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The Classroom Environment – Riot of colour vs Peace and Neutrality

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The Classroom Environment – Riot of colour vs Peace and Neutrality

Just before you reach for yet another brightly coloured roll of paper or border to cover your classroom walls and display boards, stop. Let’s just pause and think for a minute. By beginning displays in this way, what is it that we are adding, what’s the purpose behind our choices? Somewhere along the line, we’ve...

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Maximising Learning in Continuous Provision – Domestic Role Play in EYFS

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Maximising Learning in Continuous Provision – Domestic Role Play in EYFS

A Home Corner is the most familiar experience the children can have. It relates directly to their own lives and their interests and is something that all children have in common regardless of their cultural background or previous experience. Every child can recreate experiences they have at home and with careful planning and the support...

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Block Play Alongside Small World Resources

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Block Play Alongside Small World Resources

Decisions you make about how you organise and arrange your classroom will have a big impact on the quality of the learning that occurs there. Well organised, well planned provision areas provide meaningful opportunities for independent exploration, effective interactions and focussed teaching. Some areas of provision and collections of resources are most effective when used...

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Providing a Language Rich Curriculum in the EYFS

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Providing a Language Rich Curriculum in the EYFS

In our recent Early Excellence Blog we explored the vital importance of talk in EYFS classrooms. Talk is a key aspect in building strong relationships, developing communication and language skills; and challenging thinking. Practice which values talk needs to be carefully planned and requires skilful adult interaction. Juliet Clark, Assistant Headteacher and EYFS Leader at...

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First Steps: A Review of the Planning Guidance for Early Years

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First Steps: A Review of the Planning Guidance for Early Years

Like you, we have been trying to keep up with the multiple guidance publications issued by the Department of Education since the outbreak of COVID 19. Many schools and settings we work with have been talking to us about how they have been addressing the challenges raised with relation to safety and welfare of adults...

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The Challenge for Y1 September 2020 – a cohort unlike any other that has gone before

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The Challenge for Y1 September 2020 – a cohort unlike any other that has gone before

Whenever our children arrive back into school, they will have needs unlike any cohort that has gone before them. The range of lockdown experiences in any given class will vary enormously. Some children will bear the effects of trauma, stress or grief, others will only remember uninterrupted family time – but all will have faced...

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Navigating the Sea of Talk

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Navigating the Sea of Talk

Being a reflective teacher, we’re often told, is the key to developing effective practice. Realistically though, within the busy school day with many demands on teachers’ time, having the opportunity to stand back and consider our practice is a real rarity. The lockdown period has been an anxious time, but it has given many teachers...

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Transient Art and Loose Parts Play

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Transient Art and Loose Parts Play

Why is Creativity Important? Creative opportunities will give children a sense of control over their surroundings and a feeling of satisfaction and are, therefore, extremely important for their wellbeing at this unsettling time. Alongside this, creative opportunities are valuable because they support children’s thinking skills, encouraging them to express their ideas, solve problems and plan...

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Early Years Home Schooling in Lockdown

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Early Years Home Schooling in Lockdown

Home Schooling We’ve entered a new time. A time of home schooling, of online PE lessons, live link up phonics sessions and an avalanche of online support. Much of this will be helpful to children, and parents, as they set about this period of isolation, but I do think we need to be careful here....

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What Comes Next? Key Issues for the EYFS and Key Stage One after Lockdown

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What Comes Next? Key Issues for the EYFS and Key Stage One after Lockdown

One thing that the lockdown situation has given many of us is a lot of is time. As we emerge from isolation, desperately needing haircuts but with kitchen cupboards tidier than they’ve ever been, we will have been through a major upheaval on a national and international scale. Yet, after the whole country, including the...

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EYFS in Lockdown – Meaningful Learning Opportunities in the Home

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EYFS in Lockdown – Meaningful Learning Opportunities in the Home

From Zoom meetings and Facetime chats to online activity ideas and YouTube story times, technology has provided us with the ability to stay connected with family, friends and our classes with relative ease during this lockdown period. Understandably, most of our responses as EYFS teachers during the current crisis, have been based around the use...

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Exploring the Fantastic Possibilities of Maths Outdoors

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Exploring the Fantastic Possibilities of Maths Outdoors

When it comes to teaching and learning outdoors, this quote from the Professor Tina Bruce always comes to mind: “Frequent lack of attention to the external environment must come from some bizarre assumption that knowledge acquired indoors is superior to that gained outside.” Tina Bruce, Early Childhood Education There’s more than an element of truth...

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The Outdoor Curriculum in all its Glory

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The Outdoor Curriculum in all its Glory

What does your outdoor curriculum look like? Is it simply a replication of the indoors, or does it provide additional and unique experiences as it should? Being clear about the learning taking place in your outdoor environment is critical – and with the new Ofsted inspection framework and the review of the Early Learning Goals...

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Exploring the importance of the Characteristics of Effective Learning

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Exploring the importance of the Characteristics of Effective Learning

Time to Reflect As we know, the EYFS framework is currently under a process of review that will lead to changes being made to the documentation of the EYFS framework and the ELGs. The team carrying out the review have stated that the main elements of the current framework will not be changed and that...

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Have Your Say – The EYFS Consultation

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Have Your Say – The EYFS Consultation

The DfE’s EYFS Consultation is coming to an end. Respond by the 31st January With so much change heading our way it is essential for all involved in the EYFS to have their say.  As an organisation, Early Excellence concur with many in the sector, that some of the proposed changes are welcome, whilst others require...

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Storming It Outdoors! The Fantastic Possibilities of Cold, Wet & Windy Weather

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Storming It Outdoors! The Fantastic Possibilities of Cold, Wet & Windy Weather

Outdoor Learning – Big Coat Weather There’s no getting away from it. After weeks of wet and windy weather bringing squelchy mud and localised flooding, outdoor learning in the Summer is fast becoming a distant memory. Not only that, if one thing is for certain, it’s that the cold, wet and windy weather is here...

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EEx Podcasts

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EEx Podcasts

Listen to our latest Blogs via a Podcast and hear tips on best practice, resourcing your environment and up to date news and reviews at any time to suit you....

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Top Tips for Effective Tidy-Up Times in the EYFS

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Top Tips for Effective Tidy-Up Times in the EYFS

How is tidy up time viewed at your school or setting? Is it seen as a race, rushing to finish tidying so that the learning can continue, or do you have a different approach? Being effective at tidy up time isn’t about speed (well, not always!) – at Early Excellence we believe it’s more about...

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Change Isn’t Always for the Better

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Change Isn’t Always for the Better

One thing that always puzzles me about Early Years education is how quick we are to change things in our classrooms and settings. We plan out our room at the start of the year and stand back proudly admiring our work. “This is it” we say to our colleagues, “I’ve got my room just how...

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New to Teaching the EYFS?
Survival Guide Part 3: Making Time for Teaching

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New to Teaching the EYFS? <br> Survival Guide Part 3: Making Time for Teaching

In part three of our Newly Qualified Teacher series, we are going to focus on the role of the adult in the Early Years Foundation Stage. As part of this we will be exploring the balancing act that is teaching in the early years. From whole class teaching and small group work to facilitating and...

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