Category Archives: Early Years

The Secret Forest Club

In what I feel is a beautiful synchronicity, I get to see the preschool children every week from my study window. All that work we have put into making Forest Club happen has come to fruition. The funding and the … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Early Years, Forest Club, Language, Learning, Play | 3 Comments

Scope for Efficiencies

I often look at government reports and think to myself “hang on a sec, that’s not right”. Nowhere more so than when I look at some of the government’s pronouncements on the early years sector. If you are a parent, … Continue reading

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The Empty Space

Our preschool is a packaway We build the space anew each day Some aspects hold the same a while While others change to make us smile. We have a cupboard, organised To keep the little ones surprised Who knows what … Continue reading

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Wherefore Art Thou Wilshaw?

“Let me be clear: what the poorest children need is to be taught, and well taught, from the age of two.” Michael Wilshaw I’m not really sure where to start with Michael Wilshaw’s speech, made as he announced the publication … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Early Years, Ofsted, Teaching and learning | 3 Comments

There is *No Such Thing* as Free Childcare

In a neat irony, while news of the Tory Party’s “30 hours of free childcare” pledge was breaking on Twitter, I was at a preschool meeting begging for funds to keep our setting open. Our tiny local charity is so … Continue reading

Posted in Early Years | 4 Comments

Ask Sam

Yesterday, the new Childcare Minister Sam Gymiah gave a speech to Policy Exchange about how he sees the future of childcare, and why he wants more schools to offer childcare provision for two-year-olds. At the moment, the school sector makes … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Early Years, Schools | 8 Comments

Sh – ee – p

J: Ssh … ssh … [he holds his finger to his lips] N: Why do we have to be quiet? Sue: Because we don’t want to wake the monster that lives under the ground. That’s our game. We’re playing together. … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Early Years, Play | 5 Comments

How (NOT) to Learn through Play

“Play: to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose” According to Ofsted, this is what learning through play looks like. In the first video, the teacher presents the children with ready made police hats, … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Early Years, Play | 6 Comments

Play is …

It would be hard to overstate the importance of play in children’s learning and development. Play is … * the way that children interact with and consequently learn about their world; * vital for developing language and acquiring new vocabulary; … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Creativity, Early Years, Learning, Play, Preschools | 18 Comments

Fluffy Ducks All in a Row

In the early years we have a term: ‘Fluffy Duck Syndrome’. It is very useful to understand what this term means when discussing the ‘best’ methods for young children’s learning. ‘Fluffy Duck Syndrome’ describes a situation where the adults decide … Continue reading

Posted in Children, Creativity, Early Years, Sustained shared thinking | 11 Comments