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Magazine October 2018

This month whilst covering some great early years topics, we also have some spooktacular treats for you! There is a little Halloween history with a craft to go alongside. As well as this we have a piece covering ADHD awareness month, EYFS activity ideas to try today and one of our guest authors covers misbehaviour as a form of communication.

This month whilst covering some great early years topics, we also have some spooktacular treats for you! There is a little Halloween history with a craft to go alongside. As well as this we have a piece covering ADHD awareness month, EYFS activity ideas to try today and one of our guest authors covers misbehaviour as a form of communication.

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Issue 47<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

FREE<br />

INDUSTRY<br />

EXPERTS<br />

Digital Learning:<br />

Theory in practice<br />

Misbehaviour - are<br />

you communicating<br />

with me?<br />

Supporting children<br />

struggling to make<br />

friends<br />

+ lots more<br />

THE WONDERS OF A<br />

SENSORY STORY<br />

Joanna Grace discusses the benefits of sensory stories and<br />

shares her top tips for creating your own!<br />

Write for us<br />

for a chance to<br />

WIN<br />

£50<br />

p 15<br />

CELEBRATING HALLOWEEN • ADHD AWARENESS MONTH • EYFS ACTIVITIES


hello<br />

WELCOME TO OUR FAMILY<br />

OCTOBER <strong>2018</strong> ISSUE 47<br />

IN THIS EDITION<br />

REGULARS<br />

14 Paper plate pumpkin craft<br />

15 Write for us for a chance to win £50<br />

Hello and welcome to the <strong>October</strong> edition of the Parenta magazine!<br />

It was announced recently by the NDNA that nursery closures have jumped by two-thirds since the<br />

30 hours ‘free’ childcare was introduced. There is no way that the early years childcare industry can<br />

withstand this increase in setting closures – what is the point of short-term gain for parents when, in the<br />

long term, the very same parents will suffer as there will be no nurseries at all?<br />

The government blindly committed to 30 hours ‘free’ childcare and it cannot possibly deliver that, it simply<br />

does not have the money. I’ve always supported the position that Champagne Nurseries on Lemonade Funding<br />

(CNLF) takes which is that the 30 hours should be made a subsidy against nursery fees. I’d love to know what our readers’<br />

thoughts are on this!<br />

On a brighter note, in this month’s magazine, we’ve brought you some top tips on how to support children who are struggling to<br />

make friends. We’ve also featured an article from Professor Sean MacBlain which explores the positive use of digital technology<br />

in settings.<br />

Talking of technology, if you’re looking to buy EYFS software, make sure you read our advice piece on page 8 before you make<br />

any purchases. Here, we’ve compiled all the essential steps to help you choose the right software to meet your needs.<br />

Congratulations to sensory specialist Joanna Grace, who has won our guest author competition for two months in a row! If<br />

you’d like to share your thoughts with us on a topic relevant to Early Years and be in with a chance to win a £50 voucher, turn to<br />

page 15.<br />

We’re still collecting entries to win an incredible 1000-piece craft hamper for your setting until the 2nd November. Want to know<br />

more about how to enter this spooky Halloween-themed competition? Full details are on page 29. Good luck!<br />

18 Spotlight on... Sarah Ellis<br />

22 What our customers say<br />

26 The Adventures of Rocket Rabbit & Sidekick<br />

Squirrel Part 3 – Agnes & Bones<br />

39 Parenta job board<br />

NEWS<br />

4 Four out of ten providers fear closure due to 30-<br />

hour scheme, says survey<br />

5 Salford City Council searches for schools to take<br />

on their nurseries<br />

23 Parenta Trust news<br />

ADVICE<br />

6 <strong>October</strong> is ADHD Awareness Month<br />

8 Essential steps to choosing the correct EYFS<br />

learning journey software for your setting<br />

Paper plate pumpkin craft 14<br />

Top 10 messy play ideas 24<br />

Best wishes,<br />

Allan<br />

STAMMERING<br />

<strong>October</strong> 22nd<br />

is International<br />

Stammering<br />

Awareness Day. Read<br />

our suggestions on<br />

how you can help<br />

children who suffer 30<br />

12 How did Halloween begin?<br />

19 Lend your support to World Food Day <strong>2018</strong><br />

24 Top 10 messy play ideas<br />

30 International Stammering Awareness Day<br />

34 EYFS activity ideas to try today<br />

38 Wear your pyjamas with pride for Humphrey’s<br />

Pyjama Week<br />

INDUSTRY EXPERTS<br />

Humphrey’s Pyjama Week 38<br />

SENSORY<br />

STORIES<br />

Joanna Grace<br />

explains sensory<br />

stories and shares<br />

top tips for creating<br />

your own<br />

16<br />

MISBEHAVIOUR<br />

Tamsin Grimmer discusses observing<br />

children’s behaviour objectively and<br />

how to respond sensitively<br />

36<br />

10 Empowering children with kindness<br />

16 The wonders of a sensory story<br />

20 Digital learning: Theory in practice<br />

32 How to use sociograms to support children<br />

struggling to make friends<br />

36 Misbehaviour – are you communicating with<br />

me?<br />

Sean MacBlain and co-author Martine Burke discuss<br />

how theories inform practice in a changing world 20


Pre-School<br />

Alliance<br />

claims that<br />

closures of<br />

a fifth of<br />

its settings<br />

are due to<br />

underfunding<br />

Since January this year, the Pre-school Learning Alliance has shut down 23 of its nurseries due to the<br />

government underfunding of the 15- and 30- hours childcare. With continuous problems and growing<br />

costs of underfunding in the sector, this equates to the closure of more than a fifth of its settings.<br />

Chief executive of the Alliance, Neil<br />

Leitch said: “Over the past year, we<br />

have had to make the incredibly<br />

difficult decision to close down nearly<br />

two dozen of our settings across the<br />

country. Stagnant funding levels are<br />

forcing settings to close their doors<br />

for good and we at the Alliance<br />

know this first hand – because it has<br />

happened to us. Some of these were<br />

offered the 30 hours, some just the<br />

15 – but all suffered from the ongoing,<br />

unsustainable lack of adequate<br />

funding, to the point that when faced<br />

with yet another year of rising rents,<br />

wages and other costs, but little to no<br />

change – and in some areas, a fall – in<br />

funding, we could simply no longer find<br />

a way to square the circle.”<br />

The Alliance confirmed that closures<br />

of its settings were across England,<br />

including London, Devon, Lincolnshire<br />

and Suffolk, as settings in these areas<br />

are more reliant on government funding<br />

due to levels of deprivation.<br />

The Pre-school Learning Alliance<br />

was graded as the third biggest<br />

nursery group in the UK, holding<br />

108 settings and providing 4,223<br />

registered childcare places in the 2017<br />

Nursery Chains league table which<br />

was published by Nursery World in<br />

November.<br />

Mr Leitch added: “The fact that we<br />

operate predominantly in areas of<br />

deprivation made this all the more<br />

impossible, as this means that many<br />

of our nurseries and pre-schools are<br />

heavily reliant on ‘free entitlement’<br />

funding – and it was those settings<br />

that were most reliant on government<br />

funding that we were unable to keep<br />

open. Doesn’t that just say it all?”<br />

He blames ministers for ignoring<br />

evidence from early years settings<br />

about the policy not working.<br />

He added: “I cannot stand by and<br />

watch the Government dismiss the<br />

experiences of providers who have lost<br />

their livelihoods, all because they are<br />

not willing to admit there is a problem<br />

with this policy.”<br />

In wake of the recent news that 70<br />

MPs have signed a letter calling on the<br />

Treasury to save nursery schools, Mr<br />

Leitch said, “As the chief executive of a<br />

provider working primarily in areas of<br />

deprivation, this takes my breath away.<br />

“Do politicians really think that it is only<br />

the 400 maintained nursery schools<br />

providing this vital service? That<br />

the 24,000 pre-schools and 40,000<br />

childminders have nothing to do with<br />

it?”<br />

This news follows the findings from the<br />

PLA’s recent survey which claims that<br />

four out of ten providers fear closure<br />

due to the 30 hours funded scheme,<br />

although education secretary Damian<br />

Hinds insists that nursery schools have<br />

enough funds to deliver the 30 hours<br />

funded childcare.<br />

CEO of Parenta, Allan Presland<br />

commented “The news from the Preschool<br />

Learning Alliance that they have<br />

closed a fifth of their settings since<br />

January underlines the fundamental<br />

failure of the government’s policy of<br />

the 30 hours funded childcare. The<br />

government needs to listen to the<br />

sector, and particularly the Champagne<br />

Nurseries on Lemonade funding<br />

pressure group and change the 30<br />

hours free funding to 30 hours subsidy<br />

– this way nurseries will be able to<br />

continue to provide an outstanding<br />

service, whilst offering parents<br />

discounts on their childcare.<br />

Salford City Council searches for schools to<br />

take on their nurseries<br />

In an effort to save its five day nurseries from shutting down, Salford City Council is looking for<br />

schools to take over their settings. Since February, all five of the council-run nurseries have been<br />

under the risk of closure as the council struggles to plug an early years budget gap of £1.75m.<br />

The council will now consult on plans to<br />

hand over the running of its nurseries to<br />

local schools or other providers.<br />

The new consultation is in response to<br />

an earlier 90-day consultation, which<br />

ran until June <strong>2018</strong>, on a more costeffective<br />

way to deliver the local authority<br />

nurseries. Overall, out of the 11 responses<br />

received, the majority agreed with the<br />

proposal to ‘find a more cost-effective<br />

way of delivering the five local authority<br />

nurseries’.<br />

The council’s conclusion found that a<br />

school- or education-led provision was<br />

the suggested choice, explaining schools<br />

had ‘seen the value’ offered by the<br />

nurseries and were ‘genuinely interested’<br />

in discovering more options to support<br />

them.<br />

The council wrote in a letter to parents:<br />

“This would mean that the LA [Local<br />

Authority] Day Nurseries would no<br />

longer be operated and managed<br />

by the Council and that a schools/<br />

education provider would take over their<br />

management and operation.”<br />

The council is also exploring the<br />

possibility of using other providers during<br />

the new 30-day consultation which runs<br />

from 7th September.<br />

Salford City Council said it hopes to<br />

engage with ‘desirable partners’ in the<br />

course of the new consultation.<br />

A spokesperson for UNISON’s Salford<br />

branch said, “As things stand, the only<br />

outcome that would be acceptable to<br />

the parents and the staff would be for<br />

the nurseries to remain open as council<br />

nurseries beyond September 2019.<br />

“We are completely opposed to<br />

privatisation, transfer to the voluntary<br />

sector or an employee-owned cooperative<br />

because we know that this will<br />

lead to worse terms and conditions for<br />

staff and worse outcomes for children<br />

and families.<br />

“We may be willing to consider<br />

alternative options that would retain the<br />

nurseries in the public sector, but we<br />

would not be inclined to support such an<br />

approach unless we felt confident that<br />

all possible attempts had been made to<br />

secure the funding required to keep the<br />

nurseries open as council-run nurseries.”<br />

In May, the Save Our Nurseries campaign<br />

met with childcare minister Nadhim<br />

Zahawi to talk over the issue and have<br />

agreed a meeting with MPs at the Labour<br />

Party conference in Liverpool later this<br />

month.<br />

Lee Shannon, part of the Save Our<br />

Nurseries campaign, said, “The council<br />

doesn’t have the money to fund the<br />

nurseries after next year so we have two<br />

options. Either funding, like the £55m pot<br />

available to nursery schools, has to come<br />

from central Government, as it is them<br />

who have taken it away, or we have to<br />

go with whatever the council comes back<br />

with.<br />

“The consultation will suggest the<br />

nurseries could merge with their<br />

nearest schools but stay on the same<br />

site, so funding will come from the<br />

schools instead. Our worry would be<br />

that schools don’t have a lot of funding<br />

either, and we are concerned that if it<br />

doesn’t work they will look to privatise,<br />

so we want the Government to make<br />

a decision to secure a future for our<br />

nurseries.<br />

“Ultimately, it’s a financial problem<br />

created by political decision, and that’s<br />

what we’re campaigning to change. We<br />

want to change Government policy on<br />

early years funding and ensure the longterm<br />

future of these nurseries for the<br />

staff who work there and the children<br />

who attend now and in generations to<br />

come.”<br />

Lee Shannon added that the campaign<br />

was appealing for support from across<br />

the sector:<br />

“One of the things Nadhim Zahawi asked<br />

when we met with him was ‘Why only<br />

Salford? If this was a funding problem,<br />

why aren’t all local authority nurseries<br />

coming to me?’ This is why we’re trying to<br />

gain support nationally and join together<br />

with any nurseries who are under similar<br />

threat of closure or financial pressure.<br />

We have to prove this is not one isolated<br />

case but a nationwide problem. The<br />

more support we have, and the wider it<br />

spreads across the country, the better<br />

chance we have of the Government<br />

listening to us and making a decision to<br />

change the current funding.”<br />

4 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 5


<strong>October</strong> is ADHD<br />

Awareness Month<br />

Question:<br />

What do Whoopi Goldberg, Jamie Oliver and record-breaking<br />

Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps, have in common?<br />

Answer:<br />

They have all been diagnosed with ADHD (attention-deficit<br />

hyperactivity disorder).<br />

It’s also important to rule out<br />

behavioural issues that may be just a<br />

child’s reaction to a specific parenting<br />

style or specific teachers, as well<br />

as symptoms attributed to another<br />

developmental stage or another mental<br />

disorder.<br />

Nursery staff can potentially play a<br />

crucial role in helping secure an accurate<br />

and early ADHD diagnosis, which can<br />

help alleviate misconceptions and<br />

assumptions about the child’s behaviour.<br />

An early diagnosis also allows parents<br />

and staff to work together to find<br />

effective strategies to help manage the<br />

condition.<br />

Communication is key. But when talking<br />

to parents or raising concerns about<br />

incidents or behaviour, it is important to<br />

remember that most parents will have<br />

been told many times about their child’s<br />

‘naughty behaviour’, so try to maintain a<br />

positive attitude, show professional care<br />

and empathy, as well as an informed<br />

understanding of the situation.<br />

Is there a cure?<br />

There is no cure for ADHD, but<br />

medication such as methylphenidate can<br />

help patients manage their condition,<br />

improve their concentration, help them<br />

feel calmer and less impulsive as well as<br />

support them to learn new skills.<br />

If a child has been diagnosed with<br />

ADHD, they may need to take medication<br />

during the day at regular intervals, so<br />

adhering to your policy on medication<br />

may be relevant.<br />

Non-pharmacological treatments such<br />

as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and<br />

social skills training may also help older<br />

children.<br />

And remember…<br />

A diagnosis of ADHD is not an excuse to limit expectations for that child. Recent<br />

