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Advice & Training at Your Convenience

We offer customized consultancy & in school training nationally & internationally for settings, schools & networks of schools. This includes delivering courses and/or observation & evaluation of the schools foundation stage practice. All of the courses below can be delivered in your school for your staff. Prices on application.

The Characteristics of - Effective Learning: Developing Resilient Life Long Learners

This course will examine the 3 characteristics of effective learning in order to understand why we work the way we do with young children. Effective early learning massively impacts on all future learning and is fundamental to:

  • Effective brain development
  • Effective learning / positive outcomes
  • Positive mental health
  • A childs ability to self-regulate
  • Metacognition
  • Resilience
  • Positive self-assurance & self-esteem
  • Positive life expectations and lifelong learning

Delegates will leave with a deeper understanding of what works in early years and what best impacts on whole school teaching & learning.

Ultimate Outdoor Learning in EYFS: Developing an environment for learning

This completely revised course looks at the importance of developing an environment for learning outside which focuses on developing different skills, knowledge & understanding to the environment inside. The day will

  • Consider the unique nature of outdoor learning in order to promote learning across all areas of learning & development whilst acknowledging the importance of outdoors in relation to physical development, understanding the world and personal, social & emotional development.
  • Explore the characteristics of effective learning and identify their implications for providing an outdoor environment which promotes learning for all children.
  • Identify the crucial role of the adult in facilitating an environment for learning, supporting & extending children’s play.
  • Reinforce the importance of effective communication between children and adults in order to promote language development and sustained shared thinking by the use of effective questioning.
  • Consider the importance of effective planning in relation to outdoor learning to inform adult interactions & to enhance & challenge childrens learning.
  • Provide revised (2016 version) exemplar planning formats for medium & short term outdoor learning.
  • Look at the relationship between basic provision, ongoing provision, adult directed and independent learning in the outdoors.
  • Ensure all adults involved in EYFS can identify and promote potential learning outcomes for all children when outdoors.
  • Provide a multitude of ideas for taking back to the school to promote an effective learning environment.

Talking to children to develop communication & language

This course will…

  • Look in detail at the Early Years Outcomes for Communication & Language
  • Raise practitioners awareness and understanding of children’s communication and language
  • Help practitioners become more aware of language as an essential pre-requisite for all future learning
  • Consider what communication friendly early years provision looks like and the role of effective practitioners
  • Look in detail at effective adult practice in order to support & extend childrens learning through a range of communication strategies including commenting, posing problems, sustained shared thinking, questioning etc.
  • Focus on developing sustained shared thinking, what it is and how to develop it.
  • Ensure practitioners are aware of how to provide a range of exciting and stimulating activities for babies and young children which promote communication and language through both child initiated & adult led learning and through indoor & outdoor environments
  • Provide information to support practitioners when they are working with children to communication challenges

EYFS Indoors: Developing an environment for learning

This brand new course will consider the importance of developing an indoor environment in EYFS which promotes learning through ongoing continuous provision, challenge & enhancement.

The day will:

  • Explore the characteristics of effective learning and identify their implications for providing an environment which promotes learning for all children.
  • Look at the relationship between child initiated learning, continuous provision, enhancement & challenge.
  • Explore the nature of continuous provision in order to provide a range of practical ideas to take back to school and develop effective practice.
  • Identify the crucial role of the adult in facilitating an environment for learning, supporting & extending children’s play, enhancing the environment and providing challenge.
  • Reinforce the importance of effective communication between children and adults in order to promote language development and sustained shared thinking by the use of effective questioning.
  • Ensure all adults involved in EYFS can identify and promote potential learning outcomes for all children.  
  • Provide planning formats for medium & short term.

Substantiating Your Baseline:
Using knowledge of child development & effective evidence  

Since the government has abandoned the implementation of a statutory national baseline, schools need clarify how they will establish on-entry levels in nursery and reception.  This is essential for value added data, progression in learning and for assessment for learning.

This course will debate the nature of appropriate data / evidence for young children in nursery & reception.                                                                                                                                                                

It will provide delegates with the necessary knowledge of child development & the collection of appropriate evidence in order to be able to substantiate baseline data to senior management, inspectors and local authority moderators.                                                                                               

The course will look in detail at Early Years Outcomes, the use of child development expertise & identify the kind of evidence which can indisputably substantiate baseline & progress which is particularly important for children who are working below national expectations. The course will consider the use of tracking to identify progress in children’s learning, significant comments & next steps & the collection of a limited amount of evidence important for substantiating on entry data & ongoing learning.

