With many settings feeling the pinch, now is a great time to think creatively about how to access fantastic staff training, says Emma Davis…
Staff at Busy Bees Ledbury recently hosted a maths roadshow led by James of Nursery Nook (nurserynook.co.uk).
The fantastic benefit to our setting was that there was no charge to us as the host and we received 10 free tickets for the training.
Having recently moved to new premises, it was a chance to open up our setting to visitors, as well as receiving the training and having the opportunity to network and share ideas.
I shared the event on our social media pages, as did James, and it was also publicised through our local partnership cluster group.
Apart from organising the refreshments for the evening, there was little work involved on our part as tickets were booked and paid for through James.
The event began with a short post-it note exercise from James that really got us thinking. What is maths? I’m still pondering on this question now, as it’s something we engage with every day but it’s very difficult to put into words concisely.
Next, James delivered a wonderfully informative presentation that took in the number and shape, space and measure aspects of the EYFS.
Some of the concepts covered by James provided great talking points for us as a staff team, and offered many different ways for us to approach maths learning in a fun and engaging way.
After the presentation, everyone was free to play with the fabulous resources James had set up. This was incredibly beneficial, as it allowed us to consider both how the children would use them and how they could be incorporated into our practice.
Some of the activities were so simple, it made us question why we hadn’t thought of them before! With budgets tight, it’s good to know that engaging resources are affordable – some of them settings will already have.
Staff were also able to discuss ideas with other attendees from other settings, sharing thoughts about how the resources could be used to embed mathematical concepts.
Maths can be a challenging area of the EYFS, but James helped us to think creatively, acknowledge that maths is everywhere – and realise we don’t need to spend an excessive amount!
What I most appreciated was the buzz the training created. Receiving a text after getting home from the training thanking me for arranging it and a comment that it was really enjoyable and informative made my night!
At work the following morning, there was lots of chatter about the ideas practitioners planned to try with their key children – seeing the training have an impact was very special.
Thank you to James for the fantastic CPD and also to Twinkl, who provided tote bags and travel mugs for all attendees.
Talk about it
It’s important to encourage children’s use of mathematical language, as Judith Stevens explains here.
The NRICH website hosts free resources covering number, shape/space and measures – and don’t miss Ems Lord’s articles on Teachwire here.
Speaking of Teachwire, you can download maths resources there too, including these 2D shape posters.
Emma Davis is manager at Busy Bees Ledbury.