studies have recognised that children with ADHD may have superior creativity<br />

in performing certain tasks over children without a diagnosis. And many highly<br />

successful people have attributed their achievements to the resilience learned in<br />

dealing with their ADHD on a daily basis.<br />

A child with ADHD has the right to a balanced education which is appropriately<br />

tailored according to their needs and nursery schools are perfectly placed to help<br />

facilitate this in their early years.<br />

For more information on ADHD Awareness Month, visit<br />

www.adhdawarenessmonth.org<br />

ADHD FACTS<br />

¥ ¥ Onset of symptoms is usually<br />

between the ages of 3-6<br />

¥ ¥ Average age of diagnosis is 7<br />

¥ ¥ Boys are 3 times more likely to<br />

be diagnosed than girls<br />

¥ ¥ 39% of children with ADHD have<br />

had fixed-term exclusions from<br />

school<br />

¥ ¥ Sufferers are 100 times more<br />

likely to be permanently excluded<br />

from school<br />

In recent years, there has been an<br />

increase in publicity about ADHD and<br />

most people have now heard of it at<br />

least, although there are still a lot of<br />

misconceptions about what it is, and even<br />

more about the people who suffer with<br />

it. Many children are wrongly labelled as<br />

‘naughty’ or ‘badly-behaved’ when they<br />

are really struggling with undiagnosed<br />

ADHD.<br />

In 2004, National ADHD Awareness<br />

Day was adopted in the States but<br />

soon expanded to include the month of<br />

<strong>October</strong> and is now recognised as ADHD<br />

Awareness Month around the globe.<br />

Three major ADHD organisations support<br />

the project aiming to “educate the public<br />

about ADHD by disseminating reliable<br />

information based on the evidence of<br />

science and peer-reviewed research”.<br />

This year’s focus is on “Setting the record<br />

straight”.<br />

What is ADHD?<br />

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental<br />

disorder usually diagnosed in children<br />

although adults can suffer with symptoms<br />

too.<br />

Causes and symptoms<br />

The exact causes of ADHD are not<br />

fully understood, although research<br />

suggests that genetics and the structure/<br />

functioning of the brain may be factors.<br />

Symptoms are usually seen first between<br />

the ages of 3-6 and preschool is often<br />

one of the first environments where<br />

symptoms become evident to nursery<br />

staff and peers. The symptoms fall into 2<br />

main categories: those of inattentiveness,<br />

and those of hyperactivity and<br />

impulsiveness.<br />

Inattentiveness includes:<br />

¥ ¥ having a short attention span,<br />

¥ ¥ making careless mistakes,<br />

¥ ¥ appearing unable to listen to, or<br />

carry out instructions.<br />

The main symptoms of hyperactivity<br />

and impulsiveness include:<br />

¥ ¥ having trouble sitting still,<br />

¥ ¥ constant fidgeting or movement,<br />

¥ ¥ being unable to wait in turn,<br />

¥ ¥ having little sense of danger.<br />

Diagnosis<br />

Obtaining a diagnosis of ADHD is<br />

complex. GPs are the first port of<br />

call but the child needs to have<br />

displayed 6 or more symptoms of<br />

either inattentiveness, hyperactivity or<br />

impulsiveness continuously for at least<br />

6 months and in at least 2 different<br />

settings: e.g. at home and at preschool.<br />

WHAT YOU CAN DO<br />

Looking after a child with ADHD is often challenging but following the tips below<br />

can help make it rewarding too.<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

Plan the day with clear routines so the child knows what to expect.<br />

Children with ADHD appreciate a stepped approach to tasks.<br />

Be consistent with boundaries and ensure the child understands what<br />

behaviour is expected from them. Reinforce positive behaviour with<br />

praise or rewards. If the boundaries are crossed, then be consistent with<br />

consequences so the child understands the repercussions.<br />

Be specific and literal when giving instructions. For example, say “please<br />

put the books on the bookshelf” rather than “please tidy up”.<br />

Intervene early if you see a child becoming agitated or upset. You can use<br />

distraction techniques or take the child out of the situation to give them<br />

chance to calm down.<br />

Offer rewards or incentives for good behaviour or social interactions.<br />

6 Parenta.com<br />

Recognise the importance of a nutritious diet, regular exercise and<br />

6<br />

adequate sleep, although these may be factors outside <strong>October</strong> of the nursery’s <strong>2018</strong> 7<br />

control.


Essential steps to choosing the<br />

correct EYFS learning journey<br />

software for your setting<br />

In a busy setting, it can be a challenge to focus on providing outstanding childcare day-to-day,<br />

while continuing to record meaningful, detailed and essential EYFS observations.<br />

Recording and storing every child’s<br />

learning journey on paper is a<br />

demanding task that takes nursery staff<br />

away from doing the very thing that they<br />

are passionate about and employed to<br />

do – spending time with the children<br />

in their care. Sharing this fundamental<br />

learning journey information with parents<br />

and carers can be just as difficult - but<br />

not doing so will lead to a breakdown in<br />

communication with parents and carers<br />

and could result in a loss of confidence.<br />

Ultimately, this could result in lost<br />

business.<br />

Switching to an online EYFS tracking<br />

software will not only help you take<br />

the strain out of working in the busy<br />

environment of a setting but will allow<br />

you to spend more time with the children<br />

whilst you strive to follow the statutory<br />

requirements of EYFS.<br />

It’s a very good idea to spend some<br />

time researching and carrying out<br />

credit checks before choosing your EYFS<br />

software provider. Your<br />

data is so important to<br />

you that you need to<br />

feel confident that the<br />

provider you choose is<br />

financially stable and that<br />

you feel comfortable with<br />

entrusting your data with<br />

them.<br />

Allan Presland, CEO of Parenta Group<br />

shares his top tips for choosing the right<br />

EYFS software for your setting.<br />

Time is of the essence<br />

When visiting settings around the country,<br />

the subject of being time-poor comes up<br />

again and again with nursery managers.<br />

Anything you can do to save time, without<br />

compromising on accuracy has to be a<br />

bonus. Reducing unnecessary workload to<br />

free you and your staff up to spend more<br />

time with the children is always going to<br />

be the first thing you think about when<br />

you begin your research. When looking<br />

at the many companies that supply EYFS<br />

software, look for features that will enable<br />

you to be able to view key information at a<br />

glance on one screen, rather than having<br />

to spend time switching screens, or even<br />

switching software! Being able to observe,<br />

track and assess with ease and speed is<br />

essential.<br />

Safeguarding<br />

In today’s society, where the physical,<br />

emotional and digital safeguarding<br />

of children is at the forefront of<br />

every parent’s and<br />

carer’s mind, it<br />

is vital that this<br />

safeguarding<br />

not only starts<br />

at home way<br />

before they begin<br />

school, but that the<br />

responsibility also lies with early years<br />

childcare providers. Being able to use<br />

digital photography confidently, knowing<br />

that you have full control over the images<br />

of those children who you don’t want to<br />

be identified in a picture will give you<br />

peace of mind when sharing with parents<br />

and carers. The team at Parenta has<br />

developed new facial recognition ‘smart’<br />

tagging and blurring technology for the<br />

new EYFS tracking software – Footsteps<br />

2 - which means children not tagged<br />

in the photo are automatically blurred<br />

out. In effect, all children can be tagged<br />

in a photo, but when observations are<br />

sent to individual parents and carers,<br />

only the relevant faces will show, which<br />

supports safeguarding regulations within<br />

your setting and complies with the new<br />

GDPR requirements. This also means<br />

that children in the care system can<br />

now take part in individual and group<br />

photographs and the development of<br />

these children shared with foster parents<br />

and carers – this is unique to Footsteps<br />

2. You can even crop, rotate, apply filters<br />

and change the brightness and contrast<br />

within the photo editing tools – so it can<br />

be fun too!<br />

GDPR compliance<br />

The software you choose has be<br />

compliant with new GDPR regulations<br />

which came into effect earlier this year. It<br />

can be confusing, so when you are doing<br />

your research, ask to be taken through<br />

everything so that once you have chosen<br />

your software, you can have peace of<br />

mind knowing that your data is secure,<br />

hosted and backed up in line with new<br />

GDPR compliance.<br />

Support is everything<br />

Don’t settle for second best when it<br />

comes to support! Many providers will<br />

get you up and running and even provide<br />

some initial training but then will often<br />

leave you to it and expect you to pay<br />

extra for on-going support and training.<br />

Research the terms and conditions for<br />

things like free set up, unlimited users<br />

and training and 12 hours a day support.<br />

It will take a load off your mind if you<br />

know you have that exceptional service<br />

at your fingertips.<br />

Storage space<br />

Something we don't always think about<br />

straight away is storage space. The<br />

amount of storage that you have on<br />

your individual electronic devices will, of<br />

course, differ from device to device but<br />

watch out for providers who limit their<br />

storage ‘allowance’ on the software.<br />

Some software providers (just like mobile<br />

phone providers) will limit the amount of<br />

images, videos etc. on their software that<br />

you are looking to<br />

purchase. Observation<br />

videos, images and<br />

documents can be large in size and take<br />

up a lot of space, so ensure you choose a<br />

package that gives you unlimited storage.<br />

EYFS Recognised<br />

Having spent years completing EYFS<br />

paperwork by hand, you don’t want<br />

to feel that you are “starting all over<br />

again” simply because you have chosen<br />

to buy an online learning journey for<br />

the children in your care. Ensure you<br />

find a software package that uses the<br />

recognised language and colour coding<br />

of EYFS, so that it is not only familiar to<br />

you but also simple to use and won’t<br />

require additional training for your staff.<br />

If you choose software that does this,<br />

your staff will be able to quickly capture<br />

detailed notes when observing a child<br />

play or interact, as well as save time<br />

when identifying where that child is in<br />

their own development pathway. As a<br />

busy setting, your staff need that ease<br />

of use and flexibility and you could<br />

definitely do with software that can be<br />

used on both desktop computers and<br />

tablets which will make it easy to update<br />

information on-the-go.<br />

See clearly!<br />

Choosing online software that lets you<br />

view key information at a glance on one<br />

screen for all children in your setting –<br />

including start date, leave date, gender,<br />

key person, age, date of birth, any<br />

medical conditions, allergies and if they<br />

have SEND is really important as this will<br />

save you hours of time. Look for software<br />

that gives you this information at your<br />

fingertips.<br />

It’s all about the Observations!<br />

One of the fantastic things about<br />

moving to online EYFS software for the<br />

children in your<br />

care, as opposed<br />

to completing<br />

paperwork by<br />

hand is when it’s time for an Ofsted visit,<br />

the progression of one or more children<br />

can be easily shown at the touch of a<br />

button – that's smart technology and<br />

will reduce your workload considerably -<br />

something you could never do if you were<br />

completing by hand! Things like being<br />

able to easily record CoEL and Leuven<br />

Scales as part of an observation as well<br />

as quick cohort tracking will open up a<br />

whole new world to you!<br />

Although the whole EYFS curriculum is<br />

stored within the majority of software<br />

on the market, little extras like two-year<br />

check assessments can give even more<br />

insight into progress – helping you identify<br />

even more the areas of development or<br />

improvement needed. This is in addition<br />

to the EYFS profile which gives a summary<br />

of the child’s progress throughout their<br />

time in your setting. This will also assist<br />

with their transition into primary education.<br />

When it comes to communicating with<br />

parents and carers, having this online<br />

reporting to be able to share with them is<br />

only going to lead to better relationships<br />

with them, greater word of mouth and<br />

hopefully more business for you!<br />

If you would like to learn more about<br />

Footsteps 2 - Parenta's EYFS online<br />

learning journey software - the team<br />

would love to hear from you! Our<br />

in-house developers and customer<br />

experience team will help you with any<br />

questions you have and take you through<br />

the new Footsteps 2 software which has<br />

some unique features!<br />

To arrange a free demo or find out<br />

more information on<br />

please contact our team<br />

contact@parenta.com<br />

0800 002 9242<br />

8 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 9


Empowering<br />

children with<br />

kindness<br />

TEACHING CHILDREN KINDNESS<br />

It’s so important that we teach children about kindness and that, as parents and<br />