We will also look at the critical role parents & children play in this process and considers how to include the voice of the parent / child.

EYFS & Inspection – the Common Inspection Framework in Early Years

This completely revised course will enable schools to reflect on their own EYFS departments to ensure they are best able to meet the current focus of inspection. This includes:

  • Evidencing progression in learning across each year group in EYFS through effective baselining & tracking alongside the collection of appropriate evidence crucial in substantiating tracking for all children including disadvantaged children .
  • Ensuring leadership and management of EYFS is monitoring provision through effective observation of teaching and learning. This section will also consider the adult role, effective assessment and creating an action plan for ongoing development of EYFS in order to impact on outcomes.
  • An understanding of the importance of using Early Years pupil premium effectively in EYFS for EYFS children.
  • The use of incisive performance management to develop practitioners working in EYFS as a key tool to ensure outcomes are improving.
  • Ensuring an effective learning environment inside and outside to promote child initiated learning.
  • Ensuring adult directed learning alongside child initiated learning is developed effectively to meet the needs of all children.   
  • Delegates will receive a format for evaluating EYFS practice in their schools in order to impact on the quality of children’s learning. Delegates will be provided with a format for self-evaluation of the EYFS statutory welfare requirements.

Outstanding Ideas for Developing Communication & Language in EYFS

This new course will:

  • Look in detail at the Early Years Outcomes for Communication & Language.
  • Raise practitioners’ awareness and understanding of children’s communication and language.
  • Help practitioners become more aware of language as an essential pre-requisite for all future learning.
  • Help practitioners understand how their own communicative behaviour affects children’s ability to communicate.
  • Develop a range of exciting and stimulating activities to help children learn to listen attentively and speak clearly and confidently through both child initiated & adult led learning with some additional thoughts on indoor & outdoor environments.
  • Think about promoting language for thinking, big questions and the use of plan, do, review.
  • Focus on developing sustained shared thinking, what it is and how to develop it.

EYFS: Child Initiated Learning, Continuous Provision & The Characteristics of Effective Learning

This course looks at the EYFS statutory requirement to provide a balance of adult led and child initiated learning. The course will consider:

  • What freely chosen or child initiated learning implies.
  • How child initiated learning can be offered through a range of continuous provision in the indoor environment.
  • The nature of basic continuous provision and how this might be set up, maintained & planned for in order to identify potential learning outcomes.
  • Enhancement of basic continuous provision.
  • Challenge for children whose learning needs to be extended (adult initiated or open ended learning).
  • An in-depth look at the three characteristics of effective learning & how they relate to child initiated learning.
  • Short & medium term planning for continuous provision, enhancement & challenge.

Managing & Leading EYFS

This completely revised course examines the role of the Foundation Stage manager & leader. The course begins with a comprehensive update in relation to recent documentation and statutory requirements. The course moves on to consider the diverse roles of the EYFS leader.

The course looks in detail at the challenges when observing FS provision and discusses how this needs to be carried out particularly in relation to what Ofsted are looking for. The course looks in detail at monitoring & evaluating the learning environment inside & outside, the role of the adult in FS, relationships, observation, assessment & planning. Participants with leave with an effective format for leaders to use in school for observing, monitoring, evaluation and identifying next steps.

Other elements of the course will consider the FS leader & the statutory requirement to provide on-going coaching for all early years staff providing models for coaching in order to develop practice.

Participants will be provided with an outline of possible documentation to evidence the manager & leaders role.     

Looking for Outstanding Practice – Observing & Monitoring Your Foundation Stage, a course for leaders & managers

This completely new course will enhance the current knowledge of senior leadership & management of Foundation stage in looking for quality in their provision. The course will focus on the role of the person leading & managing provision in EYFS. Providing a format for observing & monitoring all aspects of provision & practice.

The course will provide an overview of what is regarded by Ofsted as outstanding leadership and provide a framework for leaders & managers to develop an effective action plan for future development.

