At a time when we are all facing budgetary constraints, the continued provision of professional development for our teams is an ongoing challenge in terms of both cost and enabling delivery.
It is difficult to free up team members from their vital role caring for children to attend external courses.
Online training resources can be generic and expensive. The clip library addresses both of these issues. We know that it will contribute to raising the quality of our provision and improve the wellbeing, care and learning of our children. We are excited to see the difference it will make.
Siren Films have a longstanding reputation for the production of high-quality films focused on child development that illustrate key concepts and points of good practice using real-life observations.
These videos are an asset for training anyone involved in the support and development of children during their formative years from 0-5 years (and beyond), including Early Years teachers, students and parents.
The films have formed the basis of many of our training sessions for developing our teams at Paint Pots, whether we are providing an introduction to the EYFS with a new apprentice or revisiting the role of the adult with more experienced practitioners.
Video brings theory and concepts to life
If a picture paints a thousand words, video provides the added dimension that brings theory and concepts to life.
We are therefore excited by the availability of the clip library, a new online resource comprising hundreds of short training film clips presented by themes including such topics as communication, learning, exploring, emotions, pretend and environments.
The inclusion of the same clip in more than one of these categories provides a powerful search and selection facility that exploits the multidimensional characteristics of many of these videos, making it easy to identify appropriate examples to match the focus of planned development sessions, be it a particular age group, child development area, a specific theory or learning strategy.
Each clip is accompanied by several sections of text – ‘Good for looking at’, which highlights colour coded key areas that the clip content covers; ‘Before Watching’ Questions – Notice, with a list of points to guide observation of the clip; ‘After the Video’, Time to Reflect – Reflect, Respond, with points to consider, to reflect upon and pointers to fashioning a response. Additionally, where appropriate, there is a downloadable task sheet and a facilitator’s guide.
The clip library provides us with the ability to focus in very directly on particular points and to generate discussion, joint observation and assessment within our teams.
It is a very welcome resource. The prompt questions are a great aid to guide observation without predefining the outcomes.
In our experience, training is most effective when the learning points come directly from the participants. The clip library enables such self-directed group learning. It enables us to schedule more frequent, shorter and more sharply focused continuous development sessions which we can subsequently revisit.
There is no point in training anyone unless it makes a difference. The clip library enables us to provide more-targeted support and to assess impact.
The ready accessibility of the individual short clips means we can return to them at our convenience to reassess, reemphasise and highlight learning points.
Dynamic, purposeful and targeted
Tailoring sessions using observations points, video, reflection discussions and action planning, enables the generation of powerful and effective times of learning for teams that is suitable to meet the needs of a variety of learning styles, dynamic, purposeful and targeted.
Rather than planning training lessons around one long video, the flexibility of this resource means that a selection of different clips can be combined to create bespoke training modules providing different perspectives on particular areas.
As an example, considering aspects of practice in the outdoors environment might include clips from:
Environment and Materials – Outdoors
Creating and Thinking Critically
Clips to tailor your training sessions
It is easy to see how a training session could be tailored from this selection to the needs of various groups, with a different focus matched to the experience level of members by the inclusion or exclusion of individual clips.
Group discussion can also be guided from the general to the more specific, maybe considering the wide potential of the outdoors environment for risk taking, gross motor skills development, physical activities, through to the role of the adult in supporting critical thinking, scaffolding children’s creativity, use of imagination and problem solving.
Perhaps feeding this through to consider the interests of the current cohort of children in the setting and how observation, assessment and planning could enhance provision in the coming weeks to raise expectations of these children’s next steps and achievements.
Or perhaps the focus might be on equality of opportunity and how expectations for boys and girls in the outdoors can be more balanced and gender stereotypes can be addressed through planning appropriate activities and using open-ended resources.
The clip library provides building blocks to enable providers and organisations to create their own training resources, tailored to their specific needs and context. It can be seen how this enables even the smallest setting to build their own learning modules quickly, efficiently and cost effectively.
Larger organisations can create resources covering a wide range of child development areas which can be swiftly repurposed and adapted to the needs of different audiences.
So, the library is suitable for individuals, Early Years settings, larger organisations, training providers, local authorities, academics etc, in fact anyone who has an interest in child development and wishes to communicate the concepts and approaches to it.
David Wright is the Owner of Paint Pots nursery chain, Nursery World Award Winner of Nursery chain of the year 2018.
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