Practice Insight

What is Practice Insight?


This monthly eight-page supplement which is entitled Practice Insight - Provocations for learning from across the sector - aims to provide a window into the best practice of settings and individual practitioners across early years. Each month is split into the following sections:


  • Early years community corner – featuring some of the most talked about and topical posts on social media and online from people across the sector.
  • A play experience case study – focusing on an awe-inspiring play experience which provides children with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge and skills.
  • Author spotlight and student spotlight – providing the space for people within early years to share their passion, knowledge and experience through the power of their own voice.
  • Working with families – providing families with either: an exciting and high-quality learning experience to share with their children or offering thought-provoking and practical advice to enable them to support their children through life.


The first articles will be published on Thursday...keep your eyes peeled!

Student spotlight: Exploring self-regulation

Debra Laxton an EYITT coordinator introduces one of her Early Years Teacher Status students Abi Horn, who reflects on her experiences focusing on self-regulation in her role as an atelierista (teaching artist) in a setting.

Play experience case study: How many can you count?

This month's case study follows a child's journey whilst engaging with a mathematical invitation planned to further enhance children's knowledge of cardinality and their ability to subitise, as well as explore other mathematical concepts such as pattern.

Author spotlight: School readiness

Using a snippet from her book ‘School Readiness and the Characteristics of Effective Learning: The Essential Guide for Early Years Practitioners’ Tamsin Grimmer explores the phrase ‘school readiness’ in the post covid world.

Early years community corner: Should real food be used in play?

Elaine Bennett (@keyu_official) posed a question in April; ‘Is it ethical to provide food stuffs for play in our settings?’ This provoked reflection on how real food is used in early years and whether it is time to change. Adam Marycz shares others' views as well as his own reflections.

Practice Insight June issue: Editor's note

Over the last few weeks, since the first issue of Practice Insight was released, I have been overwhelmed by the positive response to the supplement from across the sector. I would like to thank everyone who has got in touch to share their thoughts with us and those who have also included some suggestions for the future too!

Early years community corner: How do I talk to my child about war?

This month there was only one event that could be the focus. The war and the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. Below, are some of the social media posts and books being shared to help support you when talking to children on this deeply troubling and challenging topic.

Author spotlight: Loose parts

Our first author spotlight focuses on James Tunnell and offers a glimpse into his book ‘Loose parts and beyond.’ This is a guide to support settings and their teams on the journey to embed loose parts into their provision.

Working with families: Blended families

One of the fastest growing family types in Britain is the step family, or ‘blended family’. Within five years of going through a separation or divorce, up to half of parents will have remarried, so be reassured that your child is highly likely to know others who are also living in blended families. That said, it is a big transition that your child will need to be supported through.

Student spotlight: My idyllic setting

Early Childhood student Mitzi Harris shares with us her reflection on the core values of early years and gives an insight into what her ideal early years setting would include.

Play experience case study: Art inspired by ‘Junk DNA’

In this first edition of the new play experience case study we explore an open-ended art invitation inspired by the wordless story ‘Junk DNA’ by artist Clare Thompson. The story of ‘Junk DNA’ is told entirely through the arrangement of loose parts.

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