Early years and education information We are a home based mini-Nursery setting open 38 weeks a year term-time. Offering 9 places. Childcare vouchers accepted.

Monday to Thursday 9.15 - 1.00 for 2 to 5 year olds. Early Years funding and FEET funding offered for eligible families. See to send a contact submision form.

Operating as usual

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On my wife’s suggestion, we visited a wildlife refuge yesterday and my 13yo started complaining before we got out of the car. Naturally, I listened to him discuss his hardships in all “I” statements. “I don’t want to be here”, “I don’t want to walk”, “I hate this.”

Eventually he asked me this question: do you want to be here?

“Not really,” I said.

“Then why did you go?” He asked like he’d really found some hole in the plot of my life.

“Because visiting this place isn’t about me. It’s about your mom, and I love her, so I went.”

He gave me this long confused, why would a gown human do anything they didn’t want to do, look.

“Well I think this place is stupid and if I could drive I’d be out of here,” he said.

I thought about laying into him. I thought about telling him to suck it up and be a good sport, but I had a feeling he would just dig in his heels, and act like a martyr, when what I really wanted was for him to understand an important lesson about what love actually looks like.

“Listen, I love mom and she loves these sorts of places, so I go without complaining because that’s what love looks like.”

He rolled his eyes, and said “going to a wildlife refuge has nothing to do with love.”

“Oh son, it totally does. When you love someone, it can’t just be words. It’s got to be actions, too.”

I raised my hands and gestured to the swamp land and the boardwalk, and the signs describing the animals habitats.

“Going to a place like this when you don’t really want to is the purest form of love.”

He clearly didn’t like my answer.

“Listen, love can’t always be about you. Chances are you are going to fall in love some day, and that person might be perfect for you, but you will still be different people. And sometimes being in love with someone means going shopping for something that isn’t for you, or to a restaurant that you don’t really like, but your partner does. And if you want that person to know that you love them, you don’t complain, and you don’t call the thing stupid. You just go because you want to see them be happy. And do you know what happens when you do that?”

“What” he said.

“That person feels appreciated,” I said.

Then I pointed at his mother who was grinning ear to ear as she took a picture of a great white heron.

He thought about what I said. He kicked the dirt. Then he said, “fine.”

It wasn’t an angry “fine” or an I don’t like it “fine” but an “I understand fine.”

And by the time we made it back to the car to go home my wife looked at our son and said, “you’ve been very quiet.” He looked at his mother, and shrugged, and in so many ways what he was really saying was “I love you.”

(Originally published in 2020)


Go to the crying child. Especially the child under 7. The wrong coloured pencil, the sand in their shoe, the book that they didn’t want to read - it is all a big deal to them.

Think about the life experiences they have had. They haven’t experienced what we have and therefore have no frame of reference for how big their problem objectively is.

Their brain is also still in the egocentric stage of development, where everything is all about them.

Plus, their prefrontal cortex isn’t anywhere near as developed as an adult’s, meaning they do not have the ability to regulate themselves, or are only just beginning to learn this.

Dismissing their feelings (e.g. “you get what you get and you don’t get upset”…) or leaving them to deal with their emotions on their own stays with them. They may not be able to explicitly recall being left to cry on their own, but it will be stored in their brain and body along with other similar experiences (in their implicit memory), and contribute to their core beliefs (schemas), perceptions, and assumptions about the world as they grow up.

Meeting a child’s feelings with shame, ridicule or punishment also puts their nervous system under stress and their brain in a more reactive state, meaning they will remain in a heightened state and be more likely to become upset or triggered again.

There is just too much research and evidence behind this for it to be ignored.⠀

If a child is upset, go to them.

And as always - parents, teachers, anyone caring for children - you won’t get it right 100% of the time. We are all still learning and doing the best we can with the resources we have.

Timeline photos 17/05/2022

Quote from creator of The STILL Method, Stuart Thompson



Photos from The Curiosity Approach's post 10/04/2022

ℂ𝕝𝕚𝕟𝕥𝕠𝕟’𝕤 𝕔𝕒𝕣𝕕 𝕗𝕒𝕔𝕥𝕠𝕣𝕪 ?
We often get asked the question “what do you do for Easter cards & crafts?”
To put it into two words “ we don’t !”

Here’s our full reply 🥰

Working in Early Years is a demanding yet rewarding experience, a career we got into for our love of children.

Sadly at times, it can feel that we are under pressure to produce items to send home in line with every festival, celebration or special date on the calendar.

