Where’s Wally?

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I am  feeling like I'm neglecting my blogging duties a bit at the moment, which is a shame because I love to blog, but my diary is chock a block!

IMG_2091  The change in funding for schools has changed the focus of my work in a very positive way. I am now doing lots of project work with clusters of schools who have got together because they have a particular issue or area for exploration in and around EYFS. With some of the projects the focus for all of the settings is the same, like in Salford, where I'm working with a group on their Point of Entry Assessment and for some the schools have created a 'cluster' and bought in my services but my work in each school is individual to that school's needs. I really enjoy this work as it is about solving real problems with real children and staff actually 'on the shop floor'.

I am also working on cluster projects based around indoor environment, outdoor environment, boys attainment, mark making and planning an effective EYFS curriculum and working with Heads and senior teams specifically looking at what effective practice should look like in EYFS and how to spot it!

IMG_1623 I am REALLY enjoying the cluster work and apart from actually making a difference, it is providing me with lots of ideas to share on the blog! Lots more to come once the projects are finished.

October (apart from being my birthday month) has turned out to be a month of travel. I am everywhere from Kent to Edinburgh and have even managed to squeeze in speaking abour EYFS at the COBIS conference in Madrid (Oh, the glamour)!

 If that wasn't enough excitement in any man's life I have also delivered my Vacant to Engaged conferences in Newcastle and Manchester. I kept the delegate numbers to a maximum of 30 for these days as I wanted them to be less of a 'conference' model and more of a bespoke problem solver where delegates get to ask about particular issues that they want to explore and I give them as much information as I can. The model has worked really well so far (although I am unfeasably knackered by the end of the day)! I have one more in London on 2nd December so if you fancy it, I would love to see you there.

(for more information follow this link)


Tonight I am in Medway (Kent) looking foward IMG_1914

to two conference days. When I asked what the EYFS team would like the conference focus to be, I got the response 'Creating WOW!' 

No pressure there then!




I had not long checked into my hotel room when an envelope was pushed under the door with my name on it. When I open it up, it is not the bill but a Where's Wally? card entitled 'the gobbling gluttons'! Inside is a lovely welcome message from the Medway Early Years team telling me they are sending me a Where's Wally? card in case I get bored in my room on my own.

I did request chilled champagne on arrival – but that's Local Authority cuts for you!

On ThursdayI am off to Hampshire to work with a pre-school, a private nursery and two schools that the LA have identified as having lots of elements of excellent practice. We will be working together over the autumn term identifying key elements of their good practice and then all of the other settings in the LA will have the opportunity to come and see what we found out in the spring.

IMG_2036 The four settings have all been given video cameras to record their planning and environments in action and as part of the project they have also got to keep a diary of their journey – I have visions of it being just like Big Brother!

Before I sign off. I just want to say a HUGE thank you to Hamstel Infant School in Southend on Sea who hosted the photo shoot for my book 'Gardening and Growing'. I have done quite a bit of work with Hamstel now and it is always a pleasure. Not only are the staff lovely, it's also the school with the fantastic outdoor area that I blogged about on my last visit.  Here is a link.

As you will see from the photographs, they put it to very good use to illustrate my ideas in the book.

So, thank you Lisa and the team for your hard work and Lucie from Practical Pre-School Publications for your gorgeous photographs.


All photographs shown are the property of Practical Pre-School Publication who own their copyright.

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