Annual programme shares good practice in Early Years settings

    Published: 14 July 2016

    Early Years programme a success with headteachers and practitioners across Herts

    The 2015/16 Early Years programme has received fantastic feedback from the headteachers and practitioners who have taken part in this event.

    The Early Years annual programme is a district based year-long programme consisting of three training days for Early Years practitioners, headteachers and EYFS leaders.

    The training sessions focus on developing practice in the Early Years following consultation with headteachers in the localities. This ensures the training is tailored to meet the training needs of practitioners working in their settings. In Watford these sessions included: ‘Empowering children’s mathematical learning’, and ‘Defining quality in the Early Years.’ Practitioners were also invited to stay for an inspirational twilight session about storytelling, from children’s author Neil Griffiths, who entertained the delegates as he described 13 steps to effectively read a story to children.

    In Stevenage, practitioners were provided with useful tips and practical strategies on how to effectively engage with parents so that outcomes improve for children. The second day of training was ‘Encouraging and harnessing children’s curiosity, creativity and imagination through the expressive arts and design.’ This thought provoking session enabled practitioners to engage in practical activities using recycled materials and reflect on approaches to develop children’s creativity skills. The day ended with a motivational talk by Nancy Stewart on developing children’s thinking skills. Day three consisted of a further morning training session followed by an afternoon where practitioners showcased the changes they had made as influenced through participation in the programme. This provided the opportunity for practitioners to present and share practice to other practitioners from schools within their local area.

    Feedback on the programme has been extremely positive, from both Early Years teachers and headteachers that have taken part across the county.

    During the summer term, some people tend to wind down but this course provides me with the motivation needed to develop myself and the school. I have really enjoyed taking part in this programme,” explained one practitioner.

    It is not only Early Years practitioners who benefit from taking part in the programme. Headteachers are invited to take part by attending breakfast briefings, which gives them an update on news and updates on Early Years initiatives, data, Ofsted and current themes.

    Herts for Learning are really good at horizon-scanning and this programme has been really good at giving our Early Years teachers a chance to make use of what we have at our school. By attending these briefings, it also shows our teachers that we do care about the work that they do,” explained one Stevenage Headteacher.

    HfL’s Early Years Adviser and programme lead Lucky Khera was left thrilled by the showcase events in June: “The annual programme has been successful yet again. The showcase event in June was really overwhelming for me as I could see the hard work and changes that every practitioner has made in their settings. I hope that everyone has taken something of value throughout this year and have gone back to the classroom with plenty of ideas, renewed motivation and dedication to continue to reflect and make further changes to benefit the children in Hertfordshire.”

    The programme has been running for the last three years in Stevenage and was successfully launched in Watford last year. Both areas are looking forward to taking part in a new bespoke programme next year. Due to the success of the programmes this is now being introduced to schools in the Dacorum and St Albans districts for the 2016/17.

    We are very excited to announce that we are opening the annual programme to schools in Dacorum and St Albans. I hope that schools sign up for this fantastic opportunity in these areas. The success and changes I have seen in the three years in Stevenage and last year in Watford really is incredible,” continued Lucky.

    Early Years is such an important stage of school life so it is important that in Hertfordshire we can get this right. The annual programmes for next year will address important changes in Early Years and we look forward to developing and leading these once again in partnership with schools.”

    Herts for Learning would also like to thank Fairlands Primary School and Nursery, Stevenage and Highwood Primary School, Bushey for hosting the annual programme.

    For more information about these programmes please contact Lynne McAdam:

    By Ryan Fisher, Journalist

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    This article is from the July edition of The Exchange. To read the full newspaper please visit: