Save the date… ELC Inclusion Fund release

The next phase of the ELC Inclusion Fund opens for applications on 28 October.

This fourth round of funding is available to support children with ASN to access their full entitlement to Early Learning and Childcare.

There is criteria to follow when applying. The fund is available to purchase equipment/resources; staff training; and, to fund adaptations.

More information about the fund can be viewed here

Application forms and details are to be made available on 28 October on the Children in Scotland website.

The process is straightforward and most Falkirk bids have been successful previously. However, if you need help or support with your application please do not hesitate to contact us.

#ourchildrenfirst

 

Food Hygiene Refresher Course

Food Hygiene Refresher Training                                

A small reminder that all Falkirk ELC practitioners whose Elementary Food Hygiene certificate is approaching 5 years old should sign up for a two hour refresher course using CPD manager.  Refresher courses are run every 6 months and places are limited so please ensure you plan ahead if your certificate will be 5 years old within the next year and sign up promptly to reserve your space.  The next course will be held on March 4th 2020 from 4-6 PM in Camelon Education Centre.

 

The Pedagogue Ponders: A team really does make the dream work…

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, without a team who feel valued, feel trusted and feel believed in, a leader has nothing. Our teams are the very people who, in their own individual and unique way, tie our leadership together, making for the very best early years experience for our wee people.

Just before the October holidays it was announced that at Bowhouse ELC, we achieved grades of six in our most recent care inspectorate. No easy achievement I may add, two years of hard work and nurturing a team which was valued, believed in and trusted was part of the recipe. Not forgetting our amazing wee people, their families and of course those leading leaders. We all need a leader. Someone to look up to, someone to talk to, seek support from and someone who believes, trusts and values you.

Two years ago, as I began a senior position in Bowhouse, I had no idea, just how important it was to lead a team effectively. It’s been two years of steep learning curves; finding myself as a leader, adjusting leadership to different people, the importance of laughter- even when it’s the last thing you want to do, of taking chances, continuing to stand firm in those chances even when everyone else continues in their comfort.

However the biggest learning curve- the thing that has only strengthened over time is the true value of teamwork. In the early days at Bowhouse there were just three of us and I now wonder how on earth we did it all. Free flow outdoor play, independent children helping to prepare snack, woodland visits, stories, songs, rhymes, blocks, planning, learning stories, the list is endless but we did do it. We believed in each other; knew each other strengths and weaknesses but weren’t ashamed of them. That’s why, even though I’m leading marvellous mealtimes across Falkirk, I’m banned from the Bowhouse kitchen, it would seem that actual cooking and baking is not a strength!

Anything is possible, regardless of the amount of people in your team, what really makes it all work is real effective teamwork.

In August 2018 our wee team of three became a team of 15. That in its self was another learning curve. Not only did I pass my senior early years officer hat on, I became an equity and excellence lead (Early Years Pedagogue). At Bowhouse we don’t do anything by halves so just added in the 1,140 expansion, a new senior, EEL, 8 EYO’s, 3 ELC Assistants and a few SfLA’s. As well as 56 wee people experiencing 1,140 for the first time we had a lovely new setting to set up. Phew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it. However a year on, it seems that we’ve always been together. I suppose that’s because in the early days, as an Early Years Pedagogue, I relied on the team to step up and push fo excellence and boy did they deliver. It soon became apparent how different each member of the team was. Each creative, curious and exciting in their own way- even then I knew 1,140 was the best thing to happen to us.

