Herts for Learning Annual Programme shares good practice in Early Years settings

    Published: 21 June 2018

    The 2017/18 Herts for Learning (HfL) 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 and an inspirational twilight session for Early Years practitioners, headteachers and EYFS leaders.

    The training sessions focus on developing practice in the Early Years following consultation with headteachers and practitioners in the localities. This ensures the training is tailored to meet the training needs of practitioners working in their schools. In Watford these sessions included: physical development; enhancing children’s communication and language skills, improving outcomes for children at risk of disadvantage and an energetic, highly motivational session by Helen Battelley on boosting communication, language and literacy through movement.

    In Stevenage, practitioners were inspired by a twilight session entitled 'Helicopter stories: Letting Imagination Fly’ from Trisha Lee, learned about inspiring early writers; on diversity; and teaching children the skills of painting and drawing.

    In the Dacorum area, participants heard from Neil Farmer about how boys learn best, as well as training sessions on how to encourage and harness children’s curiosity, fascinations, creativity and imagination through the expressive arts and design; inspiring children to read and write and exploring technology in the Early Years.

    Broxbourne schools and settings joined the programme for the first time this year. At their host schools in Hertford and Hoddesdon delegates learned about physical development, enhancing children’s communication and language skills in the Early Years, fostering a love for reading and improving outcomes for children at risk of disadvantage.

    In all districts, day three consisted of a morning training session followed by an afternoon where practitioners showcased the changes that they made which had been influenced through participation in the programme. This provided the opportunity for practitioners to present and share practice to other staff 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. And 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.

    "Participating in the Early Years Annual Programme has become an essential part of our ongoing professional development at Fairlands.” Explained Robert Staples, Headteacher at Fairlands Primary School in Stevenage.

    “My teachers benefit considerably from the opportunity to engage in facilitated networking with their colleagues, working together to share and develop outstanding practice, including the wonderful ‘Showcase’ that takes part each year.

    "As a headteacher, I also benefit hugely from hearing the latest horizon scanning within Early Years practice at the breakfast briefings, such as the recent focus on implementing 30 hours funding, or delivering high quality transition from Early Years in to Year 1. I wholeheartedly recommend getting involved!” concluded Robert.

    HfL’s Early Years Adviser and programme lead Lucky Khera was delighted by the showcase events in June: “The 2017/18 programme has yet again been a huge success, it has been wonderful to see so many schools taking part in bespoke CPD to develop their practice and provision for the children in their settings.

    “Getting the foundations right in the Early Years is so crucial in order to fully impact on children’s development, progress and lifelong learning. I am amazed at all the changes that practitioners have put into place following attending the training sessions which they shared with enthusiasm at the four showcase events across Herts. It is so powerful to see how even the smallest of changes have resulted in improving children’s outcomes, confidence and engagement levels.

    "We hope that practitioners will continue to embed positive changes in their provision and notice the impact of their achievements,” continued Lucky.

    “The 2018-19 Annual Programme is offering places to schools in all districts across Hertfordshire. I hope that schools sign up for this fantastic opportunity. The success and changes I have seen in the five years since the Programme was launched really is incredible.

    “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,” concluded Lucky.

    Herts for Learning would like to thank Fairlands Primary School and Nursery, in Stevenage, St Catherine’s School in Hoddesdon, Mill Mead School in Hertford, Margaret Wix Primary School in St Albans and St Catherine of Siena School in Watford for hosting the annual programme.

    Book now for the 2018/2019 Early Years Annual Programme

    For more information about these programmes, please contact Lucky Khera: lucky.khera@hertsforlearning.co.uk

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