Feedback from Early Years 2012 conference – Part Three   7 comments

I am really surprised that I am already writing part three of my feedback – yes it is true that some things at home remain on my ‘to do list’ – but I have also found time to sort a whole stack of resources that are to GO.

Being a person who uses and promotes the use of questions – I have of course asked myself WHY – Why have I found the time not only to do so much writing – which as a lot of you know I find difficult  – but why have I found time to sort resources and decide to sell / pass on a huge amount – which you may not know – but I find even more difficult to do than writing being a life long hoarder and collector of ‘resources and ‘useful stuff’.

The answer is of course the conference not only informed and inspired me – it also confirmed that my ‘gut feelings’ and more importantly my ethos are in line with the thinking of all the speakers that I listened to at the conference.

For me that was a huge WOW moment – and just as I record wow moments for the children – I have a need to record my wow moments here – and just as I action next steps for the children through the environment I provide – so I need to action my next steps – by actually removing things from the environment that I no longer think are needed to implement my ethos (rather than sitting on the fence which I have been doing over this issue for some time)

So enough of my ramblings – back to the conference.

I awoke early, finished making suggestions for Rosie’s supporting statement, did my emails – rather a lot connected to reject deregulation campaign, spent a bit of time on social media sites – then got ready for the day ahead.

Before the conference started though – I had to have breakfast. The waiter showed me to a table – and I could not believe my luck – to my left was Linda Pound and to my right Helen Bromley! At first I did not say much – after all it was their private time – but in the end I could not help myself and had a couple of short chats with Linda – then another lady joined Helen at her table and I found myself included in discussions with all three ladies – the third lady introduced herself – Marjorie Ouvry – another speaker at the conference. So there I was – a childminder from Worcestershire engaging in conversation with not one, not two but three well known authors and experts within the Early Years profession. ( Ladies if you are reading this – you made my day)

So off to the conference I go – only a short walk (without the detour of 3 times round the hotel) – but as usual I was still early – and so were the two I had met the day before – so we chatted some more exchanging good practice, discussing our views on the previous days speakers and workshops. We were joined by another delegate – a tutor from a Worcestershire college – who I had met briefly the day before – so now a four way discussion. I find these networking opportunities to be so useful – especially when with people you have not met before. Ticks the working in partnership with other professionals box and helps inform practice and opinion.

Before long it was time to go into the main hall to start the days proceedings  – a lady came and sat by me – she introduced herself – Jackie – a registered childminder – that I had ever met before but had communicated with via my blog.

Short introduction from Linda – and straight into the Keynote Speech ‘Creativity in Reggio Emilia: Languages, Listening and Thinking’ – presented by Debi Keyte- Hartland

I am not going to say too much about Debi’s presentation – not because I did not like it – I did – it was fantastic and made me think a lot . But because Debi – as she promised has already put her presentation on her blog – so take a look – and take a look at some of the other stuff on there.

Following straight on from Debi – was Helen Bromley whose presentation was titled ‘Boys and their toys:from caped crusaders to soccer stars. Creative paths to planning using children’s interests.

First point to make – it was not just about boys – it was about all children. However Helen was making the point that children are not going to engage in anything if it did not reflect their interests – and for a lot of boys that does mean superhero’s or football – and what is wrong with that she asked. I was nodding my head and agreeing. I had seen this myself with my grandson Dominic.

Dominic is on the autistic spectrum – between the ages of 7 and 8, he was not in school at all – he could not read – he only wrote his name if he really had to, it had been noted that he he did not like to touch paper and would go to great lengths to avoid touching paper.

During this period of not going to school Dominic would sometimes be in my care and sometimes his home tutor would come to my setting. On this particular occasion Dominic wanted to make a den in the kitchen – which he did, he asked for a few important accessories such as a cushion and blanket for comfort and a torch to see – and then to my complete surprise King Dominic (who he was that morning) wanted some paper and a pencil – I told him to help himself from the stuff on the side that the younger children had been using earlier. King Dominic got to work and every so often would ask how to spell certain words – my this stage I was having to contain my curiosity and not go into his den to see what he was doing.