practitioners, we model it in front of them. Here are some different ways that we can<br />

encourage kindness in our settings:<br />

1<br />

Read books about kindness<br />

Within many stories there are acts of kindness. Use these as a talking point with<br />

the children and ask them their opinion. Stories are an amazing tool to allow<br />

children to make sense of different concepts. Asking children to identify characters<br />

that are kind can help to raise their awareness and encourage them to recreate<br />

scenarios in their own lives<br />

Kindness is one of the most<br />

important qualities a person<br />

can have. Some people<br />

believe that it can be a sign<br />

of weakness and naivety.<br />

However, to be truly kind as a<br />

person it takes strength and<br />

courage. By teaching children<br />

about kindness, we are giving<br />

them a strong foundation for<br />

the future.<br />

Kindness strengthens relationships<br />

It is far easier to react to people in<br />

situations and to match a person’s<br />

level of disrespect than it is to keep<br />

calm and speak in a kind, balanced<br />

manner. You can still have strong<br />

boundaries and be kind, but it is the<br />

harder route to take. To approach a<br />

challenging situation with kindness,<br />

it means that you have to do what is<br />

right rather than doing whatever it<br />

takes to win, which is not always easy.<br />

However, the ability to do this will<br />

strengthen relationships because it<br />

will allow you to step out of the drama<br />

rather than engaging with it and<br />

saying things you don’t necessarily<br />

mean.<br />

Kindness makes people happy<br />

When we do something kind for people,<br />

it makes us feel happy because it is a<br />

positive act. Likewise, when people do<br />

something kind for us it makes us feel<br />

warm and fuzzy. Research also shows<br />

that acts of kindness can reduce social<br />

anxiety because it allows people to<br />

calm their minds by focusing on being<br />

kind to others.<br />

Kindness is contagious<br />

Seeing someone being kind can plant<br />

seeds in others. If you see the impact<br />

that someone’s kindness has on another<br />

person, you are likely to feel inspired<br />

to do the same. Also, if a person<br />

approaches you in a kind manner about<br />

a problem they have, you are more likely<br />

to respond in a similar tone. It is very<br />

hard to be mean to someone who is<br />

being kind to you!<br />

Kindness is good for your health<br />

Seeing or experiencing acts of kindness<br />

produces oxytocin, which is the ‘love<br />

hormone’. This hormone can actually<br />

reduce blood pressure and improve<br />

overall heart health.<br />

The simple act of<br />

smiling spreads<br />

warmth and kindness<br />

in a room - so smile at<br />

the children as much as<br />

possible<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

Smile more often!<br />

Studies show that when you smile at someone it triggers an involuntary response<br />

for them to smile back. The simple act of smiling spreads warmth and kindness in<br />

a room - so smile at the children as much as possible<br />

Compliment children and staff<br />

Giving compliments is an act of kindness because it makes people feel good about<br />

themselves. As you are passing children (or staff), compliment them on what they<br />

are doing. You can also do activities that encourage children to compliment each<br />

other (see point 4)<br />

Practise gratitude daily<br />

Studies show that regularly practising gratitude increases happiness and reduces<br />

anxiety. By saying thank you and then acknowledging why we are grateful, we get<br />

a deeper level of appreciation because we are highlighting the value or benefit<br />

of what we are grateful for. This creates a positive mindset and a happier outlook<br />

on life. People who are happy in life are more likely to act in a kind manner. To<br />

practise gratitude in your setting, start every day with a little gratitude circle where<br />

you can encourage children to appreciate the small things in life. You can also use<br />

it as an opportunity to compliment others (see point 3) because children can show<br />

gratitude for each other. Download your free gratitude pack at:<br />

www.earlyyearsstorybox.com/gratitude<br />

Explain everything<br />

It’s very easy to pull children up on their behaviour and to tell them to stop doing<br />

something. However, it is really important when we do this to explain to them why<br />

they mustn’t do what they are doing. If a child is calling another child a name, ask<br />

them to stop doing this, but then explain to them why it is important not to call<br />

people names. Ask the child how they would feel if someone called them a name<br />

and go on to explain that calling names hurts people’s feelings and makes them<br />

feel sad, which is something we don’t want to do. Children are just finding their<br />

way and constantly testing boundaries and learning limitations. By explaining<br />

to children in a calm and kind way why we have asked them to stop doing<br />

something, we are giving them an opportunity to learn and develop their empathy,<br />

which is linked to kindness<br />

As you can see there are many ways that we can teach children about kindness. However,<br />

the most important way is to be a role model. Whatever we do, we must remember that<br />

children are watching us and learning through our actions. If we are kind to others and to<br />

ourselves (which is often something that gets overlooked), we won’t go far wrong.<br />

Stacey Kelly<br />

Stacey Kelly is a former<br />

teacher, a parent to 2<br />

beautiful babies and the<br />

founder of Early Years Story<br />

Box, which is a subscription<br />

website providing children’s<br />

storybooks and early years<br />

resources. She is passionate<br />

about building children’s<br />

imagination, creativity and<br />

self-belief and about creating<br />

awareness of the impact<br />

that the Early Years have<br />

on a child’s future. Stacey<br />

loves her role as a writer,<br />

illustrator and public speaker<br />

and believes in the power of<br />

personal development. She is<br />

also on a mission to empower<br />

children to live a life full of<br />

happiness and fulfillment,<br />

which is why she launched<br />

the #ThankYouOaky Gratitude<br />

Movement.<br />

Sign up to Stacey’s Premium<br />

Membership here and use the<br />

code PARENTA20 to get 20%<br />

off or contact Stacey for an<br />

online demo.<br />

Email:<br />

stacey@earlyyearsstorybox.com<br />

Facebook:<br />

facebook.com/<br />

earlyyearsstorybox<br />

Twitter:<br />

twitter.com/eystorybox<br />

Instagram:<br />

instagram.com/<br />

earlyyearsstorybox<br />

LinkedIn:<br />

linkedin.com/in/stacey-kellya84534b2/<br />

10 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 11


How did Halloween begin?<br />

When most people think of Halloween, they think of trick-or-treating, scary costumes and carving<br />

pumpkins to make lanterns. But the origins of this annual tradition can actually be traced back to<br />

Celtic times, over 2,000 years ago.<br />

An annual festival marking the beginning of winter and<br />

the Celtic New Year, called Samhain, was celebrated by<br />

the Celts from the 31st <strong>October</strong> until the 1st November.<br />

The Celts were a group of people who lived across most<br />

of Europe during the Iron Age, which began in 800 BC.<br />

The Celts held an ancient belief that the boundaries<br />

between the living and the dead became blurred on one<br />

day of the year – the 31st <strong>October</strong>. They believed that<br />

ghosts would roam the earth at night. The Celts used to<br />

leave food and drink on the doorstep of their homes as<br />

offerings to these otherworldly visitors.<br />

In the 7th century, Christianity became the dominating<br />

faith and there was an annual celebration called All<br />

Hallows Day. The word ‘hallow’ means a saint or<br />

holy person and the purpose of this day was to give<br />

thanks for the lives of saints.<br />

In 837AD, Pope Gregory IV stated that All Hallows<br />

Day should be celebrated on the 1st November, as it<br />

originally took place in May. The intention behind this<br />

change was to marginalise the Celtic Pagan<br />

faith and replace it with Christianity.<br />

Over time, the Celtic festival<br />

of Samhain was indeed<br />

overshadowed by the Christian<br />

celebration of All Hallows Day. The<br />

evening of the 31st <strong>October</strong> became<br />

known as “All-hallows-even” then<br />

“Hallowe’en”.<br />

Did you know?<br />

The three creatures which typically symbolise<br />

Halloween are bats, black cats and spiders, as<br />

they were all thought to be associated with witches<br />

during the Middle Ages.<br />

The festival of Samhain sparked the idea of wearing<br />

costumes at Halloween. During Samhain, Celts<br />

used to dress up and wear masks to confuse evil<br />

spirits who they believed would be looking for<br />

humans.<br />

Halloween is also known as All Hallows’ Day, All<br />

Saints Day, Hallowmas, Feast of All Saints and<br />

Solemnity of All Saints.<br />

Halloween is the second most popular celebration<br />

after Christmas and continues to grow. In the UK<br />

a decade ago, consumer spending on Halloween<br />

totalled £12m. It has now become an industry worth<br />

over £300m.<br />

The famous magician Harry Houdini died on<br />

Halloween night in 1926 as a result of appendicitis,<br />

said to have been brought on by three stomach<br />

punches.<br />

An American holds the record for the world’s<br />

fastest pumpkin carving time: 16.47 seconds.<br />

Stephen Clarke completed the amazing feat during<br />

Halloween 2013 at a Jack-o’-lantern carving<br />

competition. The rules stated that the pumpkin<br />

must weigh less than 24 pounds and needed at<br />

least eyes, nose, ears and a mouth.<br />

The last 4 people to be sentenced to death for<br />

witchcraft in England were Temperance Lloyd,<br />

Susannah Edward and Mary Trembles in 1682 and<br />

Alice Molland in 1685. The first three women, from<br />

Devon, were dubbed “The Bideford Three” and were<br />

charged with sorcery on the basis of accusations.<br />

Today, this would be dismissed as malicious gossip<br />

or hearsay.<br />

The traditional colours of orange and black are<br />

symbolic of Halloween. Orange typically represents<br />

the harvest and autumn time, when the leaves on<br />

the trees are changing colour. Black is normally<br />

linked to death and darkness.<br />

The largest pumpkin ever measured was grown by<br />

Norm Craven. His mammoth pumpkin broke the<br />

world record in 1993, topping the scales at nearly<br />

60 stone!<br />

The origins of trick-or-treating date back to the<br />

early 9th century, when poor beggars would knock<br />

at houses for a biscuit called a soul cake (a type<br />

of shortbread). In return for one of these cakes, a<br />

prayer would be said for the deceased relatives of<br />

that household.<br />

How will your setting be celebrating Halloween?<br />

Send us photos of your activities and crafts to<br />

marketing@parenta.com for a chance to be<br />

featured in the next edition of the magazine!<br />

Enter our spooktacular Halloween competition<br />

for a chance to win a 1000 piece craft hamper!<br />

For more details see page 29.<br />

12 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 13


Paper plate<br />

pumpkin craft<br />

YOU WILL NEED:<br />

►►<br />

A white paper plate<br />

►►<br />

Orange paint<br />

►►<br />

Paintbrush<br />

►►<br />

Black card<br />

►►<br />

Green card<br />

►►<br />

Scissors<br />

►►<br />

Glue stick or PVA<br />

Write for us for a chance to win £50<br />

We’re always on the lookout for new authors to contribute insightful<br />

articles for our monthly magazine.<br />

If you’ve got a topic you’d like to write<br />

about, why not send an article to us and be<br />

in with a chance of winning? Each month,<br />

we’ll be giving away £50 to our “Guest<br />

Author of the Month”.<br />

5<br />

2<br />

4<br />

1<br />

Ask children to paint their paper plate orange and leave this to dry.<br />

Whilst the plate is drying, cut two small triangle shapes to make the pumpkin’s eyes and one smaller<br />

triangle shape for its nose.<br />

3<br />

To create the pumpkin’s mouth, cut a shape of your choice in the black card.<br />

Cut a long rectangle shape in the green card to create a stalk for the pumpkin.<br />

