Early Excellence PodcastNov 11, 2022
Helicopter Stories in Action - Interview with Trisha Lee
In this week’s episode, we talk to Trisha Lee all about the importance of nurturing and celebrating children’s storytelling. Trisha tells us all about her work in schools and also about her new book, The Growth of a Storyteller, which explores the practice of using helicopter stories to value, nurture and inspire young learners.
Mixing the Mathematical Milkshake! Developing Rich Opportunities for Maths in the EYFS
In this week’s episode, we’re joined by Kate Gingles and the EYFS team at Newcastle High School for Girls. As part of our chat, we talk about the team’s key focus on developing enjoyable and rich mathematical learning opportunities for their Nursery and Reception children.
Brilliant Books and Poems to Inspire Young Writers
Children’s books provide us with wonderfully rich opportunities to nurture and provoke imaginative writing ideas. In this week’s episode, Andy and Llewella share some fantastic children’s books for inspiring young writers.
Early Childhood Theories Today - Interview with Ruth Swailes and Aaron Bradbury
In this week’s episode, we chat to Ruth Swailes and Aaron Bradbury about their fantastic new book - Early Childhood Theories Today.
They discuss the links between theories and practice within the classroom, the benefits of the book, their writing process and much more.
The Wonderful Possibilities of Wordless Books
Do you have wordless books within your classroom provision?
In your setting, are wordless books used to support children’s language development and storytelling skills?
Join us for this week’s episode of The Early Excellence Podcast where we explore and review some great wordless books and discuss how the books can be used to support the development of a wide range of skills.
The Secret Lives of Young Learners Interview with Professor Sam Wass
This week, we’re joined by Professor Sam Wass from The University of East London. Sam is a child psychologist and neuroscientist specialising in concentration and stress in young children. You will probably remember Sam as the on-screen child psychologist in the popular Channel 4 programmes The Secret Lives of 4 Year Olds and The Secret Lives of 5 Year Olds.
Continuous Provision in Key Stage 1
There are often stark differences in approaches to teaching and learning once children move in to year one, but, does this have to be the case? In this week’s episode, we explore how a rich, well-planned learning environment in Key Stage One can provide both the continuity and the challenge that young learners need.
Repetitive Play: is it OK?
Children have a strong drive to repeat actions. They can become fascinated by transporting objects, moving in circles or creating enclosures as they explore, and make sense of, the world around them. In this week’s episode, Llewella explores how to identify these repeated patterns of play, known as schemas, and begins to consider how practitioners can use schematic play as a means of tuning in to, and extending, children’s thinking.
What is Enquiry Based Learning?
With Kath Murdoch’s “The Art of Enquiry Teaching” event fast approaching, we explore what we actually mean by Enquiry Based Learning.
In this week’s episode we introduce the concept of Enquiry Based Learning, consider aspects such as the right environment and the adult role, and discuss some key questions to get us thinking.
Five Things to Remember in September
Welcome back to the first episode for the new school year!
September is a crucial time for your practice, so for this week’s episode, Andy & Llewella explore the key things for you to remember at the start of this school year.
All Set? Getting Ready for the New School Year
With lots to get ready for the new school year, it can be difficult to know where to start. In this week’s bonus podcast episode, Andy and Llewella offer lots of advice and also discuss which jobs are the key priorities
The Revised EYFS Framework, Learning from the Early Adopters
In our final podcast for this school year, Andy catches up with some of the founding members of the popular Facebook Group: Early Years Early Adopters. Formed initially in 2020 during the pandemic as a support network for any early adopter schools, the group has now become a key social hub for the Facebook education community where people share ideas and offer advice and support. During this fascinating episode, Andy finds out how the group was formed, what they have learned and where they’re going next.
Choosing the Right Book to Support Your Practice
In this episode, Andy and Llewella share and explore a range of key practitioner texts to really get you thinking. So whether you’re needing to get to grips with the key principles of EYFS practice, looking to develop your outdoor learning environment, working with two year olds for the first time or in need of a fresh outlook on Key Stage One, there’s a book here for you!
Exploring Inspirational Learning Environments at the British School of Brussels
In this week’s podcast episode, Andy is joined by Esther O’Connor, the EYFS Leader at the British School of Brussels. Esther opens the doors to the inspirational EYFS learning environments at the school and describes how children’s fascinations are nurtured as part of their child-centred practice.
