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This link is from Sean Harford and it contains a lot of important messages about changes to the system this year re data etc. It is essential that our schools understand this, but that they do also realise that the Ofsted common inspection framework ("CIF") is not changing until 2019. This means that national data sets that will be published (not yet available) will be slimmed down and less complex than ROL or the inspection dashboard and will contain less information on SEND (for example) and other small groups. However, the Ofsted framework mentions this group of pupils and, for example, disadvantaged most able pupils as key groups, and they have to be mentioned in a report.

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I am really looking forward to see you all next week for our second day of our EYFS conference. We have so much to share with you including the new units in our EYFS scheme of learning plus updates to the years 1-6 schemes of learning for subject leaders. All details can be found below including our guest speakers information. If you are not signed up to our EYFS google forum then follow think link below and ask to join.
We have almost finalised our line up for our February 2018 EFYS teacher conference so we will share the details of that next week also.
See you then

Google forum -

30th June – Day Two of our EYFS Teacher Conference

Timings of the day

09:00 to 09:30 - Registration and tea and coffee

09:30 to 10:00 - Welcome from Ian Taylor

10:00 to 11:30 - Session 1 - Pam Munday

11:30 to 11:45 - Tea and coffee

11:45 to 13:15 - Session 2 - Pam Munday

13:15 to 14:00 - Lunch - a great lunch is provided

14:00 to 15:45 - Session 3 - Jude Twani


Click here:, Jurys Inn Plymouth, 50 Exeter Street, Plymouth, PL4 0AZ

Dress Code:
Smart / Casual

Speaker 1 - Pam Mundy
Pam is an international consultant, speaker and writer, Director of Pam Mundy Associates, an international consultant, CIS and IPC Accreditation and Review Team leader and Early Years/Primary Specialist.

Pam is currently Director of Pam Mundy Associates, a Senior Associate for Fieldwork Education and an independent international consultant, CIS and IPC Accreditation and Review Team leader and Early Years/Primary Specialist. She recently held the position of Director for Quality Assurance and Professional Development for the World Class Learning Group, based in Houston, Texas. She also worked with the National College for School Leadership as Lead Associate for Early Years, working with Early Years Teaching Schools, representing the National College at National and International conferences as a keynote speaker and also lead out on the National Children’s Centre Leadership Network.

She is a passionate advocate for teaching, learning and leadership – and the significant impact that the earliest years have on children’s life, learning and their future world. She is also a Director for the UK Curriculum Foundation and an Advisory Board member for ‘Mighty Creatives’, a UK Government sponsored organisation focused on the cultural and holistic life of the child.

Pam provides professional development, challenge, support and guidance for a wide range of schools, settings, government agencies and Ministries of Education nationally and internationally (most recently in Brunei, South America, South Korea, South East Asia, China, Africa India, the UAE and Oman, Singapore, Indonesia and the United States). Her focus is on leadership, learning, teaching, curriculum and assessment. Pam ensures that she spends time learning directly from children and the adults who support their learning – the most inspirational aspect of her work!

Previously a teacher, head teacher and Principal Adviser for Early Years and Primary in West Sussex Local Authority, she worked with the British Government Department for Education on the development and writing of the 2008 Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and led the development of the national EYFSP Moderator Accreditation programme. She works closely with the DfE on Foundation Years policy – including the new 2012 EYFS Framework and the 2013 Early Years Profile Assessment and is a CIS Accreditation Team Leader and UK Ofsted Inspector.

Pam is also a freelance consultant for the BBC and Channel 4 television on a range of educational and on line programmes for Early Years and believes that as the artist Paul Klee once said ‘Childhood is a Dream – where EVERYTHING is possible…!’

Speaker 2 - Jude Twani

Jude will stir our thinking around the pressure to achieve the early learning goals for maths and consider what really counts from the child’s perspective. This key note will focus on children’s natural curiosity and how it is one of the key drivers of mathematical learning, resulting in high levels of involvement. It takes a skilful adult who can spot the maths in play and provoke their fascinations further. Through images and videos Jude will help us to explore how to set up a mathematically rich and meaningful environment, the importance of self-initiated activity and the critical role of the adult in promoting and developing mathematics.

Jude is the Regional Development Manager (South East) for Early Excellence and has many years of experience in teaching across primary and post-16 and found her home in the early years! She has been an LA consultant, assessor, trainer and inspector and was one of the associates working with BEAM. She developed a passion for early years maths as a result of her own “fear” of the subject and vowed no child should ever leave early years (or anywhere) feeling like that. Her book, “Let’s Talk about Maths”, co-authored with Michael Jones, offers simple and common sense approaches to supporting maths in the early years.

A recent delegate recently commented:

“The style of delivery was fabulous, funny, engaging, connecting in so many ways, so thank you. I left buzzing and can’t wait to share further. It was impossible to take notes because I didn’t want to miss her animated facial expressions and brilliant acting as she passionately shared her expertise.”

