Food for thought: Body Story, Brave New World 🧠👶🏻💕

The ‘Newton Oakley Education: Food for Thought’ series aims to provide you with learning sparks and talking points to share in staff meetings, training or in your professional library.

The award-winning series Body Story reveals the biological drama behind six critical moments in human lives. You can find the episode on birth and the earliest stages of child development below.

Read More »

Lockdown CPD: relationships, baby brains and emotional well-being (reading)

Super research summaries, infographics and resources from the Parent-Infant Foundation on promoting the emotional well-being of our youngest children.

The Parent-Infant Foundation works to achieve their vision of all babies having a sensitive, nurturing relationship. They do this through specialised parent-infant relationship teams, quality networks of parent-infant relationship teams and work to give babies and services that work with them a voice which shapes the national and local policy and practice agenda.

Topics include:

Click here if you would like to enquire about commissioning training (set topics or bespoke), coaching or supervision packages or consultation work delivered remotely.

Lockdown CPD: Babies (Netflix)

“From first breath to first steps, this docuseries explores a decade of groundbreaking science that reveals the emotional and astounding story of a baby’s first year of life.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3HuD9Ehb_0

This accessible series combines lovely snapshots of real families in the first year of their babies’ life, with commentary and insights from researchers.

From familiar research on early language development and attachment, to more recent breakthroughs in early motor skills and nutrition; you’ll find something fascinating!

You can find it by searching for ‘Babies’ in Netflix or following this link.

If you are seeking highly tailored continuous professional development during a period of self-isolation or the temporary closure of your setting, we can help! We are offering reduced rates on online consultation, training and coaching during this difficult time. Find out more here.

Ask Kate: reclaiming the word ‘classroom’

I’ve recently been asked why I refer to our woods as the “woodland classroom” and why I insist on calling our infant unit a classroom too. The question had overtones of “let children be children” but actually, my reasoning for using the phrase “classroom” to describe the environments my pupils spend their time in is both full of reverence for the importance of early childhood experiences and an attempt to communicate that.

This is not about schoolification, this is about reclaiming the word ‘classroom’ to communicate in a way that is readily understood by laymen that children are learning in my setting. Babies, toddlers and older children are learning (through play!) all the time, in all environments (even when you don’t want them to!) – and the word classroom in its purest form is a place where you learn, gain experiences and engage in experiences. Yes, my pupils also benefit from warm, responsive staff in classroom who carefully scaffold their learning – but we also have the ethos that no child can grow and learn until they feel safe and secure first.

In the same way that Forest School uses the semantics of the word ‘school’ to communicate the important ‘work’ (Maria Montessori definition) children undertake within that space – so I use words to raise the profile of the incredible development, growth and tenacity my children exhibit every day in my classrooms. Until early childhood is universally understood to be vital and foundational to all other learning (tied up with early years profession’s perception, worth and value – I suspect!), I use the words that communicate this.

Let me know your thoughts on this – do you have particular words in your setting that you use for their wider meaning rather than their perceived restrictions?

Speech and Language in the Early Years INSET

Speech and Language in the Early Years

In Setting Training Agenda – 2012

The aim of this training is to support and develop practitioners’ understanding of children’s speech, language and communication development, knowledge of normal patterns of development, monitoring practices, effective multi-agency working, fostering parental partnerships and best practices when working with children with communicative difficulties.Read More »