When the pumpkin is dry, help each child to stick on the shapes you have<br />

previously cut out for the face.<br />

6<br />

Leave the pumpkin<br />

plates to dry for one<br />

last time and watch<br />

them come to life!<br />

Here are the details:<br />

••<br />

Choose a topic that is relevant to early<br />

years childcare<br />

••<br />

Submit an article of between 600-900<br />

words to marketing@parenta.com<br />

••<br />

If we choose to feature your article in our<br />

magazine, you’ll be eligible to win £50<br />

••<br />

The winner will be picked based on<br />

having the highest number of views for<br />

their article during that month<br />

This competition is open to both new and<br />

existing authors, for any articles submitted to<br />

feature in our Parenta magazine for <strong>2018</strong>. The<br />

lucky winner will be notified via email and we’ll<br />

also include an announcement in the following<br />

month’s edition of the magazine.<br />

Got any questions or want to run a topic by us?<br />

For more details email marketing@parenta.com<br />

AUGUST’S WINNER<br />

Joanna Grace<br />

Congratulations to our guest author competition<br />

winner who has won for the second consecutive<br />

month! Joanna Grace’s articles on sensory play are<br />

proving to be very popular with our readers. Huge<br />

well done, Joanna!<br />

14 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 15


The wonders of a<br />

sensory story<br />

Having typed that title, staring at the blank<br />

page on my computer screen, I am rather<br />

worried about what to say next. Or, rather, how<br />

I would ever stop typing once I started. I have<br />

previously written a whole book on this topic<br />

and even that wasn’t enough - a further five are<br />

due out this year!<br />

I am going to cut a long story<br />

short – more for my benefit<br />

than yours – and simply say:<br />

Sensory stories are<br />

wonderful!<br />

I desperately want to justify<br />

that with a long explanation<br />

of their impact on cognition,<br />

mental well-being, a<br />

child’s identity, connection,<br />

community, inclusion, ability<br />

to learn, concentration,<br />

communication and more….<br />

but I am holding that all<br />

in. If you want to know, get<br />

in touch and then brace<br />

yourself for a tsunami-sized<br />

answer! What I will do here<br />

is simply explain what they<br />

are. The simplicity of them as<br />

a resource is deceptive. They<br />

are far, far more than a way<br />

to tell a story with sensory<br />

experiences.<br />

Sensory stories are concise<br />

texts - typically a sensory<br />

story is less than ten<br />

sentences long. Don’t worry,<br />

you can get a lot into ten<br />

sentences! Personally, I have<br />

got the birth of a star in a<br />

stellar nursery into seven<br />

sentences, a retelling of Alice<br />

in Wonderland into ten and<br />

a romp through the world of<br />

Rockhopper Penguins into<br />

eight.<br />

Each sentence of a sensory<br />

story is partnered with a<br />

rich and relevant sensory<br />

experience. You might<br />

be thinking that these<br />

experiences act like the<br />

pictures in a book or like the<br />

objects you might keep in a<br />

story sack to inspire interest,<br />

but in a really good sensory<br />

story they will go beyond<br />

that. The sensations will tell<br />

the story. You have heard the<br />

phrase “A picture speaks a<br />

thousand words”. Well, in a<br />

sensory story there are visual<br />

experiences not pictures,<br />

and sound experiences,<br />

and taste and touch and<br />

vestibular and proprioceptive<br />

and smell experiences and<br />

together these speak millions<br />

of words.<br />

Part of the wonder of a<br />

sensory story is its lack<br />

of reliance on language.<br />

They are naturally inclusive<br />

of those who do not use<br />

language or who speak a<br />

language that is not our own.<br />

You can use them to support<br />

the kinds of sensory needs<br />

we have discussed through<br />

this series of blogs; they are<br />

particularly well suited to this<br />

as an addition to the benefits<br />

of structuring and repeating<br />

sensory experience. They<br />

also offer the benefits of the<br />

storytelling space. Research<br />

into this magical space tells<br />

us that inside a story we are<br />

braver, bolder, better able<br />

to cope and we feel more<br />

connected to others in the<br />

Part of the wonder of a sensory<br />

story is its lack of reliance on<br />

language. They are naturally<br />

inclusive of those who do not use<br />

language or who speak a language<br />

that is not our own.<br />

space. Stories are innately<br />

inclusive and the perfect<br />

vehicle for difficult topics.<br />

So, to sum it all up, you can<br />

use a sensory story to tell a<br />

story in a sensory way and to<br />

support children with sensory<br />

needs. I could continue this<br />

list, but my last attempt here<br />

was four pages long and no<br />

doubt if I looked at it now I<br />

would have more to add.<br />

Trust me, sensory<br />

stories are<br />

wonderful!<br />

You can find out more about<br />

sensory stories and even<br />

access a few free ones if you<br />

visit my website and follow<br />

the links. I am always happy<br />

to support people looking<br />

to share sensory stories, so<br />

do not be shy about getting<br />

in touch via social media or<br />

email here.<br />

5 top tips to create your very own sensory story<br />

To create a sensory story, start with the text. Often, writing your own is easier than distilling<br />

an existing text and means you can write a story about the people you will share it with<br />

which makes it even more interesting. You have 8-10 sentences to tell your whole story in,<br />

but you can get a lot into a small amount of space!<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

Partner each sentence with a rich and relevant sensory experience<br />

Doing this means that the sense being targeted will be drawn to the experience or<br />

filled by the experience, for example, neon colours draw our sense of vision to them;<br />

looking through coloured cellophane fills our vision. The relevance is how strongly the<br />

experience links to the part of the story that it is about. I always tell people to start<br />

with the story and problem-solve the experiences, in this way you end up with more<br />

interesting sensory adventures.<br />

Aim for consistency<br />

When you tell the story, aim to be consistent: say it in the same way each time<br />

and facilitate the sensory experiences that accompany it in the same way. This<br />

enables people to feel safe and secure within the story, which in turn fosters more<br />

responsiveness from them and promotes understanding and anticipation of the<br />

experiences and the story.<br />

Think about who you’re sharing the story with<br />

Try not to add in extra words and take into account the sensory abilities and preferences<br />

of the people you are sharing the story with.<br />

Get organised<br />

Make sure you have all the bits and bobs you need to tell the story ready to hand before<br />

you begin. There is nothing worse than getting to the moment when the star is born in<br />

the stellar nursery and discovering the batteries in the torch are dead!<br />

Finally: repeat, repeat, repeat<br />

So much of the magic of sensory stories comes about through their repetition. You won't<br />

get bored as, although you'll be saying and doing the same thing, you’ll be revelling in<br />

the increased responses you get to the story each time you tell it.<br />

Enjoy your sensory adventures together!<br />

Joanna Grace<br />

Joanna Grace is an<br />

international Sensory<br />

Engagement and Inclusion<br />

Specialist, Trainer, Author,<br />

TEDx speaker and Founder<br />

of The Sensory Projects.<br />

Consistently rated as<br />

Outstanding by Ofsted,<br />

Joanna has taught in<br />

mainstream and special<br />

school settings, connecting<br />

with pupils of all ages and<br />

abilities. To inform her<br />

work, Joanna draws on her<br />

own experience from her<br />

private and professional<br />

life as well as taking in all<br />

the information she can<br />

from the research archives.<br />

Joanna’s private life includes<br />

family members with<br />

disabilities and neurodiverse<br />

conditions and time spent<br />

as a registered foster carer<br />

for children with profound<br />

disabilities.<br />

Joanna has published three<br />

books: Sensory Stories<br />

for children and teens,<br />

Sensory-being for Sensory<br />

Beings and Sharing Sensory<br />

Stories and Conversations<br />

with People with Dementia.<br />

Her next two books will<br />

be launched at TES SEN in<br />

<strong>October</strong>.<br />

Joanna is a big fan of social<br />

media and is always happy<br />

to connect with people<br />

via Facebook, Twitter and<br />

Linkedin.<br />

Website:<br />

thesensoryprojects.co.uk<br />

16 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 17


Spotlight on...<br />

Sarah Ellis<br />

Lend your support to World Food Day <strong>2018</strong><br />

World Food Day will take place on the 16th <strong>October</strong> and is a day dedicated to tackling global<br />

hunger. The event was created by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United<br />

Nations to promote awareness of those suffering from food poverty.<br />

Every month, we put the spotlight<br />

on a member of the Parenta team. This time<br />

around, it’s one of our internal quality assurers.<br />

Sarah monitors the quality and delivery of the<br />

training we provide to our learners in their<br />

apprenticeships.<br />

What does a typical day look like<br />

for you?<br />

A typical day for me will start with<br />

replying to any outstanding emails and<br />

following up on any queries I have.<br />

Then, for completions that are ready<br />

to be claimed, I will verify that the<br />

standards and framework requirements<br />

have been fully met. Once all other<br />

admin duties are complete, I will then<br />

start to complete interim samples of<br />

learners’ portfolios, looking at all areas<br />

of the portfolio and leaving detailed<br />

feedback for the assessors.<br />

Why is it important for us to<br />

have an ongoing internal quality<br />

assurance process?<br />

To allow us to monitor the learning<br />

journey for apprentices, ensure we<br />

standardise our practice across<br />

the company and to make sure all<br />

the assessors are fully meeting the<br />

delivery requirements.<br />

What do you find most rewarding<br />

about your role?<br />

To be able to pass on years of my<br />

experience in both early years and<br />

training to other members of staff,<br />

along with seeing learners achieve<br />

their potential after overcoming<br />

barriers to learning.<br />

We also have a<br />

great team of<br />

assessors who are<br />

passionate about<br />

delivering the<br />

highest standard<br />

of qualifications to<br />

learners<br />

Could you give an example of<br />

where you’ve reviewed and<br />

improved an important part<br />

of the learning process for our<br />

apprentices?<br />

Having only been with Parenta a few<br />

months, I am currently working on<br />

ensuring we are effectively supporting<br />

learners to achieve Functional Skills in<br />

a timely manner, whilst also showing<br />

clear audit trails of planning and<br />

support before a learner takes their<br />

exam. This will hopefully aid timely<br />

completion of Functional Skills and<br />

improve our exam pass rates, along<br />

with our overall success rates.<br />

What do you think makes Parenta<br />

stand out as a training provider?<br />

We specifically work with early years<br />

settings, meaning all our services<br />

from qualification delivery to software<br />

is aimed at the Early Years, which<br />

allows us to provide an all-round<br />

service. We also have a great team of<br />

assessors who are passionate about<br />

delivering the highest standard of<br />

qualifications to learners.<br />

Tell us something about yourself<br />

that most people don’t know<br />

To support myself through college, I<br />

painted little toy soldiers that are sold<br />

in Harrods and worked in the local<br />

bingo hall.<br />

According to estimates from the FAO,<br />

815 million people worldwide live with<br />

chronic hunger –equating to 10.7% of the<br />

population. Globally, over 150 million<br />

children are thought to have had their<br />

growth stunted due to lack of food. Over<br />

40% of these children were found to live<br />

in Africa.<br />

However, food poverty and malnutrition<br />

is not only happening in third world<br />

countries. There’s an increasing number<br />

of food banks whose services provide a<br />

vital stop-gap for families struggling in the<br />

UK. An analysis by anti-poverty charity<br />

The Trussell Trust found that, between the<br />

1st April 2016 and the 31st March 2017,<br />

their network provided over 1.1 million<br />

emergency food parcels to people in crisis.<br />

When this analysis was broken down<br />

into different regions, the North West<br />

of England was found to have the most<br />

demand for food bank services, with<br />

174,489 3-day emergency supplies given<br />

out over the 1-year period.<br />

Data compiled from the Trussell Trust<br />

also revealed that the biggest cause of<br />

families being referred to a food bank<br />

was benefit delays and changes, which<br />

accounts for 43% of all referrals.<br />

How to open up a discussion about<br />

hunger in your setting<br />

Cut out a variety of food images from<br />

magazines and let each child have a<br />

piece of paper. Label it ‘Foods we are<br />

thankful for’. Ask children to choose<br />

their favourite foods to stick to the<br />

paper, as well as foods that make their<br />

bodies healthy and strong. Open up a<br />

conversation about how children would<br />

feel if they were hungry all day and ask<br />

“What should we do if someone doesn’t<br />

have enough food?” The children’s<br />

ideas can act as a great starting point<br />

to think of ways to support people<br />

suffering from food poverty in the runup<br />

to World Food Day.<br />

Activities to take part in<br />

• Ask parents and children to collect vital food donations for your local food bank<br />

or supermarket collection point. You can find out more about what goes into an<br />

emergency food parcel here<br />

• Encourage staff and parents to choose something they want to give up (such<br />

as a daily chocolate bar) for a week and instead donate the money to a charity<br />

which helps alleviate food poverty<br />

• Read the children a book which tackles the theme of not having enough to eat<br />

and the importance of sharing, such as Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A Village Tale<br />

from Kenya by Mary and Rich Chamberlain<br />

• Organise a trip with the children to visit a local food bank where a volunteer can<br />

explain to the children why these services exist and how they help local families in<br />

need<br />

Find out how you and your setting can get involved to help stop UK hunger by visiting The Trussell Trust’s website.<br />

18 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 19


Digital learning: Theory in practice<br />

In previous articles, I looked at the theories of Jerome Bruner, with his emphasis on children’s<br />

thinking skills, Albert Bandura who focused on the social nature of children’s learning and Urie<br />