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For your year 6 colleagues:

A colleague from Middlesbrough has unpicked the SATS paper that will be really useful for your year 6 colleagues:

Hi everyone

Just wanted to share a great book by Julia Donaldson called 'Spinderella'. We have used this book a lot in our FS setting for maths. It is great for many aspects of maths and we found it really engaged the children.

It is great for counting/recognising number/ordering numbers/missing numbers/halving/doubling/pairs...I am sure you can find many more links.

We created a spinderella pointing stick to help us in class. Sent letters asking for help from her and her brothers and sisters needed a lot of organising in maths lessons!!!!

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Question on this board was posted some time ago and Ruth has answered below.


I came away from Friday really thinking about synapse development. Ruth explained that children's optimal development occurs at age 2-3. In the presentation it showed us a comparison of a healthy brain and a neglected child's brain. When children who may have experienced periods of neglect join us at age 4-5 in schools, is there anything we can be doing to help these children develop synapses? (Apart from nurturing and providing a safe and stimulating environment)
Does anyone have any recommendations

Ruth's answer
This is a really good question and, although I was reinforcing the importance of supporting children with as many high quality experiences as possible before the pruning process begins in their brains (ages 2-3), it is still NEVER too late to help a child for whom this process is well underway. Of course, we can’t tell when that process has begun anyway, so its good practice to ensure our teaching methods, environments and resources are as engaging as possible, without being overwhelming. Simple is best – don’t get too caught up in having the latest ‘thing’, as long as you are spending time with your children, asking well considered enquiry questions that capture their imaginations, providing opportunities for them to express their thinking and ideas (through large scale painting, drawing, clay sculpture, movement & dance, construction with cardboard boxes, musical conversations with percussion instruments, puppetry, etc), building on those ideas over the whole term, not just one lesson, to allow for continuity and deeper level learning, and certainly continuing to provide a safe and stimulating environment, then you won’t go far wrong.

Even a long time after the pruning process has begun, neuroscientists Jack Shonkoff and Philipps showed that there are what they call ‘windows of plasticity’ which are the optimal times when deeper level learning can happen and children from the most deprived backgrounds can make huge leaps of progress in their cognitive learning, physical growth and emotional maturity. More details on our Early Brain Development page if you’re interested. Remember Maslow’s Hierarchy? That shows what conditions need to be in place to achieve these optimal times when the child is, above all, happy. But, as we know, the jigsaw pieces don’t often all fall into place at the same time for children who have experienced neglect of one form or another.

For these children, using creative / arts approaches is even more useful because it takes the spotlight off what they might think is ‘wrong’ with them, i.e. what they struggle to achieve that they see other children achieving seemingly effortlessly, and puts them firmly in the environment of what they can do – what is possible – because they are in control of the outcome. Using puppetry can really help rebuild a small child’s self-confidence when they are able to use another character to ‘act out’ a solution to a problem they might be experiencing. It makes it much less subjective and puts the child in control of making the solution happen themselves, which they can’t often do in a difficult home situation. Using painting or collage on a large scale is great for children who choose not to speak or do not speak much English, as they can really express big ideas or emotions such as anger / sadness / fear, without being constrained to small bits of paper (Pound shops often have 5 metre rolls of lining paper which are ideal for this). Using long silk scarves for dancing to music is great for children who are shy, or for boys who have an awful lot of energy to expend! Children sometimes struggle to cope with how they feel if they are confined to small spaces in which to have free play and structured play/learning when they really want to get out and take over the world by 10am! By carefully choosing some great pieces of music to move to, and letting the children choose their favourite coloured scarf, you can give the children some very simple instructions, such as ‘use your scarf to paint some pictures in the sky’, or ‘let your scarf become your favourite jungle animal and see how it moves to this music’, or ‘let your scarf move in a sad way… happy way… bored way… excited way,., etc’, then you give them the permission to move in any way their bodies want to without being constrained to a space or a theme. This has the effect of letting small children, whose spatial boundaries are usually no bigger than how far their arms can reach, become suddenly much bigger than themselves on every dimension by enabling the scarves to reach much further / higher than they can by themselves. The effect on most children whose boundaries have been limited or restrained (emotionally or physically) is very liberating.

Lots more resources and ideas in the free resources section of – please help yourselves! Don’t stop trying out different things – the more confident you become in trying new arts activities, the more confident your children will also become in expressing themselves and growing in their ability to communicate and solve their problems. Its powerful stuff!

Looking forward to seeing you all again on the 30th June

Hi All

Hope you have had a great half term.
Please pass on our invitation to the AET Working party get together to your maths leads.

AET Working Party
We would like to invite all schools who are following the AET maths program to become part of a working party to develop practice.
The first meeting will be on Monday 27th February, 1:30pm at Shakespeare Primary School.
Please bring along anything you would like to share at the meeting, for example children’s book, planning and photos of displays.

If you are able to attend please email:
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