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An Opportunity to Upskill Your Team in This Vital Area

Embedding the new EYFS: An introduction to child development and play
based pedagogy

A new course for teaching assistants, those new to working in the EYFS and
those wishing to learn more

Implementing the new EYFS effectively requires all adults who work with young children to
understand how they develop and learn and how best to assess and support their learning in
developmentally appropriate, inclusive ways, through play and meaningful real-life experiences.
This course has been specially created to give a basic foundation of child development knowledge
and play pedagogy to those who have not been trained in this area, or those who would like to
learn more.
In these eight sessions I will take participants on a journey, showing predictable patterns of
development physically, linguistically, cognitively, socially and emotionally, but with a clear focus
on the uniqueness of children and the fact that they develop at different rates and in different ways.

The course will cover:

  • Links to the new EYFS and associated documentation
  • Understanding how children develop and learn holistically across the different areas and
    what things influence their development
  • Recognising each child’s unique strengths and needs, and ensuring these are celebrated
    and supported
  • The vital role of adults in providing high quality play opportunities, enabling interactions and
    inclusive and challenging learning environments
  • What to look for in terms of assessment when observing children’s play, and how to use the
    information gained to impact on children’s development and learning both immediately and
    going forward.

Participants will gain:

- A basic overview of child development theory and research,
- Insights from neuroscience
- Literacy and mathematical subject knowledge,
- An understanding of what excellent play-based pedagogy looks like in practice
- Lots of practical ideas to inform teaching and learning
- Opportunities for interaction, reflection, and questions.

In order to maximise impact on practice, delegates will be given gap tasks and will be encouraged
to keep a log of their own development and actions. Certificates will be available for those who
complete the course


Target audience: All practitioners working within the EYFS, with a particular focus on 2-5 year
olds. This course will be especially useful for teaching assistants, those new to working in the
EYFS and those wishing to learn more about child development and play.

Duration: 8 sessions of 1.5 hrs each.

Dates: 12th October 2022, 16th November 2022, 11th January 2023, 1st February 2023, 8th March
2023, 10th May 2023, 7th June 2023, 5th July 2023.

Times: Choose from afternoon sessions 1.30- 3pm OR evening sessions 6.30 – 8pm (you can choose which you come to according to what is most convenient for you on the day.)

Individual ticket: £120 per delegate for all 8 sessions
Whole school/setting pass: £480 for up to 10 delegates in one school or setting to attend



Date: Wednesday 12th October 2022

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 1: Play - what to look for and what to provide
• Conditions for high quality play that supports learning and development
• The adult role in extending children’s play
• Assessing children’s learning through play and teachable moments

Date: Wednesday 16th November 2022

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 2: Emotional Development
• Self-regulation - how it develops and its importance for wellbeing and learning
• The vital role of the adult in providing co-regulation
• Shifting focus from ‘behaviour management’ to supporting self-regulation

Date: Wednesday 11th January 2023

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 3: Social Development 
The importance of belonging and how to support this
• Social stages of play
• Helping children to become part of a group and solve conflicts

Date: Wednesday 1st February 2023

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 4: Language Development
How speech, language and communication develop
• The vital role of attuned adults in supporting language development
• What do language boosting interactions look like?

Date: Wednesday 8th March 2023

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 5: Cognitive Development
How metacognition and executive functioning develop and underpin learning
• Links to the Characteristics of Effective Learning
• What to look for and how to support these aspects in practice

Date: Wednesday 10th May 2023

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 6: Physical Development
The relationship between physical development and learning
• Supporting physical development through play and authentic experiences
• The importance of the outdoors for learning and development

Date: Wednesday 7 th June 2023

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 7: Literacy Development
Key foundational knowledge and skills for becoming a reader and writer
• How to support these through play and playful learning
• The developmental stages of writing – what to notice and what to do

Date: Wednesday 5th July 2023

Time: 1.30-3pm OR 6.30-8pm

Session 8: Mathematical Development
• Key foundational mathematical concepts
• Problem solving and links to the Characteristics of Effective Learning
• Supporting early maths through play and playful learning

Free to members of The Place to Learn, my online EYs professional
learning platform. 

Already a member of The Place to Learn? Registration details will be sent to your email

About Me

33 years ago I started work as a pre-school assistant in Norfolk and went on to teach and lead in London schools. I worked as an early years advisor for Lewisham local authority in London and went on to strategically lead the service. I now work nationally and internationally as a trainer, conference speaker and consultant.

I’ve spent the majority of my career working with leaders and managers in schools and settings, providing them with the support and challenge needed to effectively lead and sustain improvements in play-based learning.

As well as supporting at local authority and leadership level, I spend a significant proportion of my time working directly with practitioners in schools, day-care and pre-schools. This hands-on, current experience is key to ensuring that I retain a deep understanding of the reality, challenges and rewards of working with young children and their families. My work involves sharing what I have learnt about play and the difference it can make to children’s outcomes, and helping schools and settings to ensure that children are enabled to learn in as joyful, inspiring and memorable ways as possible.

In response to Covid, I created an EYS online professional learning platform called ‘The Place to Learn’. This is a subscription-based service which provides excellent value, on demand access to my entire collection of training courses for whole teams. Specific modules or whole courses are also now available to purchase separately for both individuals and teams.

To find out more please go to or email [email protected]


  • Please note only people booked onto the sessions can attend and are permitted to view the recordings.
  • Pay by invoice is available for organisations only and not for individuals.
  • Pay by Credit/Debit Card/Paypal is the preferred payment method.

Use Coupon Code 'EARLYBIRD22' To Get 1/3 Off the original price before 30th September 2022

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