Finally King Dominic  came out of the kitchen to give his subject Granny – a letter!

It said ‘Dear Granny I will not chop off your head’  The spelling was not  quite right,  the gaps between words were hard to spot – it was not in a straight line and had some words crossed BUT it was writing and he had chosen to do it and completed his own set task. Another letter was then produced – to one of the younger children – who shall remain nameless on here – but was named in the letter – it said ‘ ??? I will chop off your head’ – so two pieces of independent writing. You can imagine my pride and his tutors amazement.

So yes I knew just what Helen was on about. Helen mentioned lots of other things – but one other thing stuck in my mind – laminated words! Why she asked are they EVERYWHERE? Who she asked are they for? Not the children – that is for sure. Made me think – I don’t have loads of laminated words in my setting – but I do have some – now asking myself WHY.

If you would like to read a bit more about Helen’s ideas for Superhero play – a few are here

Then it was time for coffee – and a chance to have a face to face chat with Jackie.

Posted September 23, 2012 by psw260259 in Conferences that I have attended

7 responses to “Feedback from Early Years 2012 conference – Part Three

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  1. I am enjoying these blogs Penny. I know all the experts you have made reference to. Love their work! As you know like yourself and many others I AM passionate about early years, children and their families. Look forward to reading more. 🙂

    • Thank you Laura. I am glad you are enjoying reading my blogs.

      Yes we do share a passion and I think that passion shines through our work and our willingness to share with others – just as it did with the speakers at the conference

  2. it also confirmed that my ‘gut feelings’ and more importantly my ethos are in line with the thinking of all the speakers that I listened to at the conference. – I totally agree with you (yet again) – why is it that we appreciate and agree with the speakers and yet those in power do not seem to take into consideration and think they know best? After 20+ years in childcare, I’ve attended and undertaken lots of training/conferences/qualifications and have heard some truly inspirational speakers, returned to my setting and tried to implement to the best of my ability and then again and again have to listen and adhere to legislation that appears to go against what our eminent speakers have researched over many years.
    Whenever I get stale and downhearted Penny I will always come back to your blogs – thank you (and thanks for the links – will now spend a dull Sunday afternoon reading up on them!

    • Thank you so much Hazel for your lovely comments.

      What you say is so true – but I have now decided that I am going to follow those gut instincts – and if others don’t like it – well that is their choice. I think EYFS 12 does give us more autonomy to make those decisions (this is fresh in my mind because reason responding quickly is that I am sat at laptop writing course on EYFS 12 for childminding group)

      So my standard response to those who might question what I do – will be – where does it say that in EYFS 12?

      I have NO risk assessments – just a policy that describes my procedure

      I have ONE main policy – Safeguarding and Welfare – but 5 sections within it

      I have one word as my pre planning – Books

      I do not have checklist about children’s development (I only note if I have a concern)- other than 2 year progress check – and that just says as a general comment which stage of development band child is in overall.

      And I have checked and double checked – I am meeting the requirements of EYFS – of course Ofsted ma not agree and I may get downgraded – but if they are true to their stated intentions (and my experience of the pilot inspection) I should be able to maintain my outstanding grade because I should be judged on my practice and the children’s progress – and I am confident about that.

      Time will tell – expecting inspection towards the end of 2013 . early 2014.

      I do not reference anything to development matters

      • I concur! Hazel, who is it that is telling you that you can’t change your practice because of legislation? In fact, practice linked to research and positive outcomes on children’s learning and development exceeds legislation and guidance.

  3. Pingback: Early Years 2014 ‘How Children Learn’ conference 19th September 2014 | Penny's Place Childminding

  4. Pingback: What theories inform my practice and ethos? | Penny's Place Childminding

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