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Knowledge Makes Change February 20

Jersey news

 REAL Projects

For those of you running projects, I hope that visits and events are going well. I look forward to hearing all about them – do drop me a line to let me know how they are going.

The next Network meeting is being planned for 1st April (no joke) venue and further details to follow.

Thanks to everyone who has returned REAL project documentation (parent agreement, setting record form, pre child observation form) to Kate at JCCT. If you haven’t yet submitted please do so asap.

Knowledge Makes Change Seminar

Thank you everyone who supported the 9th KMC Seminar last November, where Jean Gross was the key note speaker. You should have now received an email with a link to a survey monkey questionnaire asking for your feedback on how the seminar has impacted your practice. Please do take 5 minutes to complete the survey as your feedback is vital to the overall evaluation of the Early Childhood Development Programme. Thank you for your support of this we really do appreciate it.

Planning for 10th KMC Seminar is now well underway. The date for your diary is Thursday 2nd April and we are delighted that Professor Cathy Nutbrown has agreed to be our key note speaker. Look out for the flyer with booking details which will be coming soon.

REAL Training

Over the coming months there are a number of opportunities to get involved with REAL training this includes opportunities to attend ‘train the trainer’ training where you will learn the skills to cascade the REAL messages to others.

Opportunities to attend train the trainer will be offered as follows:-

Sharing REAL with Parents – 19th & 20th May

Making it REAL (early literacy) – September

REAL approach to early Mathematics – Spring 21

If you are interested in any of these please contact Kate at JCCT –

Sharing REAL with Parents

The Sharing REAL with Parents programme helps parents to understand their roles in children’s early literacy development and to share this with others through informal contact or volunteering in early years settings and schools. It is a workshop based programme involving practical group learning and fun activities as well as opportunities to build confidence and skills in sharing REAL with other parents.

You will learn ways to support young children and parents with Books, Early Writing, Rhymes and Songs and how to make use of the Print all around you in the street, on the bus, in the shops and in your home.

Parents in Jersey (including those with babies and young children – Mums, Dads, grandparents and those for whom English is not their first language) have enjoyed discovering ways to support their child’s learning in a group offering fun and friendships.

Early years practitioners attending the programme are always enthusiastic about the way it helps them to work with parents.

The two day programme provides lots of resources through a learning journey which can then be delivered to others. It is open to anyone interested in the development of young children’s early literacy including parents, childcare, early years and family support workers, health practitioners, teachers.

The programme will take place in St Helier on 19th and 20th May.

To book a place email

Conference: Valuing care: Valuing wellbeing: recognising the value of care provision in the community

Thursday 30 April 2020; 08.30 – 17.00

Venue: Pomme d’Or Hotel, Liberation Square, Saint Helier, JE1 3UF.

Tickets £50 (includes lunch and refreshments)

This Family Nursing & Home Care conference aims to discuss how staff wellbeing should be structured into work place priorities and designed to ensure staff are happy in their roles. There will be afternoon workshops on:

  • Safeguarding Supervision
  • Lone Working
  • 5 Ways to Wellbeing

Book via Eventbrite

Family Nursing & Home Care Education 1st training

Family Nursing & Home Care have opened up their training business, Education 1st, and can now offer training to any care provider or organisation. All training delivered is compliant with the new Care Regulation requirements. The range of courses is easy to access and they run throughout the year; this is to ensure that organisations can keep their staff compliant and up to date. The training packages will be delivered by experienced instructors who are fully trained to deliver the topics. Instructors are drawn from a wide range of professional specialities including, adult and paediatric nursing, health visiting, practice development and specialist nurses.

All training is provided at Family Nursing & Home Care’s training premises at Gervaise Le Gros, St Aubins. Education 1st will also provide training to meet your specific organisational needs, and this can be delivered at your training facility.

Book your course via Eventbrite.

Nursery Education Fund continues in 2020

Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, has confirmed that the 20 free hours offered to nursery children, aged 3 to 4, through the Nursery Education Fund (NEF) will continue in 2020. Senator Vallois has also reaffirmed that the Early Years Policy Development Board, chaired by the Education Minister, is due to bring interim plans for the NEF to the Council of Ministers in the first quarter of this year. The current scheme of 20 free hours will remain in place for September 2020, and there is no intention to remove or reduce this offering.

