Event Listings

Autumn Conference & AGM 2017: early education's role in combating child poverty and health inequalities


Conference theme

Nearly a century since the landmark 1918 Education Act gave local authorities the power to establish nursery schools in England in response to campaigns to improve the health and education of young children living in poverty, the value of early childhood education has become widely accepted, and provision near universal for 3- and 4-year-olds.  Yet many challenges of poverty, inequality, poor health and housing remain across all parts of the UK.

What part can early childhood education and early intervention play in giving all children the best start in life, and what should early years policy for the next century focus on to make real progress towards a good start in life for every child?


The conference will run from 11.00am to 3.00pm, with registration from 9am, and our AGM from 9.30 to 11.00am.

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Introducing woodwork in early years education

Thursday, 23 November, 2017
Portman Early Childhood Centre

*Price - NB early bird discount is applied at the checkout if available

  • Members £170, or with early bird discount (until 12 October 2017) £140
  • Non-members £215, or with early bird discount (until 12 October 2017) £185

Book three training days at once, or three places on a course, and save £20 on each of them! To take advantage of this offer, add the three events to your basket, and use the coupon code: EEDISCOUNT3 - the discount will automatically be applied at the checkout.

Course outline

Woodwork is hugely popular and provides a rich source of enjoyment as well as learning. The impact is profound and long term. Deep levels of engagement and intense concentration are common and the children often remain involved in their explorations for extended periods. Woodworking allows children many opportunities including; expressing their imagination, problem solving and sustained perseverance with challenging tasks. The learning outcomes have been remarkable and encompass all areas of the EYFS.

This practical session will look at ways in which woodworking can be safely introduced in your early years settings. We will look at the theory and how woodwork meets many learning and development aspects of the EYFS. We will examine the historical context and look at examples from other countries that have been working successfully with wood for many years. There will be explanations of the most suitable tools for young children and instruction on how best to use them.  We will look at the most suitable woods.  Information on potential suppliers of wood/ tools will be provided. Explanations on how to set up a woodworking area. Suggestions for activities, open-ended explorations and longer term projects. There will be practical elements during the day for practitioners to explore the tools, gain confidence and share the experience of making creations in wood.


From this course you will:

  • Understand the value and theory of woodwork.
  • Learn about the historical context of woodwork
  • Understand the potential of woodwork for creativity and critical thinking
  • Learn how to introduce woodwork safely, implementing an effective risk assessment.
  • Understand the most suitable tools for young children and how to use them.
  • Be confident to develop a woodworking area.
  • Know where to buy the most appropriate tools and materials

The trainer

You can view Pete's profile on his dedicated Associates page.

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Sing a Song – Tell a Tale!


This course will provide a wealth of creative ideas for songs, drama, movement and stories.

No previous experience of music, movement or drama is necessary – participants will take part in activities in a friendly and supportive atmosphere - please wear comfortable clothes for movement.

Course Aims

  •  Simple and inspiring ideas for songs and movement games to suit a variety of different ages to take away and use immediately.
  • Participants will develop their confidence and knowledge about how to structure groups, plan the right material and deal with common difficulties.
  • Learn how to weave stories, songs and movement together connecting to children’s ongoing interests in adult-led experiences. 
Saturday, 25 November, 2017
10.00 – 10.30 Coffee; 10.30 – 12.00 Speaker
Holme Head House, Community Atelier, Denton Street, Carlisle
Anni McTavish
Members: £15; Non Members: £20; Student/Unwaged: £15
How to book: 
Please return completed booking form in Downloads by Friday 10th November 2017, or email completed booking form to Jan ( or text booking details to Jan on 07932101728 with payment to follow.
Speaker Bios: 

Anni began her work with young children in a co-operative parent-run playgroup in the late 1980’s. She went on to run and manage the group and since then has worked across the UK as a trainer, consultant and writer. She specialises in expressive arts, creativity, personal, social and emotional development and superheroes. She took part in the National Children’s Bureau PEAL scheme (Parents, Early Years and Learning 2007) and works in settings on a variety of creative projects. 

Anni trained originally as a fine bookbinder, working for Circle Press and the BBC Music Library, and also spent time as a designer hat-maker. Her background in the arts, education and psychotherapy gives her a unique perspective on early years and her approach is to inspire, inform and help practitioners identify strengths as well as areas to develop. Her recent book – Playing and Exploring, (2013 Practical Pre-School books) – is one of a series focusing on the characteristics of effective learning.

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