- Take a look at Esther’s photos of their environments
- Take a 3D tour of our centre
- Explore our complete classroom collections
Understanding the World, One Page at a Time
A carefully chosen children’s book can inspire a wide range of conversations and nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. In this week’s episode, Andy and Llewella explore a range of fantastic stories and non fiction texts to challenge your children’s thinking and help them make meaningful connections.
Moving On: Exploring Child-Centred Approaches to Transition
Effective transition is so much more than an opportunity to visit a new classroom or meet the next teacher. In this week’s episode, Andy and Llewella discuss effective practice and its relationship to transition. They also explore how successful transition processes recognise the different transitions that children experience and how sensitive, child-centred approaches can help nurture young learners in times of change.
Exploring Books to Develop Maths
Do you use children’s story books as a starting point for exploring mathematical vocabulary and concepts? Do you have mathematically rich picture books as part of the provision in your maths area? In this week’s episode Andy Burt and Llewella Ivins explore some great maths related books and stories to help you get started.
Meaningful Mathematics: A Focus on EYFS Pedagogy
In this week’s Podcast Andy focuses on meaningful mathematics in the EYFS. He explores how a well-planned learning environment allows for powerful connections to support the effective teaching of mathematics. He also reflects on the importance of the adult role to maximise opportunities to embed learning, challenge thinking and introduce vocabulary.
Exploring Books to Support PSED
In this week’s Podcast Episode, Andy Burt and Llewella Ivins take a closer look at a range of books that can support children’s Personal, Social & Emotional Development. They share some of their favourite books including Knuffle Bunny, Julian is a Mermaid and the Big Book of Families. Join them to explore the key themes and messages in these beautiful texts, and hear how they can be used as an effective part of classroom practice.
A Guide to SEND in the Early Years
This week, Andy interviews Kerry Murphy, Early Years Lecturer and Consultant, about her new book A Guide to SEND in the Early Years. Andy and Kerry discuss and reflect on EYFS practice, how best to support children with SEND and also challenge some common misconceptions.
Strengthening Subject Leadership: Curriculum Progression Right From Start
In this week’s Podcast Andy talks to Phil Armstrong, our Head of Regional Development for the South, about the role of an EYFS Leader and the importance of wider Subject Leadership. They reflect on how best to strengthen understanding of the core principles of Early Years for Subject Leaders to ensure these are translated into practice, the curriculum and assessment as part of a whole school approach.
What is Continuous Provision?
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Exploring Powerful Learning Through Domestic Role Play
In this week’s Podcast, Andy talks to Amanda Belbin from Bincombe Valley Primary School, Weymouth. Amanda explains how meaningful talk and carefully planned enhancements have helped to put domestic role play at the heart of their practice.
Maximising Learning in Continuous Provision – Domestic Role Play in EYFS
Developing a well organised Domestic Role Play Area is vital for supporting young children’s learning. In the Podcast this week we set out some key principles and explore tips and ideas to help you establish meaningful and quality domestic role play that remains in place all year.
Owning Your Curriculum: A Close Look at the Learning Environment
Do your Early Years’ classroom spaces truly reflect your vision for learning? Have they come together by accident or been carefully planned to offer rich, meaningful and joyful experiences for young children? In this weeks Podcast, we explore how our learning environment needs to be valued as a key part of the curriculum.
Tackling the Year 1 Cliff Face: Getting it Right From the Start
In this week’s Podcast, Andy interviews James Hitchens, the Headteacher from Penryn Primary Academy & Nursery in Cornwall. James discusses the school’s journey of rapid improvement from a RI Ofsted inspection in 2017 as he shares their vision, approach and the thinking behind it. From the creation of inspiration learning environments to the value they place on continuous provision in EYFS and into Year 1, James highlights the positive impact this has on the teaching and learning, the staff as well as the children’s wellbeing and happiness.
Navigating the Sea of Talk
The new EYFS framework stresses the importance of talk in supporting children’s learning. In this week’s episode, we explore how to put talk at the very heart of your practice.
Rainbow Birds: A Celebration of Artistic Achievements and Original Thinking at Co-op Academy Oakwood
In this week’s Podcast, Andy interviews Maeve Birdsall & Jasmine Priestley from Co-op Academy Oakwood in Leeds. Together with Claire Clithero, they have written and published a book that shows the positive impact on children when they value and nurture creativity.
The Classroom Environment – Riot of Colour vs Peace and Neutrality
How is colour used within your classroom? In this week’s Podcast Episode, Andy explores the use of colour and poses some key questions to consider including whether it is really needed to keep children engaged or if it is distracting to the learning. There are also lots of top tips for alternatives to move forward.
