The conference will take place over 3 days. Take a look at the programme below and register here.

Day 1: 13th July 2021 3.30pm-6pm

Time Session
3.30pm

Seven steps to achieving high-quality practice

Lead on the revised Development Matters guidance, Dr Julian Grenier, sets out:

  • the overarching aims of the changes to the EYFS
  • key features of practice, including a commitment to inclusion, a broad and balanced curriculum and child-centred pedagogy, which will enable settings to navigate the revised EYFS and Ofsted frameworks and support the emotional and learning needs of every child in their care.

Dr Julian Grenier, head teacher, Sheringham Nursery School and Children’s Centre, East London, and lead on the revised Development Matters guidance

4.10pm

Virtual exhibition and networking break

4.30pm

Case study: delivering the EYFS through a Froebelian approach

Jessica Holme explains why the Froebelian approach introduced in her previous Reception class, which had the greatest incidence of children with SEND in Essex, has now been adopted in the school’s new nursery unit.

Jessica Holme, is a teacher and leads the nursery unit at Newlands Spring Primary and Nursery School, Chelmsford, part of Attain Academy Partnership

4.50pm

Short break

5.00pm

Thinking the best of every child

Inclusive practice, embodied in the Unique Child, is a central tenet of the EYFS and essential to helping every child succeed. Dr Valerie Daniel explores:

  • practitioner expectations of young children and their families
  • the deficit model and its effect on children’s learning
  • how unconscious bias and stereotyping on issues such as class, race and gender can impact the role of the early years educator.

Dr Valerie Daniel is head teacher of Washwood Heath Nursery School and Children's Centre, Birmingham

5.45pm

Question time for all speakers

6pm

Close of day 1

 

Day 2: 14th July 2021 3.30pm-6pm

Time Sessions
3.30pm

Early maths: shaping up

Most controversially, ‘Shape, space and measure’ has been removed as a Mathematics goal in the revised EYFS, though it is now mentioned in the educational programme for this area of learning. Professor Jennifer S Thom gives an insight into:

  • how understanding ‘space, shape and measure’ is vital to Mathematics, related subjects such as Science, Technology and Engineering, and in an increasing number of jobs
  • the wider importance of spatial reasoning to early learning
  • what is meant by embodied learning, and how we can enable genuine opportunities for such engagement with young children—not only to deepen their understanding of mathematics but also to develop a love for it.

Professor Jennifer S Thom is associate professor in mathematics education and curriculum studies, University of Victoria, Canada

4.10pm

Virtual exhibition and networking break 

4.30pm

An early years curriculum: the building blocks

The revised EYFS and Ofsted frameworks place far greater emphasis on the ‘curriculum’. Penny Tassoni guides you through the construction process by building on:

  • the requirements of the EYFS
  • the need for broad and challenging experiences
  • practitioner understanding of child development and progression in early learning
  • practitioner knowledge of the individual child and their family

Penny Tassoni, early years consultant, trainer and author

5.15pm

Short break

5.25pm

Case study: achieving the right balance

Pre-school manager Mel Armstrong explains her setting’s journey from taking a highly structured approach to learning, via ‘in the moment’ planning, to a curriculum that recognises progression, promotes challenge and remains true to the principle of the Unique Child.

Mel Armstrong is manager of Little Acorns Kindergarten in Wendover, Bucks. The setting received Outstanding in all areas in its Ofsted inspection in February 2020

5.45pm

Question time for all speakers

6pm

Close of day 2

 

Day 3: 15th July 2021 3.30pm-6pm

Time Sessions
3.30pm

Supporting early learning: the adult role

Some small changes and omissions within the revised EYFS raise important questions about the expectations of the adult role in supporting learning: Helen Moylett outlines the ongoing importance of:

  • the principles relating to Positive Relationships and Enabling Environments in supporting each unique child’s learning and development
  • the cycle of observation, assessment and planning
  • play, and providing a balance of child-initiated and adult-led learning
  • supporting children’s innate dispositions (‘characteristics’) to learn

Helen Moylett is an early years consultant and author, and co-wrote the original Development Matters guidance

4.10pm

Virtual exhibition and networking break

4.30pm

Case study: with an eye to the future

Sarah Mackenzie explains the four pillars of the N curriculum and their emphasis on preparing children to achieve their full potential in the modern world. Sarah will show how their focus on strands such as holistic health, active global citizenship and preparing children for a digital world are brought to life by the children.

Sarah Mackenzie is chief education and people officer at N Family Club, a London and South-East based nursery group with 11 settings

4.50pm Short break
5.00pm

The power of relationships: at the heart of practice

Anne O'Connor rounds off our conference with a reminder of how strong and supportive relationships need to take priority and underpin practice, so that children develop the emotional security they will need to embrace life and learning, in these uncertain times. 

Anne O'Connor early years consultant, trainer and writer, specialising in the prime areas of development.

5.45pm

Question time for all speakers

6pm 

Close of day 3