In it for the long haul: Building trusting relationships with parents

Jean Gross, independent consultant and author, UK  Nicola Noble, co-headteacher, Surrey Square Primary School, UK; Trustee, Magic Breakfast, UK Liz Robinson, Co-Director, Big Education, UK; Trustee, National Literacy Trust, UK A large body of research (Castro et al., 2015) has found substantial associations between students’ attainment and the extent of their parents’ engagement with their […]

A reflection on how and why we changed our Key Stage One learning environments

Mary Norton, Key Stage 1 Team Leader, Warden House Primary School, UK Introduction The more we considered the transition – from Reception to Year 1 – of a small group of children with specialist support, the more we questioned our practice for all children in our setting and researched the need for change. This article […]

‘I did it!’: Valuing resilience in the Early Years

Verity Downing, Early Years Practitioner and Doctoral researcher, UK Practicing resilience is an ongoing and ever-changing life project, yet, by the time students leave the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and progress to Key Stage 1, it is expected that they will be ‘confident to try new activities and show independence, resilience and perseverance’ (Early […]

Decolonising and diversifying the curriculum in Early Years settings: A case study

This case study is part of a series of short online learning courses on decolonising and diversifying the curriculum. Chartered College of Teaching members can access this learning for free. This is a case study from Module 4, ‘Approaches to decolonising and diversifying the curriculum’, of a series of 6 online courses. The module includes a variety […]

How are schools adopting pedagogies of play in Key Stage 1? Findings from research into practices of play at the transition and beyond

Polly Crowther, Co-Founder, Early Insights; Evidence Lead in Education, East London Research School; Teacher, UK Victoria Blake, Development Lead, Teach First, UK Rebecca Webster, Senior Lecturer and Primary School Teacher, UK We know that ‘Play is one of the most important ways in which young children gain essential knowledge and skills’ (UNICEF, 2018, p. 7), […]

Smarter by nature: Does research suggest that young brains can be nurtured by nature? If so, why hasn’t this influenced school curriculum and pedagogy?

GEMMA GOLDENBERG, PHD RESEARCHER, UEL, UK; RESEARCH AND LEARNING SPECIALIST, CHARTERED COLLEGE OF TEACHING, UK My first teaching job was at an inner-city primary school with a tarmac playground on the rooftop because there wasn’t enough space at ground level. Despite the lack of nature on site, it felt counterintuitive to persuade children to sit […]

Integrating the local context into the curriculum to support students with the transition from ‘Understanding the World’ in the EYFS to history in Key Stage 1

Verity Downing, Early Years Practitioner and Doctoral Researcher, UK Stuart Boydell, Key Stage 1 Teacher, Chartered History Teacher and Historical Association Primary Committee member, UK The 2021 academic year saw the new ‘Development matters’ (DfE, 2021) come into force. In light of this, teachers were encouraged to consider how they create a bespoke Early Years […]

Tackling disadvantage: Embedding change within Early Years settings, through high quality professional development and sharing of knowledge through a cascade framework

LYN CHALLENDER, EDUCATION DEVELOPMENT TRUST, UK Early Years interventions for less advantaged children are hugely important for promoting children’s success later in their education and into adulthood, and the role that Early Years practitioners play is critical. The Early Years Professional Development Programme (EYPDP) is a two-year initiative, funded by the Department for Education (DfE) […]

Facilitating a broad and balanced curriculum during distance learning

Context Ryders Hayes is a two-form entry primary school with students aged two to eleven, from pre-school to Year 6. The school has 472 students on roll and is located in the Midlands, UK. Eighteen per cent of students are currently eligible for Pupil Premium funding. The school is predominantly a white-British school with about […]

Reading stories to support distance learning in the early years

Context St Nicholas Church of England Primary School and Nursery is situated on the edge of some ancient woodland in central Hertfordshire in the new town of Stevenage. The school has 220 pupils on roll spread across the seven parishes, most of whom come from the immediate catchment area, which is a relatively poor socio-economic […]

Home learning packs during distance learning

Context Ludwick is a large (200 place), maintained nursery school in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire. It is situated in the Peartree ward, which is an area of social and economic disadvantage. The school has a high number (20%) of children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and a high number of children eligible for […]

Pedagogy and possibility thinking

Cremin T, Burnard P, Craft A (2006) Pedagogy and possibility thinking in the early years. International Journal of Thinking Skills and Creativity 1(2): 108–119. Introduction  It is important that children and young adults learn how to think creatively and innovatively. But what does creative thinking look like and how do you teach it? This exploratory […]

The importance of the early years

Watch the 2 minute video below about the importance of the early years. Marian Adejokun is founder of ReachOut2All, UK. In this video, Marian speaks about the impact of good early years education. Take some time to reflect on their perspective. How do these views compare to your own?

What makes the biggest difference to a child’s success in early learning?

Chartered College of Teaching ¬∑ What makes the biggest difference to a child’s success in early learning?   What makes the biggest difference to a child’s success in early learning? This is a key question, especially now that we are in the middle of the COVID-19 crisis and children’s early education is being disrupted. It’s […]

How our school developed a stretch and challenge mindset in the Early Years

stretch education elastic band

Learning something new is a challenging process; it requires the learner to take risks, make mistakes, often fail before succeeding and requires persistence and empathy.  In an attempt to move towards a more learning centred system, where mistakes are celebrated and learnt from and challenge is the norm, we began to develop “growing our brains” […]

Early Years case study: Applying effective assessment principles to best support a child

Sand play early years

In Early Years (EY), we are often proud to say that assessment, particularly Assessment for Learning (AfL), is something that we do well. With the expectations on how EY practitioners guide and assess children’s learning clearly articulated in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), assessment is done primarily in a formative way through ongoing observation […]

Curriculum in the Early Years

Ofsted’s consultation about its new education inspection framework (2019), with its focus on the curriculum, is leading Early Years practitioners to wonder what a curriculum for the youngest children might look like. It is, perhaps, useful to begin the discussion by outlining some of the things that we do not yet know – despite ongoing […]

Dialogic and shared reading for young children to support language and literacy

Reading with young children is an important activity to support early language and literacy, and how we share books with children can magnify its impact. During shared reading, adults and children talk about and around the book, rather than focus just on the text. The adult encourages children to play an active, rather than passive […]

Remote support for creative home learning in the Early Years

What’s the idea? With an extended national lockdown, many children in the Early Years have been out of their provision for months. Remote support for young children’s development and learning is difficult to organise. Play is central to young children’s learning. Different aspects of the child’s development link together through play and first-hand experiences like […]