Collaboration is key – Inspiring Nurseries

Inspiring Nurseries is a series of informal events (Ofsted Masterclasses and training) offering nursery managers and owners relevant and developmental training provided by an early years specialist. Kate Wilson and Marnie Wills, the people behind Inspiring Nurseries, have been working with children for decades in their own field. Marnie, founder of Sporty Minis, is an expert in children’s physical development whilst Kate, co-founder of Hello Mums, has been providing childcare for over two decades.

“ We understand how challenging the life of a nursery owner or manager is, and we want to facilitate their everyday practises. With this in mind, we realised that providing a space for managers and owners to connect was vital to achieving a better practice, and so we set out Inspiring Nurseries to help nurseries managers and owners to learn about good practice and network with other local nurseries. We wanted to find a way to inspire and inform nurseries and offer training at a location and time convenient for those running the nurseries. Therefore, each event takes place on a weekday evening, so managers and owners do not have to worry about taking a whole day out of work.”

The first Inspiring Nurseries event was with Alison Featherby, an award-winning early years trainer who presented a fantastic Ofsted masterclass and workshop event to 45 nursery managers.

There were so many take home points from her presentation, however, and these are the main ones:

  1. Know your Early Years Inspection Handbook. Share and discuss it with your Leadership team:
    https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/828465/Early_years_inspection_handbook.pdf
  2. Ofsted videos are an excellent way to up-skill yourself and your managers: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLtYmuiI5uKi27aN92rQ1H-JsvKU2dC4Lk
  3. The Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage; this is an important document to share with your team: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/596629/EYFS_STATUTORY_FRAMEWORK_2017.pdf
  4. Update your Safeguarding and Child Protection reporting or referring and amend your policy if needed. This document will help you: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/828763/Inspecting_safeguarding_in_early_years__education_and_skills.pdf
  5. Many practitioners need to know more about SEND identification. This website will help with SEND and identifying children who have additional needs: http://www.thecommunicationtrust.org.uk/early-years
  6. This document is where the Ofsted definition of teaching was first circulated: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/444147/Teaching-and-play-in-the-early-years-a-balancing-act.pdf

To check out our next Inspiring Nurseries event:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ofsted-masterclass-everything-you-need-to-know-tickets-92866808123

Encouraging Physically Literate Children

Are you an early years or KS1 educator?  Do you feel you know enough about Physical Education?

Children from across the world are spending more time playing indoors and on screens than outdoors and in playgrounds or parks. As a result, they are increasingly failing to develop the basic building blocks of movement. These building blocks include running, throwing, kicking, catching, jumping and balancing. The challenge now is for children to not only develop these skills, but to positively want to be physically active – and to understand why regular physical activity is so important to their future lives and to learn to enjoy this activity. This is known as being Physically Literate – meaning children have the confidence, the skills, the motivation and the knowledge to be active.

So as educators how can we develop physically literate children?

Let me give you the key recipe to success… early exposure to Fundamental Movement Skills.

Fundamental Movement Skills (FMS) are the building blocks of movement. They are a set of gross motor skills that involve different body parts such as feet, legs, trunk, arms and head and are essential for children’s participation in sport and physical activity.  As children do not naturally learn these skills as part of their innate growth and development, FMS skills need to be taught with educators providing direction and feedback to children.  The mastery of FMS skills for children happens at different ages and often some children will reach KS2 still developing these skills, hence why it’s important for children to explore and practise these skills in the early childhood years within a structured or directed environment.

It is so important that children have fun, and to be given praise and positive feedback when developing these skills. Children develop individually and at different rates so it’s more important to see skill development is sequential focusing on children progressing at different stages rather being proficient by a certain age.

There are 3 categories of FMS

  • Locomotive – The body moves from one place to another e.g. running skipping or jumping.
  • Non-Locomotive (Stability skills) – The body remains in place but it moves around the horizontal axes. eg- star shape and twisting or bending down.
  • Manipulative skills – Giving or receiving and an object.

In my opinion these are the most important FMS to master early are:

  • Run
  • Jump (for height and distance)
  • Overhand Throw
  • Ball Bounce
  • Catch
  • Leap
  • Kick
  • Forehand Strike (with and without object)

Here is your 5-step guide to a killer FMS lesson:

Step 1 – Choose one of the above FMS

Step 2 – Create an individual challenge for each child with this skill

Step 3 – Add another FMS skill to your challenge.

Step 4 – Can you change your challenge to be in pairs or a team?  This becomes a game

Step 5 – Progress your new game, with these simple principles.  *Space bigger or smaller, * add a time or * change equipment

For more FMS resources, staff inset or EYFS Lessons and KS1 after school clubs check out my website https://sportyminis.com/

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