Minister responds to Care Inquiry’s Two-Year Review

The Children’s and Housing Minister has issued a response to the Independent Jersey Care Inquiry Panel’s Two-Year Review report. In its Two-Year Review, published in September 2019, the Panel acknowledged the work that has been carried out to improve Jersey’s care system, but it also noted that there is still progress to be made. The Children’s Minister, Senator Sam Mézec, has presented the Government’s response to the Two-Year Review as a report to the States Assembly.

The Summary of Progress Report can be viewed here.

Research and practice from the UK and international contexts

The inside story: health effects of indoor air quality on children and young people: report

There is growing evidence that respiratory problems among children may be exacerbated by indoor air pollution in homes, schools and nurseries, according to a joint report by the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH) and the Royal College of Physicians. The report presents evidence linking indoor air pollution to a range of childhood health problems including asthma, wheezing, conjunctivitis, dermatitis and eczema. Sources of indoor air pollution include smoking, damp, the burning of fossil fuels and wood, dust, chemicals from building materials and furnishings, aerosol sprays and cleaning products. The authors warn that indoor air quality tends to be poorer in low quality housing where ventilation may be inadequate or insufficient. The report makes several recommendations.

View the report here.

Published 28 January 2020

How childhood trauma affects child brain development: NSPCC article

NSPCC Learning has updated its free resource on how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) affect brain development. The resource summarises ‘Sharing the Science’ – a trauma informed approach to child brain development that uses six key metaphors, developed by the Harvard Center on the Developing Child, the Alberta Family Wellness Initiative and the FrameWorks Institute.

The metaphors can be used to improve understanding of child development and children who have suffered ACEs. There are also tips on how to use the six metaphors in work with children and families.

View the resource here.

Updated January 2020

Research on the attainment gap in early maths skills

Recent research from the University of Sheffield, funded by the Nuffield Foundation, investigated why children differ so much in their early maths skills. The study concluded that using brain training exercises to improve core thinking skills does not in turn boost maths ability. Instead, the researchers found that core thinking skills, including memory and attention, are key skills that support early maths learning.

The research is some of the first to identify what is causing an attainment gap in early maths skills by studying a sample of four-year-olds from socially diverse backgrounds on their core thinking skills and early maths skills. The findings showed that on average, the children from disadvantaged backgrounds had lower maths skills than their more advantaged peers.

The study showed one way to support children who may be struggling with early maths is to support these core thinking skills. The researchers tried an intervention technique to improve the children’s cognitive skills directly to see if this had a knock-on effect on their maths ability. The intervention involved simple brain training challenges which the children completed once a week. Although the children improved their performance on the brain training tasks, there was no improvement in their maths skills.

It is hoped the findings will inform new research to test different types of interventions in order to narrow the differences in early numeracy skills and help disadvantaged children who might be at risk of falling behind in maths. Interventions could include promoting teaching strategies which are less demanding on children’s attention.

You can view information about the research here.

Updated February 2020

New EEF guidance published with 5 recommendations to improve early maths

The Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has produced a guidance report to support teachers and early years staff to help young children develop their early maths skills. The report, Improving Mathematics in the Early Years and Key Stage 1, reviewed the best available international research and consulted experts to arrive at key principles for effective practice. These are illustrated with examples and case studies to help practitioners put the evidence to good use. The five key recommendations of the report are:

  • Develop practitioners’ understanding of how children learn mathematics;
  • Dedicate time for children to learn mathematics and integrate mathematics throughout the day;
  • Use manipulatives and representations to develop understanding;
  • Ensure that teaching builds on what children already know;
  • Use high quality targeted support to help all children learn mathematics.

View the report and a downloadable poster summarising the recommendations here.

Published 24 January 2020

Thank you for reading.

KMC is part of the Early Childhood Development Programme. The programme is led by the National Children’s Bureau (NCB) in partnership with the States of Jersey and Jersey Child Care Trust, informed by the Education Department, Health and Social Services, the Best Start Partnership and the Jersey Safeguarding Partnership Board. The programme is funded by UBS Optimus Foundation UK.

KMC newsletters are compiled and edited by NCB on behalf of local partners. If you have any questions or comments about KMC, please contact