It’s essential that your team understand how young children develop maths expertise, especially when choosing, using and evaluating set schemes or programmes. In this week’s Podcast Andy welcomes back Jude Twani who provides her insight and tips on approaching maths in the EYFS.
Maximising Learning in Continuous Provision – The Water Area
Exploring and experimenting with water is a key fascination for many children and if you have it available continuously, you may even find that some children go back to it a lot! This week’s Podcast explores how the Water Area can be packed with a wealth of opportunities for scientific and mathematical thinking as well as opportunities for storying and developing narrative.
Exploring Block Play Alongside Small World
Well organised and well planned provision areas, alongside effective adult interactions, enable children to develop sustained play, practise new skills and extend their ideas over time. Some areas of provision work particularly well together like Block Play and Small World, and this week Andy looks at these in more detail.
Exploring Different Approaches in the Early Years
Have you ever wondered what it is like to work overseas? In this week’s fascinating Podcast, Andy interviews Rachael Stevens from Panyaden International School in Thailand about their unique approach. As well as taking a tour of their natural environment, they chat about all kinds of things including behaviour management, risk and challenge.
View Andy's Photos of Panyaden School:
The Characteristics of Effective Learning
Welcome back to the start of a new term and a new year! Join us this week as we explore the importance of the Characteristics of Effective Learning, and consider how they are used as part of our everyday practice.
Catching Up and Lessons From The Dancefloor
In this week's Podcast, hear Andy Burt and Jude Twani discuss the “Catch Up Agenda” following the months of disrupted education and Jude utilises her new love of dancing to help us reflect on how children can learn and adapt.
Effective Tidy Up Times in the EYFS
Storming it Outdoors, the Fantastic Possibilities of Cold, Wet and Windy Weather
Get your big coat and wellies on, this week’s Podcast is about getting back outside whatever the weather! Explore the key things and ideas to ensure effective learning continues throughout this time of year
Building on Children’s Interests in the EYFS
In this week’s Podcast, we build on message of consistency in the learning environment by exploring the key features of practice which seek to encourage, value, celebrate and build on the ideas and interests of young learners.
Change Isn't Always for the Better
At the beginning of the year we proudly plan out our classrooms, but wind the clock forward a few weeks and we are already starting to think about changes. In our Podcast this week, we reflect on why this isn’t always the best way forward.
New to Teaching in the EYFS Part 3
In this third and final Podcast of our series for those new to the EYFS, we focus on the role of the adult. Join us to explore the balancing act that is teaching in the early years, from whole class teaching and small group work through to the adult role in facilitating and scaffolding a wide range of learning experiences.
The Outdoor Curriculum in all its Glory
Following on from the interview with Gillian Hewitt last week, celebrating how Dyce Primary School developed inspirational outdoor provision and practice, this week we delve deeper into the outdoor curriculum with top tips on offering meaningful experiences for your children.
Developing Outdoor Provision and Practice
New to Teaching in the EYFS Part 2
Following on from Part One, this second Podcast looks beyond relationships and begins to look at some of the other key aspects you’ll need to consider as a new EYFS teacher. Join us to reflect on routines and get top tips for organisation of provision and resources.
Putting the New EYFS Framework into Practice
Our Podcast this week discusses putting the New EYFS Framework into practice and we focus on the key things to now consider as you put the framework into practice - your practice!
Taking Continuous Provision Beyond the EYFS: Maximising Learning in KS1
In this week’s podcast, we reflect on child development and start to explore how to maximise your learning in KS1 through the introduction of continuous provision.
New to Teaching in the EYFS Part 1
Starting a new teaching job is exciting, and a chance to put into practice so many ideas that you have seen and heard about through training and teaching practices. As you step into your new classroom, your head will be buzzing with lots of plans and ideas! Listen to our latest podcast to help you get started.
The Classroom Environment: Setting Up Your New Classroom
Whether you’re setting up your new classroom for the first time, or changing your existing layout, it is vitally important to get it right. The actions you take and the decisions that you make at this point in the year can have a massive impact for you and your children.
Join us for inspirational ideas and top tips to support you and your team as you review your current provision and plan the way forward.
Exploring the Fantastic Possibilities of Maths Outdoors
Learning outdoors is different to learning indoors. Outdoor spaces generally provide more space for physical activity and children will naturally want to explore outdoors using large physical movements. From the outset then, the materials that we provide need to be bigger and more physically challenging than indoors. Children will develop cognitively alongside the development of gross motor skills if we provide opportunities for this.