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Knowledge Makes Change – April 2022

‘Communication Support through Signing’

Training Opportunities:

Learning new songs and words supported by signing provides all children with a visual prompt to reinforce what they have learnt. Signing also supports memory and recall and has the added benefit for practitioners who can use signs to quietly reinforce expectations such as good sitting/listening or a prompt to wait to take a turn in a group activity.

An introduction to sing and sign will equip you with some basic signs which can be integrated into daily routines. You will get the opportunity to learn to sign to simple rhymes and stories and takeaway prompt sheets to help you when you are back in your home or setting. The free sessions will be run at Pips Place on the 23rd June and the 6th July (6.30pm till 8.30pm).

Book your space here

NEW ‘Making it REAL’ Training Opportunity:

Making it REAL (Raising Early Achievement in Literacy) is an evidence-based programme that works with practitioners to support children’s early literacy and development. The programme helps practitioners to build parents’ knowledge and confidence so that they can help their children by creating a positive early home learning environment. This has proved to have a powerful impact on children’s outcomes and on family literacy practice

Read more about REAL here: Making it REAL (

This two day course for Early Years Practitioners will take place on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October, delivered by Dr Alice Bennion (Jersey Child Care Trust) and Julie McAllister (Childcare and Early Years Service), 9.30 till 4.30 each day.

Places are free but space is limited. Please contact [email protected] for more info or to book a space.

What courses, training and continuous professional development do you need? What would be the best way for you to access them? Watch a short presentation here and complete a survey here.

For those of you who may have missed the link in the Curriculum Development training presentation, Julie McAllister wanted to highlight that the Key Notes from the Birth to 5 Matters Spring Festival are currently available as recordings, if you haven’t had the chance they are really worth a listen:

Spring Festival: Playing today to prepare for tomorrow – Birth To 5 Matters

Birth to 5 Matters Spring Festival keynote: Michael Rosen – Playing with words – YouTube

This is a fantastic free CPD opportunity.

‘Our next Side by Side group is fast approaching, please find attached a flyer that can be printed and/or emailed out to the team and parents.

Our Side by Side Parent & Baby/Child Groups offer a safe and accessible environment for parents (and expectant parents) that may be experiencing difficulties with their mental health and/or emotional wellbeing.

We want to break the stigma around maternal mental health and reduce the feeling of isolation that is often felt by parents. We want parents to know that they aren’t alone in how they are feeling, these groups will offer the opportunity for parents to meet and chat with other parents that may be feeling the same way. We want parents to feel comfortable in sharing their experiences and the difficulties they might be experiencing.

Our Side by Side groups are an alternative to 1:1 Peer Support and offer a safe space to talk openly, meet some of our fabulous volunteers and also find out more info about our Perinatal Peer Support service.’

You can book here.

Watch the Chief Minister talk about Jersey’s COVID recovery here – including how children and families are being supported. (With a specific mention of the ‘50 Things to do before you are five’ App at 33 seconds in…..)

Research and Resources:

Knowledge Makes Change Seminar – March 2019 (Revisited)

He has created award-winning play resources, written a nursery curriculum, a best-selling resource book on creative play, and imaginative material for the Early Learning Centre. He has developed a scheme for supporting English as an additional language and also finds time to write his own children’s picture books, Neil loves to tell a story and a story time with him is a highly entertaining event as he magically draws his audience into his story worlds.

Why does maths matter?

There is strong evidence to suggest that supporting children’s early mathematics, especially in the home, has a positive impact on long term attainment in mathematics and in other areas of learning and development.

Looking ahead to adulthood, the available evidence shows both the positive lifetime impact of acquiring mathematical skills and the potential limitations of not doing so. Professor Sir Adrian Smith’s review of Post 16 Mathematics commented that ‘well-established evidence shows that adults with basic numeracy skills earn higher wages and are more likely to be in employment than those who fail to master these skills’.

Being confident in using and applying mathematics has a positive impact on children’s lives. Adults can support children’s mathematical development, right from birth, through interaction, play and by using maths together in everyday life. Early years practitioners can also build parents’ confidence in supporting their child’s mathematical development through discussing with them activities run in their settings which parents can repeat at home.

Early Maths in Jersey

In Jersey, the Early Years team works closely alongside the Maths Adviser, meeting regularly to discuss recent initiatives and approaches, as well as delivering joint training. The Maths Adviser is currently writing a guide to supporting parents with their child’s mathematical understanding and development. The Early Years guidance has been written in collaboration with the Early Years Advisory Team. This will be published later in the year.

With the introduction of Making Maths REAL we now have 46 practitioners trained in over 30 settings. Successful home visits and Maths REAL events have been taking place all over the island. Some of these have included a Friday fish and chip night for children and families, Saturday REAL maths mornings and trips and outings involving shopping and looking for environmental print related to mathematics. These events have been well attended and feedback has been really positive.

Village Pre-School opened the evening showcasing their Making it REAL Maths projects and how it has changed their entire approach to maths throughout their setting.

(26) Jersey Stories can be counted on with Neil Griffiths – YouTube

The slides from Neil’s presentation are available here: Knowledge Makes Change Seminar 8 – Stories can be counted on – Speaker Deck