Author: Melanie Forsyth

Supporting Children with Potential ASN in Early Years

Have you signed up yet for the ASN training “Supporting children with potential ASN in Early Years” which will be held on the inset day on Monday 18th October?

We are delighted to be working in partnership with both Aberlour and the Inclusion and Wellbeing Service for this training. Practitioners from these services will be sharing their knowledge and expertise with attendees during the different sessions.

Session 1 will be delivered by members of the Early Years Central Team and this will focus briefly on initial steps in supporting children with potential ASN in the early years.

Here we will think about and discuss:

  • Different stages of intervention
  • Communication
  • Sensory
  • Behaviour
  • Referral Process
  • Support available
  • Child’s Plan
  • Building positive relationships with parents and families

Session 2 will be delivered by practitioners from Aberlour and during this we will focus on nurture, attachment and environments.

This session will incorporate a brief overview of:

  • Early Brain Development
  • Why our feelings matter
  • Why our interactions matter
  • The Five to Thrive Approach
  • Why the words we use matter
  • Why the environment matters
  • What to do if it’s not working
  • Importance of reflective practice

Session 3 will be delivered by practitioners from the Inclusion and Wellbeing Service and here we will focus on aspects of challenging behaviour and restorative practice in early years.

During this session we will reflect on and discuss:

  • Behaviour as communication
  • Attachment
  • Stress responses
  • Triggers
  • Conflict cycle
  • Strategies to support young people
  • Sensory processing

We hope as many settings as possible will access this training so please sign up via CPD Manager. A number of settings have requested input to support children with potential ASN and it is hoped this training will help practitioners to develop further awareness of strategies to support children who potentially have additional support needs.

To have maximum impact it is recommended that all, or almost all, practitioners in a setting complete this training.

If you are not allocated a space, don’t despair this training will run again on both the February and May inset days.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

NEW Blether Sessions

We are super excited to expand on our very popular ‘Blether sessions’ with the introduction of our new informative ’30 minute updates’ and ‘QI bite size’ sessions.  We hope you agree this is a quick and snappy way of sharing some crucial leadership information with colleagues across the authority.

Our ’30 minute updates’ are being delivered by our very own Heads of Centre who have a wealth of experience and knowledge on the critical day to day running of an Early Years setting.  The sessions share some do’s and don’t on specific areas from ‘Storing of medication’ to ‘Safeguarding: safety and security’.  There are 8 sessions in total that are spread out over the academic year.  Our sessions take place on a Monday from 3.30pm till 4pm.  Although these sessions are mostly aimed at senior leaders, they are relevant to staff at all levels within the ELC with sessions on ‘Infection Prevention and Control’, ‘Risk assessments’ and ‘Accident and incident paperwork’ to name a few.

Our QI bite size sessions are delivered by our very passionate Pedagogue Claudette Wright!  Again, there are 8 quick and snappy 30 minute sessions that will help raise knowledge and skills around the different aspects of the model for improvement.  Over the 8 sessions Claudette will take you through the improvement journey from the ‘introduction to the model for improvement’ to ‘PDSAs’ to ‘a family of measures’!  The QI bite size sessions are also spread throughout the year from 4pm-4.30pm.

Both our 30 minute updates and our QI Bite size sessions are live on CPD manager but can also be accessed directly through the Blether tile on MST.  If you are not already a member of the team then please contact your cluster link with your glow email and they will get you set up.

We are so privileged as an authority to have such amazing staff that are so keen to learn and share their skills and knowledge in so many different and flexible ways.


Making Falkirk Proud!

Learning is a journey, not a destination!

Everybody teach, everybody learn!

Virtual Nature School at Dunipace ELC Class

Over the space of six weeks, Dunipace nursery have been taking part in Claire Warden’s ‘Virtual Nature Schools training’ Cohort 3. The course is completed through; online coaching sessions, video provocations, possible lines of enquiry mind maps, practitioner provocations documents and inquiries planning through floor books documents. These tools together made a detailed thought-provoking journey of learning for both staff and children.

Their fabulous journey, along with amazing experiences is detailed below …….   

We started each week with a provocation for the children. We discussed what we were going to be looking at and asked the children what they thought they would see, or what we could use to explore the concept. This was documented in our floor book. We spent the week exploring and documenting our journey; completing the week with a review discussion with the children.
Our reflections were uploaded on our floor book onto a tracker app. This helped us reflect on the activities children participated in; where we are working and what curriculum areas we are delivering. This course was fast paced and staff were supported and guided to review, reflect, and evaluate their practice across a wide range of areas in a short period of time.