Bronfenbrenner who examined children’s learning in the wider context of society. In this article,<br />

I would like to focus on how theories inform practice with the help of Martine Burke who is Lead<br />

Practitioner of an outstanding nursery in Bristol. I began by inviting Martine to offer an example<br />

of a new initiative she has introduced within her setting that draws upon sound theoretical<br />

perspectives such as those discussed in previous articles on Bruner, Bandura and Bronfenbrenner.<br />

Martine came up with a wonderful example where digital technology and its potential to develop<br />

children’s learning in her Centre were explored (see example below). The example offers insights<br />

into how children’s thinking and social interaction with their environments can be progressed<br />

and extended by practitioners and how children’s learning in a changing world, which is largely<br />

influenced and shaped by technology, can be observed in practice.<br />

The formation of children’s<br />

digital footprints<br />

We now know that the digital<br />

presence in children’s lives<br />

typically begins even before<br />

birth when, for example,<br />

expectant mothers show<br />

ultrasound images of their<br />

babies to friends and family -<br />

with some even putting these<br />

images on social media sites.<br />

Before children are even born<br />

some have already become<br />

part of the ‘App Generation’<br />

where their mothers<br />

have used apps on their<br />

smartphones after becoming<br />

pregnant, as demonstrated<br />

by one young mother:<br />

I used an app that gives<br />

you a weekly update on the<br />

development of the foetus<br />

[which] it equates to the size<br />

of a strawberry and then a<br />

lemon - it really helps you<br />

imagine.<br />

How digital technologies<br />

help with literacy<br />

development<br />

Children’s digital footprints<br />

then commence following<br />

birth with many children<br />

growing up in homes where<br />

each day they come into<br />

contact with a whole range<br />

of digital devices; from their<br />

first weeks and months<br />

many children, therefore,<br />

become immersed in home<br />

environments that have a<br />

heavy reliance on technology.<br />

By the age of two, children<br />

can even be seen using<br />

tablets or computers. Indeed,<br />

it has been estimated that<br />

nearly half of children in<br />

the UK use these every day<br />

and that well over half of<br />

3-7-year-olds have access to<br />

a tablet computer at home.<br />

Many young children now use<br />

tablet computers as second<br />

nature and may be observed<br />

tapping and swiping the<br />

screens on these devices<br />

with confidence and ease<br />

and often with excitement.<br />

Whilst some parents find it<br />

challenging to use technology<br />

within their own lives, for<br />

children growing up today<br />

it has become their normal<br />

experience. Indeed, children<br />

do not limit their activities<br />

to tablet computers but<br />

increasingly they use their<br />

parents’ smartphones to play<br />

games and watch videos,<br />

video-message relatives such<br />

as grandparents and even<br />

send messages.<br />

Children entering early<br />

years settings today will<br />

almost certainly have had<br />

access to a wide range of<br />

digital technology within<br />

their homes. When used<br />

properly, these devices can<br />

offer very good learning<br />

opportunities for young<br />

children. The absence of<br />

innovative attempts in using<br />

digital technologies in early<br />

years settings may work<br />

against children having<br />

exciting and worthwhile<br />

learning opportunities. Tablet<br />

computers can, for example,<br />

emulate many features of<br />

books and offer exciting<br />

opportunities for literacy<br />

development. Screens look<br />

like the pages of books<br />

and even young children<br />

can swipe their fingers over<br />

pages and enlarge the visual<br />

details of a picture that<br />

captures their interest. There<br />

are also many apps that<br />

are geared towards helping<br />

children in making up their<br />

own stories and can even<br />

permit the children to add<br />

pictures and sounds, making<br />

them more visually appealing<br />

and motivating the children<br />

to engage further with books<br />

and explore ideas in much<br />

greater detail. Children<br />

can then be encouraged to<br />

become even more creative<br />

with their engagement with<br />

reading and writing.<br />

Example of the benefits<br />

of digital technology use<br />

from Martine Burke of The<br />

Southville Centre, Bristol:<br />

When thinking about how<br />

Information Computer<br />

Technology (ICT) might be<br />

used for children in the early<br />

years, I asked the team<br />

what this might mean for us.<br />

After putting the question<br />

to the team their response<br />

was very positive. They saw<br />

opportunities for the children<br />

to develop their thinking skills<br />

and knowledge by being<br />

able to explore, observe and<br />

have a go with iPads, tablets,<br />

phones. This could also lead<br />

to them using or observing<br />

adults at home. I decided to<br />

observe a group of children<br />

exploring ICT equipment<br />

in our setting. The children<br />

are already very interested<br />

in exploring cars, rolling,<br />

positioning them next to each<br />

other, forwards, backwards,<br />

racing them along ramps and<br />

showing lots of persistence<br />

and imagination and in doing<br />

so, developing their social<br />

skills through playing with<br />

others. I next offered some<br />

remote-controlled cars for<br />

the children to explore. The<br />

children were between the<br />

ages of 2 and 3 years of age.<br />

The children straightaway<br />

became very involved and<br />

keen, pressing buttons,<br />

observing what happens to<br />

the cars when they do so<br />

– importantly, the children<br />

were making something<br />

happen using thinking<br />

skills and by having a go,<br />

which are characteristics of<br />

effective learning. It was a<br />

joy to observe the children<br />

working together, racing<br />

the cars and practising<br />

moving them forwards and<br />

backwards. Having this<br />

opportunity, I feel, enhances<br />

the learning environment for<br />

our children. Using the indoor<br />

and outdoor environment,<br />

up and down ramps, steps,<br />

modelling language and<br />

lots of repetition encouraged<br />

many verbal responses from<br />

the children. Reflecting upon<br />

this, I will offer more ICT<br />

opportunities to enhance and<br />

support learning indoors and<br />

outdoors. Next steps will be<br />

metal detectors to explore.<br />

The above example clearly<br />

illustrates how one early<br />

years setting is exploring<br />

ways in which ICT can be<br />

used positively to impact<br />

on the learning of young<br />

children, to increase<br />

their thinking skills and<br />

progress social development,<br />

to interact with others,<br />

acquire new vocabularies<br />

and experiment with new<br />

ideas and activities and to<br />

improve coordination and<br />

fine motor skills; all in a way<br />

that motivates and excites<br />

them with new learning. In<br />

previous generations, when<br />

theorists such as Bruner,<br />

Bandura and Bronfenbrenner<br />

were developing their<br />

theories, most children<br />

shaped their social lives<br />

through exploration of the<br />

physical worlds around<br />

them; play was typically<br />

‘hands-on’ and mostly, ‘outof-doors’.<br />

Children today,<br />

however, can shape their<br />

social lives and exploring<br />

their physical worlds from<br />

the comfort of their homes<br />

and bedrooms. This process<br />

has been reinforced by the<br />

fact that many parents have<br />

over recent years invested<br />

in digital technology for<br />

their children by buying<br />

computers, tablet computers,<br />

smartphones and paying for<br />

access to the Internet in the<br />

belief that this can benefit<br />

their children’s learning and<br />

have real educational value<br />

as evidenced by Martine in<br />

the above example.<br />

Sean MacBlain<br />

Dr Sean MacBlain is a<br />

distinguished author whose<br />

most recent publication<br />

is: MacBlain (Sage, <strong>2018</strong>)<br />

Learning Theories for<br />

Early Years Practice. Other<br />

publications include:<br />

MacBlain (Sage, 2014)<br />

How Children Learn; Gray<br />

and MacBlain (Sage,<br />

2015) Learning Theories in<br />

Childhood, now going into<br />

its 3 rd edition; MacBlain,<br />

Long and Dunn, (Sage,<br />

2015) Dyslexia, Literacy and<br />

Inclusion: Child-centred<br />

Perspectives; MacBlain,<br />

Dunn and Luke (Sage, 2017)<br />

Contemporary Childhood;<br />

Sean’s publications are used<br />

by students, academics and<br />

practitioners worldwide.<br />

He is currently a senior<br />

academic at Plymouth<br />

Marjon University where<br />

he teaches on a range of<br />

undergraduate programmes<br />

and supervises students at<br />

Masters and Doctoral level.<br />

Sean worked previously as a<br />

Senior Lecturer in Education<br />

and Developmental<br />

Psychology at Stranmillis<br />

University College, Queens<br />

University Belfast and for<br />

over twenty years as an<br />

educational psychologist<br />

in private practice. Sean<br />

lives with his wife Angela in<br />

Somerset, England.<br />

For further information on how an understanding of ICT can<br />

support practice in the early years, see the following link to Sean’s<br />

latest book: MacBlain, S.F. (<strong>2018</strong>) Learning Theories for Early Years<br />

Practice. London: Sage: https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/<br />

