The Flourish Summit Day One – Lunch time to home time   2 comments

After lunch we had a look at the displays and the things that you buy – amazingly I  didn’t anything – don’t get me wrong there were plenty of things – especially books to buy that I would like, BUT travelling by train does make you think twice!

When we returned to the main hall there was a film showing – ‘August to June’Bringing Life to school’  but to be honest I didn’t really pay much attention, not because it was not interesting but because I was to busy chatting and flicking through the free booklet on Mud Kitchens that Jan White had given out in the morning – but that had been popped in the bag and not looked at.

The next session Wendy Scott – Short History of UK early years education which was was it said on the tin! However Wendy had clearly had enough of the governments interference in the early years sector and expressed some strong personal views – views that I entirely agreed with – and judging by the reaction of those in the room – so did most of the audience.

Next there was a presentation by Dr Richard House about  Unhurried Pathways. As I had been in Winchester in October last year when this was launched- this was not new to me – but it was to Jen – and if it is new to you Click here for PDF Unhurried Pathways

The next presentation was given by Dr Sami Tamimi  on the subject of  ”Why psychiatric diagnosis and medication doesn’t help’, as a grandmother a of a grandson with Asperger’s I thought that I might find this very interesting and enlightening. However I didn’t mainly because I found it difficult to follow. I found that I was not agreeing with many of the points made that I did understand – such as the use of brain images and the use of medication – based on my own knowledge and family experiences.

I am not saying that Dr. Tamimi is wrong – in fact I agree that children are labelled to easily and sometimes given drugs they don’t need, but I am saying his talk challenged what I know (limited though that is) and I need further explanation – as 30 mins really was not long enough for me to grasp the main facts being presented or to reflect on if my knowledge is incomplete or out dated. So food for thought – and to start off my journey in this direction (and maybe readers of this blog) here is an article I found

After Dr. Tamimi came Sally Goddard-Blythe  talking about “The Significance of Neuromotor Readiness for Learning  I have heard Sally talk before – although my recall was not very good without notes – so this was a welcome refresher for me. Sally spoke about children being developmentally ready and able to learn. Something I believe in and the reason why I am personally so against the earlier and earlier formal ‘teaching’ in this country.

Sally refers to the A,B,C of learning (actually A – E)

A = Attention
B = Balance
C = Coordination
D = Developmental Readiness for
E – ducation

In other words if a child has not had opportunity to fully develop their attention, balance and co-ordination – they will not be ready or able to learn.

By now the post lunch nap was trying to kick in! I always find it very hard to sit still for long as I have restless leg , but it is even harder than usual when trying to concentrate in a warm room full of people and chairs which after a few hours seem to become even harder than they were at the beginning of the day. Personally what I need was a cup of coffee – but the programme told me I had to wait a bit longer.

So onwards – and a presentation by Catherine Prisk  on The Importance of Play luckily both short in time and a subject that I am passionate about. Cath posed a very important question ‘How come all the good play stuff (ie the natural stuff) has been removed from children’s parks / playgrounds. Cath’s talk complemented the one from in the morning from the the two mum’s Alice and Ingrid.

Then it was time for a short but very welcome tea /coffee break

After the break we were shown a film made by Baroness Susan Greenfield – Early Foundations – The new Climate Change

Fantastic speaker – down to earth, humour, fast paced but easy to  follow. As someone with very little knowledge in this field I found the talk, thought provoking and reassuring. Thought provoking as in just what is possible in the future and how much we still have to learn about the human mind – just what will the future be like?  robotic people? ability to control everything and communicate just by thinking?  Also lots to consider from the ‘I would like to suggest …’ comments from Susan. Reassuring because some of what Susan was saying reinforced my own limited knowledge about how children learn and most importantly the things that very young children can not master / achieve because developmentally difficult,  if not near impossible (exceptions to the rule,  as always, possible).

As the conference was going on until 6pm – there were still two more speakers


Dorothy Marlen – Conscious Caring –  21st century early childhood care  in a nutshell this talk was about not rushing children into sitting and standing- but allowing them to do it in their own time. There is of course more to it than that so take a look here

The final speakerof the day (apart from the summary) was Terri Harrison – Nature Nurture: From Vulnerability to Resilience a inspirational and powerful presentation but how even small changes and taking the children outside can have huge benefits for all. Made me sad, made me happy, made me reflective. Find out a bit more here

And so summary over and back to Jen’s house – by Taxi as Jen not feeling to good and needing to take her inhaler and her preventative tablets.

An excellent first day at the Flourish Summit

Posted April 29, 2013 by psw260259 in Conferences that I have attended

2 responses to “The Flourish Summit Day One – Lunch time to home time

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  1. A lovely recap Penny! And what a lovely day… meeting like-minded people who are passionate about early years children and their wellbeing. Loved my time with you!

  2. Pingback: Penny’s Involvement with the Save Childhood Movement , the Too Much, Too Soon campaign and petition | Penny's Place Childminding

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