Using tech for that ‘wow’ factor

The early years sector has become fast-moving since the pandemic, and technology has been key for creating seamless solutions while achieving growth. Briony Richter speaks to Chris Burgess, project lead at education hub EuHu

Tell us about being part of the Findel group. What are your key objectives?

Findel has spent over 200 years winning the trust of educators. To them, it’s about being partners and allies to the sector, prioritising educators and equipping them for their increasingly challenging role.
As they explored new ways to achieve this, the team considered looking beyond physical educational resources.

Recognising the key challenges educators face led them to explore digital tools.
Given the changing nature of the classroom, any digital aid needs to be more than a simple content depository. This led them to the ‘educator hub’ model, and subsequently, EuHu (pronounced “yoo hoo”) was born. Using this model results in a platform for educators where they can access resources to deliver outstanding lessons. We call these ‘wow’ lessons.

EuHu also offers a protected, dedicated digital space where educators at all levels can meaningfully collaborate. By leveraging its activity pillars of ‘plan, teach and inspire’, EuHu’s goal is to make great educators into superstars. This stemmed from the huge levels of background insight we gathered which continues to be a core priority for the development team’s activities.

Prioritising insight work generates a dynamic online tool that constantly pivots to the changing nature of education and the evolving, multifaceted needs of practitioners and young people across all levels.

What do you hope to achieve with the partnership with Sophie David and what’s included in her online platform for the early years community?

Our partnership with Sophie reflects one of EuHu’s priorities of continually working with content creators who are recognised leaders in their field. This is the only way to ensure the resource delivers what educators need, especially with some of the more challenging aspects of the curriculum.
Sophie has been instrumental in developing our early years resources which focuses on merging excitement with pedagogical precision.

Additional resources available include assemblies, podcasts, and articles, all of which have been moulded to the specifics of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS).

How has this supported the upskilling of early years educators?

Alongside facilitating outstanding lessons, it also helps educators to get inspired across every aspect of the early years space.

Like the rest of EuHu, the early years area also houses a range of useful resources that contribute to the CPD side of the platform. Examples of what’s available include articles on closing the vocabulary gap in early years which can greatly determine how effectively they will access the school curriculum and impact their overall performance.

Another topic, which reflects the changing nature of the classroom, explores how a nursery school took a holistic approach to mental health and wellbeing. Importantly, this is not just for the young minds they teach, but the staff who educate and support them.

One of our users, teacher Kathi Cripps said: “The PowerPoints are succinct, clear and well presented. The content is written in the perfect tone for little minds and with just enough detail. I like the fact that for each of the assemblies, there are recommended objects, artefacts and physical things to use to make the concepts more real for the children.”

What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the early years and how does the hub of resources minimise that?

Being at the very start of a lifetime of learning, early years can be a complex areas for educators. Coupled with the increasingly multifaceted role, growing class sizes means an increasingly challenging day-to-day job.

Bringing these resources to EuHu and opening up our early years area means we’ve been able to help educators for this year group to provide a more enriched teaching experience. This covers not just fundamentals like literacy and numeracy, but also personal, social and emotional development, communication and language and expressive arts and design.

What is the cost of joining and what return on investment can providers and early years educators expect to get back?

It is free to register to EuHu which gives access to the content builder which allows users to create, edit and share lesson plans alongside the articles and podcasts. Content available to subscribed users on the primary bundle includes inspirational ‘wow’ lessons, EYFS ‘wow’ topics, access to MAP (a full mental arithmetic programme), as well as knowledge organisers, progression maps and assembles.

This costs £7.99 a month and users who subscribe today can access one free month.
At the end of the day, joining means educators will never be stuck as they plan their days, giving them a useful leg-up during these challenging times.

What are your goals for 2024?

Our goal is to grow and enhance the platform. Not just in terms of user numbers, but also in the range of content we provide to ensure a core asset for educators at all levels.

As well as equipping teachers to deliver in their daily role, 2024 will see us innovate how we can support teachers themselves. This is not just with CPD but also with mental health tools. We’ll also be looking at how schools and nurseries can play their part in being more environmentally sustainable.
Because insight is part of our team’s fabric at EuHu, the content that goes on the platform is driven directly by the needs and wants of educators. So at this point, it’s hard to say ‘what’ we’ll be adding next to the platform, but when we do, we’ll certainly know ‘why’.

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