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#ECSeries: Getting the Best Out of Boys (under 5) with Trefor Lloyd

Getting the Best Out of Boys (under 5)

Gender differences have usually been put down to brain size; the different speed of development; testosterone, and other biological differences. However, recent neuroscience findings have questioned many of these old theory assumptions and offer an alternative way of looking at the issues and the implications on day-to-day practice.

This session has been designed for those early years professionals who want to get the best out of boys.

Participants will leave with:

  • An increased understanding of boys’ development and gender differences;
  • An increased confidence in engaging and getting the best from boys.

The presentation will cover the following:

  • What do the achievement statistics tell us? – boys don’t underachieve, but some boys do, and it’s more complex than just gender. This isn’t about bringing boys into school later; changing learning styles and male role models, but about characteristics.
  • Early Years understandings of boys and gender – too often, still stuck in a nature/nurture framework, with delayed development, or social learning theory. This often results in us manoeuvring around boys’ biology (more play outside, or waiting until they are ready for formal school, or waiting for them to catch up).
  • Boy learning characteristics – a brief look at our Track-back investigation, where we looked for characteristics that underachieving boys shared in early years.
  • Brain plasticity and habit formation – why Early Years intervention can change characteristics, that could lead to underachievement.
  • Examples of intervention – including boys with too much NO in them, too much emotion and very limited language.


Further Reading


Brain plasticity:

Early Years:

Our Presenters

Trefor Lloyd has a long experience of carrying out research and investigations (usually leading to projects). He has, over the years, researched, developed and delivered a range of programmes targeting boys and young men, primarily in schools, but also youth services, criminal justice and community settings.

He has written a number of books, reports, research findings, articles and other materials about health, adolescence, parenting, masculinity and development.

While his background is in child development, he could be described professionally as 1 part researcher and evaluator; 4 parts programme developer and deliverer; 2 parts writer and trainer, and 1 part library and statistics geek.

His current work includes developing and delivering interventions targeting boys (and their families) who are struggling to settle in Reception and Year 1 (Stand Out Children Project), and supporting Primary schools in their management of children’s behaviour (particularly boys).

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