learning-theories-for-early-years-practice/book259408<br />

20 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 21


What our customers say<br />

WHAT OUR CUSTOMERS SAY<br />

NEWS<br />

Parenta Trust news<br />

TRAINING<br />

What do you think of<br />

our services?<br />

“Very good.”<br />

- Bi Shabana<br />

SEPTEMBER<br />

<strong>2018</strong><br />

TRAINING<br />

I have just completed a level 3 early years<br />

qualification with Parenta. I am emailing as I would<br />

like to acknowledge the excellent support I received from<br />

Jeanette Arnold, my assessor. Jeanette responded quickly to any<br />

queries I had regarding assignments and observations and was also<br />

very understanding on the couple of occasions I had to re-arrange due<br />

to staffing issues at my setting, meaning I couldn’t be out of ratio. I<br />

have thanked Jeanette personally but felt I needed to make you aware<br />

of the brilliant job she has done in supporting me throughout my<br />

study. She is an asset to Parenta :) Thanks again.<br />

The latest from the dairy project at<br />

Nyakabale Nursery School<br />

The dairy project at a Parenta Trust school in Kasese, Uganda<br />

is going from strength to strength with the arrival of a new calf.<br />

This is the second offspring successfully produced by Rambo,<br />

Tulip and Daisy who have clearly been busy!<br />

Help a child in a Parenta Trust school<br />

look forward to a much brighter<br />

future. For as little as 56p per day,<br />

you can change a child’s life! Find out<br />

more about sponsoring a child today:<br />

bit.ly/PTsponsor<br />

- Christina Brown<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

SOFTWARE SUPPORT<br />

Thanks Ellie. I always find you<br />

helpful and patient with any<br />

issues I have!<br />

26th - 30th June 2019<br />

- Rosie Farmer, Winton House<br />

Day Nursery<br />

AUGUST <strong>2018</strong><br />

TRAINING<br />

I have been working in Early Years for<br />

over 20 years. I was approached by Pam<br />

who recommended the level 5. I am a full-time<br />

manager of a very busy setting and wasn’t optimistic<br />

at how I was going to fit in the study time. Pam, from<br />

the beginning, made me believe in my own abilities. The<br />

way the course is set out and managed really supported<br />

my learning style. I have thoroughly loved learning with<br />

such an incredible mentor. Pam has so much passion<br />

in Early Years which inspired and motivated me<br />

throughout the course. I would highly recommend<br />

Parenta to others seeking to develop their skills<br />

and knowledge further.<br />

- Joanne Unsworth, Rainbow Childcare<br />

Centre Nursery<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

SOFTWARE SUPPORT<br />

Thank you so much for your help<br />

and ongoing support. As someone<br />

who is still learning about Parenta, I am<br />

exceedingly happy with the support that I<br />

have had lately.<br />

- Pamela Smith, Bluebells Nursery<br />

Manager<br />

SEPTEMBER <strong>2018</strong><br />

Last <strong>October</strong>, Parenta trustee Marie<br />

Kershaw donated funds to help<br />

Nyakabale Nursery School, which was<br />

identified as being the most in need.<br />

A small piece of land, two cows, a<br />

bull, the animals’ shelter and food for<br />

1 year was bought with the generous<br />

donation.<br />

Earlier in the year, the Trust received<br />

the happy news that the herd’s first calf<br />

had been born. Now, a second calf has<br />

been produced by the affectionately<br />

named Rambo, Tulip and Daisy.<br />

As well as feeding the new arrival, milk<br />

from the cows is also being used to<br />

make nutritious meals for the children<br />

who attend Nyakabale Nursery School.<br />

The herd produces approximately 15<br />

litres of milk for these pupils on a daily<br />

basis.<br />

One of the dairy project’s main aims is<br />

to improve the nutrition and health of<br />

920 pupils through milk consumption by<br />

2019.<br />

Besides improving the children’s diet,<br />

the diary project also aims to equip<br />

500 learners with skills in livestock<br />

management which they can apply in<br />

their homes. In the long run, the project<br />

will also increase the school’s income<br />

through the sale of surplus dairy<br />

products.<br />

Registration is now open for the 2019<br />

road trip of a lifetime – the Parenta<br />

Trust Maidstone to Monaco Rally.<br />

Don't miss this great adventure,<br />

register today! From 26th – 30th June<br />

2019, we will travel 2,000 miles across<br />

8 countries in our banger cars and<br />

finish in Monaco with a celebratory<br />

night out! All proceeds from this<br />

fundraiser will go towards building<br />

our next pre-school in East Africa.<br />

Find out more at:<br />

bit.ly/2019PTrally<br />

22 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 23


Top 10 messy play ideas<br />

5<br />

WATER FIGHTS<br />

8<br />

SPAGHETTI SPOOLS<br />

There’s nothing kids love more than getting their hands dirty. Not<br />

only is messy play bound to be your children’s favourite kind, but<br />

the sensory experience it extends can encourage learning in a truly<br />

unique way.<br />

1<br />

THE GREAT OUTDOORS<br />

Put a tarp down in your lounge or lawn, and have a go with the<br />

following messy play ideas the next time your kids say they’re bored!<br />

3<br />

PLAYDOUGH<br />

For a summer’s afternoon, there are few activities better than<br />

a water fight. Arm your little warriors with water bombs and<br />

a couple of water-guns, and watch as they chase each other<br />

around in delight.<br />

What’s better is that water doesn’t stain, so no need for<br />

washing clothes after the kids have finished their battle!<br />

6<br />

OOBLECK MARBLING<br />

Spaghetti is a vital material in every parent’s messy-play<br />

toolkit. You can colour it with different food dyes and watch<br />

as your kids knit the strands together, you could help them<br />

dye it black to make a “worm-pot” or you can even use<br />

cooked spaghetti strands as brushes of sorts to create<br />

swirly-whirly paintings.<br />

9<br />

MAKE SOME SLIME<br />

The old-school, no-fuss version of messy play is letting the<br />

kids go wild outside. Out in the garden, they’ll find dirt, mud,<br />

sand, insects, flowers – the list goes on. Encourage them to<br />

take their shoes off and feel the grass beneath their feet.<br />

There is a myriad of games kids can play in nature. Whether<br />

it’s crafting mud pies, helping you to do the gardening, or<br />

playing a good old game of hide-and-seek in the bushes,<br />

they’ll be entertained for hours in the great outdoors.<br />

There’ll be few of us who don’t remember with fondness the<br />

times we made playdough from scratch – and this classic<br />

play idea still offers buckets of fun for mess-loving kids.<br />

All you need is a few household ingredients and a bit of<br />

heating and kneading, and the kids will be away laughing.<br />

4<br />

BAKING<br />

If you haven’t heard of Oobleck before, it’s simply mixed<br />

cornstarch and water. Why not add food dye to the mix,<br />

and introduce your kids to the colour palette? They’ll love<br />

handling this sticky, gooey stuff, and can even use it to<br />

make splatter or marble paintings, if they want to!<br />

Been meaning to teach your kids about non-Newtonian<br />

substances? Get them on the chemistry train early by making<br />

some homemade slime. It couldn’t be simpler: you only need<br />

one specific ingredient, Borax (sodium tetraborate), and once<br />

you’ve got that, you can use household ingredients to make<br />

all kinds of wonderful goo.<br />

2<br />

GLITTER PICTURES<br />

7<br />

FEET-PAINTING<br />

10<br />

GETTING SANDY<br />

Do you have a budding art-and-crafter in your midst?<br />

Allow them to exercise their talents by setting up a station<br />

complete with glitter, glue, crayons, and the like.<br />

Kids love to bake, and coaching them through simple<br />

recipes can be a fantastic lesson in following instructions.<br />

Plus, baking means eating the mixture and making a<br />

delicious mess during things like cookie decoration (in other<br />

words, every child’s dream).<br />

Parents can be understandably concerned about letting<br />

their kids go wild in the kitchen – to reduce waste and<br />

ensure their creations are edible, you could measure out the<br />

ingredients prior and confine the mess to a mess-table.<br />

Buy some poster paints and allow your kids to explore the fine<br />

art of painting with their feet. What they produce will be an<br />

invaluable keepsake for mum and dad as they grow older.<br />

Many people’s best childhood memories are made at the<br />

beach. With all that sand, water, and interesting sea life to<br />

peruse, beach-going can be as messy as the children want<br />

it to be. Take the dog and some sandwiches along for a<br />

proper family day out.<br />

24 Parenta.com<br />

Cloe Matheson is from Dunedin, NZ. Growing up, Cloe’s favourite weekend activity was playing house with her friends. They<br />

would gather sticks, stones and leaves from the backyard and “cook” them in their makeshift kitchen tent. To this day, these<br />

memories still a bring a smile to Cloe’s face. Visit Tumblr to see more of her published work.


The Adventures of Rocket Rabbit &<br />

Sidekick Squirrel Part 3 – Agnes &<br />

Bones<br />

The Adventures of<br />

Rocket Rabbit &<br />

Sidekick Squirrel part 2<br />

PREVIOUSLY ON ROCKET RABBIT &<br />

SIDEKICK SQUIRREL…<br />

Our little heroes were out on a mission. But instead,<br />

they were led into a trap by The Badger and were left<br />

thinking what may happen next…<br />

Sidekick was shocked. She was hardly ever beaten –<br />

especially by a baddie! Her mind was going over and<br />

over what just happened and what she could have<br />

done differently.<br />

She was thinking that maybe it would be best if they<br />

both returned home to talk about their plan. It would<br />

give Sidekick time to come up with a new plan, work<br />

out who or what they were up against, and the best<br />

way to prepare.<br />

Rocket was thinking the complete opposite! She<br />

wanted to wait and find out who they were facing.<br />

Returning to base would be a sign of weakness in<br />

Rocket’s mind.<br />

Finally, Sidekick said what she had been thinking,<br />

“We should return home, Rocket. We need to work<br />

out what’s going on here.”<br />

“No way!” Rocket said.<br />

Sidekick sighed. She was used to Rocket’s way of<br />

doing things but, just once, she would like to be<br />

listened to! Instead, she made the choice to stay with<br />

her partner and come up with a plan to keep them<br />

both safe.<br />

Sidekick told Rocket about her plan and was so<br />

happy that Rocket was actually listening to her!<br />

Quickly, our two heroes hid in the shadows and<br />

waited for whatever may be coming their way…<br />

Agnes & Bones<br />

...MEANWHILE...<br />

Meanwhile, across the city, The Badger had gone<br />

back to her hideout. “I did as you asked,” she said<br />

loudly. “The two fluffy heroes are trapped and ready<br />

for you to talk to them.”<br />

A witch stepped out of the shadows and laughed<br />

mischievously. “Good work,” she said. “It’s about time<br />

I meet these two. They have been stopping all of my<br />

good work all over the city.”<br />

The witch, Agnes, had sent The Badger to set up the<br />

trap as she was unsure if it would work and it would<br />

have been better for her if The Badger had been<br />

caught instead. Now that it had worked, however, she<br />

was happy and was certain that she and her partner<br />

– The Skeleton - would be able to handle Rocket and<br />

Sidekick<br />

Agnes did not look like a witch, that is to say that she<br />

did not have green skin nor a huge nose. She did,<br />

however, have a huge black pointed hat, a broomstick,<br />

and a black cat named Meow.<br />

The witch was dressed in a dark cloak, but her face<br />

was pleasant and smiley. She looked like she could be<br />

someone’s grandma – except for the broomstick!<br />

Agnes went to a bookshelf and got down the biggest,<br />

dustiest, filthiest book from the top shelf. She blew the<br />

cobwebs off and made the cat sneeze! Spiders scuttled<br />

across the floor, but the witch took no notice. She was<br />

busy flicking through the pages looking for a special<br />

spell.<br />

She found it on page 804 under the heading:<br />

SKELETON BUDDIES<br />

Agnes went to the middle of the room, to her cauldron<br />

in which she cooks all of her potions. She placed the<br />

book on a special table stand and went around the<br />

room collecting different spices and ingredients for the<br />

spell. Into the pot they all went, forming a bright blue<br />

liquid that was bubbling and hissing. Meow stayed out<br />

of sight. She was afraid that some of it might spill on<br />

her!<br />

The witch danced around the room even though there<br />

was no music playing. She was feeling very happy and<br />

excited. It had been a long time since she had seen her<br />

skeleton buddy.<br />

At last the spell was complete and out of the cauldron<br />

stepped a real live skeleton. Except, of course, that it<br />

was not alive! The skeleton walked shakily toward the<br />

witch… and gave her a huge hug!<br />

“How I’ve missed you!” said the skeleton, whose name<br />

was Bones, happily.<br />

“I’ve missed you too!” replied Agnes, her smile as wide<br />

as a river.<br />

<strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 27


“Come, my friend, we have work to do.” Agnes said<br />

as she climbed on to her broom. Bones climbed on<br />

behind her and held tight to the witch.<br />

The baddies took off into the sky, heading for where the<br />

heroes were still hiding inside the shop.<br />

Agnes flew the magic broom faster and faster. She<br />

smashed it straight through the wall of the shop. Bricks<br />

and rubble flew everywhere. Rocket and Sidekick were<br />

still safe in their hiding spaces, however.<br />

They had been ready for something to happen. Rocket<br />

almost ran out then, but Sidekick shook her head.<br />

Rocket waited.<br />

“I know you are here, you pesky heroes!” Agnes called<br />

out to them.<br />

She slid off of her broom with Bones behind her. The<br />

broom moved itself off to a corner of the room and<br />

leaned against a wall.<br />

‘I never knew a broom could do that’ thought Sidekick to<br />

herself. She was shocked, but she stayed in position.<br />

Bones was moving about the shop, slowly and quietly.<br />

She had superpowers as much as Rocket and Sidekick –<br />

she can see through walls!<br />

She soon spotted where the two heroes were hiding but<br />

they hadn’t seen her yet.<br />

Just as Rocket and Sidekick went to attack Agnes, Bones<br />

threw some of her bones at them! They both slipped<br />

and tripped over the rib bones from the skeleton and<br />

found themselves helpless at the witch’s feet…<br />

Richard Dodd<br />

Richard has been writing for<br />

as long as he can remember.<br />

English was a subject he<br />

enjoyed in school as it just<br />

made sense to him. He loved<br />

to read and requested his<br />

own bedroom so that he could<br />

have a bookcase! His favourite<br />

childhood authors included<br />

Enid Blyton, R. L. Stine, M. D.<br />

Spenser, and Charles Dickens.<br />

Characters, stories and even<br />

words he has taken in through<br />

all of those books have stayed<br />

with Richard for two decades.<br />

He firmly believes that books<br />

are integral in a person’s<br />

upbringing and that those<br />

experiences will stay with them<br />

throughout their lives.<br />

He can recall parts of those<br />

books in their entirety, from<br />

the tone of voice described by<br />

the author to certain scenes<br />

from The Famous Five or Secret<br />

Seven. Richard loves fiction<br />

and the idea of escaping and<br />

therefore creating an escape<br />

for a reader is the very reason<br />

he writes.<br />

Richard has written four books,<br />

three in the Fluffy the Magic<br />

Penguin series and a standalone<br />

book called ‘The Secret<br />

Passageway’.<br />

Facebook:<br />

www.facebook.com/<br />

richarddodd.author/<br />

Email:<br />

Richard.dodd@upburypress.<br />

co.uk<br />

Website:<br />

www.upburypress.co.uk<br />

win a craft hamper in our<br />

spooktacular halloween<br />

competition!<br />

Enter our Halloween competition with the chance to win a hamper crammed with<br />

1000 craft items!<br />

To enter, download the Halloween craft templates from our website, available here and<br />

get ready to create ghoulish decorations for your setting.<br />

Once you’ve completed your ghastly crafts, send a photo of these displayed in your setting<br />

to marketing@parenta.com by Friday 2nd November <strong>2018</strong>.<br />

We’ll upload this photo to our website and social media pages for a national vote – the one<br />

with the most votes will win our incredible prize!<br />

Happy Halloween crafting and good luck! <br />

28 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 29


International Stammering<br />

Awareness Day<br />

<strong>October</strong> 22nd is International Stammering Awareness Day. It aims to raise awareness about<br />

the seventy million people across the globe who suffer with stammering*. It could be on<br />

certain words, in certain situations, or in general, but the impact on sufferers is the same: a<br />

communication problem that severely affects their confidence and quality of life.<br />