Over the course of the last year we’ve come to respect and value each other for who we are. Claire for her never ending calmness, kindness and positive outlook as well as being the best SEYO! Jacqui for her nurturing and soothing ways with our wee people and families and can do attitude. Teresa for her passion of all things stories, music and rhyme- missed her calling to the stage so is our resident songstress in Bowhouse. Jennifer who has embraced Froebel and transformed our concrete jungle into a gardeners haven, always taking the time to involve our wee people, each and everyone of them. Rachel for her sense of humour- always knowing when a wee laugh is needed, Rachel’s knowledge of family support makes her our go to person when we need to chat. Kimberley’s relationship with her families and the way she knows what they need and how to get it, makes sure our wee people have the best experience, a marvellous mealtime marvel is our Kimberley. Lynne our outdoor warrior has also developed our wee people’s experiences outdoors and has a way of drawing a crowd of wee people, where ever she is, this alone speaks volumes. Kirstie, whose hidden talents include knowing baby shark word by word, provides our children with the love and nurture they need. Always a nurturing soul for our families too is our Kirstie. Emma, just recently returned from maternity leave, is as positive as you will find. Always willing to try new things out and learn, When Jodie walks in our door at 11am, your always sure to know as a chorus of “It’s Jodie’” takes place as our wee people run up to welcome her. That in itself speaks for the kind and caring practitioner Jodie is. Rachel , quietly confident as she reads stories in a relaxing voice, so much so we all need some quiet time. Mel whose enthusiasm for learning shines through as her ever curious practice means it’s all teach, all learn in Bowhouse.

In light of our excellent inspection, I felt it was important to take the time to speak of the Bowhouse ELC team, let you know a little of them and the amazing work they do EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.  It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement and glow of an excellent report, however we know we can’t become complacent. That excellence has to be maintained, boundaries need to be pushed, innovation needs to happen.

It is as simple as this, without them- the team, excellence would not happen. Confident, independent, successful and curious wee people would not be moving on in the world without the team.

I would not be a leader without a team who supports me, challenges me, praises me, reigns me in (it happens daily!) and most importantly works with me.

Without them I’m just a person with an idea and what good is that, when you have no one to share it with?

Gemma

ELC – Bake Off for Maths Week – Week Beginning 30 September

I am absolutely delighted that baking is becoming a core experience for our young children in Falkirk settings.

Many of you have locked this into your curriculum rationale stating that this rich experience supports holistic development.

Without exception, baking experiences, done regularly enough, supports children to learn important early mathematical skills such as counting, ordering/sequencing, comparing, estimating, weighing, measuring.

So, to celebrate Maths Week Scotland (w/b 30 September) we are inviting you to get involved in an authority-wide Bake Off for Maths Week.

Prof. Aline-Wendy Dunlop from Strathclyde has thrown her support behind the idea on Twitter:

“Like the word ‘mathematising’ Lisa- like Making ‘human sense’ of maths – so much to talk about in a recipe – quantity, weighing, measuring, estimating, comparing, sequencing – that’s the adult knowledge bit for great interactions – as you say counting and sorting! Lovely idea!”

We are very happy for you to do your own tasting challenge but, to win an authority prize you are asked to:

  • Keep a visual record of how children are developing and using maths knowledge and skills through baking across the week (be as creative as you want). Special consideration should be given to involving parents and the community.

Prizes are available for the best stories.

To register your involvement tweet using #FalkirkELCBakeOffForMaths Tag @FClisamccabe @Falkirk1140 @numhubchampfalk

So far, we have the following settings signed-up:

Camelon ELC Centre

Rannoch ELC Centre

Kinnaird Primary ELC

Victoria Primary ELC

Wellside ELC

St Francis Xavier Primary ELC

Easter Carmuirs Primary ELC

Beancross Primary ELC

Bainsford Primary ELC

Avonbridge Primary ELC

Comely Park Primary ELC

#getinvolved

Three. Two. One. Bake.

 

 

CLPL Calendar

The CLPL for early learning (ELC practitioners and early stages of primary) has been sent to all settings.

The calendar is presented as a powerpoint presentation which, when run as a slide show, has hyperlinks to CPD Manager. EarlyLearningCLPLProgramme20192020

Most sessions can be booked through CPD Manager but some need to be booked via email to Rehana Ali Rehana.Ali@Falkirk.gov.uk Details are on the calendar.

We know that it is important to learn together with others. That is why we are promoting that, whenever possible, more that one person from each setting accesses training opportunities.

