settings as well as resources that will make my lectures and tutorials interesting.

In the last week, just like buses, I have come across not one, but two exceedingly good resources.

The first is from ‘in the picture’, who are already well known for their training and information videos and DVDs. They have now branched out into some eye-catching booklets, the most recent of which is ‘Spot the Schema’*.

Schemas are a fascinating part of children’s development. By spotting schemas practitioners, parents and carers can support children’s learning more effectively and make sense of seemingly unconnected behaviour.

However, some of the standard texts about schema can be highly academic and this can sometimes discourage people from finding out more about this extremely interesting subject.

The “Spot the Schema” booklet produced by in the picture solves this problem wonderfully. The booklet is beautifully produced, in an easy to read format, in bright colours. Eight of the most common schemas are covered, including transporting and enveloping.

Each schema has a double page spread with signs to look out for, irritating behaviours and, most importantly, things you can do to extend learning and thinking. These are laid out in a stylish way and accompanied by some charming photographs of children playing.

But the real beauty of this booklet is its accessibility. Practitioners with little or no knowledge of schema can use this booklet immediately. Each schema is explained clearly with some really practical activities, which can be incorporated into the daily routines. The ‘signs to look out for’ sections summarise the salient points for each schema, including the children’s learning and development opportunities.

Particularly useful are the ideas for outings. All too often the advice given to practitioners concentrates on activities within the setting, without exploring the rich learning opportunities on trips and visits. These ideas are deceptively simple, but are the sorts of things that children would remember for a long time afterwards, such as watching marching in parades or visiting a train station. My son still remembers the elephant weeing at the zoo….

There is also a comprehensive reading list for those practitioners and parents who would like to read further about schema.

This booklet is suitable for those just coming across schematic play for the first time, as well as experienced practitioners, parents and carers who are looking for new ideas to support their children’s learning. The high production quality values will ensure that it will become a resource that I will be using time after time.

The second resource is on another subject close to my heart – the under 3s. Produced with Nursery World, this set of DVDs, entitled Enhance Active Learning When Working with under 3s, is a set of 4 DVDs aimed at supporting sensory play, communication and language, music rhymes and story telling and physical activities.

Each DVD also includes a power point as well as examples of good practice.

I feel these DVDs will bring life and demonstrate good practice well, both on training courses and during lectures. The presentation is very upbeat and not too ‘teachery’ – just what you need on a late night course!

If you have already used either of these resources, why not leave a comment and tell everyone what YOU think about them?

* Disclaimer: Victoria from in the picture sent me an advance, complimentary copy of this booklet to do the review.

The image comes from Jeffrey Beall Thanks, Jeffrey.

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EYPs – what’s next for Continued Professional Development?

CPD Beyond the EYP: What are the Options?

I achieved my EYP status in 2008 and since then the nature of my work has changed completely. I am now much more focused on training and coaching other practitioners and so recently I was prompted to think about the next steps in my continued professional development. From talking with other EYPs and from discussions at our Cheshire EYP network, it seems I’m not the only one doing so.

Most people fall into one of two camps: those who have an interest in broadening and deepening their knowledge and those who now find their new job roles as EYPs are calling for new skills.

New Skills for a New Role

Depending on their role and the size and organisation of their setting, EYPs may need a variety of new skills.

Leadership and management. These courses are particularly relevant for EYPs who have taken on management responsibilities within their setting as part of the EYP role.

Train the trainer and Presentation skills. Many EYPs are now finding that they are taking a training and development role for their staff, having never been taught to train adults. In house training can be a particularly valuable and cost effective tool for raising the standard of practice within a setting.

Recruitment and selection. Some EYPS will already be familiar with recruitment of other staff, but others, particularly those who have been employed for the first time as an EYP, may find this a particularly daunting part of the job.

Innovation, change, creativity and reflective practice. This is a core set of skills for the EYP who is a leading change agent in their setting. Reflective practice is a good place to start innovation and change. It is also vital that new ideas and practice needs to be coupled with sustainability.

Mentoring and coaching skills. The best settings will always be encouraging practitioners with their own CPD. By involving the EYP as mentor and/or coach within the setting there are mutual benefits. It’s great CPD for the EYP and the practitioners being mentored will benefit.

Assessing, mentoring and moderating. Some Universities approach their EYPs to come back and assess on the EYP course. This has the benefit of the assessor having firsthand experience of the amount of time and work which goes into achieving the Status.

Broadening and Deepening Your Knowledge

Some EYPs may want to become an expert on specific subjects such as schemas or see a future career as trainers, lecturers or researchers. For them, more advanced qualifications, such as the DTLLS, may be appropriate.

Masters degree. Some EYPs find that they have developed specific interests and would like to pursue these in more depth. The setting will benefit from having a highly knowledgeable practitioner who can lead practice in that area.

Research. Research studies are invaluable to moving our knowledge forward about children’s learning and development. Universities and institutes such as the Max Planck institute may have research opportunities for EYPs to investigate an area of interest or particular relevance to their work.

How to Decide What to do Next

But how do you decide your CPD route?

First you have to consider the needs of your current role. Are there any skills gaps, what are you being expected to do? If you find that your role has changed, but you have received no training, then the skills route would be most suitable.

Next you need should consider how your future career may develop and how your CPD could lay the foundations for this. Would you like to move into a management role or possibly become a mentor and coach for other EYPs? This may need a combination of skills updating as well as some more academic qualifications.

Finally you should have an interest in the subject area. We all know that children learn best when they are doing something they are interested in and in my experience, it’s even more true of adults.

Note

There have been a number of updates to the Standards, requirements and Government policy.  The Early Years Professional Status has been replaced with a new Status – Early Years Teacher Status – which still has 8 Standards, but you now have to hold GCSE maths, English and science to do the course.

In addition, you have to pass the professional skills tests. You can find out more information from the Government website here

* Image courtesy of Lumax Art

 

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