So much so, we often feel like we are working in Clinton’s card factory, or at Moonpig, instead of Early Years.

Easter, valentines, Mothers Day Fathers Day, Eid, Ramadan, Diwali, Hannuka, Christmas, Happy New Year ! The list is blooming endless. 😱

Every term a new card, craft or product to conjure up, plan organise and ensure every child has participated in and ticked off the list!

It’s sadly become a conveyor belt of cards and crafts for children to take home. When did it become so product orientated ? When did it become a necessity to create ‘Pinterest worthy stuff to plan every season?

What if we told you, that working in an Early Childhood setting is not merited by how elaborate the Easter card or Creation.
Our professional success is not measured by our ability to mass produce 30 footprint chickens or Easter Bunnies, readily cut out, stuck and finalised by the end of term! 🐣

It’s completely OK to shut up the card manufacturing shop and turn off the conveyor belt machine. 🙏🏼

To give children the autonomy to create, draw and design if they choose to. Give them the freedom to stick, scribble and glue, whenever they please & not because it’s expected something should go home!

It’s OK to tear up the pre planned timetables, lists and tick sheets.

If a child wishes to create they’ll create something, therefore let us, let go of traditions whereby every season our settings becomes awash with cloned activities that are cute identical and decided by the adult, cut out by the adult and orchestrated by the adult too ( where children are passive in their involvement )

“Whose card is it anyway ?”

We have used the term ‘craptivities’ before and stand by the terminology.
Crap meaning waste - It’s a ‘waste’ of the adults time and most certainly the child’s.
The majority of Parents and carers want to see their child’s OWN creation, not something that’s identical to every other child’s card in the class.

Many may argue that footprints are a wonderful keepsake, a moment in time to treasure long after the child has grown.

We are not against hand & footprint paintings!

But this should be through FREEDOM, sensory expression, exploration of a medium, a process and not so an adult can cut out the print when dry & transform into a funny caricature. Drawing features and making it look ‘cute!’

Time to shut up the card shop?
Time to release ourselves and the children from the expectation to create something at every eventuality.
Especially, if what they create is a mass produced carbon copy, identical to every single other child’s creation too!

“ whose imagination is it anyway?”

Have you read our blogs?

As always we pose reflective questions and recognise everyone is on their own professional journey. Let’s ponder consider and ask the question. Why do we do what we do and is it time for change ? 🤔

Want to know more about The Curiosity Approach ? We have a Curiosity Approach practitioner course starting in July 🎉

Or why not embark on becoming an accredited setting? We open our doors later this month 🙌🏼🎉

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Hide the baskets and bags 😂😂
“The minute I set up an invitation or provocation to learning, someone comes along and snaffles all the resources ! “🤦‍♀️

“The minute my back is turned everything is gone ! “

“Who is the culprit that ruins all my hard work, it took me ages to set that up?”😩

“Why can’t they just leave stuff on the table? Stop moving the construction from the construction area/ carpet to somewhere else ! Ahhhhhhh 😳

“stop filling your baskets with stuff, other children need to play there !”

“ Go put that back please, you can’t just walk around all day with stuff”

Let’s consider

Let’s remember ‘Construction or any type of play’ doesn’t just happen in a designated area or on a designated carpet. The environment should be a one BIG holistic play space, a place to move, combine and transport items, a place where play and learning happens without specific ‘area’

2 Are the statements above ones you can relate to ?

A sentence you’ve heard yourself uttering as you watch a child busily taking their freshly made play dough cakes and attempting to wander across the room to the home ‘corner’ and pop them in the pretend cooker.

Do you set up resources at the beginning of the day & miraculously they’ve all moved, vanished, deposited elsewhere or found outside ?

Do you have children whose only desire ( it seems ) is to fill up handbags and baskets and wander around all day collecting stuff from around the room ?

Maybe you have a child who just constantly fills up the trailer on their truck and wheels it about the garden all day ?

Perhaps you can recall a particular child who constantly has bulging pockets or can be found depositing random items to their collection or a pile somewhere in the room ?

Oh my goodness, these actions can sometimes cause us such frustration, where have all the pencils gone ? 😱

Where have all the loose parts gone off this table ?

Are you concerned that stuff is
getting mixed up, moved and transported ?

Have you spent ages setting up a beautifully created Tuff tray only to have the contents disappear or moved with two seconds flat ! 🤷‍♀️

We have spoken recently about how children learn and that through play they are exploring, investigating and making sense of the world around them. ‘A schematic learning style or commonly known as a schema !”

