You can find information from the Firm Foundations London Conference, which was held in 2018, below.
The first Firm Foundations Conference was held at:
Early Excellence Ltd Water Gardens Square Surrey Quays Road London SE16 6RH
At the 2018 Firm Foundations Conference, our speakers, workshop presenters and panelists were:
Ruth Swailes - school improvement advisor, education consultant Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs - head of EYFS at Ark Neil Coleman - OPAL mentor Helen Moylett - early years consultant and writer Clare Sealy - primary head teacher in Bethnal Green Helen Williams - mathematics learning and teaching Nicky Clements - director of EYFS, Victoria Academies Trust Di Leedham - English/literacy/EAL teacher Nathan Archer - ECE doctoral researcher, University of Sheffield David Cahn - early years practitioner, coordinator of Meanwood Play Project Sue Cowley - author, presenter and chair of preschool committee June O'Sullivan - CEO of London Early Years Foundation
Here are some more details about the speakers and workshops that took place at our first Firm Foundations conference.
Ruth Swailes will be leading a workshop which will take place in the interactive environment, exploring the role of the environment in Early Years teaching and its impact on self regulation and language acquisition and development.
Sue Cowley will be talking about the importance of outdoor learning, and sharing the story of how her setting managed to develop their outdoor provision, despite opening onto a car park!
Nicky Clements will be doing a workshop around characteristics of effective learning, and the links with Learning Power (very many!) - how that can be incorporated into EYFS and whole-school afterwards to continue the good practice through primary.
David Cahn will be doing a workshop on "Rediscovering Play for Adults": Adults in Early Years read, research and endlessly debate and intellectualise the role of play in education yet remain severely disconnected from our own previous childhood expertise in it. By rediscovering a bit of what self-directed solitary play actually feels like, we can gain a deeper and richer understanding of how to interact with our children’s play on pedagogical, relational and even logistical levels. Yes this workshop might push you out of your comfort zone but I promise there will be no “wacky” icebreakers that force you to have “fun” with people you don’t know. I also promise there will be a different level of insight and discussion on the other side. David Cahn is an Early Years practitioner at Bankside Children’s Centre in Leeds and the coordinator of Meanwood Play Project.
Helen Williams will be presenting a workshop entitled "One game: Pass it on". This will be a hands-on, interactive workshop suitable for those teaching early years (3-7 year olds) as well as those wishing to understand how our younger mathematicians learn. Participants will play one simple game for 3-6+ year olds using a variety of resources, structured and unstructured. Underlying mathematical ideas will be analysed and related to the Characteristics of Effective Learning. International research into early years mathematics will be referred to.
Helen Moylett will be talking on "Supporting Life-Long Learning" - ready for the tests of life or a life of tests? Her talk will outline what research tells us about emotional and cognitive self-regulation and their relationship to the Characteristics of Effective Learning. It will link fundamentals of early years practice to the moral purpose of education and to the need for policy makers to value long term social, emotional and cognitive outcomes over short term data gains. Together we can achieve much!
Lydia Cuddy-Gibbs will be talking about "Working with parents" - developing partnerships and working as a team. No one knows the children we teach better than their carers. This session will outline the research and practice examples which lead to developed home learning environments and strong relationships between school/setting and home.
Nathan Archer will be sharing early thoughts from his research on professional identities in early years. ‘Who defines pedagogy and professional identities in early childhood education?’ explores the tensions between the multiple and changing expectations of policy and the lived experiences of early educators.
Neil Coleman will be talking about "Playtimes - the untapped 20%" - Every primary, infant and junior school allocates around one fifth of each day to breaktimes, yet almost all of them treat it as 'empty time' and ignore all that can be gained in terms of learning, behaviour, development and wellness for next to nothing. Every school can provide amazing playtimes - you just need to know how!