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The Leaders Council podcast with Alphablocks Nursery School founder Alexandra Samara

The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is currently in the process of talking to leadership figures from across the nation.

Alexandra Samara from Alphablocks Nursery School was invited onto an episode of the podcast. Host Scott Challinor asked a series of questions about leadership and the role it plays in a successful business, as well as recent challenges in the Early Years sector in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Scott commented, ‘Hosting a show like this, where you speak to genuine leaders who have been there and done it, either on a national stage or within a crucial industry sector, is an absolute honour.’

Lord Blunkett, chairman of The Leaders Council of Great Britain and Northern Ireland said, ‘I think the most informative element of each episode is where Scott Challinor is able to sit down with someone who really gets how their industry works and knows how to make their organisation tick. Someone who’s there day in day out working hard and inspiring others. That’s what leadership is all about.’

You can listen to the podcast here (also available through Spotify):

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Colour & Light: The Lightbox Project

During the previous term, we noticed that our children were showing a strong interest in light and shadows, as well as colours and space. As usual, we followed the children’s interests and ideas, and we decided to have a whole half term dedicated to the theme “Colour and Light”.

Early Years Education

Physical Activity in the Early Years: new research results and recommendations

There is little doubt that physical activity (PA) is essential in early childhood health and development. The officially recommended level of PA for most children is 180 minutes, distributed throughout the day. But the majority of children do not reach this level and, in some cases, the actual activity during the day amounts to much less than this. We are acutely aware of this at Alphablocks Nursery School, and we have always taken a pragmatic approach. In particular, various activities throughout the day are geared towards increasing PA, going beyond the usual sports and physical education sessions – such as Music & Movement, Yoga, Drama, ‘Daily Mile‘ activities, and of course our Forest School sessions. Our approach has now been validated by a new analysis of what can contribute to children’s PA.

Early Years Education

Time to Play – a new campaign from the British Psychological Society

Research from University College London’s Institute of Education has shown that between 1995 and 2019, the amount of break time afforded to children between the ages of 5 and 7 had reduced by 45 minutes per week. More recently, the pandemic, and the consequent school closures, has left many children without the opportunity to play at all.

British Psychological Society, 2021 (source)
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Forest School Sessions – methods & benefits

Written by Laura Rodemeyer, EYTS, Qualified Forest School Practitioner

We want our children to feel a sense of belonging and responsibility towards their environment, have a sound knowledge of the flora and fauna that surrounds them and to be able to recognise the beauty and importance of the natural world. The Forest School approach is a useful tool to achieve these goals, giving children opportunities to learn about and explore the world they live in.