What Animal Are You?

Happy Happy Joy Joy!

I recently attended a group interview to work in a nursery setting, and one of the questions they asked was “Which animal would you be, and why?”

How random, and deeply psychological! How to answer in an intelligent way, which didn’t come across as being too much of a stick in the mud? It was a child care environment after all, but I didn’t want to come across as a drunken Care Bear!

James and Moore (2010:173) describe the animal a person likes as a pet as a “miniature version of their heart”. Cat lovers are proud and haughty, fun but not someone to go to in a time of need. Dog lovers are practical and responsible, due to dogs being even more high maintenance than kids. However, they can be a bit of a control-freak, and also somewhat needy.

Simple, yet possibly devastating to your first impression. The first guy said he wanted to be a pig, because he likes to eat a lot! Continue reading

Government Unveils Wide-ranging Review Of The Early Years Foundation Stage

A review of the Early Years Foundation Stage! What do we think this means?

From the Department for Education, 6 July 2010:

Children’s Minister Sarah Teather today asked Dame Clare Tickell, Chief Executive of Action for Children, to carry out a review of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) so that it is less bureaucratic and more focused on young children’s learning and development.

Ministers are concerned that the EYFS framework is currently too rigid and puts too many burdens on the Early Years workforce, which has led to some of the workforce saying they are spending less time with children, and more time ticking boxes.

The Government has asked Dame Clare, a children and families expert, to make sure the standards that support young children’s learning are based on the best and latest research on children’s development. They want to shift the focus to getting children ready for education and to increasing the attainment of children from deprived backgrounds.

The review will cover four main areas: Continue reading

The EYPS Gateway Review


Part of achieving the Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) involves going through the EYPS Gateway Review. The course providers make a really big deal out of it, which can be a little daunting at first.

However, the Gateway Review is not an exam, so candidates can’t fail. It’s more of a guidance to ensure that candidates are on track for their final assessment setting visit.

The Gateway Review is (supposedly) designed, first, to check that candidates understand the 39 EYPS standards (don’t worry though, just UNDERSTANDING them is fine, you don’t have to recite them from memory or anything like that).

Secondly, the Gateway Review is meant to assess three skills generic to working as an Early Years Professional (EYP) and fundamental to meeting the 39 EYPS standards.

The three skills are:

  • The ability to make decisions on the basis of sound judgment
  • The ability to lead and support others
  • The ability to relate to, and communicate with, others

In order to assess these three skills and our understanding of the 39 EYPS standards, we lucky candidates get to go through a series of four different exercises, all in one day: Continue reading

Dealing With Challenging Behaviour In Children

While reading up on Theories of Cognitive Development (sounds fun, I know!), I came across something very interesting:Challenging Behaviour

‘Punishment has to be severe, consistent and immediate to effectively stop challenging behaviour in the long term.’

Of course, anyone who deals with children will know that each of these 3 factors is a handful in their own right:

Continue reading

Little Bunny Foo Foo!

It’s Easter, and every nursery is busy with Easter stories, activities and decorations!

Personally, I’ve always thought of Easter as a big marketing scheme by Cadbury to sell chocolate eggs. But did you know that the eggs (and even the rabbits) actually DO hold some significance to Easter?

Anyway, here’s a catchy song that’s been stuck in my head recently. Maybe I shouldn’t have watched it till the very end just to find out what a goon is…

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Dressing Up For Nursery

Ever felt really silly or out of place? Working with kids, I get that silly feeling all the time! Like when I’m letting the girls ‘do my hair’, or helping the boys on with their dresses because they’d like to be princesses.

However, yesterday was a whole new level of silly for me! Continue reading

3 Mistakes I’ve Made When Talking To Parents

I’m very eager to write up my recent thoughts on how a child got lost during a nursery outing, as well as some really interesting theories of child development. However, life’s been hectic as usual, and I don’t even get a Chinese New Year holiday!

So much for equal rights.

Anyway, until I make time for those, have a look at my guest post on Deborah’s blog over at Teach Preschool. It’s called 3 Mistakes I’ve Made When Talking To Parents, and as the title suggests, it’s about some of the most common mistakes a newbie to the Early Years scene might make.

The picture’s are a bit misaligned, but Deborah blames it on the blog host. 🙂

About Deborah

Does she look over 20?

Deborah‘s been a professional in Early Childhood Education for over 20 years, and her experience includes being a teacher, director, curriculum writer, music director, and consultant for staff training and professional development.

She’s got over 3 thousand fans on Facebook (slightly more than me), and has a really great and active blog at Teach Preschool.

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