School Readiness or Society’s Readiness? Supporting Young Children to ‘Catch Up’ Following the Covid Pandemic?

Alistair Bryce-CleggUncategorized3 Comments

As some of you know, I am currently studying for my Doctorate at Manchester Metropolitan University. Although the study can be challenging, I love the fact that it allows me to read things I would never normally read and meet people I would never normally meet. This week my guest blog post comes from Visiting Research Fellow Martina Street. Have a read and see what you think.     Martina is employed by Manchester City Council and has over 20 years’ experience working in the Early Years sector in low‐income areas. She is also an Associate of the Early Intervention Foundation, and a Visiting Research Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University where she was recently seconded to support the development and … Read More

Wordless Stories, Transient Tales and Text as a Loose Part

Alistair Bryce-CleggABC Does A Blog, Child Initiated Learning, Continuous Provision, Creativity, Talk, Transient Art6 Comments

This week the  blog has been written for me by  Clare Thompson. Clare is an illustrator and visual story teller, and like me, is based up here in the North West of England. She uses a mixture of handmade techniques and digital media to create pieces of art that also translate into picture books for children.  You might have seen Clare’s work on my Facebook and Instagram pages as from 2016 she has been working with Naturally Creative Early Years Consultancy and has created books like Junk DNA that I often see popping up in people’s Loose Parts and Transient Art Areas. I have made the images nice and big in the blog this week so that we can really … Read More

OPAL Assessment – Thoughts from Practitioners.

Alistair Bryce-CleggAssessment2 Comments

We have had such a positive response to OPAL so far, it really seems to have struck a chord with lots of you. With the new EYFS reforms on the horizon, now feels like the right time to make a change. Key objectives of the reforms are to improve outcomes for all children and to reduce practitioner workload. It encourages practitioners to use their professional judgement and to not rely on unnecessary evidence and paperwork, which is what OPAL does. We think it’s also worth remembering that the only statutory forms of assessment in the EYFS are the 2 year check and the Foundation Stage profile, so we are free to use what is right for us and our children. … Read More

OPAL Part Two – How It Works In Practice

Alistair Bryce-CleggAssessment, Uncategorized13 Comments

Last week we talked to you about OPAL and the principles behind our approach to assessment. This week we will tell you more about how it works in practice. So how does OPAL look in practice? Milestones Opal works on the basis of having very simple, six-monthly child developmental milestones, which we use to monitor children’s development. These milestones reflect what we believe a ‘typical’ child, should be able to achieve. When looking at the statements, we assess if the child has met the milestones and record a simple ‘yes’ or ‘not yet’. We know that not all children will have ‘typical’ development. Opal allows us to tell and celebrate each child’s story and focus on the support they need … Read More