We simply explain these as a child’s favourite way of playing, their impulses,urges and a desired way to do things ! Repeated patterns in their behaviour. 🥰🙌🏼❤️

Let’s remember children aren’t moving stuff about, mixing things up because they get up one morning and think

‘I know what I’m going to make my key person’s, parent carer’s day tough today “ I’m just going to switch up the whole room and walk about moving stuff about all day “😆

That’s not it !

Let’s pause, to wait watch and wonder what’s actually going on here!

Have you ever stopped to watch, notice the individual ways children DO Things ?

Repeat ‘DO’ things !
We are not asking you to notice
WHAT they ‘LiKE’ playing WITH!

But what are the actions, urges impulses children have?

Those repetitive actions or behaviours.

The repeated ways the DO something?

Over recent months we have talked about ‘ schematic learning styles’ how through certain actions children are constructing meaning, assimilating information.

The child who has a fascination with moving stuff ?
Or even moving THEMSELVES?

Let’s recognise this is a schematic learning style or URGE ( of which there are many ) This one is called quite simply a ‘Transporting’ schema

So ! How can we support a child with this particular urge or learning style?

Instead of stopping children in their tracks, instead of halting them as they ( what we assume) is a desire to just mess up the place or intentionally have all the resources for themselves .😬


Notice, pause be mindfully aware of the intentions, the ideas, the urge, purpose, the compulsion, the desire, the assimilation and compounding of information.
The cognitive development.

Notice instead what they are doing!
Where they are going with stuff?
Maybe they are not actually going anywhere at all -

remember also
We have to always relate schemas to the stage of cognitive development of a child ( see other posts about cognitive developmental stages as explained by Piaget ! )

the concentration, the determination, the joy, happiness, the complete unawareness of anyone else in the room!

They are lost in the FLOW of play ( another post maybe 🤣)
They are deeply engaged in a ‘self chosen play experience.

They are learning !🎉

No ! It might not make sense to us and that’s OK but it does to the child !

So next time you say - “Leave that stuff on the table please, other children might need it ”
Consider what ideas, play opportunities or learning are you stopping in it’s tracks ?

Do you know the schematic learning style of a child ?

How can we support a child with a ‘transporting’ schema ? How can we create rich powerful play spaces and YES opportunities

Provide …

🔹 A wealth of bags, baskets, purses, trolleys, wheel barrows,
🔹 Trucks
🔹Pulley systems
🔹Allowing them to fill, move and transport!
🔹 Jugs, buckets, containers for sand water play and that texture kitchens
🔹 Children will use the items how they desire, if they are moved from that area, pause and look at WHAT they are doing !
🔹 Turkey basters or pipettes for water play. Syphoning up and depositing to another place, container ?!?!
🔹 provide ample loose parts, provide 🔹big collections of things.
🔹 Large loose parts outside too
🔹 Crates, tyres, movable items
🔹Den making equipment
🔹 Make travelling journey sticks
🔹 Unpacking and moving resources.
🔹Putting the shopping away
🔹 Tidying up/ back where things belong.
🔹Scavenger hunts
🔹 Finally a holistic play space not confined by areas, specific mats, zones and places resources must remain
🔹 See it as one big play space where children can follow their own ideas 🙏🏼
🔹Allow it to be mixed up and moved

🔹Ensure you have larger quantities and collections of stuff children CAN move.

Before you say ! “ Who is going to tidy up all this stuff afterwards? ”
Remember replacing and returning items, tidying up are all opportunities for learning too & they love to transport things back again too 🎉🙌🏼

Is it us that need to change our mindset instead of expecting children to conform to a specific way of playing ?

How can we meet the learning styles of individual children?

What can WE do more 🏆 This is all part of our Curiosity Approach pedagogy and what we discuss in the academy

Missed this January cohort of the Curiosity Approach Accreditation, but still want to learn more ? We have a resource about schemas.

Why not get yourself our Curious resource, It opens into a A2 poster, enabling you to place in a frame and display on your wall for parents, carers and colleagues to read ! Cost £9.25

We will recreate and place this FB post as a blog on our webpage too
Here’s where they they will appear
along with the wealth already available
Take a look 👇🏽

This Content is subject to copyright©️

Happily re Share the entire post or tag colleagues, family and friends. Anyone who might find this useful ❤️

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