We all have moments<br />

where we lose our train of<br />

thought or forget a word,<br />

but in the case of people<br />

who stammer, there can<br />

be moments of prolonged<br />

hesitation, repetition of<br />

sounds or words, and times<br />

when literally no sound is<br />

made (silent blocking).<br />

Many people do not know<br />

how to react appropriately<br />

when someone stammers.<br />

Popular culture has often<br />

increased social stigma<br />

by creating either comic<br />

(Porky Pig) or mentallyunstable<br />

(Norman Bates)<br />

characters who stammer.<br />

It’s only recently, with<br />

the success of films like<br />

The King’s Speech, that a<br />

more meaningful dialogue<br />

has opened-up about<br />

the causes, therapies<br />

and long-term issues<br />

surrounding stammering.<br />

For children who<br />

stammer, life<br />

can be a<br />

constant struggle to be<br />

understood. It can lead<br />

to frustration, anger,<br />

behavioural issues,<br />

poor confidence, and<br />

withdrawal from social<br />

situations. Many children<br />

are bullied because of<br />

their stammer and it can<br />

affect their education and<br />

employment chances as<br />

adults.<br />

Early intervention is vital,<br />

and nurseries are in<br />

an excellent position to<br />

increase awareness and<br />

offer a supportive and<br />

nurturing environment that<br />

helps develop language<br />

and communication.<br />

Stammering is not<br />

unusual<br />

Stammering affects people<br />

from every culture, social<br />

status and age group.<br />

Approximately 5% of young<br />

children experience some<br />

difficulty with fluency<br />

growing up. Whilst most<br />

cases resolve without<br />

intervention,<br />

about 1%<br />

of people will continue to<br />

stammer as adults; men<br />

being four times more<br />

likely to stammer than<br />

women.<br />

Lewis Carroll, Gareth<br />

Gates, Rowan Atkinson,<br />

Ed Sheeran and Winston<br />

Churchill all fought hard<br />

to overcome childhood<br />

stammers.<br />

What causes<br />

stammering?<br />

Stammering is NOT caused<br />

by nervousness. It is a<br />

neurological condition<br />

caused by physical<br />

differences in the anatomy<br />

of the brains of people<br />

who stutter, compared to<br />

those who do not. There<br />

can also be differences in<br />

the way the brain functions<br />

and responds to emotional<br />

inputs. Onset is usually<br />

between 2½-3 years.<br />

Genetics also play an<br />

important part, and<br />

stuttering can run in<br />

families, often being<br />

common amongst<br />

siblings.<br />

The severity and frequency<br />

of stammering varies<br />

between individuals,<br />

but there are also<br />

environmental, linguistic,<br />

physical and psychological<br />

factors that can also have<br />

an effect.<br />

Is there a cure?<br />

There is no magical ‘cure’<br />

for stuttering although<br />

early intervention in the<br />

pre-school years is vital.<br />

Research shows that<br />

if tackled early, before<br />

psychological issues such<br />

as self-consciousness<br />

or anxiety become<br />

established, then most<br />

children can learn to speak<br />

more fluently.<br />

Recognising the symptoms<br />

and referring children to<br />

a qualified speech and<br />

language therapist is<br />

essential in under-5s and<br />

the British Stammering<br />

Association has set up<br />

the “Every Child’s Chance<br />

of Fluency” project<br />

which aims to improve<br />

therapeutic services<br />

available to children.<br />

How can you help children in your setting who stutter?<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

Improve education<br />

Improving your team’s understanding and knowledge about stuttering will help<br />

disseminate best-practice ideas amongst early years professionals. International<br />

Stammering Awareness Day is an ideal opportunity for some staff training or to<br />

increase awareness in children. Be wary of singling out individuals however, so<br />

they don’t become more anxious or self-conscious.<br />

Develop better listening skills<br />

People who stammer like to talk for themselves so don’t be tempted to finish their sentences. Instead,<br />

the advice is to listen with patience. Do not be tempted to give advice either, such as ‘slow down’,<br />

‘take a breath’ or ‘relax’. This can exacerbate the problem and shows a misunderstanding of the real<br />

causes of stammering.<br />

Singing and choral speaking<br />

People who stammer are normally fluent when singing, speaking in chorus, or whispering, so making<br />

use of these in games or social activities can help children who stammer and build their confidence in<br />

social situations.<br />

Emphasise communication rather than fluency<br />

Most people’s goal in speaking is to engage in good communication – i.e. to have their needs and<br />

feelings understood accurately. This goal should be prioritised over emphasising<br />

perfect fluency in people who stammer.<br />

Ways to mark International Stammering Awareness Day<br />

The British Stammering Association want people to talk more about stammering. Here are some ways<br />

they suggest you can mark International Stammering Awareness Day:<br />

1<br />

2<br />

3<br />

4<br />

5<br />

One important action could be to dispel the myths that stuttering is caused by<br />

nervousness, or that people who stutter are less intelligent, which are simply untrue.<br />

This means finding other ways in which children can communicate more easily<br />

– perhaps using alternative words, images or gestures which can all help<br />

communication. This will lessen the importance of perfect fluency, reducing<br />

anxiety and frustration too.<br />

Wear a sea-green ribbon, or sea-green-coloured clothes as a conversation starter. Sea-green has<br />

been chosen because it represents the bond between peace/calmness (blue) and liberation (green) -<br />

important factors for people trying to overcome a stammer.<br />

Wear a BSA wristband, available from their website.<br />

Use social media to spread the message.<br />

Create and put up awareness posters.<br />

Invite parents, carers, governors and friends to a display or talk.<br />

For more information, visit<br />

the British Stammering<br />

Association website:<br />

www.stammering.org<br />

30 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 31<br />

*In the USA and Australia, the word ‘stutter’ is used more frequently than ‘stammer’. ‘Dysfluency’ is also used<br />

synonymously in the UK.


How to use sociograms<br />

to support children<br />

struggling to make friends<br />

The introvert, extrovert and the ambivert child.<br />

Are you an extrovert or an introvert?<br />

Is it your idea of heaven to curl up on your own with a good<br />

book? Or is it to dance the night away in a nightclub with<br />

hundreds of other people? At what point in our lives do these<br />

social preferences begin to emerge?<br />

At around the age of three or four<br />

children become more social in<br />

their play. Their social attitudes and<br />

approaches influence the way they<br />

relate to others. Successful group<br />

dynamics makes us happy, unsuccessful<br />

ones make us miserable, regardless of<br />

our age. Clearly, we need to place the<br />

support of social relationships at the<br />

heart of early years education.<br />

A child’s social attitude highlights their<br />

social needs. The introverted child needs<br />

more time to process what they are<br />

thinking before they communicate, and<br />

will probably prefer to play one-to-one<br />

or in small groups. Extroverted children<br />

come across as more confident and<br />

assertive. They tend to interact more<br />

easily. Lastly, ambiverted children are<br />

a mixture of the two; they enjoy the<br />

company of others as well as being<br />

alone. Ambiverts roughly make up<br />

between half and two-thirds of the<br />

population, with introverts and extroverts<br />

among the rest.<br />

Our world tends to reward extrovertism<br />

whereas introvertism is seen as<br />

weakness or a problem. Regardless of<br />

temperament and personality, every<br />

child needs to feel supported, valued<br />

and respected. Our job is to encourage<br />

children to interact in healthy and<br />

enjoyable ways that best suit them. How<br />

do we do this?<br />

Sociograms<br />

Sociograms are visual representations<br />

of the interpersonal relationships in a<br />

group or class. Once a child’s play is<br />

interactive (usually around the age of<br />

four) sociograms become a useful tool<br />

for identifying children who may be<br />

socially isolated and in need of some<br />

help initiating interaction, or for flagging<br />

up unbalanced friendships.<br />

Take a look at the sociogram below.<br />

The arrows represent who initiates<br />

interaction with whom/who likes playing<br />

with whom. Notice that Lisa initiates<br />

interaction/likes playing with others,<br />

but gets no response. She is not valued<br />

as a play partner. This needs to be<br />

addressed.<br />

Ben<br />

Milo<br />

Oscar<br />

Sam<br />

James<br />

Lisa<br />

Lucy<br />

Mutual interaction<br />

One-way interaction<br />

Tayla<br />

Anna<br />

Girls<br />

Boys<br />

Sara<br />

A sociogram (see diagram) can be<br />

created by:<br />

• Observing who initiates interactions<br />

with whom (verbal, non-verbal).<br />

Several sociograms throughout one<br />

session will build up a picture of social<br />

behaviour for a focused child or group.<br />

• Asking children (when no other children<br />

are with them) who they enjoy playing<br />

with. This method can be less reliable<br />

for the younger child as they may well<br />

give the name of the child they have<br />

just been playing with. Once you have<br />

recorded all the names the children<br />

give, you can create the sociogram. This<br />

is a ‘one-off’ sociogram.<br />

Create the sociogram according to<br />

whichever method you think will be most<br />

effective in your setting.<br />

What next?<br />

Often sociograms simply confirm what<br />

we already know. At other times, less<br />

noticeable patterns of social behaviour/<br />

friendship preferences become apparent.<br />

Talk about the results with your colleagues.<br />

What are the social patterns of the focused<br />

child? Does the child talk more with adults<br />

than children? Do they stay with one child/<br />

group all session or flit from one to the<br />

next? Are there any emerging friendships<br />

or rifts?<br />

Effective strategies can be created<br />

to support children who struggle<br />

with interaction/building friendships.<br />

Modelling and encouraging healthy<br />

interactions is key: “Sam and Lisa, I love<br />

how you are playing together with the<br />

play dough. You are having such a fun<br />

game!”<br />

Helen Garnett<br />

Helen Garnett is a mother<br />

of 4, and a committed and<br />

experienced Early Years<br />

consultant. She co-founded<br />

a pre-school in 2005<br />

and cares passionately<br />

about young children and<br />

connection. As a result,<br />

she has written a book,<br />

‘Developing Empathy in<br />

the Early Years: a guide for<br />

practitioners’. She has also<br />

co-written an Early Years<br />

curriculum and assessment<br />

tool, at present being<br />

implemented in India. Helen<br />

is also on the Think Equal<br />

team, a global initiative led<br />

by Leslee Udwin, developing<br />

empathy in pre-schools and<br />

schools across the world.<br />

Highly appealing activities will draw the<br />

shyest of children into a group situation,<br />

providing the ‘appeal’ is tempting enough.<br />

Crucially, when a setting’s emotional<br />

environment is healthy, children can<br />

relax into social groups that suit them.<br />

Not every child will have dozens of<br />

friends. Some will have just one or two.<br />

It is the quality of these friendships that<br />

builds happy children through positive<br />

interactions.<br />

It is good practice to create regular termly<br />

sociograms to build up a robust record<br />

of a child’s social behaviour. By carefully<br />

noting friendships and interactions, and<br />

following this through with effective<br />

strategies, adults set up a supportive<br />

learning environment, thus encouraging<br />

social competence and cohesion<br />

amongst our youngest children.<br />

32 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 33


EYFS activity ideas<br />

to try today<br />

MATCH THE SHAPE<br />

ON THE STICK<br />

PAPER PLATE<br />

ALPHABET GAME<br />

B<br />

PLAY WITH POTS, PANS<br />

AND SAND<br />

Give these EYFS activities a go and let us know<br />

what you think of them!<br />

B<br />

Communication and Language<br />

Physical Development<br />

Personal, Social and Emotional Development<br />

Literacy<br />

Mathematics<br />

Understanding the World<br />

Expressive Arts and Design<br />

Please remember, as with any activity in<br />

a childcare setting, staff will need to carry<br />

out an appropriate risk assessment.<br />

Teaching children how to match is an<br />

important part of developing early<br />

mathematics skills, helping them to<br />

identify relationships between two or<br />

more similar items. This simple shape<br />

matching activity is a great way to<br />

help older children’s recognition of<br />

shapes and space.<br />

YOU’LL NEED:<br />

• Wooden craft sticks<br />

• Different coloured pens<br />

AREAS OF THE EYFS:<br />

Shapes, spaces and measures<br />

Listening and attention<br />

15 - 30<br />

minutes<br />

30 - 60<br />

months<br />

INSTRUCTIONS:<br />

1. Take two of the wooden craft sticks and make<br />

matching symmetrical shapes with your coloured<br />

pens. The shape should form when the two sticks<br />

are placed side by side<br />

Learning the alphabet is a<br />

foundational skill for reading and<br />

writing. This activity is a great way<br />

to test children’s memory skills and<br />

recognition of letters in the alphabet.<br />

To mix things up a little, you could try<br />

the game with numbers too!<br />

YOU’LL NEED:<br />

• A pen<br />

• 24 paper plates<br />

AREAS OF THE EYFS:<br />

Making relationships<br />

Listening and attention<br />

Numbers<br />

15 - 30<br />

minutes<br />

40 - 60<br />

months<br />

Understanding<br />

Reading<br />

INSTRUCTIONS:<br />

1. Select 12 different letters of the alphabet and write<br />

each one identically on two paper plates, so you’ll<br />

have 24 plates in total<br />

Sand is one of the best nature-made<br />

resources for play and is great for<br />

children’s physical development. Large<br />

muscle skills develop as children pour,<br />

sift and scoop their way through the<br />

sandbox using various pots, pans,<br />

sieves and colanders.<br />

YOU’LL NEED:<br />

• A sandbox<br />

• Kitchen utensils<br />

• Wooden spoons<br />

• Pots and pans<br />

• Sieves and colanders<br />

AREAS OF THE EYFS:<br />

Moving and handling<br />

Being imaginative<br />

Exploring and using media and materials<br />

30 mins -<br />

1 hour<br />

8 - 36<br />

months<br />

INSTRUCTIONS:<br />

1. Fill your sandbox with a variety of interesting<br />

kitchen utensils, pots and pans<br />

2. Gather the children and explain to them how to put<br />

the sticks together to make a shape<br />

3. Spread the wooden sticks randomly across a table<br />

or flat surface and let the children explore them<br />

4. It may help to draw two shapes on each set of<br />

sticks to give the children a second reference point<br />

so they find the task easier<br />

2. Lay the plates out in random order in a 4 x 6 grid<br />

3. Let each child have a turn to choose two plates to<br />

turn over to try and find a matching pair<br />

4. If the children find two letters which match, they<br />

get to keep the plates<br />

5. Keep playing until all the matching letters have<br />

been found<br />

2. Let the children explore the sandbox and discover<br />

how to move the sand around and filter it through<br />

the sieves and colanders<br />

3. They may also like to make music by banging<br />

wooden spoons on pans and pots<br />

4. When children are able to start lifting heavier<br />

pans, it may be time to swap them out for plastic<br />

ones<br />

34 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 35


Misbehaviour<br />

– are you<br />

communicating<br />

with me?<br />

You will probably have come across the<br />

phrase ‘All behaviour is communication’ at<br />

some point in your life. There are several<br />

different viewpoints and many scholars<br />

and theorists have debated this to be true<br />

or false depending on their stance. We do<br />

know, however, that a high percentage of<br />

communication is non-verbal and therefore we<br />

are communicating how we feel and what we<br />

think by the way that we act, our stance and<br />

our gestures, regardless of whether we mean<br />

to or not.<br />

I personally think that it is helpful to consider the behaviour<br />

of the children in our care as communication because it can<br />

encourage us to ask the following questions:<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

