My name is Lucy and I'm an early years practitioner and I have just recently passed my qualification in Level 3 Early Years Educator thanks to the Early Years Network
I absolutely love outdoor learning, getting the children in my care outdoors is the best way to introduce new skills and new knowledge to them and I think they've really grown confidence in their outdoor environment as well. Using each other to work together to achieve their own ideas. Things that make me smile throughout my job is when I have a child that is now able to trust me.
They like talking about their family to me and they want to invite me into their play all the time and let me help them grow and develop. I love setting up a sandpit because you can get so many areas of development into that sandpit. You can base it on your children's interests. We have lots of children that absolutely adore dinosaurs, so that is something we put in the sand all the time. And within that you can get loads of areas of development.
You can get maths in with numbers, you can get personal, social and emotional development in by being able to share the experience with their friends. You've got communication, language, talking about the dinosaurs you can see, talking about the colours and all the different shapes and sizes. I struggled before I had access to the earlier's network to do lots of research and find what I was looking for. I used to find that I was going through pages and pages of information and not always getting the things out of it that I wanted to whereas the earlier's network has been so accessible and easy to understand so that I know that I can look at that and know that I know what I'm then putting into my practice. I found that it was really easy to pick out the information that I needed for my coursework.
One of my biggest struggles is looking at loads and loads of research and trying to pick out the main points. But having the earliest network accessible meant that I could pick out the main bits really easily and I knew exactly what I needed to write about as well. Throughout my qualification, it was helpful to learn a theory behind what we put into our practice. But using the earliest network has made that feel so much more real, feel more confident with being able to put my ideas and those ideas that I've got from the earlier's network into my practice and day to day work. It helped because all the knowledge I was gaining, I was put into my own practice so I could put it into setting up activities, monitoring children's development and that way I was then able to refer back to my coursework and write about my own experiences in that coursework as well.
Yeah, so all the content was relevant to everything I do day to day. The theory side of it helped me to link all the different theorist practices into my practice and seeing which worked well for our children and then just using that as trial and error to see what worked for our children what they were interested in as well. Gave me more knowledge on my theorists, which then I'm able to put across to our newer staff members. And focusing on those theorists in our practice helps them to develop their practice as well and learn about what we do, what we set up in the Early Years industry, and how we can use those activities to help our children. Learning through videos helped me so much more than learning through text, because I can listen to it wherever I am.
I can put it on, I can dip in and out. I don't have to physically sit down and read something in front of me. I can access the early years network on any device. I use my laptop. I also use my phone.
I could use it if I was traveling somewhere in the car. I could use it when I was just sat at home. I could use it when I was out and about. If I was thinking about something, I could just double check against the earlier's network, and I could also use it while I was at work on my lunch break so that I was refreshed, ready to go back into the afternoon. Yes, everything was there as I wanted it.
I had all the classrooms there available. When I was watching a classroom, I could then go back to it at any point because it saved where I was on that video so that I could dip in and out whenever I wanted. And I knew that if I needed some help, that platform was there and accessible to me at all times. My favorite color Playdoh is blue. I think it's such a beautiful color, and the children absolutely love getting involved when we're making the blue Playdoh.
I love putting natural objects so pine cones, conquers leaves and looking at the prints we can make with all the different leaves. Sticks. We often make hedgehogs with the sticks that we put in. So, yeah, any natural objects, I love putting in Playdoh. The playdoh recipe.
Two cups of flour, one cup of salt, one cup of water, a splash of oil, and mix it together. We have a lovely field area where we go and collect all our natural resources. The children love collecting them, and they can choose their own things and make their own Play ideas from what they can find. I think there's always something to learn in Early Years, and I will continue to use the Early Years Network to support this. With the use of the training courses that are on there as well, I can develop my own professional development further through that.
I've really liked all the outdoor learning videos. I have really developed my practice in outdoor learning. And I've helped my children to understand more about the world about them through using the videos on the Early Years Network and their courses. Throughout the Early Years Network, I have realized that there is so many educators within our industry that I had never even of and this has helped to boost my knowledge and I can use all of that in my own practice. Without the Earlys Network, I would not have had the resources that I now do on hand to be able to put into my practice.
There are so many things that I would never even have thought of using before, which I can now put into my practice day in and day out. And my children are really growing because of that.