Plan a School Trip that Works for Everyone

The start of a new academic year means starting to plan the year’s school trips for many. This can be a daunting prospect, especially when the group includes children with SEND. I recently wrote an article for SENCO Magazine, which I hope will help many teachers faced with organising such outings, to plan and execute their visits efficiently and effectively. I have listed my top tips, which include: Researching and choosing your … [Read more...]

Being School Ready Training for Practitioners

Following on from my Assessment Measures Blog in July where I mentioned that we were involved in doing some research with schools about their expectations for children I am glad to report that we have moved the project forward in supporting parents and practitioners in Being School Ready. Our project has involved talking to schools directly, working with parents and providing training for practitioners. We have also created a brand new resource … [Read more...]

How well are the Integrated Reviews going?

 NHS Digital and Ofsted collaborated on the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) and analysed the results. They analysed data gathered following the two year old assessments that all nursery staff are very familiar with. Disappointingly only 12% of eligible children took part — but their outcomes were improving. When there is a smaller sample, statistical data can deliver variable results. They state, ‘limitations may apply to the … [Read more...]

Esther Gray’s 10 essential tips to ensuring a good inspection experience

As an Ofsted veteran of 16 years, I’ve conducted countless inspections and attended many tribunals regarding the Early Years sector of education. So I understand your fears at the thought of an inspection. When you meet the inspector for the first time you will have things in common that will help you have a good day. There will also be things that are unusual or less compatible. How you overcome these is an important part of having a successful … [Read more...]

Childcare Expo Midlands 2017

The last couple of weeks we have started preparation in earnest for our next conference - Childcare Expo Midlands 2017! This included learning how to properly box a tablecloth - if you're not sure how to do that (or, like me, what it even is) then you should absolutely stop by our stand to see (and probably laugh at) my efforts! We're always excited about a conference, but having one on our own doorstep is always the highlight of the year. … [Read more...]

Assessment Measures

We have recently become involved in a project to support parents and children in preparing for the journey to school. We initially thought this was all about the children, but having spoken to several schools it seems it’s as much about the parents as it is the children – who knew! So the project has taken a turn in that direction. The other side of the project though, is considering moderation between schools and settings. This has … [Read more...]

What’s new in the updated Operational Guidance?

I’ve been catching up with recent publications related to the early years over the last few days. So on 17th July, just 5 days before the end of term, the DfE decided that they should publish a revised and updated Operational Guidance.  The Pre-school learning alliance has published A guide to the key changes and so here I will be looking at the implications of some of these for parents and providers. The document has had quite a shake up in … [Read more...]

Closed for Staff Training?

Many nurseries are starting to run training days for their staff teams.  The opportunity to get staff together at a time when they are not already tired from a day at work, is both a positive team building exercise but also a fantastic time to introduce new practice to the nursery.  However, in order to have all staff present you have two choices: run the training on a Saturday (or in the holidays) or close the nursery for a day.  Which of these … [Read more...]

Which First Aid is Right for Me?

As a Paediatric First Aid trainer, I get asked a lot of questions.  Sometimes the questions are easy "Can I let a child sleep after a head injury", sometimes hard "How should we store asthma inhalers in the nursery to allow them to be accessible but also prevent theft?", and sometimes just weird "Why do children with food stuck up their nose smell?".  I often get asked about what First Aid training courses people actually need to attend, in fact … [Read more...]

Fundamental British Values Revisited

Almost two whole years ago Jo wrote this article about Fundamental British Values, it remains the most read post on our website.  Despite the time passing, understanding and guidance of this subject are clearly still lacking.  With the recent events across the country and politicians using British Values in their election campaigns, we thought it might be a good time to look again at just what we need to be doing. Fundamental British Values … [Read more...]