Early Years Summit

Don’t miss out on the Early Years Summit this spring

for full information click here

Early Years Summit

The 2019 Spring Summit:
Challenge and Risk in the Early Years
29th April 2019 to 5th May 2019
Get Your FREE Ticket for the 2019 Spring Summit »
Or you can buy any of the previous Summit recordings to keep and watch forever here.

Here are just some of the things you’ll learn at the Spring 2019 Summit…

What is meant by Risky Play?
What are the benefits of Risky Play?
How can we create suitable environments?

Stretching and challenging children
Benefits of raising expectations for children
Physical, cognitive and intellectual challenges

Effective policies and procedures
Supporting staff with understanding ‘risks’ including allergies
Teaching staff about suitable challenges
Nursery Owner, Canada
This was the easiest, most comfortable, convenient form of education I have ever been involved in! My daughter also participated in the Early Years Summit and introduced this concept to me which I absolutely loved. We have educated and cared for children for over 25 years may I say it was magnificent to meet and hear of others in our field all over the world! Kristal and I have picked up a few ideas from the summit introducing the ideas to our children and families have proved to be most successful and FUN!

Just want to tell you how much I am enjoying the Summit … I have been introduced to some new things … and have already looked into training to be an INPP as a direct result of your summit (I did not know about this role beforehand, and seems to be the missing link that I have been looking for all these years)!

Early Years Professional
Your Host

Kathy Brodie

Your host for the Summit is well known Early Years author and expert, Kathy Brodie.

She’s the author of multiple books on Early Years childcare and is the founder and organiser of the Early Years Summit and Early Years TV – the leading free online CPD resources for Early Years Practitioners and Educators globally.

She’s also created a number of online training courses covering Observation Assessment and Planning, Sustained Shared Thinking and Schematic play, which you can find here.

speakers confirmed already
Alistair Bryce-Clegg

Dr Tim Gill

Kathryn Solly

Helen Little

Dr Diane Kashin

Peter Moorhouse

Dr Mariana Brussoni

Niki Buchan

Sandi Phoenix

Julie Mountain

Rachel Buckler

Chanie Wilschanski

Chris Phoenix

Sid Mohandas

Dr Ellen Beate Hansen Sandseter

Churchill Fellowship Update

early childhood woodwork

Researching the rich potential of creative woodwork in early childhood education
Winston Churchill Fellow 2018- update

My research abroad is now almost complete. The final leg will be to Sweden. It has been such a privilege to travel as a Churchill Fellow – and it has certainly opened up many doors. Through my trips I’ve met leading researchers at Harvard University, The mayor of Helsinki, The director of education for Finland, and many leading academics, authors and policy makers in New Zealand, as well as a great many passionate and dedicated teachers.

I have been overwhelmed by everyone’s generosity, with people often dedicating half a day of their time to being interviewed, having in-depth discussions and showing their provision. (But no-one let on just how much time it takes to set up and coordinate all these appointments!)

My research has been looking into the value of woodwork and making in early childhood education, looking at countries that have well-established provision or have innovative practice. There is wealth of rich practice out there ranging from the well-established making in Finland both in early years and primary education. Every primary school has designated technology spaces for woodwork and fabric work and their work is often directly connected to other areas of learning. In the USA the rise of the maker movement has had a phenomenal impact on education with many schools adopting ‘tinkering labs’ or ‘makerspaces’. In New Zealand woodwork is firmly established in early years settings – it was a delight to see the engagement of very young children working on their models with real tools.

Practical work is highly valued in many cultures but in the UK we have very mixed messages. The sad reality is that the majority of UK school children never get to use tools in their entire education – early years, primary or secondary.  Less than half schools in the UK even offer D&T at GCSE level and courses are being cut almost weekly due to funding and EBacc prioritisation marginalising arts and technology. Meanwhile the government is saying we need more students with practical skills and we need to encourage more students to go into manufacturing, engineering and science. In terms of early years we are also dealing with new challenges – for a generation that is learning to swipe before they can walk we desperately need more hands-on experiential learning.

From my research the value of working with tools is clear. Woodwork is a truly cross-curricular activity embracing all areas of learning. Children almost universally seem to enjoy working with tools, with hands and minds working together and we see extraordinary levels of sustained engagement with high levels of persistence. Raised self-esteem and confidence is central and all teachers highlighted just how important woodwork can be for developing children’s creative and critical thinking skills as children express their imagination and problem-solve. The benefits are truly wide ranging: increased physical development, enhanced well-being, increased sense of agency – that can-do spirit, mathematical thinking, scientific knowledge, artistic expression, craft and design thinking and all of these combine to have a profound impact on children’s learning and development. They are becoming the designers, creative thinkers, architects, engineers of tomorrow. Woodwork also provides a wonderful foundation to go on to more technical ‘making’ incorporating electronics and computing.

I have been in the fortunate position that I get to present regularly at national and regional conferences as well as deliver regular training to teachers so in that way I have almost immediately been able to share findings from my research trips and hopefully these inspire others and already start to have an impact on provision here in the UK. I am now in the process of establishing the Early Childhood Woodwork Association in the UK and The Big Bang Project to further research woodwork and promote woodwork both here in the UK and overseas. I’m looking forward to the final phase in Sweden and then working out just how I can best use this knowledge, how to best make waves in the media and how to really have the greatest impact on provision here in the UK.