Picture book reviews August 2022

Take a look at August's picture book reviews. A selection of thought-provoking texts, from diversity to evolution, right from babies to Reception children.

Professional development: Building a community of practice and research

There is an array of training and professional development opportunities available in the sector, yet these are coupled with increasing underfunding. In light of this, Dr Nathan Archer highlights why it is important to find a community of practice where values are shared and solidarity is on offer.

The effects of war: Creating a warm and safe environment

Teaching internationally has many differences, the current situation in war-torn Ukraine has had it's effects, where refugees have flooded into neighbouring countries looking for safety. Sarah Thorpe, an early years practitioner, gives an insight into how her school has supported Ukrainian families entering Slovakia.

Emotional literacy: Evolving practice

As we have now approached the final article of my emotional literacy series, the following article will pull together some of the key themes that have been discussed throughout the series. I will be revisiting some participants from my study to see, two years on, whether their opinions of the effects of the pandemic have changed and how the research has evolved now we have a better understanding.

Professional identity: Who am I?

How do I view myself in my role when working with children? As a profession, the early years sector has never faced such pressures. External factors impact on our professional identity, and now, more than ever before, how we are viewed by society, politicians and policy makers, matters.

Sector insight: The food strategy and healthy eating

In June 2022, the Government published its Food Strategy White Paper, which included the objective of halving childhood obesity by 2030. With recent data showing an increase in the number of children who are overweight or living with obesity, how can early years settings better support children and families to have an understanding of healthy eating and the benefits of physical activity?

Getting to know you: The language of music

Music is a form of self-expression, and children in the early years are encouraged to express themselves in as many different ways as possible, however, musical development still doesn't seem to play an important enough role in practice. Abigail Leow introduced this in her student spotlight last month, and will build on this in her follow up articles, but for now, take some time to get to know her.

Opinion: No longer ‘perceived as naughty…’

Early relationships should not just be an interesting part of undergraduate degrees. They should be taught to all professionals as a tool to change the future. This opinion piece begins to look at early relationships and early trauma, practitioners' awareness and what can be done differently.

Focus: Academic self-concept and efficacy

Practitioners' academic identity is integral to developing high levels of competency, but challenges emerge when examining the identity of practitioners within the current early years context. What can leaders do to boost confidence and harness the power of positive academic self-concepts?

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