Early years

Elizabeth Holmes

Trusting in transitions: getting it right in the early years

Coping effectively with t ransition, especially if difficult or traumatic, is crucial if we are to thrive in later life. The need to get it right in early years is essential. Transition isn’t pretty, but stagnation is hideous. Nikki Rowe Transitions are inevitable. We experience transitions to...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Montessori education (part 2): classroom activities

In the second of this two-part interview with nursery owner and teacher, Nick Peck, Elizabeth Holmes delves into Montessori classroom activities and the contribution that Montessori is making to early years education today. Elizabeth: Can you explain the different types of activities for children...
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Elizabeth Holmes

Montessori education: an international pedagogical movement

With an estimated 22,000 nurseries and schools worldwide and approximately 750 catering for around 30,000 children in the UK , Montessori education is a considered choice for many parents. But what are its key characteristics that distinguish it from other early years approaches? In this first of a...
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Sam Attwater

21 steps to achieving an outstanding early years Ofsted judgement

Sam Attwater outlines the key things your early years setting will need to do to achieve an outstanding Ofsted judgement. The common inspection framework sets out how Ofsted inspects maintained schools and academies, non-association independent schools, further education and skills provision and...
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Liz Worthen

The stretch zone is for grownups too

Good leaders find the stretch points for their team and empower them to take action. Proofing the entirety of our primary and secondary Insight magazine is a somewhat arduous task. However, it does give me the opportunity to fully appreciate (and actually read!) the resources which the Optimus team...
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Linda Thornton

Using natural materials to enhance children’s learning

Natural resources encourage children to observe closely and use all their senses. Here are some practical ideas to bring them into early years learning. Providing an interesting and ever-changing environment for children to explore is an ideal way to develop their curiosity, provide opportunities...
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Linda Thornton

How to support personal, social and emotional development for the under-threes

Why is personal, social and emotional development so important for young children, and how you can make sure you are supporting the children in your setting? Personal, social and emotional development (PSED) is possibly the most important of the prime areas of learning in the Early Years Foundation...
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Linda Thornton

Getting the right balance between adult-led and child-initiated learning

As an early years practitioner you will know the importance of creating the right balance between adult-led and child-initiated learning. Help all children learn and develop with this guide. Adult-led activities are based on our own professional understanding of what we should teach young children...
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Alex Masters

Early years pupil premium funding: expert advice from Dr Julian Grenier

How should you implement the new early years pupil premium funding? Watch this two-minute video interview with Dr Julian Grenier , headteacher and national leader of education, to gain expert advice you can start implementing today. The Department for Education’s introduction of the early years...
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Alex Masters

The early years funding challenge

The DfE’s decision to introduce an early years pupil premium was welcomed with open arms. But with opportunity comes challenge, as content lead Alex Masters discovers Did you know that 90% of all brain development occurs by the age of five ? Did you also know that recent research shows a 19-month...
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