Play and Neurodiversity

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorized3 Comments

This is part three in Kerry’s series around Neurodiversity. You can find parts one and two below.   “Play must be the right of every child. Not a privilege. After all, when regarded as a privilege, it is granted to some and denied to others, creating further inequities. Play as a right is what is fair and just. Although children will engage in play differently, play is a child’s right” (Souto-Manning, 2017) The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) states in Article 31 that play is the right of all children, yet if we think about it, play is something that we continually have to defend. Through self-directed play, children gain many things, including joy, learning, … Read More

Ways to Develop Celebratory Approaches to Observation, Assessment and Planning

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorized1 Comment

Introduction When it comes to children with “special educational needs” (SEN) and disabilities, we tend to see a focus on observing for concerns only, leading to valuable threads of learning being lost. This is often because we are taught that early intervention is key, and the sooner we spot those “red flags”, the sooner we can prevent a delay or SEN. However, what may initially appear to be a delay could be a gateway to a developmental difference, including autism, dyslexia, or a developmental language profile, such as being non-speaking. Our initial concerns for some children may lead to adaptations in our practice that support neurotypical progress, but for other children, we may require a more permanent change in approach … Read More

Honouring Neurodiversity in the Early Years – Part 1

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorizedLeave a Comment

You have likely heard the increasing dialogue about neurodiversity throughout the past year. It is a term that is gaining momentum as we challenge some of our views and practices within special educational needs and inclusion. Neurodiversity, however, does not sit alone and forms part of a much broader approach. So, to get started, let’s define neurodiversity and how it can be applied to our early years’ practice.    Defining Neurodiversity In its most basic terms, neurodiversity refers to the diversity of the human mind (Walker, 2014). Each of us has unique development, and our experiences are shaped by many different interacting factors such as our biology, environment, and relationships. Combined, these experiences can structure and define our neurology, or … Read More

Rock, Paper, Scissors – A Guest Post from Reflections Nursery

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorizedLeave a Comment

I am a long term admirer of the work of the Reflections Nursery and Small School team for a number of reasons. It is true, their space does look amazing, but what I enjoy most about their work is that children are given time. Time to truly immerse themselves in an experience or interaction. Time to experience, rehearse, reflect and consolidate. Time to be! There are lots of interesting projects to look at on their website ( including the one they have kindly allowed me to feature here today. Rock, Paper, Scissors was a long term project involving paper and exploring children’s desire to transform materials. Pop over and have a look (Reflections -RockPaperScissors) I love how the team reflect … Read More