Evaluating the impact of woodwork on learning and development in Early Childhood education

I am currently undertaking quantitative research into the impact of woodwork provision in Early Childhood Education around the world. See below for more information and how to participate.

Monitoring progression in young children’s creative and critical thinking

I am also currently researching best practice for encouraging creative and critical thinking. As part of this research paper Pete is looking to devise a tool to help staff observe and monitor progression of creative and critical thinking skills.


Research: Creative and Critical thinking in Early Years Education

Researching best teaching practice in encouraging creative and critical thinking and researching effective methodology of monitoring creative progression

Outcomes: Developing Creativity in Early Years Education

  • Create a resource for Early Years teachers to clarify the concept of creativity and related thinking processes (and emphasis importance evidenced by latest research)
  • Compile a resource for teachers on how to best encourage creative and critical thinking in pre-school children( based on literature meta-analysis and empirical evidence)
  • Devise a monitoring document for teachers to assess creative progression in pre-school children. Trailed/evaluated/revised/Re-trailed

The purpose of my research has been to explore ways in which early years teaching staff can best be supported to encourage the key thinking components of creativity – Creative thinking and Critical thinking and contributing learning dispositions.

Creativity and critical thinking are both core to the EYFS: highlighted as key characteristics of effective learning that embrace all areas of learning however there is very little guidance on the real meaning and definition of creativity or best ways to encourage or ways of assessing creativity.

I believe monitoring children’s progression in creative and critical thinking is extremely important – and its assessment is currently neglected as it is not incorporated in the 17 EYFS early learning goals. I believe in the narrowing the gap agenda– giving children as equal opportunity in life as possible. It is clear creativity skills have an impact on learning power and outcome/ achievement/ self-actualisation. We need to be able to monitor creative and critical thinking progression to ensure we are developing each child to their full potential and also be particularly aware of children that need additional input.

My research encompasses the follow categories:

  • Detailed and wide ranging literature review/analysis
  • Participation in the most recent developments in creativity thinking at national conferences
  • Developing definitions/explanations of creativity, creative thinking and critical thinking that are accessible, relevant and useful for early year practitioners
  • Researching the best ways to encourage thinking progression to enhance creativity in early years children
  • Collecting empirical evidence of situations that have led to creative flow and extended thinking from teachers at St Werburghs Park Nursery School
  • Developing a monitoring system to evaluate children’s development in their creative and critical thinking skills
  • Trialling monitoring system: This is going to be trailed at St Werburghs Park Nursery School
  • Analysis of data/ evaluation/ reflection – leading to revised monitoring document
  • Revision then re-trialled by a number of selected national teaching schools

The Big Bang Research Project

Researching the Impact of Woodwork Provision in Early Years Education

I am currently undertaking research at the University of Bristol, into the impact woodwork has on children’s learning and development in Early Childhood Education.
I really need your help to get a clear picture of how woodwork provision is looking across the country. This is the first quantitative research study into woodwork provision in Early Years education both in the UK and around the world.
I’m asking if you could please complete the attached research survey – either fill, save and email back or print and post. Details are on the form. Your contribution would be hugely appreciated and is important in order to make a difference by enabling more young children to experience the wonders of woodwork.
The intention is that we can evidence the rich learning and development and promote woodwork to wider audience and also attract funding to enable this. We have established a charity, the Early Years Woodwork Association and this will be developed to promote woodwork to help facilitate this mission.
Please note: All data will be held in accordance to GDPR (2018) and all information is strictly confidential. No judgement will made in any way about your provision. All setting names will be removed from published research papers. Research adheres to BERA’s Ethical Guidelines for Educational Research
The online form is pretty simple – lots of check boxes – hopefully it can also be helpful exercise for you to reflect on your current provision. Please allow 20 minutes.

Click here to download the questionnaire