►►<br />

Is this child communicating something with us through the<br />

way they behave? (Either consciously or not)<br />

What is this child hoping to achieve through this<br />

behaviour?<br />

Has this behaviour been triggered by anything?<br />

What happened prior to this child behaving in this way?<br />

Could this behaviour be evidence of a schema?<br />

Has anything different happened at home?<br />

Is the child hungry or tired?<br />

Is this behaviour a result of a social interaction?<br />

Can we try to unpick why this child has acted or reacted in<br />

this way?<br />

Remember Alistair Bryce-<br />

Clegg’s idea of Thrill, Will,<br />

Skill: “Without thrill there is no<br />

will to take part and without<br />

the will, how will children<br />

successfully acquire the skill?”<br />

You can probably think of<br />

more questions that would<br />

be helpful to ask. We can<br />

use our observations of how<br />

children behave in the same<br />

way that we would use our<br />

observations of their learning.<br />

Reflect upon what the<br />

behaviour is telling you and<br />

then plan future provision and<br />

interventions in the light of this<br />

behaviour.<br />

It could be that, as a result<br />

of this behaviour, you decide<br />

to change an aspect of your<br />

practice, for example, if a<br />

child has been frequently<br />

running inside, can we move<br />

the furniture in such a way<br />

that it will discourage running?<br />

You could choose to have an<br />

informal chat with the child’s<br />

carer to check that everything<br />

is OK at home. For example,<br />

you may find that they have<br />

had a couple of really late<br />

nights which might explain<br />

the misbehaviour. You may<br />

decide that you want to<br />

observe this child further to<br />

see when they behave in<br />

this way; can you notice any<br />

patterns in their behaviour<br />

which will help you to unpick<br />

what is going on? Is the child<br />

bored or using a resource<br />

inappropriately? Perhaps we<br />

need to role model how to<br />

engage appropriately with<br />

others or how to use a specific<br />

toy. Remember Alistair Bryce-<br />

Clegg’s idea of Thrill, Will, Skill:<br />

“Without thrill there is no will to<br />

take part and without the will,<br />

how will children successfully<br />

acquire the skill?”<br />

Our aim will always be to<br />

support the child in the best<br />

way that we can and to keep<br />

them and everyone around<br />

them safe. Thus, we must<br />

ensure that we respond<br />

sensitively to all behaviours<br />

and set appropriate<br />

boundaries for the children<br />

in our care. It helps to be as<br />

consistent as possible when<br />

responding to challenging<br />

behaviour and to keep the<br />

dialogue open with home.<br />

Children need to feel safe and<br />

secure and having a clear<br />

message about appropriate<br />

ways to behave will help with<br />

this. So make sure that your<br />

policies are clear about how<br />

you will respond to various<br />

behaviours. I sometimes<br />

suggest that settings specify<br />

When a child… Adults<br />

will… within their policy<br />

as this positively sets out<br />

expectations for everyone to<br />

see.<br />

Keep the child central to your<br />

discussions and planning<br />

– children have very little<br />

control over their lives – they<br />

are often told what to do<br />

from the moment they wake,<br />

what to wear, where they are<br />

going that day and what to<br />

eat etc. Therefore it can be<br />

really helpful to offer some of<br />

the responsibility for creating<br />

rules to the children. Talk<br />

about rules and boundaries<br />

with them and, depending<br />

on their age and stage of<br />

development, you could create<br />

your own set of rules together.<br />

It is much easier to remember<br />

rules that you have thought of<br />

yourself!<br />

Remain positive in the<br />

language that you use,<br />

remember the idea that the<br />

rule ‘Don’t run’ could lead to<br />

more running as children will<br />

hear the word ‘run’, whereas<br />

the rule ‘walk’ should remind<br />

children of the positive way<br />

to behave. The same idea<br />

applies when we talk to the<br />

children – can we focus on<br />

using positive language and<br />

language which will calm<br />

children down, rather than<br />

approaching them in a way<br />

that will hype things up?<br />

Above all, centre your<br />

provision around the needs<br />

and interests of the children<br />

– if they are engaged and<br />

motivated to learn there<br />

will be less time for poor<br />

behaviour! So make sure<br />

you are keeping those lines<br />

of communication open and<br />

listening and responding<br />

sensitively to their behaviour<br />

and what they do, just as you<br />

would listen and respond to<br />

what they say.<br />

Tamsin Grimmer<br />

Tamsin Grimmer is an<br />

experienced early years<br />

consultant and trainer and<br />

parent who is passionate<br />

about young children’s<br />

learning and development.<br />

She believes that all children<br />

deserve practitioners who<br />

are inspiring, dynamic,<br />

reflective and committed to<br />

improving on their current<br />

best. Tamsin particularly<br />

enjoys planning and<br />

delivering training and<br />

supporting early years<br />

practitioners and teachers to<br />

improve outcomes for young<br />

children.<br />

Tamsin has written two<br />

books - Observing and<br />

Developing Schematic<br />

Behaviour in Young Children<br />

and School Readiness<br />

and the Characteristics of<br />

Effective Learning.<br />

Website:<br />

tamsingrimmer.co.uk<br />

Facebook:<br />

facebook.com/earlyyears.<br />

consultancy.5<br />

Twitter:<br />

@tamsingrimmer<br />

Email:<br />

info@tamsingrimmer.co.uk<br />

36 Parenta.com <strong>October</strong> <strong>2018</strong> 37


Wear your pyjamas with pride for<br />

Humphrey’s Pyjama Week<br />

Parenta job board<br />

Humphrey’s Pyjama Week takes place on the<br />

2nd <strong>October</strong>. It’s a fun-filled activity week to<br />

help raise money for The Children’s Trust, a<br />

charity which has teamed up with the popular<br />

Humphrey’s Corner brand. The Children’s Trust<br />

provides rehabilitation, education and specialist<br />

services for children with a brain injury.<br />

Across the UK, it’s estimated that over 40,000 children will<br />

suffer a brain injury as a result of an accident or illness. This<br />

is known as ‘acquired brain injury’. Although some children<br />

are very lucky and make a full recovery, others will be left with<br />

permanent and life-changing after-effects. Thousands more<br />

children are born each year with brain injuries or suffer from a<br />

degenerative condition which affects their brain.<br />

The Children’s Trust and its staff aim to support children<br />

with complex medical needs to help them live their lives<br />

to the fullest. The services provided by the charity are not<br />

fully covered by statutory sources and, therefore, it relies on<br />

voluntary donations from its supporters.<br />

All monies raised during this special week go towards<br />

providing specialist care for children, as well as organised<br />

trips such as outings to farms, museums and the cinema.<br />

HOW TO SUPPORT<br />

HUMPHREY’S PYJAMA WEEK<br />

For a suggested voluntary donation of £2, supporters are<br />

asked to wear their pyjamas for the day. There are lots of<br />

other activities your nursery or pre-school could take part in<br />

during the week itself, here are some ideas:<br />

• Organise a tea party. Some of Humphrey’s favourite<br />

recipes can be found on The Children’s Trust ‘Tea Party<br />

Recipes’ page, including jam tarts and shortbread<br />

biscuits!<br />

• Encourage children to bring their favourite bedtime story<br />

to read in their pyjamas in your cosy corner<br />

• Help toddlers make their own teddy bear biscuits to enjoy<br />

at tea time<br />

• Run a ‘Guess the teddy’s name’ raffle, with the winner<br />

being able to take the bear home<br />

• Hold a bake sale – you could even offer traditional<br />

bedtime drinks such as hot chocolate and marshmallows<br />

• Play slumber-themed games such as sleeping lions<br />

• Ask children to bring in their favourite teddy for the day<br />

ORGANISING YOUR OWN<br />

HUMPHREY’S PYJAMA WEEK<br />

Humphrey’s Pyjama Week doesn’t have to take place on the<br />

2nd <strong>October</strong> – it can be organised for any week where your<br />

setting can facilitate it. To help raise awareness, you could put<br />

a note for parents in your newsletter explaining why you’re<br />

supporting this important cause. Do make sure you give<br />

parents plenty of notice to prepare their children’s pyjamas.<br />

If you visit The Children’s Trust website, you can download free<br />

templates for hats, bunting and colouring sheets to print off<br />

as part of your activities. There<br />

is also a free poster which<br />

you can display in your<br />

setting.<br />

Lastly, why not ask<br />

the children what<br />

fundraising activities<br />

they’d like to take<br />

part in? This could<br />

form the basis of<br />

some very unique and<br />

interesting ideas!<br />

To sign up or to<br />

find out more visit<br />

www.thechildrenstrust.org.uk/<br />

humphrey or email humphrey@<br />

thechildrenstrust.org.uk<br />

We’d love to see photos of your<br />

setting’s fundraising activities! Send<br />

them to marketing@parenta.com<br />

for a chance to be featured<br />

in the next edition of the<br />

magazine<br />

www.jobs.parenta.com<br />

Childcare Apprentice Required:<br />

Farm Work Play Faversham Kent ME13 9EH<br />

Alphabets Nursery Maidstone Kent ME13 2JP<br />

Woodlodge Montessori School Northwood London HA6 1SL<br />

Kids Will Be Kids Elstree Watford WD6 3JJ<br />

Jolly Tots Elstree Watford WD6 4NF<br />

Monkey Puzzle Weybridge Weybridge Surrey KT13 8QR<br />

Sudbury Town Nursery School SudburyGreenford London UB6 0NA<br />

Honey’s Childminding Manor Park London E12 6HW<br />

Creative Explorers Day Nursery Hornsey London N8 7BS<br />

Hornsey Road Children’s Centre Hornsey London N7 7EN<br />

First Steps Day Care Barnet London NW9 0EF<br />

Playdays Nursery Chiswick London W4 2ND<br />

Playdays Nursery Kensington London W14 9HB<br />

ICan Childminding Greenwich London SE3 9QU<br />

Ferndale Road Day Nursery Lambeth London SW9 8AZ<br />

The Wendy House Day Nursery Royston Hertfordshire SG8 0HW<br />

Pips Nursery Saffron Walden Essex CB11 4XJ<br />

Village End Childcare Ascot Berkshire SL5 8DQ<br />

Little Roos Maidenhead Buckinghamshire SL6 0QH<br />

Patchwork Montessori Maidenhead Buckinghamshire SL6 3AR<br />

Little Roos Marlow Buckinghamshire SL7 1JW<br />

Playdays Farnborough Farnborough Hampshire GU14 6DD<br />

Forest Nursery Chippenham Wiltshire SN15 3QU<br />

St Thomas Nursery Tean Staffordshire ST10 4DS<br />

Little Oaks Day Nursery Tean Staffordshire ST10 4JY<br />

Little Lambs Christian Pre-School and Nursery East Grinstead Mid Sussex RH19 2HA<br />

The Woodland Nursery Sidcup Kent DA14 4QT<br />

Cbabiesafe Worthing West Sussex BN11 3RT<br />

Boxmoor Preschool Crouchfield Hemel Hempstead HP1 1PA<br />

38 Parenta.com<br />

Advertise your vacancy on our job board for FREE - get in touch for more<br />

<strong>October</strong><br />

info<br />

<strong>2018</strong> 39<br />

contact@parenta.com


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