Week one:
Looking up and noticing children’s ideas and theories.

This provocation encouraged us to look up, discuss what we could see and then how we could capture what we saw through various art forms.




Week two:
– Looking down and documenting inside, outside, and beyond.
We developed using the language of curiosity.

During this provocation the children were looking down during some very wet weather which led us to explore puddles, wellies and mud. Together with the children we gathered photos, drawings, and comments to capture what we saw and discussed this week. The children played with reflections on puddles and explored how the rain makes marks on the surface of puddles.

Wellies helped us explore patterns, size, numbers, and sorting. Mud encouraged us to mark make with nature.


Week three:
– Looking through and using self-evaluation to improve our practice
–  We developed using the language of movement.

During this provocation we explored the concept of looking through using the story, ‘We’re going on a bear hunt.’

This encouraged us to experiment with different technologies and how these items change what we see. The children were encouraged to move around different objects to find varying holes and spaces that we could peep through.



Week Four:

– Looking inside and supporting the children in making plans and designs.

This provocation led the children to exploring getting inside. The children were encouraged to make shapes with string that they could stand inside. Looking inside then led onto making a wormery. The children enjoyed working together to make the wormery and finding different ways to find and collect worms. We discussed the changes of the wormery as the week went on and asked the children questions to deepen their thinking and ask curious questions themselves.



Week 5:
– Looking at and supporting children to explore depth and the language of theory.
We chose to take a closer look at apples as some of our children had been observed discussing apples and where they come from.

Week 6:
– Looking under and supporting children to consider things they cannot easily see and develop the language of imagination.

During weeks five and six we followed the children’s interest in apples; first exploring apples looking closer at the colours, size, and texture and capturing this through drawings. We explored that apples not only look different but have names for the different types. We tasted them to explore the different tastes. We then explored them further by looking at stories, tools, and their life cycle. This was followed up by exploring how apples can change over time and the different cooking processes we can do with apples changing them from a solid object to a fluid like consistency. The children covered a wide selection of learning outcomes through apples and were encouraged to explore in a variety of ways. This provocation provided lots of wow moments such as finding stars in apples.

At the end of each week the children were encouraged to continue to their investigations at home continuing to promote family learning between nursery and home.
We would advise any team to take part in training opportunities offered by Dr. Claire Warden. She inspires colleagues sharing her knowledge and creativity through simple videos, conversations and questions that prompted, scaffolded and supported professional dialogue across the team. Dr. Claire Warden covers a wide range of current thinking, using the latest local and national documents and practice in a meaningful and manageable way.

The children really enjoyed these provocation enquiries and the staff are excited to continue to use these methods and work with Dr Claire Warden in the future.

Harnessing Hygge in the Early Years

Hi everyone, my name is Paula Buist and I’m the SEYO at Stenhousemuir Primary. I’m really happy to have been asked to share some information about my current practitioner inquiry ‘Hygge in the Early Years’ with you and hope you can all find your own little bit of Hygge.

For those of you not yet familiar with Hygge (pronounced hue-guh) it’s a Danish word to describe a feeling of contentment, cosiness connectedness, kinship, security, warmth and comfort. It’s about finding the joy in your everyday life and routines and living in the moment.

My Hygge journey began after completing the Wanderlust: Nature Study and gaining my accreditation. I wanted to harness all of those lovely feelings and bring them to the life of our setting.

Hygge compliments all aspects of current early year’s expectations beautifully. By focusing on the moment we are able to effectively plan in the moment. Hygge nature infused learning spaces, outdoor exploration and the importance of connecting with nature links perfectly with the value Froebel placed on the outdoors as a powerful learning environment. By adopting a nurturing approach to practice and a listening pedagogy we are able to tune into what our children truly need and deserve. Hygge is going home at the end of even our toughest days knowing that we have made a difference.

To find out more visit our new practitioner page on twitter at:
Sten ELC Practitoner Page



We created a little Hyggekrog (Huegahkrug) for our children to access when they needed some quiet time away   from the busy nursery environment. Hygge is all about enveloping yourself in warmth and comfort so this space works really well in our setting.






As I completed each model of the Nature Study course I unlocked badges to show my progression and ironed them onto a chef’s apron. Our children love looking at these and discussing what each one if for.