The principles for appropriate pedagogy in early mathematics: Exploration, apprenticeship and sense-making

Catherine Gripton, University of Nottingham, UK Helen J Williams, Freelance Education Consultant, UK Early mathematics pedagogy is about exploration, apprenticeship and sense-making. Exploration: Children and adults enjoy exploring mathematical ideas mentally and physically. Apprenticeship: Children learn through being mathematical with adults, learning mathematical words, ideas and behaviours from them Sense-making: Children make sense of their […]

Decolonising and diversifying the Early Years curriculum

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Chandrika Devarakonda, Associate Professor of Diversity and Inclusion, Faculty of Education and Children’s Services, University of Chester   In this video, Chandrika Devarakonda discusses approaches to decolonising and diversifying the curriculum in early childhood education, including: the actions practitioners can take to decolonise and diversify their practice how we can move beyond tokenism the barriers […]

Ensuring quality interactions for effective language development in the Early Years

Eleanor Milligan, Lecturer in Education, University of East Anglia, UK The importance of language skills It is well evidenced that children’s language development in the Early Years leads to better outcomes for children. Law et al. (2017) showed that communicative development in the Early Years affected not only later language learning but also academic success. […]

What is effective continuing professional development for Early Years teachers to support the acquisition of knowledge and skills?

Jackie Gray, Director of Early Years, Outwood Grange Academies Trust, UK This article reflects on the factors that contribute to effective CPD for Early Years practitioners and the approaches used to improve practitioners’ knowledge and expertise across Outwood Grange Academies Trust (OGAT). Specifically, it looks at: how research into effective teaching has informed our professional […]

The Montessori approach

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Preeti Patel, Head of Education, Montessori Centre International In this interview, Preeti Patel discusses the history and philosophy of the Montessori approach to education, including: the biography and pedagogical ideas of Dr. Maria Montessori the principles of Montessori education the Montessori learning environment in practice.    

Professional learning journeys in early childhood education

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This video captures early childhood education professionals talking about their professional learning journeys, including: their motivation and passion for working in early childhood education and the importance of this educational phase routes into the profession and the importance of professional learning what they love most about working in the early childhood education sector.

Six principles of language development and how to support them in early childhood settings

Lisa-Maria Müller, Chartered College of Teaching This research summary is based on a talk by Prof Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek, which you can access here. Early childhood practitioners have an essential role to play in supporting children’s language development. It is, after all, with them that many children spend most of their waking hours. It is therefore […]

Maximising engagement in the Early Years

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Sayeh Mariner and Matt Shurlock, Essa Primary Academy, Bolton, UK In this video, Sayeh Mariner and Matt Shurlock discuss maximising engagement in early childhood education at their setting in Bolton where 80 percent of learners have English as an additional language. They talk about: actions taken to maximise engagement and address barriers to learning building […]

The role of play in early child development

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Sara Baker, Professor of Developmental Psychology and Education, University of Cambridge, UK In this video, Sara Baker discusses the role of play in early child development, including: how play enables learning myths about play and child development how agency is developed in early childhood.   You can read Sara’s article on this topic in Impact.

Schema theory and early child development

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Christine Parker, Pen Green Teaching School Alliance, UK   In this video, Christine Parker discusses schema theory in early child development, including: learning from and extending Piaget’s presentation of schema theory exploring and researching schema theory in practice to support children with complex needs how schema theory can inform provision in early childhood education.   […]

Our eco plans: A case study

James Boddey, Director of Busy Bodies Child Care Centre, UK In early 2021, our kindergarten decided to make a concerted effort to be more considerate towards the planet, focusing on how we could do more to reduce our waste, to educate children and families on environmental issues and to make small steps towards a brighter […]

Developing a pedagogy focused on interactions – East Sussex County Council’s collaborative research project ‘Interacting with Babies’ (0–18m): An outline of research, interactions and impact on practice

Laura Piper, Early Years Advisor, East Sussex County Council, UK This project aimed to improve practice and introduce research and professional reflection in 36 baby rooms over two years. Each setting had a practitioner lead, with 146 practitioners and 600 babies involved in total. The practitioner leads undertook small-scale research on their self-chosen aspects of […]

How can we improve parental engagement with minority ethnic families?

Tania Choudhury, Sheringham Nursery School Over the years, extensive research has determined just how important parental engagement is at any stage of a child’s development, perhaps more so in the early years. However, there appears to be limited research to capture how schools work to engage minority ethnic families in particular, and more specifically families […]

Supporting a child with a cleft in the Early Years

Daniel Sumner, Totley All Saints CE Primary School, UK Cleft lip and/or palate affects around 1,200 children born each year in the UK – one in 700. Clinical treatment is highly effective and outcomes for these children have improved across many measures in recent years (CRANE, 2020, 2021). However, despite there being no causal relationship […]

Engaging parents in play

Polly Crowther, Co-Founder, Early Insights, ELE, East London Research School, UK What parents do at home makes a huge difference to children’s progress (EEF, 2021). We know that play is a powerful way for young children to learn, and we know that sometimes parents find play difficult (Gutman and Feinstein, 2008). Research into the barriers […]

The value of play in a successful transition from Early Years to Year 1

Rebecca Underwood, Avanti Schools Trust, UK Have you ever been fortunate enough to have watched children play – to observe them captivated in a task that they have complete ownership over? If so, you will fully appreciate the infinite value of play and its major significance as part of a broad and balanced curriculum for […]

Early Years leadership: Creating the enabling conditions for effective professional development

Rebecca Curtis, (Associate Dean, Learning Design) and Helena Moore, (Dean, Learning Design) Ambition Institute The important role that professional development and training can play in raising quality in Early Years provision is well reported (Callanan, 2017; Kalitowski, 2016; Mathers and Smees, 2014, OECD, 2012), just as it is for teaching quality (Fletcher-Wood and Zuccollo, 2020; […]