The main aspects considered in the course will involve observing & monitoring:

  • Knowledgeable confident practitioners
  • Children engaged in effective learning in child initiated & adult directed activities
  • The learning environment inside & outside (including basic provision, enhancement & challenge
  • Children evidencing positive behaviours & respect for learning environment
  • Evidence & progress of children in EYFS
  • Planning
  • Analysing outcomes & achievement
  • Parental engagement

Meeting the Needs of 2 Year Olds in the Maintained Sector

Many maintained sector schools are now taking children from the age of two. This course is designed to raise practitioners’ awareness of the very specific needs of two year olds in relation to:

  • The standards for the early years teacher & their implication for practice.
  • An appropriate learning environment inside & outside.
  • The provision of a range of learning experiences.
  • Observation, assessment, planning & evidencing learning for 2-3 year olds including 2+ check.
  • Attachment theory & the key person system.

Developing Outstanding Early Years Practitioners

Staff in early years do not just play & wash up paint pots. Their role is fundamental in ensuring young children reach their maximum educational potential and access social justice.

This course provides leaders, managers & practitioners with a detailed overview of how to develop teaching & teaching assistants as outstanding & reflective practitioners.

The course explores the concept of reflective practice for management & practitioners to ensure the needs of children are best met. The course looks how observation of practitioners needs can be related to performance management & ongoing professional development and where relevant broken down into in depth coaching programmes which are crucial to ensure all staff have the skills necessary to promote effective learning for all children.

The course considers the requirements of the EYFS statutory framework and Ofsted in relation to effective practice.

The Adult Role in Supporting & Extending Children’s Learning in EYFS

This full day course is aimed at raising adults awareness of the many & varied roles they play when working in early years classrooms. The course is suitable for teaching & non-teaching staff. The course explores: supporting child initiated & adult directed teaching, using ongoing observation & assessment to identify next steps in learning, asking quality questions & developing children’s vocabulary, promoting independence & positive behavior, the crucial development of early years knowledge & understanding including child development and knowledge of the key person system & its importance.

Ultimate Outdoor Learning in EYFS– Contrasting not Duplicating

This course looks at the essential nature & long term advantages of offering high quality, challenging outdoor learning. The course will:

  • Explores the pedagogy behind outdoor learning providing practitioners with solid philosophical justification useful for coaching, senior management, Ofsted & parents.
  • Examines the critical role of the adult in supporting learning outdoors.
  • Examines ultimate outdoor provision & learning with common sense ideas as to how to put this into practice in the delegate’s provision.
  • Identifies what is basic to effective outdoor learning and moves onto consider the essential elements of provision.
  • Provides many practical examples of effective provision.
  • Considers hazard, risk taking and challenge.
  • Explores on-going learning experiences & planning for effective outdoor learning (short & medium term revised May 2013).
  • Promotes the use of stories as a starting point for developing early learning in the outdoors developing plods (possible lines of development) and following children’s learning needs & interests.

Outstanding Ideas to Develop Early Writing in EYFS

This completely new course will consider the fundamentals that need to be in place in child initiated & adult directed teaching to ensure children become confident writers. The course will:

  • Provide opportunities for practitioners to reflect on the ways to promote & develop early writing for young children in nursery & reception classes.
  • Suggest strategies for the development of staff knowledge of the processes involved in meeting the individual needs of children.
  • Consider the nature of enhanced/enriched provision to support writing & how to challenge more able writers in FS.
  • Look at promoting a positive image of writing for all children whilst also meeting the needs of boys.
  • Investigate the nature of interactive writing situations & stimulating creative writing.
  • Explore the teaching of writing from a developmental perspective.  

New to the Early Years Foundation Stage

This course provides a detailed introduction to the Early Years Foundation Stage for those completely new to FS or those returning to FS. The concept of the day is to provide practitioners with an action plan for the build up to their initiation into FS and a survival guide for the first few months. The course will look in detail at:

  • The basic knowledge practitioners need to engage with in order to ensure appropriate early learning.
  • Preparing for children coming into FS to learn and develop – what needs to be in place from the beginning.
  • An action plan for the first few months in FS including developing child initiated learning inside & outside, baseline knowledge of the child and how to establish early routines, independence & appropriate behaviour.
  • The course then considers developing you as a knowledgeable, reflective early years practitioner.

Outstanding Planning for the EYFS Framework

This course is designed to support delegates in developing all aspects of planning in nursery & reception classes in line with current EYFS documentation whilst considering the requirements of the Early Years inspection judgement in relation to planning.