The short course: Learning, Teaching & Assessment is delivered across two in-service days. The course is for whole teams and will provide support on all aspects of the learning cycle including planning, observation and the role of the adult in extending and deepening learning. This can be booked for your team by emailing Rehana.Ali@Falkirk.gov.uk

If you have any questions about the CLPL calendar for 2019/2020, please do not hesitate to get on touch with myself or one of the central team.

Lisa

#passionate #learned #reflective

Kym Scott – Support Materials

Over 30 Falkirk practitioners, half of the audience, attended the Power of Play by Kym Scott, which had been organised by Upstart.

Kym’s passion for play-based pedagogy and her advice was both practical and compelling.

Colleagues who attended were given a suite of helpful tools to support reflection and self-evaluation:

  • Adult-Child Interactions
  • Physical environment
  • Outdoor play and learning

These materials are available for you to view and use. Click here to go to the Early Learning Glow Site (glow username and password required).

You will find the materials under the section: Professional Development – Kym Scott Materials

Remember Kym Scott is coming to Falkirk on 27th and 28th February 2020. Save the date.

 

Resources to Support Outdoor Play and Learning

National Guidance to support high quality Outdoor Play and Learning

Outdoor Play and Learning is a key priority in our Early Learning Quality Strategy.

There are a number of important national guidance documents to support this area of priority. It is really important that pedagogical leaders and teams are conversant with the main messages in this guidance.

Care Inspectorate has been in touch to say that every setting will receive a hard copy towards the end of July of the Space to Grow Indoor Outdoor Settings guidance. In the meantime you can access the document here via the Care Inspectorate HUB.

It is really important that we are all clear on what it is to be an indoor/outdoor ELC settings. This definition from the guidance is very helpful,

“An indoor/outdoor setting is a premises-based setting where the scale and quality of the outdoor space is appropriate for enhancing the child’s quality of play and learning experiences. High quality natural outdoor space combined with high-quality indoor space and quality opportunities and experiences for children are all taken into account when considering the number of children the setting is registered for. Both the indoor and the outdoor area must be accessible to the children 100% of the operational times. An indoor/outdoor setting will take account of the practices of a solely outdoor or satellite setting.” (emphasis added)

Page 8

We are absolutely delighted that our very own Nethermains Nursery Class is featured in the document (pages 29 & 30). If you are interested in finding out more, do not hesitate to contact Ashley Cupples, EY Pedagogue.

Page 26 gives practical hints and tips on what practitioners need to consider before embarking on establishing an indoor/outdoor approach.

The resource should act as a tool to be used in conjunction with:

Space to Grow

Out to Play

My World Outdoors

Practice Note: Early Learning and Childcare: Delivering High Quality Play and Learning Environments Outdoors

New Loose Parts Toolkit 2019 Edition

I know many of you have been keenly awaiting the publication of the Loose Parts Toolkit 2019. Find it here https://www.inspiringscotland.org.uk/publication/loose-parts-play-toolkit-2019-edition/

I am especially pleased to be recommending the toolkit to you due to the emphasis in the document on the role of the adult, which is one of our big priorities this session. Chapter 3 is a must read.

I’d love to read your comments about the document and would be grateful for any advice /support for others you’d like to share. Continue reading New Loose Parts Toolkit 2019 Edition

NEW – ELC Materials on National Improvement Hub in one place

All ELC support materials are now situated in one place on the National Improvement Hub.

Education Scotland have responded to feedback from users who said that materials and resources were hard to find.

Being collected in the one space within the Hub saves meaningless searches. It is also great to know the totality of materials that are available to help drive forward improvement for our wee fab Falkirk folk.

Make sure you save this link in your favourites and familiarise yourself with some great materials and resources.

Click here to spring into the ELC section of the National Improvement Hub

Blog Refresh

Welcome to our refreshed Early Learning Blog.

For those of you who are frequent visitors to the Blog, I hope you are pleased with the changes. For new visitors, you will find the Blog easy to navigate with key information being accessed easily.

Make sure you keep your eye on the front page for news and updates.

Please leave comments on the blog posts. Your comments are important and will help us know if we are provided exactly what you need.