Early Years Conference 2014 - a huge success!
When teaching, I always relished in the opportunity to meet other Early Years professionals. Sharing good practice and soaking up ideas and suggestions for teaching practices was, in my eyes, the most important aspect of my role. Unfortunately, these opportunities were few and far between due to the other day-to-day aspects of the teaching role. However, when I joined Pearson and met the many teachers I support each and every day, they too were keen to network and be given that opportunity. To support teachers in achieving this, I needed to find the right time, and that came last summer 2013.
With the publishing of the Nutbrown and 'More Great Childcare' report and the Early Years Educator criteria, I believed this would be a fantastic time to bring together as many teachers in the Early Years field as possible. Whilst the re-development of the BTEC Level 3 Children's Play, Learning and Development (CPLD) got underway, I also began plans for the first Early Years conference.
With 10 months of planning and an overwhelming response for a place from centres, the day (12 June) finally arrived and the conference began with 93 teachers attending from 81 schools and colleges. Held on the 10th floor of our Strand office in London on a wonderfully sunny day, delegates were also able to make full use of the balcony. The morning session was a fantastic success and provided the opportunity to share with teachers, the new BTEC Level 3 Nationals in CPLD qualification, new internal assessment rules and quality assurance.
Feedback demonstrated its success:
"Good to have an opportunity to have questions asked and answered"
"Lots of brilliant information"
"Clear advice on new changes"
"Informative - cleared up a lot of confusion regarding assessment"
After a wonderful lunch of eating, drinking and networking, the afternoon began with a raffle of 60 Early Years textbooks. It generated a great buzz in the room. The guest speakers, Helen Perkins and Chelle Davison, encouraged delegates to consider Early Years and inspired confidence in the future of the sector.
Feedback mirrored this:
"Chelle was engaging and Helen, thought provoking."
The day ended with a general update and a question and answers session. Delegates left with a Pearson bag containing a specification, sample assessment materials and a range of Pearson resources to support them during the next stage of implementing this new qualification. Again, feedback summed up the day:
"Extremely useful day"
"Very informative - please do this again"
"Thank you for a great day - look forward to next year"
"Good to meet and discuss with others"
Collating the feedback from the day, I realised there was a need for an Early Years conference in and around the country. Suggestions for future conferences have outlined a focus on teaching workshops which is something I am currently working on with the Senior Standards Verifier and very much looking forward to sharing with you in the very near future.
I plan to continue to support you all with the implementation of the new BTEC Level 3 Nationals in CPLD over the course of the next year. Through free monthly teatime and breakfast online briefings, I aim to keep you updated with FAQs and provide a forum for you to seek guidance and support. I am also planning to follow a school and college through their first cohort of learners on the BTEC Level 3 Nationals in CPLD. I will be updating you with their progress through the website and my monthly newsletter. As the first Early Years conference goes, I couldn't have been more proud.
You can view a video of the day's events which I hope will encourage you to look forward to the next one!
Watch this space for the Early Years conference 2015.
Subject Advisor - Health and Social Care/Early Years