An important aspect of the day will be to consider planning for developing the role of the adult in EYFS ie. planning for staff development & coaching.

The day will help practitioners reflect on their current planning methods in order to ensure that children & their learning are put at the heart of the planning process.

The course will look in detail at planning for learning for individual children, groups of children, whole groups and the importance of differentiation & pace.

The course provides support & formats for long, medium & short term planning. The course will consider planning for adult directed learning, child initiated learning & planning for outdoor learning.

Adult or Child Led? Effective Learning in the EYFS?

EYFS Statutory Framework dictates that ‘Each area of learning & development must be delivered through planned purposeful play & though a mix of adult led & child initiated activity.’

This course explores this statutory requirement considering the meaning of adult led and child initiated and considers how they might  look in the foundation stage classroom  (nursery & reception) and what makes for Effective learning in EYFS.

The course considers the crucial elements which combine in adult led & child initiated learning eg.

  • The adult role in supporting & extending learning.
  • The learning environment inside & outside.
  • The correct balance of adult led & child initiated learning.
  • How to get the right balance.
  • How to challenge & enhance child initiated learning.
  • Planning for learning based on observation & assessment of children’s needs & interests.

Evidencing Progress & Attainment for Inspection

This full day course will look at ways of evidencing attainment for children in EYFS. The course will consider manageable ways of tracking learning (providing tracking documents), recording observations and using these to inform next steps in learning. The course considers records of achievement (learning journeys) & how to develop them for individual children. Part of the day will look at the EYFS Profile and consider implications for practice. The course will also look at short planning & evaluation as an aspect of evidencing attainment.

Making the Most of Your Outdoor Learning Environment

This full day course looks at making the most of the outdoor learning environment you have. The course provides a wealth of ideas for the outdoor which are simple, easy to put into practice and which effectively promote early learning across all seven areas of learning & development. You will leave with short and medium term planning formats for outdoor provision.

This course will encourage:

  • Participants to think about the potential of their own outdoors provision and make the best of it.
  • The provision of a wide range of learning activities which challenge children but are manageable.
  • Participants to provide quality learning experiences on a budget and in restricted spaces.

Challenging Learning – starting with a story

This half day / twilight session uses stories for young children as a starting point for learning both  inside & outside the classroom. It explores plods for learning (possible lines of development) then extends this into using observation of children to inform short term planning. The course provides ‘plods’ for a number of books providing practitioners with a number of starting points for learning back in the classroom.

An Introduction to On-going Observation & Next Steps for EYFS

This half day course will support early years practitioners (teachers & teaching assistants) in their understanding of on-going observation & assessment as required by the EYFS Framework & looked for by Ofsted.

The course will look at the basic knowledge needed by practitioners in order to make on-going observations and develop their understanding of how this can easily be achieved.

The course will provide opportunities for practitioners to develop their personal skills in relation to writing simple observations and relate them to next steps.

Ensuring Quality Provision in the EYFS (3-5 years)

This full day course looks at what makes for quality EYFS provision. The day starts with a full update in relation to current EYFS practice & documentation.

Clients can then select four of the following sections to complete the day.

  • Quality adult interactions
  • Developing an effective indoor learning environment
  • Developing an effective outdoor learning environment
  • Planning for adult directed & child initiated learning
  • Planning for staff development
  • Planning for reflective EYFS practice
  • Observation & assessment in EYFS
  • Tracking children’s learning
  • Moderating assessments
  • Records of achievement / learning journeys

EYFS & Fundamental British Values

This new Early Years course aims to support all practitioners in developing a greater understanding of what Fundamental British Values are and how to incorporate them effectively into early learning.

The course will explore the values of democracy, rule of law, individual liberty, mutual respect & tolerance for those with different faiths and beliefs along with the ‘prevent duty’. We will also consider how such values translate in good early years practice through aspects of every day routines, behaviour management, PSED, Understanding the World & RE.

We will further explore how to ensure staff are on board and how they influence practice alongside a range of simple and manageable activities which will promote and embed FBV in a positive yet manageable way.

Kathy Bigio Limited, Early Years Advice & Training
kathy.bigio@yahoo.co.uk www.kathybigio.com Telephone 07725896063